Everyone swears by specific products and methods, but a common way to cleanse still involves people using their hands and lathering up with a cleanser.
I am going to share why cleansing with your hands is not going to give you the deep clean your face needs.
The Way Your Cleanser Works
Cleansers usually contain surfactants, which are known as surface active ingredients. They all work on the same basic principle, that every molecule in nature is either water-loving or oil-loving:
The lipophilic molecule binds to the makeup, oil and dirt on your skin. Then the hydrophilic molecule attracts water to break down those impurities and are washed away when you rinse.
Photo by Matthew Tkocz.
The formulation of cleansers vary as some contain more oil dissolving molecules and less water replying molecules. Although cleansers are formulated to remove oil, makeup and debris, using only your fingers and rinsing with water does not allow for a deep cleanse in and around the nose, mouth and eye and hair line.
Residue from the cleanser and makeup often settle in these “outer limits” resulting in blemishes because they are easily missed during rinsing, and have nothing to bind to when you are just using your hands.
Photo by Dr Hauschk.
Using a cloth is simply the best double cleanse you can get. Overusing the surfactants can dry and dehydrate your skin, while a clean cloth actually binds to any leftover residue, oil or debris not broken down by the cleanser. It can also cover more surface area than your fingers, giving you a deep second cleanse.
I would suggest not using the same cloth over and over since bacteria growth is very common. Use a special cloth for your face made of muslin or bamboo as they are softer and more gentle for your skin than terry cloth.
Feature photo by Into The Gloss.