Cleansing your skin is so important. Obviously it removes make up, and grime from the airborne particles that float around (ever noticed the air when the light shines through a window?). But the right cleanser can also help improve your skin. And saying that.. the incorrect cleanser can damage your skin.
Cleansers come in various forms... and the first thing is to choose the one that suits your skin type. Then, it's personal choice as to which one you select. (I will list our cleansers below).
There are also various ways to use a cleanser. Some you emulsify with water. Some you use straight on the skin. Personally I find it best to remove cleanser with a warm, wet face cloth (aka: facewasher). You can also use sponges that are great if you have some fresh water that you can constantly rinse the sponges (beauty salons usually use sponges). If you do use sponges, you should ensure they are kept clean between uses. I use a cleanser in the shower, and I love that I can just lather up (it doesn't lather much), and then rinse off under the running water.
If you wear a lot of make-up, you may need to wash your face twice (and possibly three times!). Some foundations and powders can really stick to the skin, and it's really important to remove all traces of makeup. Leaving makeup on the skin can really dull your face, and with blocked pores it can lead to breakouts and pimples. If you have problem skin - the best thing to do is not wear makeup. Although I know this can be hard, so if you must wear makeup.... remove it as soon as you can (ie: as soon as you step in the door of your home). Let your skin breathe. Cleanse and moisturise. I had problem skin, from my teens through to mid 20's. My skin improved dramatically when I stopped wearing makeup and when I used quality skincare products.
The eye are can be quite sensitive, and if you wear waterproof mascara... then it's best to use an eye makeup remover. As I type this blog (in January 2012) - I have stock of the Ahava eye makeup remover. But unfortunately, Ahava have stopped production of this product... so the stock I have is all that is available. I not only use it for myself... but it's great to get kids face paint off as well!
So... let me talk you through the cleansers that I currently have:
Ahava Rich Cleansing Cream: suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin). This is described as a cream soap, and is thicker than a milk cleanser. This cleanser emulsifies with water and forms a bit of a lather (although it is SLS/SLES free). Apply to a wet face, remove with water. SLS/SLES and paraben free.
Ahava All in One Toning Cleanser: Best for normal to Dry skin (including sensitive skin). This is more of a milky texture. The "three" relates to an eye makeup remover (to replace the stand alone makeup remover), a cleanser and a toner. As a beauty therapist, the concept of cleaning and toning in one step is a bit of a stretch. But this product seems to be quite popular. It claims to remove makeup, dirt and impurities, tighten pores and rebalances the skin's pH. SLS/SLES and paraben free. The only thing that disturbs me about this is that it says "no need to rinse".... just wipe with a cotton pad. I have not used this cleanser, and would love feedback from people who have used it. Do you remove it, or just wipe off as it suggests?
Ahava Refreshing Cleansing Gel: All skin types. This is a soapless gel. Many people prefer a 'gel' like cleanser, as they tend to feel 'fresh' on the skin. This gel cleanser does not dry out the skin. Massage onto a wet face then rinse off. SLS/SLES and paraben free.
Ahava Mens Deep Cleansing Gel: all skin types. This product is fragranced and smells a bit like aftershave/shaving cream, although the smell will not linger after you wash the cleanser off. As men like minimal skin routine, this cleanser also has micro-peeling ginkgo and ginseng extracts to exfoliate the skin at the same time. It's ideal as a beard softener, in preparation for shaving. It's approved for use on sensitive skin. I love the smell of this cleanser, and it would be a great product for any male to use.
Ahava Eye makeup remover: all skin types. This product is particularly good to remove stubborn eye makeup, including waterproof mascara. The eye area is delicate, and sometimes removing eye makeup can be difficult... and you don't want to scrub and pull at the skin on your eyes. With this product, you soak a cotton ball, place it on your eyelids and let the makeup soften. Then wipe away. As mentioned above.... this product is also really good at removing face paint. Unfortunately, this is another product that Ahava have discontinued. I still have stock (as at Jan 2012). But when it is gone, the best product to use would be the Ahava all in one cleanser or the Anna Lotan Liquid Gold Cleansing Milk.
Ahava Soaps: Purifying Mud Soap for oily skin, and Moisturising Salt Soap for normal skin. Normally I would not recommend soap to cleanse your face... but Ahava soaps are pH balanced (5.5), and Ahava have described this as a "soapless soap". Personally, I would not use the soap to remove eye makeup. The soaps are probably ideal for teenagers and guys who don't want to use "products". At least these soaps will not throw out their skin's pH, or dry it out. They are paraben and SLS/SLES free.
Fresh Look Purifying Mineral Soap: for normal to oily skin. This is a LIQUID soap (150ml). It's a gel that lathers into a gentle cream foam. It contains a variety of marine ingredients such as seaweed and Dead Sea silt (mud) and also Seabuckthorn extract which is moisturising and will prevent your skin becoming really dry.
Anna Lotan Liquid Gold Cleansing Milk: for normal to dry skin. This gentle cleansing milk contains golden seabuckthorn oil and soothing aloe vera juice oil. It removes make up and leaves the skin soft and supple.
That's quite a range of cleansers.... but I'll be getting MORE soon!!!!
So, you can look at the entire collection (as it grows) here: http://www.deadsea.com.au/cleanse.html
And if you ever need any advice about what products to use, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always happy to help.