Tuesday, September 16, 2008

To Scrub or Not to Scrub

One question I am often asked by clients and readers is whether I would recommend any of the electronic face-scrubbing devices that are currently on the market. While most of the clients I see, whether for a simple brow arching or an in-depth cosmeceutical treatment, do not cleanse thoroughly enough, I don't necessarly think that an electronic scrubbing device is the answer. For the most thorough cleansing I have found to date, I recommend that all my clients use a twice-daily thorough cosmeceutical cleansing regimen which includes three steps:
  • Surface Cleansing with a gentle, creamy cleanser that does contain skin-friendly oils. Wait, put oils on the skin to cleanse it? Yes! In addition to the makeup we apply intentionally, our skin becomes coated throughout the day with a layer of sebum and sweat coming from the inside, and a layer of dirt, dust, and pollution coming from the outside. As any mechanic who has ever used motor oil to remove grease can tell you, oil dissolves oil, and all the impurities on the surface of the skin are held firmly in place by the oils that have been secreted. A thorough cleanse must start with a gentle creamy cleanser massaged thoroughly into the skin for a significant period of time--I recommend a minute or more, and 2-3 minutes as a weekly deep cleanse. Rather than splashing or rinsing the face, which does not completely remove the cleanser and the debris it has dissolved, the surface cleanser should be wiped off gently but firmly with a warm, wrung-out washcloth.
  • Corrective Cleansing by applying an incredibly small amount of the institut' DERMed corrective cleanser recommended for you and working the cleanser into the skin of the face for a minimum of 30 seconds. The corrective cleanser in most cases will not foam. You may feel a tingling sensation from the corrective cleanser. This sensation may subsist the longer you adhere to your home care regimen, may be present each time you use the corrective cleanser, or may fluctuate depending on your in-office treatments. Again, wipe the cleanser off with a warm, wrung-out washcloth. If it is not too saturated with make-up, you may rinse and re-wring the same cloth you just used with the Surface Cleansing Lotion, but toss it in the hamper when you are finished: each washcloth should only be used for one cleansing ritual to avoid harboring bacteria that can compromise your skin's acid mantle.
  • Treatment Toning to not only remove any last traces of makeup or cleanser, but also to deposit skin correcting agents onto the skin to enhance the results of your professional and home corrective treatments. The best method I have come across for using the potent institut' DERMed treatment toners is to dampen a cotton round or square with a few drops of water, spray 2-3 pumps of the toner onto the slightly damp pad, and wipe gently over the whole face for at least 30 seconds. While the toning step is completing the cleansing ritual, the idea is not to scrub your face with it--doing so could cause irritation. Simply wipe gently across the whole face, including hairline, jaw and neck, and the skin beneath the eyebrows, allowing remaining debris to be swept away as corrective compounds are deposited onto your skin.
Please remember that while I advocate deep massaging of the face with your fingers, I never recommend using your fingernails on your face. Prior to undertaking the cleansing ritual, I strongly recommend you do a thorough hand-washing with soap and water. I can also not overstate how important it is to keep a tall stack of washcloths by your bathroom sink for cleansing. Personally, I put my used face cloths over the side of the bathtub to dry and put them in the laundry later, with hot water and bleach or vinegar. The effectiveness of the cleansing ritual can be increased by taking care to regularly cleanse makeup brushes and change pillow cases as well, even ironing or steaming pillow cases prior to use. Rather than spending $350 on an electronic facial cleansing device, I recommend buying several dozen washcloths and a series of skin refinement services at The Skin Studio!

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