Facial Cleansing 101– Cosmetics, July-August 2007
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Facial Cleansing 101– Cosmetics, July-August 2007

The Doctor Is In: Facial Cleansing 101

By Alix Fuller
Cosmetics: How often should you cleanse your face? 

Dr. Lisa Kellett: Once or twice a day, depending on your skin type. If you have acne, twice a day; if your skin is dry, it’s fine to cleanse in the evening to get rid of makeup, dirt and any other impurities. By the way, a lot of people think that if they have acne they have to cleanse frequently but that’s a fallacy. By cleansing more than twice a day, they actually irritate the skin and thus produce more oil. 
C: So it isn’t really necessary to cleanse, let’s say, dry skin in the morning?
Dr. LK: No. Just a rinse is enough to remove any oils that have accumulated throughout the night. 
C:  What’s the best way to cleanse?
Dr. LK: Splash your face with lukewarm water, place a bit of whatever cleanser you’re using and squeeze some into your palms. Massage a bit to distribute it evenly (you may need to add some water to get the foam working) and then massage it over your face in small, gentle circles. No rubbing, please! I generally recommend using the fingers as opposed to a cloth as it’s less abrasive to the skin, especially if you have acne. 
C: What about cleansing the eye area?
Dr. LK: You could get a special cleanser, but if you use an ultra-gentle cleanser on the face, you can use the same thing on the eyes as long as you’re very careful. That area is extremely fragile.  
C: How do you choose the right cleanser?
Dr. LK: If you have acne or oily skin, you need to use an exfoliating cleanser (the kind with those little beads in it) twice a day. More sensitive skin types should, of course, use a cleanser formulated for their skin type. I recommend lotion or gel instead of soap, as it can be drying and thus irritate skin. Those all-in-one wipes are fine, if you find one your skin doesn’t react to. It’s all common sense, really. 
C: Are there any specific ingredients to avoid?

Dr. LK: Avoid products that use formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers (preservatives) as they can be irritating and sensitive skin can have an actual reaction to them.

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