An important ritual in our day happens to be washing the face, first thing in the morning, sometime in the afternoon, after coming back from work and before retiring to bed. Our skin begs to be pampered. Quite a lot of us wonder what is an ideal facial cleanser for dry skin or oily skin or a combination of these two or worse, a very sensitive skin.
The Role Of Sebaceous Glands
An important step in managing your skin is to understand the role played by these glands called sebaceous glands that are located beneath our skin. These glands secret an oily substance called sebum. Sebum while is necessary in normal amounts to maintain the natural moisture in the skin, too much of sebum secretion can also make the skin excessively oily and difficult to handle. Dirt, pollutants, dead skin cells along with sebum collect on our skin daily, the moment we wake up from sleep and later as we step out of the house. When you don’t deal with this dirt on a daily basis, they may cover off the skin pores leading to risks of outbreaks and acne.
Did You Check The pH Level?
But different skins have different facial cleansing needs. It is the pH of a cleanser that creates a lot of problems. Soaps are generally too alkaline and the acid mantle of the skin is slightly acidic. This slightly acidic film protects the skin. If you disturb the acid mantle with something that is too alkaline, you create problems. An alkaline skin pH creates the perfect environment for acne to grow. It also causes dehydration which is of course a problem for dry skin and also sensitive skin. Dehydrated oily skin tends to start overproducing sebum to compensate for the internal dryness which makes it more oily.
So no matter the cleanser, it is important to know about the pH level. Of course you want to stay away from chemicals and harsh cleansing ingredients as well.
According to one of the oldest non-invasive systems of healing and wellness, Ayurveda, the type of skin you have will depend on your Dosha constitution. For example, those with Vata skin type tend to have dry and flaky skin, where as those with Pitta skin tend to have warm and sensitive skin. Kapha skin tends to be oily and congested but ages slowly. Wish to find out about your Doshas? Take this quiz to find out!
For dry (or Vata) skin
Vata skin is characterized by overall dryness (no combination pattern here) and will not show signs of redness or be sensitive. When out of balance that skin type will look dull and greyish. Vata skin show signs of aging faster because the skin is thin and dry to start with.
If you have a dry skin that tends to get flaky and hard or if you develop a flaky skin during winter, you can try a cream based facial cleanser that protects the essential oil in your skin. An ideal choice of cleanser for such a skin type can be the Deep Cleanser.
For oily (or Kapha) skin
Kapha skin has more oil but again, everywhere equally (not in a combination pattern) and will not show signs of redness or be sensitive. When out of balance they can look pale or puffy. Sluggishness is an issue in that skin type with water retention etc. As you said, they age slowly and that is because their skin is thicker and more oily to start with.
If you tend to have an oily skin, you should preferably use a non-oil based and light facial cleanser or an herbal cleanser that is made from herbs which are Pitta and Kapha pacifying like the Purifying Cleanser.
For combination skin,
For many people, certain areas of the skin, also called the T zone, tend to be oily, like the forehead region or chin or cheeks while other parts of the skin remain dry. In that case, you must use a cleanser which does not absorb away too much sebum from the skin, which may cause dryness, nor should it be too mild. In other words, you will need a cleanser that balances the lipids and dryness.
For sensitive (or Pitta) skin
Any signs of redness or even just a slight pink undertone to the cheeks means it is a Pitta skin
It holds true for generally all skin types but especially for people with sensitive skin, you should use facial cleansers made from naturally calming herbs and minerals like egyptian rose, aloe vera, sandalwood. The Hydrating Cleanser, Purifying Cleanser or Deep Cleanser from Shankara are well suited for normal to oily to acneic skin.
For normal skin
For those gifted with normal skin that is not too dry nor too oily, you can stick to a mild cleanser that balances between maintaining the sebum levels and takes out the dirt and dead cells too.
If you wish to flaunt a flawless, healthy and glowing skin, here are a few easy to practice tips to wash your facial skin better!
- Use lukewarm water to cleanse your face with. Neither too hot, nor too cold will do for your skin because the previous will irritate the skin and the latter will not clear the pores off as much as you would like.
- After taking the cleansing agent in your palms, massage your face with them in circular motion. In order to avoid the skin from sagging and aging early, you should move your fingers in an upward motion starting from your jaw line towards cheek bones.
- Spend extra minutes in massaging and cleansing the area around the nostrils, forehead, chin (T zone) where most oil, dirt accumulate.
- Using your fingers is the best way to clean your face instead of using cloth or other material made using synthetic substance. Though some people do use medicated cotton pads to cleanse off the dead cells.
- Always wipe your face off with a fresh and clean cloth. You do not want to reintroduce bacteria or pollutants into your skin immediately after a nice long cleansing ritual.
- Let your skin breathe! There is no restraining order on wearing make up but it is important to let your skin pores breathe from time to time.
As far as Shankara cleansers go here is a quick summary of how they are formulated for each skin type!
Hydrating Cleanser is for dry, normal and sensitive skin (so Vata and Pitta)
The Purifying Cleanser is for normal to oily skin and acneic skin (Pitta and Kapha)
The Deep Cleanser is good for all skin types and skin conditions.