One of the most important steps with good skin care is gentle cleansing. It is usually the cleansing process which creates the most imbalance with all skin types. Instead using a natural gentle cleanser to remove makeup and dirt that does not contain chemical toxins is the best and most effective way to wash your face daily.
It is often thought that oily skin should literally be stripped of all oils which actually forces the skin to produce more sebum as a result. Stripping the skin with harsh cleansers also dehydrates the skin. Dry skin can also be stripped of precious oils in the cleansing process. Sensitive skin can be greatly irritated during this process, and combination skin can be all of the above. It is when our skin is out of balance that it needs so many other treatment products to bring it back in balance. I prefer the less is more approach and choose a skin care regimen with fewer simple products, yet with full healing impact.
Over the past four years I’ve discovered simple facial cleansers that are extremely effective and very inexpensive. Although I’ve benefited from all of them, one method of facial cleansing has become my favorite. Let’s talk about each of these simple natural cleansers which are soap free and pH balanced.
Rhassoul clay was the first simple facial cleanser that I tried after my unfortunate experience with oil cleansing using olive and castor oil. That oil mix didn’t work for my acne prone skin because of the high oleic content. It was cleansing with rhassoul clay that brought my skin back to balance.
Rhassoul clay has a higher ratio of silica, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other trace minerals compared to other clays, therefore it is very nourishing to the skin. When mixed with water its smooth and silky texture gently nourishes and exfoliates the skin. It balances skin’s natural oil production, and is hydrating to dry skin and calming to oily skin. It improves clarity, removes dead skin cells, and improves skin texture.
I’ve had the best benefits using rhassoul clay with raw honey as it adds extra hydration to the cleansing process. I also love that rhassoul clay is a multipurpose cleanser for skin, hair, and body. You can read more about the benefits of rhassoul clay here.
Raw honey is truly a healing face wash. Raw honey does wonders for acne, rosacea, eczema, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, sensitive, mature, and dull lifeless skin. When honey is mixed with water it releases peroxide properties which helps to heal and fade scars, and also prevent bacteria causing more acne. Raw honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that is amazing at brightening the complexion, evening out the skin tone, and lightening scars and age spots.
Raw honey has a natural pH of 4.5 which is perfect for maintaining a healthy pH in our slightly acidic skin mantle. Our skin thrives when using products with a pH between 4.5–5.5. Maintaining the skins proper pH balance helps create optimum skin health. Using raw honey as a face wash is perfect for those who do not wear makeup or for a gentle morning cleanser. When mixed with rhassoul clay, it will remove light makeup.
I would never have thought of using oatmeal as a face wash until I tried it after running out of my usual face wash. Oatmeal is the perfect face wash for sensitive, dry, and irritated skin, and especially those with rosacea, eczema, and sunburn. Oats contain saponins, a gentle cleansing agent, and can be used as a mild soap.
You can use either oat flour or colloidal oatmeal to cleanse the skin mixed with water or even aloe vera juice. I’ve found that colloidal oatmeal is the easiest to use as it won’t clog your sink. Oatmeal alone will not remove makeup so is better for those who do not wear makeup or as a morning face wash. You can also do a simple oatmeal facial mask after you remove your makeup. You can read more about oatmeal as a face wash here.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with oil cleansing until I learned the best types of oils to use for acne prone skin. Oil cleansing is the easiest way to remove heavy makeup and dirt while also removing excess sebum from clogged pores. No matter whether I am wearing makeup or not, the oil cleansing removes everything and unclogs my pores.
Oils high in linoleic acid help nourish and balance sebum production. These types of oils are usually imbalanced with those who are acne prone. Simply by applying oils high in linoleic acid to the skin you inhibit acne breakouts. You can learn more about these types of oils and why they work so well for those who are acne prone in this article.
One of the other reasons that I was initially having so many issues with oil cleansing is because it didn’t always feel as if I was removing all of the dirt and makeup filled oil from my skin. Once I introduced using a microfiber cleansing cloth with oil cleansing regimen, I had discovered the perfect combination!
Microfiber Cleansing Cloths
Microfiber cleansing cloths completely remove makeup, gently exfoliate skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, diminish acne, whiteheads, and blackheads, minimize scars, and clear clogged pores from dirt and bacteria all while not disrupting the pH levels in your skin. The first time I used a microfiber cloth I was shocked that I was able to remove all of my makeup with just warm water!
I’ve been using microfiber cleansing cloths this entire year in different ways. There was a time where I wanted to see if I could transition to a water only face care regimen, yet my skin wasn’t having it. Even thought these cloths will remove makeup on their own, it didn’t feel gentle enough on my skin with just water. When I started oil cleansing again and using hot wet microfiber cleansing cloths to steam my skin and remove the oil that my regimen started making sense.
One other thing that I absolutely love about using microfiber cleansing cloths is that they are much less expensive than the electronic exfoliating tools that are so popular on the market right now. My skin has improved drastically since using microfiber cleansing cloths daily. These cloths will remove all impurities from your skin and therefore decrease your pore size.
You can find microfiber cloths at most convenience stores. I prefer white microfiber cloths that are 100% polyester. I use a new cloth daily and also wash the cloth after each use with soap and water. You can read more about microfiber cloths here.
My Favorite Simple Facial Cleanser
Oil cleansing with oils high in linoleic acid is my favorite facial cleanser! Organic pumpkin seed oil is one of the oils I love to use most, and I of course remove the oil with a white microfiber cleansing cloth. This combination has been what has consistently worked for my acne prone combination skin and is of course so simple!
What is your favorite simple facial cleanser?
(Image by Dawn Michelle)