I have realized two major Ah-Ha’s that have changed my skin for the better. The first was recognizing the effect my diet had on the levels of inflammation in my body. The second was discovering something called Double Cleansing.
I have oily skin and have suffered from breakouts since I was a teenager. Of course, for years I tried various products that intended to dry up my oily tendencies and kill the bacteria on my face. These products would work for a bit, but then my skin would flare up again worse than before, producing even more oil and coming itchy and uncomfortable along with the pimples.
This picture is difficult for me to look at – but my skin was definitely trying to tell me something!
I never imagined cleaning my face with an oil, it seemed to defy all logic. But, when I heard of double cleansing, I decided to try it. After all, the harsh soapy cleansers certainly weren’t helping my situation. I was astounded at how quickly my skin responded to this way of cleansing! Not only did the breakouts calm down, but the expression lines that I am beginning to see around my eyes, forehead and mouth began to soften.
What is double cleansing? It’s a two-step (but extremely gentle!) cleansing process that thoroughly removes all dirt and makeup from my face at the end of the day, without disturbing the naturally beneficial bacteria or acid mantle on my skin.
STEP 1: Start with an oil-based cleanser or a micellar water. I use a cleansing balm, and I make it myself at home with three simple ingredients: grapeseed oil, vegetable emulsifying wax,and neroli essential oil. Even through I have oily skin, this cleansing balm has never caused clogged pores or inflammation. It is creamy and smooth and the scent is divine! I apply the balm to my dry skin, massaging it in well for several minutes. Then, I wet a clean washcloth with very warm water, wring it out, and gently press is against my skin, wiping the remove the balm. This whole process is very soothing and relaxing. You can also use plain olive oil for this step. Coconut oil works as well, but it can by more drying.
STEP 2: The second step follows with a good cleansing lather, but I DO NOT recommend using any kind of soap. Some of the cleansers that I do like include Pixi Mud Cleanser, Natralia Gentle Skin Cleanser, or even Cetaphil. Again,I spread this cleanser all over my skin, massage it in well, and then remove it with a warm wash cloth. I immediately moisturize my skin while it is still damp, to lock in moisture.
That’s it! And I only do this once a day, in the evening. In the mornings, I will splash water on my face and apply an SPF. It’s funny, but cleansing my skin morning and night has become a pleasure instead of a chore. It’s something that I look forward to because it feels so good, relaxes all the tiny muscles in my face, and signals my body to unwind for the night. I highly recommend it!