The Great Face Washing Debate

Mandi Dunlap

Magazines line the checkout aisles at local grocery stores with clear faced models gracing the covers and catchy headlines claiming to hold the secrets to your perfect skin. Young girls grow up with these promises taking up space right at eye level and their moms go home to view social media stories filled with influencers hocking the best new product on the market. So what is best when it comes to the ideal skincare regimen?

            The first step, the most basic item to add to your repertoire, is purchasing a quality cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. According to Katie Boucher, an esthetician from the Indianapolis area, everything starts with having a good clean palate. “Definitely invest in a good cleanser,” urged Boucher. “It’s important and ingredients really do matter. There are some different cleansers out there that you hear their name frequently or they’re suggested a lot and you need to learn about the ingredients in them because a lot of them will actually build up a barrier on your skin that won’t allow for things like serums to penetrate it later.”

            Researching ingredients is a daunting task for most, even with the ease of availability of information online. Boucher suggests that if you’re unsure of where to start, seeing a skincare professional can point you in the right direction. “They’ve already done all the work for you,” explained Boucher. “Tell them what’s going on with your skin and they will have a list of good products for you. There are so many influencers out there online, but not every cleanser is good for every skin type.”

“You don’t go to the dentist twice a year and then never brush your teeth at home between visits. It’s the same with your skin between professional treatments.”

            So once you’ve found that perfect cleanser, how often are you supposed to use it? At night and then just splash your face in the morning with water as we’ve all heard? Boucher says no, twice a day, and she’s not alone. Jennifer Donelson, esthetician and owner of Esthete Spa in Valparaiso, Indiana, agrees with a twice a day approach. “Definitely cleanse your skin twice daily, and at night I love a double cleanse,” recommended Donelson. “First use an oil-based cleanser on dry skin to remove make-up, pollution, and products off the skin. Then decide your skin type and use an appropriate cleanser to remove any remaining debris.”

            Once cleansed Boucher states that you’re not done. In the morning, no matter what the season, Boucher suggests wearing a daily SPF moisturizer. In the evening, retinol is the new equivalent to your grandmother’s cold cream. “I’m a big fan of retinol, which comes from vitamin A,” said Boucher. “It can do so many great things! As we age our collagen production slows down and retinol helps to increase that, which will in turn help with fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a great ingredient that has a lot of benefits for a variety of skin types.”

            Whether you choose to receive a skin consultation or research a regimen on your own, the goal is to do what is best for your skin type and stick to that regimen. “A lot of people will invest and go get a treatment done, but usually 80% of your skin is going to be what you’re doing at home,” pointed out Boucher. “You don’t go to the dentist twice a year and then never brush your teeth at home between visits. It’s the same with your skin between professional treatments.”

            So stick to it, yes, but also don’t be afraid to change with age. If Donelson was writing the new headlines for all those glossy magazines they would read, “Just because it worked when you were 18, that doesn’t mean it is still fine!”

January 29, 2022

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