What comes to mind when you think of skin care? For most people, a typical routine involves face wash and nothing more. It’s a basic part of standard hygiene, especially after sweating or wearing makeup all day. The goal is to maintain a healthy, clear complexion! But is face washing really enough? You can also cleanse, tone, and moisturize the skin. And while this trio of steps sound like a nuisance, they can make a huge difference.
That’s not to say face washing doesn’t have benefits. It removes excess sebum, dirt, and makeup, making it hard for acne-causing bacteria to grow and thrive. Face washing also controls Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that lives on more than 50% of healthy people.1 2
All of this might sound great, but face washing doesn’t target every skin problem. Maybe you’re struggling with oily skin or irritation. Or perhaps you’re prone to dryness or flaking, something no one likes to deal with. By cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, you can make the most out of face washing while earning these following benefits.
Why Cleansing, Toning, And Moisturizing Is So Important
Cleansing comes before face washing, but the two aren’t the same. Cleansers are designed to dissolve dirt oil, and makeup instead of simply removing them. They’re also oil-based, making them perfect for the job. “Like dissolves like”, as science says.
Even after cleansing and face washing, there’s bound to be leftover dirt and makeup. This is especially likely after a long day of sweating or wearing makeup. You’d be surprised at what can stay in those pores! With a toner, you can “swipe” the last of it out. This product is often a watery lotion or face wash that’s applied with a cotton ball.
Face washing might be crucial, but it can also strip the skin of natural oils. This can lead to dryness, tightness, and flaking. Moreover, dryness might even make sebaceous gland work even harder, causing even more oiliness. To finish off your skincare routine, moisturize as the last and final step.
How Often Should You Cleanse, Tone, And Moisturize?
All three steps should be done whenever you wash your face. For most people, this should be done twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. After sweating, do it as soon as possible. Listen to your skin! People with dry complexions may benefit by doing it once a day.3
Natural Options For Cleansers, Toners, And Moisturizers
1. Cleansing Oil
Using cleansing oil is a standard step of Korean skincare. And thanks to its popularity, it’s easy to find cleansing oil in the United States. However, sea buckthorn berry oil has been found to have anti-sebum effects. Consider using it as a cleansing oil if you’re always dealing with a greasy complexion.4
Keep it simple and sweet with toners like witch hazel or rosewater. To control inflammation, acne, and sebum, use green tea for antioxidant boost If you choose to buy a toner, look for these ingredients. Make sure the product is alcohol-free, too.5
Forget the pricey lotions and face creams. Natural oils made of grapeseed, jojoba, or almond will hydrate the skin without being too greasy. Coconut oil is an especially popular choice, as it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory emollient. A little goes a long way.6
If you’d rather buy than DIY, look for gentle products without fragrance. The simpler the product, the better. Always do a patch test to make sure it won’t cause any irritation.
|↑1||Acne. WomensHealth.gov, Office on Women’s Health.|
|↑2||Hygiene Fast Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑3||Face Washing 101. American Academy Dermatology.|
|↑4||Akhtar, Naveed, Barkat A. Khan, Tariq Mahmood, Rashida Parveen, Mughal Qayum, and Masood Anwar. “Formulation and evaluation of antisebum secretion effects of sea buckthorn w/o emulsion.” Journal of Pharmacy And Bioallied Sciences 2, no. 1 (2010): 13.|
|↑5||Saric, Suzana, Manisha Notay, and Raja K. Sivamani. “Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris.” Antioxidants 6, no. 1 (2016): 2.|
|↑6||Verallo-Rowell, Vermén M., Stephanie S. Katalbas, and Julia P. Pangasinan. “Natural (Mineral, Vegetable, Coconut, Essential) Oils and Contact Dermatitis.” Current allergy and asthma reports 16, no. 7 (2016): 1-11|