Cleanser Do’s And Don’ts


Cleansers all have generally the same basic function, which is to clean dirt, debris, oil, bacteria and makeup from the skin. But, there are definitely some things you need to know when it comes to choosing the right cleanser and using it correctly.

Do choose a cleanser made exclusively for your skin type

It’s difficult for me to understand how skin care companies are able to say that their cleansers are “suitable for all skin types.” All skin is different and therefore, each individual has very unique needs when it comes to skin care products. Because a cleanser is a staple in a day and evening skin care routine, it’s essential that you’re using one for your skin type. That is why Renée Rouleau products are not designed for just oily, normal or dry skin; I create products and systems for types 1 through 9. See our nine skin types. When you’re using one that is for your skin type, you are guaranteed to get the best results.

Do avoid cleansers containing synthetic fragrance if your skin is sensitive

Individuals with sensitive skin can react negatively to synthetic perfumes. Before purchasing your cleanser take a look at the ingredients and avoid products that read “parfum” or “fragrance.” Information regarding artificial fragrance ingredients will usually be down towards the end of the list of ingredients. All Renée Rouleau cleansers do not contain artificial fragrance…

Do switch cleansers every season, if necessary

Your skin’s ability to retain moisture or reduce oil production is directly correlated to the climate in which you live. If you are more accustomed to a humid environment or have oily skin, you will want to use a foaming or gel cleanser, and in dry environments, a lotion-based cleanser may be best for those with dry skin. Be sure to reassess not only your cleanser, but your other products as well, every change of season for best results.

Do wipe over skin with facial sponges after cleansing

Particularly when washing your skin at night with a cleansing lotion, it is important to do a physical wiping with facial sponges or a baby wash cloth to ensure makeup, dirt, and oil come off the skin and so you won’t find it on your cotton pad when applying your toner.

See the collection of Renée Rouleau cleansing lotions and sulfate-free gel cleansers.

Do limit the use of the Clarisonic brush with your cleanser

The Clarisonic brush is a popular device to use along with a cleanser when washing your face. The company suggests for you to use it with every cleansing, but I feel this is way too much for the skin. Instead, I only suggest using it no more than three times a week. Read: Is The Clarisonic Brush Harmful Or Helpful To The Skin?

Do apply moisturizer within 60 seconds after cleansing

After cleansing, you must IMMEDIATELY use an alcohol-free toner and moisturizer. If you leave your skin bare for more than 1 minute, it will start to dehydrate as the dry air attracts moisture out of the skin. Perform your skin care routine quickly, and be sure to always leave your toner damp on the skin. This will leave your skin protected and avoid the tight and dry feeling.

Don’t use a cleanser that leaves your skin feeling tight or dry

Many foaming and gel cleansers made today are formulated with an ingredient called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. This ingredient is a surfactant; a cleansing agent that cuts oil from the skin. These ingredients are simply too harsh and will strip the water out of the skin after every washing leaving the skin feeling tight and creating more oil and shine. And what you wash with is the MOST important part of your skin care routineWhy? Because if you wash with a foaming cleanser or soap that is too drying, it pulls all the water out of the skin and creates dead, dry skin cell buildup. Then you have to quickly run and put your moisturizer on to put back in what you just took out! It makes no sense! Choose either cleansing lotions and gel cleansers that avoid the harsh ingredient, Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. These will be better choices, as they will effectively deep clean the pores but will not rob the skin of much-needed water.

Remember the rule: More lather, more drying. Less lather, less drying. All Renée Rouleau cleansers are sulfate-free.

Don’t wash with bar soap

Washing with a bar of soap – no matter how expensive it is or how moisturizing it claims to be – is just an absolute no-no. The binders that hold a bar of soap together naturally have a high pH balance, so they are always going to be too strong for the skin. When you wash with something that’s too harsh, you strip the water out of the skin leaving it dehydrated with dry skin cell build up. Then, you have to run and put on moisturizer to put back in what you just took out.

Skin cells are like fish, they need water to live and without water they die. Bar soaps are more suitable for the body, not the face.

Don’t skimp on choosing a quality cleanser

When it comes to choosing skin care products, people will splurge and invest money into a moisturizer. But when it comes to using a cleanser, they don’t give as much thought and just use something inexpensive from the drug store. Since cleansing is the first part of your routine, if you use something that is not of good quality, leaving your skin tight, dry, or irritated, then your expensive serums and creams now have to do repair work to recover the skin from the potential dehydration caused by your cleansing products. Choosing a good quality cleanser can make or break your routine, so choose wisely.

Which cleanser will you choose?

Read: How To Wash Your Face

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.

For more expert advice check out the blog. Also sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and Instagram and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time. Get the #ReneeRouleauGlow!

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Content found on Blog.ReneeRouleau.com, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.