Know Your Face: Cleansers (Plus, Some New Discoveries!)

Installment #8 of Know Your Face! Today, the very most basic of the basics: cleansers. Plus, at the end, I’ll share some new skincare products I’ve recently discovered.

Hopefully it’s not news to you that you ought to be washing your face. Twice daily, every day. Cleansing is how you prepare your face for all that magnificent treatment; why spend $80 on a serum if you’re going to put it on a face with the day’s grime all over it? I’ve got two cleansers I use religiously, and they both come from Origins:

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Zero Oil | Checks and Balances

I’ve tried lots of cleansers, and I have yet to find anything as comprehensively effective as this pair of products. The Zero Oil cleanser is great for those days when my face is feeling, well, oily; it’s packed with salicylic acid to attack blemishes and leaves my face squeaky clean but not tight. The Checks and Balances option, on the other hand, is preferable for the days when I need a little extra TLC for my face. It gently – but thoroughly – gets all the grime out of my pores.

How to use: Pretty simple, I think. First, get your face wet. Then, create a foam from the cleanser in your hands and massage it onto your face. Rather than splashing with copious amounts of water to remove the cleanser, however, I like to work small amounts of water, bit by bit, to allow the ingredients to penetrate. Every two or three days, I’ll use my most beloved tool:

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Aria Facial Sonic Cleansing Brush | Clarisonic

I’m sure you’re not surprised to learn I’m a member of the cult of Clarisonic. I bought my Mia two years ago and have been a dedicated user ever since; I upgraded to the Aria about a year ago, and I’m never looking back. The beauty of this specific brand, as compared with other facial brushes, is that the brushes DO NOT SPIN. I do not trust for five seconds a spinning brush on my face; that’s a recipe for torn-up skin if I ever saw one. The Clarisonic’s brush instead vibrates at varying speeds (the Aria allows you to choose one of three speeds) to loosen clogging material from your pores.

Previously, as obsessed as I was with my Aria, I was using it twice daily: basically, every time I cleaned my face. I’m attempting to cut back, however. Just like washing one’s hair, daily facial exfoliation may feel great in the moment but in the long run causes your pores to secrete overtime. About six months ago I went from twice-daily to once; about a month ago I took it even further back to 2-3 times per week. While there’s an adjustment period, it has been worth it.

New Finds!

Since my posts on eye creams, moisturizers, and toners, I’ve discovered new potentially game-changing products! Two are already in the regular rotation; I’ll look forward to reviewing the third when it arrives.

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Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief | Clinique

HOLY COW YOU GUYS. This stuff is amaaaaaaaazing. It is oil free, yet deeply hydrating – due, of course, to crazy high levels of hyaluronic acid. It’s a gel-creme, which means it is super lightweight, but my face is insanely soft after use. Given how quickly my skin absorbs it, it’s that soft IMMEDIATELY. I’m using this product only at night right now, but when the arctic temperatures return in a couple of days I may pile it on in the morning as well.

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Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Eye Creme | Dior

Another amazing, fast-absorbing, crazy-hydrating-yet-lightweight cream – this time, for my eyes. At $49, it’s not the cheapest product ever, but it’s way cheaper than comparable brands’ eye creams. Plus, for $6 more, you can get a kit from Sephora that includes a full-size eye cream plus testers of well-reviewed moisturizer and serum.

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Glow Tonic Beauty Elixer | Pixi

Beauty bloggers across the pond have been singing this toner’s glory for ages, and it just became available in the US via Pixi’s online store. (Alas, though Pixi products are sold at Target, this is not yet there.) It’s a witch hazel toner but it is alcohol free (Sea Breeze and its friends are all packed with alcohol, which over-dries the face almost immediately) and has tons of glycolic acid for rapid cell turnover. I haven’t yet tried it, but given the ingredients and copious praise, I stepped right into line to give it a go. I’ll report back!

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