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Cleansing your Skin
You should clean your skin on a regular basis. A skin that is not cleaned thoroughly and regularly can never be a healthy skin. When you clean your face you clean pores in the skin from excess oil, dust and waste matter. For this reason, the importance of a thorough cleaning cannot be over-emphasized.

When to clean your face :
Skin must be cleaned depending on its needs. When you clean is not important. Some people clean it the first thing in the morning and the last at night because it is a convenient time. Though most beauticians advise cleansing the face before going to bed. In the morning cleansing the skin is very refreshing and if you apply make-up the finish would be better.

How often must you clean your face?
This again depends on your skin type and exposure to dirt. For most people 2-3 times a day is adequate. But for oily skin and if you are exposed to a lot of grime and dirt during the day, cleaning is very essential at least thrice a day. You may either use soap, face wash or any other cleansing agent. If your skin type is dry, don't use hot water; it may harm your skin. Avoid frequent washing and if you may have to, use an oil-based cosmetic cleanser. However, in hot weather even a dry skin may tolerate several washings with soap and water. Every time you wash your face make sure the cleansing involves removing make-up as well as grime and dirt accumulated during the day. If you clean your face well at night, the morning session need not be too elaborate.

What should you use for cleansing?
Soaps :
A wide variety of soaps are available in the market. Always rinse the skin thoroughly with water after using soaps because if it remains on the skin it attracts dirt and causes irritation. In area where hard water is available soap residue may combine with the calcium and magnesium salts in the water to form a scum, which is really very difficult to remove. However soaps remove natural oils from the skin and make it dry. You can use a moisturising cream after washing with soap. If your skin is dry try using a suitable cosmetic cleanser. For normal skin 2-3 washes with soap will not harm your skin. Oily skin can benefit from frequent cleansing with soap and water.
There are a wide number of soaps:
1. Medicated soaps: Have antiseptic added and may cause allergies.
2. pH soaps: These are marginally superior to ordinary soaps.
3. Moisturising Soaps: These do not have any advantage over other soaps because the rinsing, after the washing, removes the moisturising ingredients.
4. Superfatted soaps- These are specially for dry skin.
5. Transparent soaps: They are not more effective or safer than ordinary soaps.
6. Liquid soaps: They are no different from other soaps.
7. Perfumed soaps- contains natural or artificial perfumes and thus may cause allergic reactions.

Cleansing Creams :
Creams, milks, lotions, foams, oils, gels and liquids are very closely related. They all are basically a mixture of an oil, wax and water. The formula is modified by the manufacturers to suit different skin types. For example, a face wash for dry skin will remove less oil from the skin and may even add some. Cleansers for oily skins remove more oil from skin. But no matter what the formula these are all alternatives to soap and water cleansing.
You can also clean your face properly with baby oil, liquid oaraffin or vegetable oils. Though they are not pleasant smelling they all efficiently remove dirt and make-up. Cotton pad dipped in fresh milk is an inexpensive but good cleanser. However always wash the residue off with soap and water if you have an oily skin. Finish with a dab of astringent.

The right way to use a cleanser :
Gentle is the key word. Never stretch, drag or pull your skin. Take cleanser in your palm, glide your fingers over the face with light patting movements. Use the pads of your fingers for upward and outwards movements. This is the right way to apply creams on the face. This helps to prevent and delays the loss of muscle tone and sagging of the skin. Leave it on for a minute so as to loosen the dirt and make-up. Gently remove it with cotton wool or tissue paper. Use upward and outward movements. Wipe the face with a damp cotton ball. Finally rinse with water.

Mechanical Cleansing Of Your Skin :
Epidermabrasion is a recent concept in skin cleansing. It literally is the mechanical rubbing off dead cells from the skin surface. It comes in a variety of granules like sand, sawdust, silica and pumice and also in slowly soluble abrasive materials like sodium tetraborate decahydrate. These granules are incorporated into soaps and creams. They form the basis of some of the peeling facemasks available in the market. Sandpaper, hemp cloth, cellulose of the luffa plant, sea-sponges and man-made sponges of the cellulose and polyurethane are other materials for epidermabrasion. Woven webs or washcloth, which provides a very delicate level of epidermabrasion can also be used. The latest development in this sphere is the use of non-woven polyester webs. It suits most skins though it should be avoided on very dry skins.

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