The sun’s peeking through my blinds and my toddler’s already asking for, “three manananasss pleaseeee,” as I emerge from my bed. While my newborn coos and stretches, I follow suit. Before my coffee, before checking my phone, I’m off to the bathroom to wash my face. It hasn’t always been this way. With everything/ everyone needing my attention right when I wake, it would be easier to set my skincare routine aside. What I’ve learned about having a fresh face first thing has made me switch my Facebook scrolling for a better option. This is what I know about cleansing first thing in the morning:
1. My skin cells have been hard at work
When we rest, our bodies get the opportunity to take care of business. No longer occupied by your movement and activities, your skin cells turnover faster. What this means, is that the process of new skin cells being made and making their way to the surface has increased. Repairing and preparing your skin to look fresh. That first cleanse of the morning will clear away the dead skins of yesterday and make way for these new, younger cells.
2. It means much more than just “clean”
The right cleanser for you, shouldn’t just clean. Although, cleaning is a cleanser’s main function, it should do much more! The cleaning aspect will clear away those dead skin cells, remove any residual makeup (if you don’t night cleanse) and start to purify clogged pores.
What else should your cleanser do? Just to name a few:
- Moisturize your skin
- Stimulate strengthening proteins
- Help fight aging
- Even your complexion.
3. Clean face, clear mind
Setting aside this two minutes to pay attention to myself, makes me able to have a clear view of my little’s needs for the day. Small acts of self-care can lead to greater choices and allow you to focus fully on those around you.
I especially love the ideas set out in Cultivate Beauty’s post of reducing stress. Their #6 is to set intentions for your day. Cleansing your face be the perfect moment to focus on today’s goals or create a mantra for your day.
4. Consistency is key
In Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism, he discusses forming healthy habits. One of the best tips he offers is to use an already ingrained trigger like checking your phone or brushing your teeth to form a new habit. Maybe keeping your cleanser by your toothbrush is the perfect way to get into the habit of washing your face.
In this book, the quote that stood out to me the most and I bring with me through my days was by Henry B. Eyring, “There is power in steadiness and repetition.”
Cleansing is the gateway activity to a full skincare routine. That first cleanse leads to a post breakfast tone, serum, moisture and sunscreen application. To emphasize, I have not always had this routine. But, starting with a cleanse can lead to a thorough habit that will help you maintain allover healthy skin.
Two top ingredients to avoid in cleansers:
- Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS): This particular ingredient is popular to help remove dirt and oil from the skin’s surface. Although it is a highly effective cleanser, it comes with some dangers. These dangers include skin drying and irritation. However, it is important to note that the rumor that SLS is carcinogenic or contaminated with carcinogenic ingredients was found to be false by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) board. The irritation, drying and airborne dangers (CIR) of SLS far outweigh it’s cleansing ability in my opinion. These dangers can compromise your barrier function and cause further skin issues.
- Fragrance: At the end of many cleansers (and beauty products) you will read the words “fragrance (parfum).” This words may contain many different synthetic chemicals to make a product smell appealing, and also to make that smell linger. A quick review of the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database will show that this ingredient can include: skin irritation, reproductive organ toxicity and allergens. This can all be avoided by using products that are only scented with essential oils. Although essential oils can cause irritation, their skin benefits far outweigh “fragrance’s” risks.
Added functions of a good cleanser + ingredients to look for:
I could talk about great skin care ingredients for days, but here are a few of my favorites.
Any amount of cleansing can strip your skin of it’s natural oils. We want to immediately replenish our skin, so it can work it’s way back to it’s natural state. These ingredients can help with that process.
It’s easy to get hung up worrying about aging when you can never get enough sleep and your littles have twice as much energy as you. Although you can miss out on using other skincare products, using a cleanser is an essential step. Therefore, I think this product should always be fortified with powerful age defying ingredients. These powerhouse ingredients below will do the trick to work against wrinkles, loss of elasticity and age spots.
Breakouts can affect your skin due to pregnancy, postpartum, nutrition, oily skin and lifestyle changes. Start the soothing process from the beginning of your skincare routine.
Motherhood is full of time-consuming activities and routines. Adding this small step and you could be saying goodbye to other worries that occupy your mind (acne, aging, dry skin, etc.). Participate in this small act of self-care, by cleansing every morning. Your choices may feel endless when looking for the right cleanser. Skip the cheapest or most “natural” looking option, and find a cleanser that works with your skin. Trade your teenage drugstore face wash for a choice with rich botanical ingredients made with you in mind.