Cleansing Your Skin

Cleansing foams, wipes, and mitts Cleansing foams are one of the newest types of cleansers. A liquid cleanser is taken up through a special pump, which converts the cleanser to foam. Generally, one "pour' is more than enough to cleanse your face. Cleansing wipes in zit-zapping formulas have long been popular with teenagers. It hasn't been until recently, however, that skin-care companies have created cleansing pads for normal and dry skins - something I am particularly grateful for. Not only are these pads great for gym and travel bags, they're a godsend for those of us who would rather crawl under the covers with makeup on than stand half-asleep at a bathroom sink slapping on and rinsing off cleanser.

Don't spend money on expensive cleansers, because a cleanser is going to be on your skin for only a few seconds before being rinsed away. Save your beauty bucks for moisturizers, sunscreens, intensive treatments, and other products that will sit on your skin a while. Cleansing mitts are an oddity.

You simply don a mitt, moisten it with water, and rub it over your face. Yes, I was skeptical too, but I tried it and it pulled off all my makeup. The mitt's cleaning ability comes from a special weave of fibers.

When to use toner There are people who claim toning is a vital part of good skin care, but the only time I use a toner is to degrease my skin on a grimy Manhattan summer afternoon. I may also use a toner if I need help in removing the oily residue left by a particularly heavy cleanser. That said, toners are purported to remove traces of cleanser and pre-pat the skin for moisturizer - not bad concepts at all.

Toners and astringents Some of you may be confused about the difference between a toner and an astringent. So here it is. The word toner is used in two ways: as a general term for the product you use between cleansing and moisturizing, and as a particular kind of toner formulated without alcohol and used by those with normal to dry skin. Astringent is a word that means to draw out. It also refers to a type of toner - usually formulated with alcohol or some equally drying substance - used on oily complexions to draw out and remove excess sebum.

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