What causes wrinkles and acne to surface despite your best efforts? We interview esthetician and Stacked Skincare founder Kerry Benjamin on the best way to cleanse your skin.
You cleanse, scrub, rub, and wipe. Steer clear of sweets. Use sunscreen daily. So what causes wrinkles, acne, or irritation on your face that doesn't seem to go away?
It’s no secret that cleansing the skin is important. We also know that exfoliation is key to a healthy complexion. But too much of these good things can cause redness and irritation. Over-scrubbing can also lead to inflammation, a main culprit in premature aging.
Choosing the right cleanser for your skin type is the first step in doing this cleansing thing right. Cleansing cloths have become a popular way to remove makeup and residue, and also enlist a little exfoliation action. You may think over-scrubbing means a gritty mixture or scratchy puff. Those seemingly soft terry washcloths can’t possibly be doing any damage, right? Wrong. They may be doing more harm than good.
Terry cloths can be abrasive and become scratchier with each washing. (And, hopefully, you are washing after each use.) Once used, a washcloth can grow bacteria harmful to skin and health.
So what’s a gal who loves her cleansing cloths to do? Kerry Benjamin, esthetician and creator of Stacked Skincare, lets us in on the best cleansing cloths (hint: they are made of sustainable bamboo!) and how to go about using them. If you are stumped on what causes wrinkles or acne to keep cropping up, learn how proper cleansing can benefit your skin.
Organic Authority: You advocate a certain way of facial cleansing. Have we been cleansing our skin all wrong?
Kerry Benjamin: My preferred cleansing method is to completely remove all makeup with jojoba oil, and then cleanse with a Clarisonic cleansing brush to remove all the debris and oils from your skin. After cleansing, I use the bamboo towels to gently remove all residue and then apply serums, moisturizer and SPF for day.
OA: How does the cloth cleansing method work?
KB: I use the bamboo towels to remove the residue after cleansing. I recommend using a Clarisonic brush for cleansing and then to take the bamboo towel and completely wet it and wring it out, and then gently wipe your face with the bamboo towels to remove all residue. The towels are super soft and also leave a nice amount of moisture on the skin to be sealed in with your serums and moisturizer.
OA: Why bamboo?
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KB: They were designed not for cleansing, but to remove the cleansing residue in a much gentler and cleaner way than washcloths. Also, there are 7 bamboo face towels packaged together in a bamboo bag, so there is a fresh one for each day of the week, ensuring you are not spreading any bacteria from using a 2 day old wet washcloth laying around your bathroom. Also, the bag is designed to hold the dirty towels after use, and then tossed in the laundry with the towels to keep your cloths laundry free from wet dirty towels. I hang my bamboo laundry bag from my bathroom cabinet and then toss each towel in the bag after cleansing, wiping down the countertop and then wringing out the towel before placing in the bag. This makes sure you cleanse with a fresh towel and also leave the bathroom counter clean and free from water that can also lead to bacteria growth.
The main benefits of bamboo face towels are:
• They are soft and gentle on your skin.
• Bamboo has natural antibacterial, antifungal and odor resistant qualities too, due to an antimicrobial agent “bamboo kun.”
• Bamboo is sustainable and eco friendly plant that requires no chemicals or pesticides, very little water to grow and is 100% biodegradable.
• Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and once harvested, bamboo can replenish itself within a year.
OA: As an esthetician, what is one thing you’d like women to know about their skin?
KB: Taking care of your skin is no different than your body, if you want it to look good; you have to work at it! We all have our own unique skin issues, but with regular care from a professional and proper home care products, I believe we can all have healthy beautiful glowing skin.
OA: And, I always ask, who has influenced you in your career?
KB: I wouldn’t say who, but what. I became an esthetician because I have chronic and severe eczema. My whole life I have had to mange my skin on a daily basis. My struggles led me to learn more about my condition, and ultimately a second career. I love what I do, I love helping people feel and look their best because I know how difficult it is to not love the skin you are in.
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Image of woman stressing on skin via Shutterstock