Sunday, January 10, 2016

Do you really need to cleanse your face with tools?

[As published on HERE]

Back in the day, the most canggih cleansing tool was probably the sponge, which you could buy at no-brand beauty supply stores in a choice of pastel shades. They came pre-soaked, sealed in flimsy clear plastic pouches. You had to air-dry them after that; and they’d shrink to half their original size, becoming hard and rough until they came into contact with water again. I had one, which I treasured. Not because it was expensive (it cost RM1.50), but because using it made me feel like my skin was better taken care of.
Today, the market is saturated with all sorts of tools for face cleansing; from sonic brushes to vibrating silicone spheres and more. There are lots and lots of choices. Whatever fits your budget and lifestyle, really.

There are silicone cleansing pads. Which look like giant tongues with tiny bristles that gently massage your pores to clean out all the gunk. These have been around since I was in high school. Personally I think the bristles are a tad too big to give any positive results. But you still get a nice face massage.

There are pore cleansing brushes. Dense and fluffy, like kabuki brushes with shorter hairs. The hairs are really fine, and are said to unclog pores like a dream. They also help to create a cloud-like lather, making face cleansing fun. Koreans, Japanese and Taiwanese girls are known to use these. Also available are smaller brushes designed for the nose area.

There are konjac sponges. Squishy and hole-y, like a dome of agar-agar jelly-meets-sponge cake hybrid that looks good enough to eat. Because they’re soft, they’re much less abrasive, which means even sensitive skins can use it without any problems. The only drawback: the lifespan is short as it starts to crumble with regular use.

There are vibrating silicone ‘brushes’. Featuring a surface of soft undulating bristles on one side, and a smooth surface on the other, which helps to promote microcirculation, reducing signs of ageing. These can be used when you’re cleansing, or after your skincare products to boost absorption.

There are sonic cleansing brushes with rotating heads. Think of it as an electric toothbrush, but for your face. Hundreds of rotations per second thoroughly deep-cleanses pores and skin to reveal a smoother, baby-soft complexion. Some come with interchangeable brush heads for the body. Brushes also come in varying degrees of softness for different skin types. By far the type with most number of choices as many beauty brands have released their own version.

What’s the deal?
All these cleansing tools share one benefit: they exfoliate while you cleanse, forgoing the need for a physical scrub, which can aggravate extremely sensitive skins.

But how clean is too clean?
There are mixed reviews about cleansing tools – some women experience breakouts due to overexerting the skin, but some women swear by them for a beautiful radiant glow. From personal experience, I’d say that like exfoliation, twice a week will suffice, even though the instructions say that you can use them every day.

Do I really need a face cleansing tool?
It doesn’t hurt to try one if you’ve always wanted to, but always proceed with caution. Even more so if your skin is delicate. But if there’s nothing wrong with your skin, it means you’re doing your beauty routine right, so don’t fall prey to beauty trends just because something is cool. Sometimes the most basic methods are still the best.


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