by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

This is the Skincare Step Any Anti-Ageing Skincare Routine Should Have

Image via @iainjeffery

Whether you’re a skincare minimalist or maximalist, your routine is likely to change over time, as you tailor it according to your skin’s needs. Once you hit your thirties and forties, you may start noticing signs of ageing creeping in—dullness, pigmentation, wrinkles and a lack of bounciness in your skin, no matter how regularly you’re taking collagen supplements.

Regardless of how many anti-ageing face creams and serums you throw in your routine, one thing is for certain: you should never skip cleansing. Many consider cleansers as the least important part of a skincare routine—but that’s far from the truth. We reached out to Singapore-based aesthetics doctor Dr Tan Wang Theng for the answers.

Why is cleansing your face important? 

Cleansing is the first and most important step of all skincare routines and is beneficial in a number of ways.  

If your skin is not cleansed properly, a build-up of sebum, dead skin cells, environmental pollutants and other impurities such as residual makeup and sunscreen can potentially contribute to issues like clogged pores, breakouts, dehydration and premature ageing.

Cleansing preps skin to better absorb skincare products in the subsequent steps as well. 

How does cleansing help with anti-ageing? 

The evidence on the role of city air pollution on skin aging is increasing. Air pollution contains multiple contaminants that can lead to increased oxidative stress, inflammation and collagen degradation, as well as damage to the skin barrier. This, in turn, accelerates signs of skin ageing such as wrinkles, pigmentation, dullness, and aggravates skin dehydration, acne and skin allergies as well. 

Cleansing helps eliminate stubborn microscopic pollutants that settle within pores, which helps reduce skin damage that can lead to premature skin ageing. This is where sonic cleansing brushes come in—they offer a gentle option to providing regular deep pore cleansing at home. 

What are the benefits of using facial cleansing devices? How do they work? 

Facial cleansing devices are designed to cleanse better and deeper, for a smoother, clearer and healthier complexion. 

Most cleansing devices combine a brush with a sonic cleansing function, like the FOREO LUNA 3 Plus (SGD469), which features an ergonomically designed soft silicone bristle brush that delivers sonic pulsations to create vigorous, albeit gentle, micro-agitation. This helps to break up the grease and grime, and increase the mixing of the impurities with the surfactants within the cleanser to remove 99.5% of dirt, oil and makeup residue.   

Plus, the FOREO LUNA 3 Plus also has thermal touchpoints nestled within the brush to channel a controlled warmth that works synergistically with the T-sonic pulsations. The heat helps to gently soften the skin so stubborn debris like pollutants and residual sunscreen or makeup can be dislodged by the cleansing brush more easily. This increases its cleansing efficacy and efficiency while being gentle on the skin.  

Can anyone use cleansing devices and is it safe to use them daily? 

The art of skincare is balancing the benefits and safety of your unique skin needs. Over-cleansing and excessive exfoliation can certainly lead to red, irritated, flaky skin, so it is good to be cautious whether you are trying out a new cleanser, AHA serum or cleansing device. 

First of all, not all cleansing brushes are made equal. Silicone brushes are generally softer and less likely to irritate the skin as compared to traditional nylon bristles, so they tend to be better tolerated when used regularly. Silicone is also non-porous and resistant to bacterial build-up. Of course, maintaining good tool hygiene is important for safety. 

No matter your skin type, pair your new cleansing device with a gentle cleanser and start off slow—once to twice a week—and low to see how your skin reacts. Gradually work up to the frequency and intensity that’s right for you. Oily, acne-prone skin types might enjoy good results safely with daily use, while dry, sensitive skin might do well with just 1 to 2 times usage each week. 

Always check with your doctor before starting any new skincare products or devices if you are suffering from more severe skin issues, such as eczema and active nodulocystic acne. 

Should we cleanse in the morning? 

Your skincare routine should cater to your own needs. Personally, I cleanse my combination skin twice daily. I use my favourite cleanser in the morning to gently wash away any excess sebum building up in my T-zone overnight, and purifying any indoor pollutants, grime or bacteria. Starting on a super fresh slate energises me and gets me ready to face the day. 

Any tips or ingredients to look out for when searching for anti-ageing cleansers? 

Cleansers are generally meant to have short contact time with skin to prevent dryness and irritation. Hence, while some hydrating ingredients or vitamin C in “anti-ageing cleansers” might be able to penetrate the skin within that short time, most of the anti-ageing ingredients are probably going down the drain. Special delivery systems need to be built into the cleansing product for an antioxidant or sunscreen to stay and do its work. This is where multi-function cleaning tools like FOREO’s LUNA 3 Plus come in handy, since it also has additional microcurrent therapy and firming sonic massage to help prevent fine lines and maintain skin firmness.

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