By Faith Cummings
As the first step of your skincare routine, cleanser is of the utmost importance; it provides the foundation for every product that comes after it. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it must be treated with care and nourished to perform at its best. Even if makeup isn’t a daily necessity for you, your face encounters dirt and pollutants multiple times a day, so washing toxins away and giving your skin the support it deserves starts with the cleansing process.
“A cleanser is a product that gets put on the backburner,” says Youth To The People Director of Education Laura Cline.
“’Is this going to change my skin?’ and ‘Is this important?’ are questions commonly asked about cleansers, as people are often spending a good deal of money and already doing so many steps in their routine.” But if your first step doesn’t include a healthy cleanser that protects your pH balance, makes sure your microbiome is healthy, and doesn’t strip or dry your skin, when you layer your other products on, they won’t work as effectively.
Enter: the Superfood Cleanser. The idea for the high-performing product stems from YTTP’s professional line-up.
“We’ve been a family company for over 40 years now, so we wanted to keep in mind the professional products and approach aestheticians use for cleansing,” she says. The Superfood Cleanser deeply cleanses, effectively removes makeup, breaks down oil, and, as Cline says, “because it’s pH-balanced, you don’t have to use a traditional toner afterward.” Though if you’re looking for a toner with a more specific function, the Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner is a good one to try.
Ingredients are key to the efficacy of the Superfood Cleanser which is brimming with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. “Even though this is something you’re rinsing off, you’re still getting a detox during this cleanse with lasting results,” says Cline. “When you’re adding vitamin C, kale, spinach, green tea, these are all anti-inflammatory and have a lot of nutrients that deeply cleanse and protect your skin.”
The gentle formula leaves skin soft, not tight, since it’s sulfate-free. You’ll also notice an instant radiance and glow. “If you can use antioxidants in any step of your beauty routine, you should. This product is like a cold-pressed juice cleanse for your skin.”
For best results, try cleansing your face this way: first, wet your hands, and then add two pumps of the cleanser to your fingertips, developing a light lather and applying to a dry face. Massage it in for a few seconds, add a little water, then add a bit more cleanser until you’ve truly created a wet slip. After about 30-60 seconds, rinse off.
For more about the right way to cleanse your face, click here.
“You really want that process to be gradual, adding in water over 30 seconds to a minute,” Cline says. “You’d be surprised how many people just put it on and rinse it off without giving the cleanser time to work. The formula needs time to break down everything that needs to come off your skin—on the surface and in your pores.” This is especially crucial if you have oily skin or if you wear a lot of makeup.
Cline also highly recommends a double cleanse in the evenings to really give your skin that deep cleanse it needs, especially after multiple SPF applications in the summer.
“In this moment of chaos and uncertainty, skincare can fall by the wayside, but I like to think of it as a boost to my daily routine and a method of self-care that carves out 30 or so minutes a day to be in touch with myself,” she says.
“Even if you’re staying in your pajamas at home all day, don’t assume you don’t need to wash your face,” Cline says. “It was one of those habits I was guilty of myself at first. I realized it was 11 a.m. and I hadn’t washed my face yet.” Can we say, same? So, when you get up, start your daily routine, wash your face first thing. It’s hard to remember these days if you’re not wearing makeup or leaving the house, but it’s one of the most important parts of your routine that shouldn’t be ignored.
Lastly, make sure you’re applying your sunscreen—even if you’re spending most of your time indoors because you’re still getting rays. “UVA rays go through windows and break down skin cell structure,” says Cline. “If you want to prevent premature signs of aging, you should wear SPF inside.” Cline recommends ILIA’s Skin Tint SPF 40 as it’s essentially makeup and sunscreen wrapped into one, along with Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen which is totally transparent and applies well.
Remember: SPF is the essential last step in your routine for ultimate skin health—and cleansing is the first.
Written by Faith Cummings for Youth To The People