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Difference between oil-based and water-based cleanser

August 31, 2020

Difference between oil-based and water-based cleanser

     The Korean skincare world is far different from the American or European skincare world that’s because in Korean from a very young age, both men and women, are thought how to look after their skin. Koreans have what is called a 10-step routine which starts off with 2-step cleansing. 

     Normally, we remove the makeup with a wipe and wash our faces with a foam or gel cleanser and call it. But under the Korean routine, you are supposed to double cleanse the skin first with an oil-based and second with a water-based cleanser. 

     Now, what is the difference and why should you incorporate both on your nighttime routine? 

Oil-based cleanser

     This is usually the first step in a Korean double cleanse, but you don't have to buy one as it's an optional step that you can add to your routine. If you have not yet included this type of cleanser, I would recommend that you do so since the oil has many cosmetic benefits, including hydration and nutrition, and they are full of vitamins and antioxidants that help revitalize and rejuvenate the skin.

     Cleansing oils are regularly formulated with a blend of nourishing oils that help dissolve all makeup, sweat, dirt, residue, bacteria, clogged pores, excess sebum, and even dead skin cells. At the same time, they remove impurities that are oil-based like silicones and sunscreen.

     According to the Korean 10-step routine, you should use one before the water-based cleanser as cleansing oils tend to attract oil, dissolve it and thus remove it from the pores and surface of the skin while water cleansers only remove the dirt of the surface.

     There’re various textures including liquids or balms. Liquid oils come in a dispenser bottle while balms are hard in texture and come in a container with a small spatula and once it comes into contact with the heat of the skin they melt.

     Although it is well known that cleansing oils are not suitable for all skin types, this is nothing more than a false myth, you just have to know how to choose the right one for your skin. As I mentioned before, the oil helps to eliminate excess sebum, which is why it is highly recommended for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin. For oily skin, I recommend liquids like jojoba, sunflower, grape seed, or rose-hip, like many others. All of these oils are linoleic, a type of fatty acid that helps remove excess sebum or grease without overloading the skin with oil and dissolving impurities in the pores without clogging them, something that oils called comedogenic, such as coconut oil, do. For dry skin, it is better to choose nourishing oils such as avocado, olive, argan, or almond, which are considered oleic oils, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid.

     This type of cleanser is very easy to use. With clean and dry hands, take a suitable amount of oil and rub it between your fingers and proceed to massage it on the dry face for 20 min. and then add a little water to emulsify.

     Now if you are willing to invest a little, I recommend that you try our Dr. JmeeLab Botanical Oil to Foam Cleanser that if you have oily skin you can use as a 2 in 1 and if you have dry skin you can use it as your first step in the double-cleansing method.

Water-based cleanser

     Unlike cleansing oils, water-based cleansers ARE necessary whatever your routine is and are simpler, more practical, and cheaper. Water-based cleansers - better known by their English name face wash or cleanser - help remove all makeup residue, sweat, dirt, and water-based impurities that the cleansing oil was unable to remove. Most cleansers today are formulated for all skin types but there are some that contain special ingredients to treat specific problems like large pores, dryness, acne, and dull skin.

     One of the most important characteristics that we must take into account when choosing a face wash is its pH. The pH goes on a scale from 1 to 14 and # 7 is neutral, every number above 7 is alkaline while every number below is acidic. Normally, our skin is covered by a type of acid blanket that does not allow bacteria to last on the skin - one of them is the bacteria that cause acne. These bacteria do resist in an alkaline climate, so it is very important to be careful not to change or alter our natural pH a lot.

     They come in 3 different textures: gel, cream, and foam. Gel cleansers have a jelly-like consistency and although they do not usually clean thoroughly, they are highly recommended for sensitive skin. The cream cleanser has a texture as the word says creamy, while foams usually come in a liquid consistency in a dispenser pot. For oily and combination skin I recommend a gel or foam cleanser while for dry and sensitive skin I recommend a cream cleanser. Although, yes, there are facial cleansers that are formulated for all skin types.

     Personally, I recommend that you use it as a second step because not all face washes deep clean pores which means they do not remove 100% of the makeup or dirt that’s in your pores.

     Its method of use is very simple, simply massage an adequate amount of the cleanser on your wet face for one (1) minute to ensure that all the remaining oil and dirt are removed. Wash off the soap with plenty of water but make sure the water is neither too cold nor too hot because it can hurt the skin.

     On our page, you can find two of the best water-based cleansers. The first is from Etude House - Cica Balance 5.5 Foam Cleanser which contains, as the name says, a pH of 5.5. It is formulated with CICA - a blend of Chamomile and Madecassoside extracts - that helps soothe irritated skin and protect our skin's moisture barrier. The second is The Saem - Healing Tea Garden Green Tea Cleansing Foam. It is formulated with Boseong green tea and cocoa bean extracts that nourish the skin with essential antioxidants that repair and strengthen the skin barrier and restore moisture. Although both are foam types, they are formulated for all skin types so do not hesitate to try them.




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