The Face Wash Series Part 1: Foaming Facial Cleansers


In our new facial cleansing series, we asked skincare experts everything they know about cleansing the face. In part one, Indie Lee, founder of the eponymous natural skincare line Indie Lee, gives us the 411 on everything there is to know about foaming facial cleansers. With so many options out there for face-washing, you may have a couple of questions: what’s the best type of cleanser to use? Am I even doing it right? Let’s find out!

Q: What’s the proper way to use foaming facial cleansers?

I’m so glad you asked. Believe it or not, many people don’t wash their face properly. They are in a rush and simply don’t get their faces clean. The proper way to clean is to splash warm water on your face, then massage a small amount of cleanser all over it in a gentle circular motion (scrubbing hard can irritate skin and make acne worse). Not only does this help the cleansing process, it also increases the circulation, which contributes to healthier skin by removing waste and promoting cell growth. Next, rinse off completely with warm to cool water.  Rinse more than you think you need to, because leaving dirt and cleanser behind can lead to clogged pores. Gently pat dry (don’t rub) with a clean towel.

Q: What types of facial cleansers are good to use?

Facial cleansers are great for your skin if they are gentle and the ingredients are right for your skin type. I recommend staying clear of harsh cleansers with sulfates and parabens that not only strip skin, but can also cause breakouts and lead to premature aging and may be detrimental to your long term health. Assuming you are using a gentle, natural cleanser, it will not only remove dirt but the nutrient rich ingredients will help promote healthier, radiant, hydrated, younger looking skin. Cleansing wipes and cleansing oil can be beneficial as well.

Q: How much of the product should we use each time?

In this country, the feeling is if a little is good, then more is better. That isn’t always true. A dime-sized amount of cleanser applied properly to the face is all you need.  

Q: How long do we keep product on and how much time should we spend washing our face?

You should spend more time washing your face than you might think. The key is to be gentle with your skin, to make sure you cleanse everywhere, including around the hairline and jawline and then to completely rinse off the cleanser and dirt.

Q: Should we/can we use facial sponges or a Clarisonic?

Absolutely. If using either, make sure that they dry completely in between use so they do not become breeding grounds for bacteria. In addition, remember to replace the sponges or Clarisonic brushes regularly.  I love my Clarisonic and use it often. While it has been designed for daily use, over cleansing and over-exfoliation can strip the skin of its natural oils leading to irritation and even breakouts. For that reason, I prefer to use mine every few days to once a week.

Q: Are facial cleansers best for people with specific skin types? Should other skin types use something else?

I believe that all skin types should avoid cleansers with parabens, sulfates, fragrance and alcohol, which can be harsh and drying. When choosing a cleanser, read your labels and see which ingredients are right for you. More and more people have skin sensitivities and allergies. If you have dry skin, look for a cleanser that is great for hydration. If your skin is oily, you may prefer a foaming wash with fruit acid in it for better oil removal and an extra clean feel.

Q: Is it better to use specific makeup removers (like for eye makeup) prior to washing the face with cleanser?

I don’t think so. Whether you remove your eye makeup before or after you cleanse doesn’t matter. Personal preference will dictate when you do it. The key is to remove your eye makeup before you go to bed, every night, period. My preference is to use a gentle, multi-tasking face cleanser that also removes eye makeup. That way, I save time, use only one product, and no-longer feel that eye makeup removal is a chore. PS—coconut oil and olive oil are great for removing tough eye make up.

Q: Are there any other general tips in regards to using facial wash cleansers?

Don’t over wash or under-wash your face. If you have extra dry skin, you may only need to wash at night. For very oily skin, I definitely recommend at least twice daily. And, don’t forget to wash your face after every workout. Also, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a great facial cleanser. The key is to use a product with a few key, natural ingredients that are right for your skin.

Q: Are there any other thoughts you have around using facial cleansers? Or information you would like to add about your Brightening Cleanser or Rosehip Cleanser?

When it comes to natural cleansers, I think you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your paycheck. These two Indie Lee cleansers feel and smell fantastic, work great and don’t cost an arm and a leg. They are also great multi-tasking products. Both cleanse, remove eye makeup, clean makeup brushes and can be used with a Clarisonic. The Brightening Cleanser can also be used as a gentle and effective exfoliator if left on for 5-10 minutes (one time per week is recommended) before rinsing it off.  

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