There’s no question that cleaning your face everyday is as important as brushing and flossing. For most of us, it’s a habit. But unlike tooth brushing, where are options are slim—gel or paste, mint or licorice, etc.,–face washing brings up a whole host of questions.
Whether you prefer a cleansing oil or foam, or are a basic bar soap fan for washing your face, cleansing grains may just be the secret to a better natural skin care.
Soaps (including foams) can strip away the skin’s natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation, and all the skin conditions that come with it. But cleansing grains, while they may sound more harsh, can actually be gentler to the skin’s balance of oils.
What are Cleansing Grains?
Cleansing grains precede those (awful!) plastic microbeads—they’re tiny abrasive exfoliators that work to clean skin by slightly irritating it, rather than lathering it up with foaming agents and other synthetic chemicals that may not be the best for your skin.
Clay, ground nuts and nut shells, oats, herbs—even coffee!—can be used as cleansing grains.
The benefit to using a cleansing grain is in the gentle exfoliating power they offer. A build-up of dead skin cells is often the culprit in breakouts and blocked pores (and dust around your house, too, FYI).
“Daily gentle exfoliation helps to gently remove this layer of dead skin cells, helping to clear your pores without destroying the balance of your skin’s oils,” notes the Hippy Homemaker website. “Daily gentle exfoliation helps to reduce and minimize wrinkles and fine lines, while the soap-free skin-nourishing herbal ingredients provide your face with a healthy dose of the vitamins and minerals it’s craving.”
How to Use Cleansing Grains
While most skin types can tolerate a gentle exfoliant like cleansing grains, it’s best not to use on overly sensitive or broken skin. If you’re dealing with a breakout, best to wait until it’s healed up, too, before using cleansing grains.
To use, simply scoop a small amount of grains into your damp hand and rub in a gently circular motion on the face and neck. Rinse with cool water and repeat as necessary. Follow up with a repairing serum and moisturizer. Also, be sure to remove makeup before using cleansing grains.