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When it comes to cleansing the skin, I like to keep things simple but lately, I've been wondering if adding a facial cleansing tool to my routine might make a difference.  Perhaps being a recent convert to the practice of [Link Removed]  and actually seeing an improvement in pore size and skin tone has made me more willing to try new things.  Here are a few cleansing tools that I'm considering:

1. Muslin cleansing cloths.  Leave it to the French to give facial cleansing such an elegant edge.  Finely woven pure muslin cloths have been a beauty cult favorite for years and a staple for French women for the last century.  After washing with your go-to foaming cleanser, a muslin cloth is rinsed under hot water, wrung out and used to gently wipe away the cleanser from your face.  Massaging with circular movements allows the cloth to exfoliate, remove impurities and makeup residue.   Usually sold in packs of 3, muslin cleansing cloths are meant to be used a maximum of two times before laundering in warm water.  I can certainly see the advantages of a cloth over just rinsing away the cleanser, but the extra laundry and the probability of needing multiple packs of cloths leave me with some reservations.

2. Konjac sponges.  Along with [Link Removed] , the konjac sponge is another skin care innovation that comes from Asia.  100% natural fibre, these sponges are made from the root of the Amorphophallus Konjac plant, a potato-like tuber.  Konjac sponges are said to be soft, gentle and loaded with natural vitamins.  When used, their inherent alkalinity balances the acidity of the skin.  Konjac sponges should be soaked in warm water and the excess squeezed out before use.  A small amount of cleanser is then added to the sponge before gently massaging the face in circular motions to cleanse and exfoliate.  In addition to the original konjac sponge, many are now available with added clays and activated charcoal to meet a wider range of skin care needs.  Despite their popularity in Asia and Europe, konjac sponges are still relatively new and hard to find in North America, which makes me all the more curious about them.

3. Sonic cleansers.  Battery-operated hand-held devices with changeable brush heads, these little cleaning machines use sonic technology (sound waves) and a [Link Removed] to remove impurities that the hands alone apparently cannot.  Claiming to cleanse deeply and clarify, sonic brushes seem to be geared more for those who suffer from oily and acneic skin.  As our skin changes due to hormonal fluctuations and adult acne sets in, these relatively pricey tools may seem more and more attractive as time goes by.

With any manual cleansing tool, the key is to be extra gentle.  With over usage or extra pressure, there is the real potential to cause excessive dryness, irritation, redness and sensitivity.

Already a fan of one of these facial cleansing tools?  We'd love to hear about your experience.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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