Cleansing is one of the most essential steps of a basic skincare routine—especially for those who regularly wear makeup. It’s key for removing cosmetics and sunscreen at the end of the day, as well as ridding your face of pollutants and toxins which can cause your skin to age prematurely. Despite its importance, it sometimes becomes an afterthought. It’s not as glamorous as applying serums or moisturizers and often feels compulsory rather than luxurious. However, this neglected step is finally getting its time to shine — enter: the 60/30 rule.
The Importance of Cleansing
Before we dive into the 60/30 rule, let’s first discuss the benefits of facial cleansing. Those who wear makeup know that it needs to be thoroughly removed at the end of the day, but cleansing is just as crucial for people who don’t use cosmetics. Throughout the day, your skin is exposed to dirt, oil, and pollutants. These particles can cause breakouts, dry out your skin, and even give you wrinkles. It’s also important to consider the sebum that your skin produces to protect itself. This sebum should be regularly removed to avoid causing enlarged pores and blocked skin follicles. An excessive sebum buildup can ultimately cause acne and inflammation.
Not to mention, fully cleansed skin absorbs products more thoroughly. So if you spend money on high-end skincare products, ensuring your face is prepped for them is key. Ideally, you should cleanse morning and night—and simply splashing water on your face isn’t going to cut it.
The 60 Second Rule
This trend has taken the internet by storm and is easy to try out for yourself because it doesn’t require any new pricey products or tools. It also provides benefits no matter your skin type, and all you need is your go-to cleanser and your fingers.
The basic concept behind the 60/30 rule is that people aren’t spending long enough washing their faces. Esthetician Nayamka Roberts-Smith introduced the #60SecondRule in a Twitter thread. She claimed that most people only spend about 15 seconds on this step of their skincare routine when it actually merits a full minute.
Cleansing your face (with your fingers) for 60 seconds allows the ingredients in the cleanser to actually work. Most ppl wash their face for like 15 seconds max.
It softens the skin & dissolves sebum blockages better.
Texture & overall evenness improves. #60SecondRule https://t.co/TQk6xkopOz
— Nai, the Internet’s Esthetician (@LaBeautyologist) November 1, 2018
In a video that she created on the topic, Roberts-Smith asserts that cleansing for 60 seconds helps breakouts clear up faster, fades hyperpigmentation, and evens out the texture.
The result is bright, clear, and glowing skin. When cleansing for 60 seconds, you also have more time to focus on areas of your face—like your hairline or the area under your chin—that might be ignored during a shorter cleanse.
If you use a cleanser with active ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, it’s essential that it stays on your skin longer so you can reap all the benefits the formula has to offer.
Anyone who has ever been for a professional facial knows how relaxing it can be when each step of the process is accompanied by a facial massage. By taking the time to massage your skincare products, you can also rejuvenate your skin by increasing blood flow to the area. Facial massage has a number of benefits, from improved skin texture to relieving tension in your muscles.
30 Seconds of Rinsing
Since the #60SecondRule went viral, an important caveat has been added. Not only should you massage in your cleanser for a full minute, but you should also spend 30 seconds washing it off. It’s essential that remnants of your cleanser aren’t left behind after you’ve cleansed your skin so thoroughly. Once you’ve completed the process, your skin should be squeaky clean—and ready to get the most out of your toners, serums, and moisturizers.
You may have heard of double cleansing, a beauty trend popularized in South Korea. Many of the purported benefits of this cleansing method are the same ones provided by the 60/30 rule, and it’s particularly recommended for those with oily or acne-prone skin. The idea is to use one oil-based cleanser or cleansing balm to remove makeup and sunscreen, followed by a water-based cleanser to ensure that there is no residue left on your skin.
The 60/30 rule benefits both steps of your double cleanse. First, massage your oil cleanser in for 60 seconds, then rinse for 30 seconds. Then, repeat the process with your water-based cleanser. Double cleansing is typically recommended at the end of the day. However, it’s also beneficial in the morning to remove sebum that has built up overnight.
Types of Cleanser
Those with dry skin may be concerned that cleansing for an extended period of time will strip their skin of the oils it needs to stay hydrated. If this is the case, it’s a sign that you’re using the wrong kind of cleanser.
For many years, foaming cleansers were the most prevalent on the market. The suds they produce are created by surfactants and offer a satisfying sensation that makes your skin feel ultra-clean. On product labels, these are known as sulfates. The reality is that foaming cleansers aren’t for everyone, and they can be irritating and may be drying for those who have dehydrated or aging skin types. Sulfate-free cleansers have a milky or gel consistency and require a little more elbow grease. They require you to work harder to massage them in, making them a good match for the 60-second rule.
That being said, the 60/30 rule is effective no matter what type of product you use to wash your face. Try it out for yourself to see if it affects the appearance of your skin.
Our Favorite Sulfate-free Cleansers
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Looking for more novel skincare trends? Check out our roundup of Korean beauty secrets.