In the world of skincare, few things are more important than correctly cleansing your face. It’s perhaps one of the most tedious aspects of beauty, but in the long run you can rest smug in the knowledge that you’re doing your future complexion a world of good. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on serums, intensive treatments and face creams, if you’re not cleansing properly you’re wasting your time and money.
Cleansing your face morning and night should be non-negotiable. Before bed, you absolutely must remove your makeup; it’ll clog your pores, cause spots and blackheads and make you look dull and haggard. No this is not an exaggeration, it’s been scientifically proven. Sleeping with dirty skin will speed up the signs of ageing.
For your morning cleanse, it’s enough to work a small amount of cleanser in to dry skin and then rinse with warm water. Stay well clear of foaming cleansers. These are more often than not far too harsh for all skin types (even oily and acne-prone skin). To get foam, you need surfactants. These chemicals strip skin of its natural oils leaving it prone to drying and excessive oil production. Oh the irony.
In the evening, it’s best to use a makeup remover first to get rid of surface dirt and any waterproof eye makeup; then take more time to work your cleanser in to your skin to clean it properly. I like to use a gentle brush like the Foreo Luna or a cotton cloth to get a deeper cleanse.
The Double Cleanse
If you wear heavy makeup or a foundation with SPF in it or you just wear a high protection sunscreen, you should really be doing a double cleanse at night. The first step removes all the products and grime and the second cleanse ensures you’ve removed all of the first layer and leaves super clean, yet soft and comfortable. Use a facial cleansing oil or rich balm for the first cleanse. I like Clinique Take the Day Off or Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Purifying Cleansing Oil. This can be removed with water by hand or with a flannel. The second cleanser you use should be to clean your actual skin, rather than just remove your makeup. I love a good gel. My personal favourite right now is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, it’s a gentle classic. It cleans beautifully yet contains apricot and avocado oils and vitamin E to keep skin balanced. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
The Warm Cloth Method
If you wear a lot of makeup, you may find that regular cleansing just doesn’t do the job. Start by soaking a cotton flannel or cloth in hot (but bearable) water. Massage your cream cleanser or lotion in to your skin to loosen the makeup and dirt. Then using the warm cloth, lift off the cleanser, moving your hand in a circular motion. This method gives skin a gentle exfoliation and leaves it feeling deep-down clean. If you detest cotton wool as much as I do, (it’s wasteful, ineffective and leaves fibres stuck to your face) then you’ll love this deep cleanse technique.
Whilst all this may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, taking those few extra minutes to keep your face clean is guaranteed to keep your skin looking younger and brighter for longer.