If you ask the secret to great skin, cleansing will appear somewhere high on most people’s lists; it kicks off your routine and is one of the most important steps to achieving healthy, radiant skin. We know it’s tempting after a long day, but skipping this step or just using a face wipe is unlikely to be sufficient to ensure that your skin is clean enough to apply subsequent products.
With so many different types of cleansing products on the market it may be confusing to know which to pick. The good news is that there isn’t one specific product for each person, in fact it’s very much down to personal preference.
We’ve answered some of the questions we are asked about cleansers here, and rounded up the main types of cleansing products to help you pick a cleanser that works for you. If you still have questions after reading this, get in touch and we’ll do our best to answer them.
We all want to get the most out of our skincare routine. It is essential to start with clean skin to ensure that your skincare products can be effectively absorbed. Otherwise you’ll be spending time and money on products that will just sit on the skin’s surface and have a greatly reduced effect on your skin.
The wrong type of skin cleanser can also irritate and cause inflammation and may not clean as effectively as you need. The right cleanser can leave skin looking brighter, clearer and healthier.
We recommend cleansing both morning and night. Skin oils and sweat continue to accumulate overnight, so washing your face in the morning leaves you with a fresh, clean base on which to apply products and makeup. During the day skin is exposed to environmental impurities and pollution which destroys the skin’s natural oils and breaks down its protective barrier, which can quicken the ageing process. These environmental factors also expose skin to damage from free radicals, which break down collagen, causing fine lines and wrinkles and can leave it red, inflamed and irritated. It is therefore important to give skin a thorough cleanse at night to remove the day’s dirt, impurities, SPF and make-up.
What Is Double Cleansing?
We all know that moment when you’re ready to head to bed and suddenly realise that you’re still wearing make-up. It seems like such a chore to wash your face once, let alone twice, but a couple of extra minutes could make a lot of difference to the appearance and health of your skin.
Double cleansing is a two-step process that ensures that you are left with a clean base to apply the rest of your products. The first cleanse removes daily dirt, pollution build-up, bacteria, makeup and SPF and the second step deep cleans the skin.
It is only necessary to double cleanse when you have been wearing makeup or SPF, or have been exposed to pollutants, so there is no need to double cleanse in the morning or if you have had a make-up free day at home.
Why Double Cleanse?
Most people apply multiple layers of product to their skin during the day (skincare, sunscreen, foundation and concealers), which means that it takes more than one step to truly remove everything and to cleanse the face. This is especially true of products such as SPF and makeup, which are designed to stay on your face, so it is essential to take the time to remove them. If you wear makeup and aren’t double cleansing, there’s a good chance that you will be leaving impurities on your skin. This will hinder the absorption, and therefore effectiveness, of any subsequent skincare products that you apply.
How Do I Double Cleanse?
First of all, ensure that you have washed your hands - the idea is to remove the grime and germs, not to spread more across your face.
If you have sensitive eyes or wear lash extensions, waterproof mascara or waterproof brow make-up , we recommend that you use a dedicated eye makeup remover that is formulated for the delicate skin around this area. EASY ON THE EYE is a gentle but effective eye makeup remover with anti-ageing ingredients including eyebright, cornflower and aloe vera that smooth, soften and revive tired eyes.
Then you can start your first cleanse:
- Massage your cleanser into dry or wet skin (depending on the formula) in circular motions to loosen and remove dirt and makeup.
Remove the cleanser with a face cloth and fresh running warm water from the tap. If you fill the sink with water first, you will be splashing dirt back onto your face. Also, don’t use water that is too hot as that can irritate skin and leave it red and dry. It is important to be gentle with your skin, so let the cleanser do the hard work and avoid rubbing and tugging at skin as this will result in redness too.
The second cleanse will be with your skin type cleanser rather than a makeup remover and will leave skin feeling clean, comfortable, balanced and ready for subsequent products. This is the step where you can give your skin a good massage. In order to lock in the moisture, you need to apply the next step immediately as this allows for extra absorption and maximises the effects of the active ingredients.
What Different Types of Cleansers Are There?
Gel cleansers offer a deep clean and help to reduce oil and acne-causing bacteria. This makes them a great choice for anyone with oily, acne-prone, blemishes or congested skin. They can help to soothe, cool and hydrate skin, so are also suitable for those with combination skin too. You should look for a gel cleanser that is gentle enough to clear impurities without making skin feel tight or dry.
Cleansing milks are made from lightweight emollients and oil so have a light and gentle formula. They are also effective at removing make-up because ‘like attracts like’ (oil attracts oil) meaning the oil in these cleansers can dissolve sebum or makeup without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
A water-soluble cleansing lotion, that can be removed with water and damp cotton pads is great for times when water is not available too. Effective at removing makeup and oil without drying out skin, making it a great option for those with combination skin. It will clean and condition your skin leaving it feeling fresh, comfortable and smooth.
Foam cleansers are usually water-based. They are particularly suitable for oily skin, as they offer a deep clean while removing excess sebum. Foam cleansers may be too drying for those with dry skin. If you have normal or combination skin look for a foaming cleanser that will provide balance for your skin. Choosing a foam cleanser for the morning time is also a great way to remove what we call “sleep dust” – giving you a gentle cleanse and leaving you ready to face the day.
Clay-based cleansers detoxify skin; the charcoal acts like a magnet, drawing out pore-clogging dirt, oil and impurities. This makes them great if you want a deep cleanse, or if you’re prone to oily skin and breakouts.
Cleansing oils are very effective at removing make-up, dirt and impurities. They are suitable for all skin types as their oil formula means they can remove excess oils whilst moisturising at the same time. Cleansing oils don’t strip the skin of its natural oil. Instead, they help to keep the skin’s natural pH balance and prevent the overproduction of sebum.
Cream cleansers have a thicker texture than other cleansers. They remove make-up, dirt and sweat while moisturising skin. Cream cleansers are suitable for dry and sensitive skin, as they not only offer a deep clean but also hydrate and nurture the skin at the same time.
Micellar water is made of micelles; tiny cleansing molecules that float in water. Micelles are gentle but effective cleansing agents, as they attract dirt, grime and oil, drawing out impurities without drying out the skin. They make great travel cleansers as they don’t require any rinsing.
Cleansing balms are rich cleansers that melt at skin temperature to remove dirt and impurities. They help to polish the skin (especially when used with a muslin cloth) and leave skin hydrated, smooth and supple. Cleansing balms are ideal cleansers for dry skin, as they are nourishing and moisturising and leaveskin with a radiant boost. They are formulated with natural oils, which help to control excess oil (as like attracts like) making them also suitable for combination skin and in fact all skin types.
How Do I Choose a Cleanser?
With so many cleanser options it may seem overwhelming to choose one, especially for such a simple task as washing your face. The best cleanser for you will depend on your skin type, the season, any skin issues you are suffering from and your personal preference of texture. First, narrow down your options by picking something suitable for a morning cleanse and then one or two that can perform the evening cleanse. Then, within these options choose the best one for your skin type and with your preferred texture:
All of the above cleansers work well as morning cleansers, with the exception of micellar water or a face wipe; those should be reserved for travel or if you need to remove make-up.
Add in Good To Go as above – this is how we sell in a class too.
As the aim of this step is to remove make-up, you should look for cleansers that are designed for this specific job. Look for eye makeup removers, micellar waters, cleansing oils, cleansing creams or a cleansing balm.
At this stage, you are giving your skin a thorough cleanse, so you want a cleanser that will leave skin clean, comfortable, balanced and prepped for the next step of your routine. There are lots of types of cleansers that can perform this role, including cleansing balms, cleansing milks, creams and oils.
Choose a second cleanser best for your skin type, oily, combination, sensitive, dry, mature for instance or best for your skin concern such as dull and lack of radiance, spotty and blemished, congested or over oily and always shiny.
As they say, don’t run before you can walk. Sometimes you need to take care of the basics first and that’s why cleansing is so pivotal in your routine. Starting your routine with prepped, clean, balanced skin will make the rest of your regime more effective and ensure that the ingredients that are in your serum, oil and moisturiser will be properly absorbed and do their job effectively. For many, double cleansing will be key to prepping your skin for the rest of your routine. This may seem like a chore at first, but finding a cleanser with a texture you love and giving your skin a relaxing massage as you cleanse will turn this step of your regime into an enjoyable moment of calm after a busy day, it will become a habit and one you can’t live without.
Are you a fan of double-cleansing? What are your favourite products to use?