No matter how many times I get lazy and decide that I’m just going to just use makeup wipes and micellar water to remove my makeup and ‘cleanse’ me face, I always end up falling back to properly cleansing my face. Why? Simply because it’s the most important step in everybody’s skincare routine. So, with that being said, I thought it was only right to start off my new blog series –Skincare Sessions– all about how you should be cleansing your skin and what you should be using.
Cleansing removes sweat, dirt, oil, makeup, SPF and basically anything that has come into contact with your skin. Whilst you might not be able to see all the filth, I can guarantee you that it will be there, and it does need removing.
How You Should Be Cleaning Your Face
With most water-based cleansers, you apply the cleanser to wet skin, gently massage the product in and then rinsing off with lukewarm water. Never use water that’s too hot or too cold – you’ll end up doing more harm than good! It’s also suggested that you don’t wash your face in the shower or bath, since the water may be too hot for your skin to handle. If I’m wearing makeup, I always make sure I remove it all first before getting in the bath. Steaming your skin whilst wearing makeup is only going to lead to blocked pores.
Some cleansers (like oil-based ones and a few others) you apply directly onto dry skin. This is because oil and water are not friends, and if you apply the oil to wet skin, it’s not going to be able to do its job properly (removing all oils and makeup). I tend to take a little extra time when massaging in a oil cleanser, and always remove it with a soft, microfibre cloth. Trying to wash the oil cleanser away with water isn’t going to do much, and it’s going to leave an oily film on your skin.
Talking of oil cleaners, this brings me onto my next point – double cleansing.
The Double Cleansing Method (DCM)
Double cleansing is exactly what it sounds like – cleansing your face twice. But how and why should you do this?
Even if you’re someone who doesn’t wear makeup, double cleansing is definitely a method that you should consider. Typically, most people tend to just use a water-based cleanser, but this isn’t going to remove oil-based impurities.
A lot of people think that if they have oily or acne prone skin, they shouldn’t be using oils on their face (cleansers, facial oils, etc.), when in fact oils are really beneficial for those certain skin types.
The first cleanse is done with a oil-based cleanser. This is going to lift away sebum, SPF, makeup and anything oil-based. The reason why is because oil attracts oil. You’re not going to be able to remove half as much that’s sitting on your skin if you don’t oil cleanse.
A water-based cleanser is next. This second step is to remove, you guessed it, water-based impurities – sweat, dirt, etc. It’s also important to use a water-based cleanser after using an oil cleanser due to the fact that the first step can leave a film behind on your skin, causing blocked pores and breakouts.
Think of it as oil cleansers remove the gunk, whilst water cleansers cleanse your skin and pores.
Some people double cleanse both AM and PM, but you may find that you only need to do it once in the PM. The reason why people also double cleanse in the morning is because you still sweat and produce oils when your sleep. Some (including myself) only cleanse with water in the AM. It’s completely your preference. Try doing both and seeing how your skin reacts to them.
Double Cleansing Duos
Cleansing Tips And Tricks To Make Sure You’re Getting The Most Out Of Your Cleanser
Using a cleanser may sound pretty simple. I mean, how many other ways is there to use a cleanser? Luckily, there’s a few other little tips you can do to get the most out of your cleanser. Some may sound a little silly, but they make such a huge improvement, I couldn’t not add them in.
Always Wash Your Hands First
Sounds ridiculous, but it’s actually really helped to improve my skin.
There’s not point in cleansing your face when you haven’t washed your hands first. Washing your face with dirty hands is just going to spread the germs and bacteria from everything you’ve touched, onto your face.
I work behind a bar, so I’m constantly in contact with filthy money, glasses, snotty tissues people decide to leave me as a gift, the lot. You wouldn’t wipe them on your face, so make sure you’re washing your hands before they come into contact with your skin.
Be Mindful Of Where You’re Cleansing
Recently, someone told me that when you’re cleansing your skin, you really should be sectioning off your face, and concentrating on those areas one at a time.
Realistically when cleansing, we all tend to just rub on cleanser willy nilly, and not really focus on where we’re cleansing, and where we’re missing out on.
Now, whenever I cleanse my face, I make sure I start at my jaw line, then move to my chin, then upper lip, cheeks, sides of my face, temples, forehead and then hair line. This is so that you can make sure every last patch of your face has been throughly cleaned.
Something that I only learnt recently, but it’s definitely helped target acne patches that I was originally missing.
Cleansing Brushes And Mitts
Cleansing brushes and mitts have only really become popular over the last few years. Some people may think that they’re a waste of time, where others absolutely adore them.
I was Kindly gifted a rubber mitt from Dermalogica that I like to use in conjunction with my cleanser whenever I feel like my skin needs an extra clean.
Just make sure that your brush or mitt isn’t too harsh or scratchy. It’s not going to feel particularly nice, and it’s just going to leave your skin irritated and red.
‘Squeaky Clean’ And/Or ’Tight’ Is NOT How Your Cleanser Is Meant To Make Your Skin Feel Afterwards
I’m not entirely sure where this first started, but when I was growing up, if my face wash didn’t leave my skin feeling tight enough to burst, I thought it wasn’t clean enough or it wasn’t a good product.
If ANY product you are using make your skin feel tight, stinging, or super dry, it’s not the product for you.
Find one that cleanses your face, but leaves it feeling smooth and clean, and not tight and dry.
Take Your Time, But Not Too Much Time
Cleansing your face is a quick thing to do, but you should make sure you’re cleansing your face for a certain amount of time.
Think of it like brushing your teeth. Any less than 2 minutes and you might be missing areas and not giving them a proper clean, and any more may leave your gums irritated.
Try to aim for around 30 seconds, and you should be good to go.
Take Photo Evidence Of Your Skin Before And After Trying A New Cleanser/Product
It can be difficult to remember what your skin looked like a month ago (the amount of time you should really be testing out a new product for).
For this exact reason, I have a little ‘Skin’ folder on my phone, full of super attractive close up, makeup free selfies.
Then, once I’ve used up the product/come to review it, I can actually see if there is any visual difference in my skin, and know whether or not I should be repurchasing.
Switch Up Your Cleanser
Throughout the year, our skin needs different things.
You might find in the summer you have a normal skin type, but then in the winter your skin is super dry.
Listen to what your skin needs, and switch up your cleanser accordingly. Luckily, I have quite a large collection of skin care products, so I can swap and change them around when I need too, however, you only really need 2 to switch around.
The Best Of The Best Cleansers
I will admit, I haven’t tried all of these (yet… *side eye emoji*), but these were the ones that popped up the most in skincare forums and articles.
Best suited for: Normal, combination, oily, acne prone and/or red skin.
Best suited for: Normal, dry and/or sensitive.
Oils And Balm
Best suited for: All skin types.
Clay And Mud
Best suited for: Combination, oily and/or acne prone skin.
Best suited for: Combination, oily skin and/or acne prone skin.
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