Skincare 101: Cleansing

Cleansing your skin effectively is a skincare MUST and an important step we should perform every morning and every night.

Learning how to care for your skin properly is the key to looking youthful and healthy your whole life, no matter your actual age. Although it’s never too late to start, establishing a good skincare routine when you’re young is like future-proofing your skin. The first step is cleansing but sadly, this crucial step has been completely underrated and is often neglected.

So, let’s look at the reasons WHY you should be cleansing effectively before using any other skincare product.

  • Throughout the day, skin is exposed to bacteria, pollutants and dirt. It’s important to cleanse your skin every night to remove makeup, impurities, dead skin and excess oil.
  • A lot of regeneration goes on in the skin overnight. Morning cleansing removes dead skin cells and any toxins the skin eliminated during the night. Cleansing refreshes the skin.
  • In the absence of proper cleansing and exfoliating, your skin is covered with a layer of dirt and grime making it difficult for other products to penetrate the skin effectively.
  • Cleansing daily boosts hydration levels. Dehydrated skin looks and feels rough, dull and uneven. Cleansing also helps manage the pH levels of the skin enabling sufficient water and product retention.
  • Tiny glands under the skin produce oil to protect the skin. These glands use hair follicles within the skin as a pathway, allowing the oil to reach the skin’s surface. This forms an important protective barrier.
  • Excessive dirt build-up on the surface can cause blockages of the follicle, trapping oil, sweat, and dead skin cells. The lack of oil on the skin’s surface allows bacteria to penetrate the follicle causing inflammation. The final result is breakouts and possibly acne.
  • Leaving eye make up on overnight can lead to eye infections, discolouration and puffiness.
  • Exfoliating regularly, usually 1-2 times a week, adds to the benefits of cleansing by physically removing the dead skin cells and speeding up the skin renewal process, allowing new healthy cells to take their place. Complexion is more vibrant, smooth and soft.
  • Exfoliating clears pores of debris, preventing dirt build-up and allowing the sebum oil to reach the skin’s surface unimpeded.
  • By decongesting the pores through exfoliation, the skin is refined and reveals a healthy polished glow.
  • Proper cleansing and exfoliating for men reduces, if not altogether eliminates, ‘shaving rash’.
  • The skin around the eyes is much more delicate than the rest of your face and therefore requires a specially formulated eye makeup remover or gentle cleanser, such as a micellar water or oil cleanser. The use of harsh cleansers will dehydrate and age the skin around the eyes very quickly and prematurely.

Okay, now you know why you should be cleansing, so it’s time to cover the HOW.

Using products that suit your skin perfectly will ensure you the most effective results. The best place to start is with a professional skin assessment. Knowing what is going on with your skin means you can then be utilising the most effective products and treatments.  If you’re doing it, then it may as well be something that actually works, right?

  1. Micellar water/makeup remover – this step is generally only needed before your night time cleanse as this is the time of day we remove makeup, dirt, pollutants and bacteria; however, this can also be a handy step when you can’t do a proper cleanse with water i.e. before/after a gym or yoga session. A small amount of product applied to a cotton round is all you need, just make sure you never use an alcohol-based makeup remover, such as a wipe, as this will dry and strip the skin and generally cause irritation to the gentle eye area.
  2. Cleanser – this is a fundamental step and should be performed daily, once in the morning and twice at night time for the best results. There are many different cleansers that suit many different skin types, some gel, exfoliating, milky, oil or cream and they all treat different conditions. Some people even like to mix it up by using different cleansers at different time of the day, there is something to suit every skin! Handy hint, if your cleanser contains exfoliating ingredients such as AHAs and BHAs, you can put a thin layer over clean, dry skin and leave it for 20-30 minutes and it works just like a mask.
  3. Toner – toning is a fantastic step that so many people do not utilise. Unlike earlier toning options that had an alcohol-base and left your skin dry and stripped, toners now can be used to add hydration, calm and soothe, mattify, remove unwanted oil, rebalance the skin, prepare the skin and increase the penetration of treatment products. A toner, of course, should also be selected to suit your specific skin type. This step can be used 1-2 times per day and is best applied to a cotton round and wiped over cleansed skin. Handy hint, some toners can be used to mist over the skin during the day for extra hydration and are wonderfully refreshing when stored in the fridge!
  4. Deep Cleanser – these products allow for cleansing on a deeper level than a normal surface cleanser. Deep cleansing is particularly useful for oily or congested skins but can be used on any skin type. This step can be can be used 2-3 times per week after using a normal, surface cleanser. Handy hint – to get the most out of your deep cleanser exfoliate first and then follow up with a mask!
  5. Exfoliation – using a manual exfoliant such as a scrub, is great way to remove excess dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, to polish and brighten and improve the penetration of active treatment products. Exfoliants come in all different consistencies, even gentle formulas. There is one to suit every different skin type. We recommend adding this step into your routine 1-2 times per week only. Remember, we do not want to over exfoliate the skin, that can be as detrimental as not exfoliating at all!

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