Shake up your skin care routine with our guide to the perfect cleanse…
Thorough cleansing is the basis of every good skincare routine. If you’re not cleaning your face properly your skin will be prone to dullness, breakouts and sensitivity. What’s more, you won’t get the best out of the products you apply afterwards, including moisturiser and make-up.
Dr Adam Friedmann, a Consultant Dermatologist from The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, explains: 'When you cleanse your skin you’re removing dead keratin, grease and dirt from the surface. It unclogs your pores and can help you to avoid blackheads, a greasy complexion and skin complaints like dermatitis.'
Beauty expert and facialist Caroline Hirons, of carolinehirons.com, believes that cleansing is the cornerstone of good skincare. She says, ‘Cleansing is number one when it comes to your skincare regime. You have to cleanse morning and night and not just with face wipes either – they don’t do the job properly and can contain ingredients which cause dryness and angry red spots.’
Start by choosing products that are kind to skin. Gentle but thorough cleansing is the key - afterwards skin should feel soft and smooth, not uncomfortably tight, sore or dry. You might decide to stick with one product that you love, or find it works best to switch between a balm, a soap or a face and body cleanser, depending on the time of day, the time of year or the way that your skin looks and feels.
Washing your face first thing is the best way to start the day. Caroline explains, ‘When you wake up you’ve got oily residue on your skin that’s built up over night. A gentle cleanser can help prime your skin for the day. Don’t wait to cleanse at night - do both.'
If you’re short on time you could use a face and body cleanser in the shower like Angels On Bare Skin. It contains lavender oil and rose absolute to calm the skin, and kaolin to absorb grease and dirt. Alternatively, try 9 To 5 cleanser, which contains a blend of essential oils to brighten the skin - you can use it anytime, anywhere.
If you have dry, sensitive or mature skin chose a gentle facial soap like Movis. It has a unique soft, spongy texture and is rich in vitamin E, which helps to rejuvenate the skin.
It takes time to cleanse your face properly, so don’t wait until bedtime to clean the day off your face. If you’re having a night in, do a thorough cleanse early in the evening when you’ve got the time and energy to do it properly.
A balm cleanser like Ultrabland, will remove all your make-up, so there’s no need to use a eye make-up remover. Using your fingertips, massage the cleanser into dry skin using light upward strokes - this helps to boost circulation, reduce puffiness and tone facial muscles. Finally, remove using a damp flannel, to aid exfoliation, or cotton wool pads and warm water. Finish by splashing the face with cold, running water. Don’t fill the sink with water and then splash or you’ll be putting the dirt back on your face. Ultrabland is suitable for all skin types, and a particularly good choice for dry, sensitive or mature skin as the blend of beeswax, almond oil and rose water, gently cleanses skin without stripping it.
If you wear sunscreen or a lot of make-up, Caroline recommends a double cleanse - where you repeat the steps above for a second time. This ensures that your face is perfectly clean before bed.
A weekly face mask can help to improve the condition of your skin – and it gives you an excuse to lie back and relax while it works its magic.
Mask of Magnaminty, helps to clean, calm and clear the skin thanks to a blend of oil-absorbing kaolin, antibacterial honey and stimulating peppermint. Or why not feed your face with a fresh mask? The Sacred Truth is packed with natural fruit enzymes and antioxidants to give you a youthful glow. If you have dry skin, Oatifix is made with oats, bananas and illipe butter to help keep skin hydrated.
For an occasional treat, studies show that facials not only aid cleansing, but also boost circulation, helping to tone and firm the face. Validation (see video below) is a 60 minute facial treatment devoted entirely to massage and cleansing.
Lush Spa Treatment Developer, Hannah-Rose Lammiman, explains, ‘We cleanse and balance the skin using massage to stimulate cell renewal and encourage circulation.’
So it’s well worth incorporating proper cleansing and massage into your daily routine – your face will thank you for it.