It’s the first basic beauty step you learn when you begin delving into skincare and creating your own routine: cleansing. But what if we told you that all this time you’ve been doing it wrong? That simply washing your face in the morning won’t give you clearer, brighter skin? It’s time to rethink how you’re cleansing.
First off, even with all the cleanser options available one of the most common cleansing mistakes women make is not cleansing at all, says Linda Sharrem, Caci product trainer. The act of cleansing is a way of prepping the skin to give your serums and moisturisers a chance to penetrate deeper. This means you should be cleansing both morning and night, to clean skin and ensure your products can do their job.
“Our skin is the largest organ of our body. It manufactures new cells and produces sebum and sweat every minute of every day,” says Tania McKenzie, clinical educator for Advanced Skin Technology. “These oils, dead skin cells and sweat – not to mention the grime of the day – can clog up your pores and cause rough, congested skin,” she explains.
But cleansing morning and night isn’t the full story either. Enter the trend of double cleansing – something Japanese women have been doing for centuries (as with most things, the Japanese were light years ahead of the rest of us when it comes to skincare). This is how it works: in the evening, use an oil or creamy milk cleanser to remove makeup, free-radicals and other day-to-day pollutants, then cleanse again to thoroughly clean skin and purify pores (you can also introduce a sonic cleansing brush at this stage if you’re a fan of that technology).
Sound too high maintenance? Before you dismiss the idea of the double cleanse, take a moment to think about it: with all the products you layer onto your face (sunscreen, primer, foundation and more), can you really expect one cleanse to effectively remove build-up and clean your skin? It’s not going to happen.
There are some exceptions to this beauty rule, however. If you’re out all day with a full face of makeup, you’ll want to double cleanse, but if you don’t wear makeup and spend the day at home, one pH-balanced cleanse will do the job. Another allowance to the two-step cleanse is dry and/or sensitive skin. Cleansing can strip the skin of natural oils, lipids and fats that the skin needs in order to retain moisture. “If your skin is very sensitive or you suffer from rosacea, double cleansing can overstimulate and aggravate the skin,” says Sharrem.
If you fall into either of these camps but still feel your skin would benefit from a double cleanse – or you’re simply wary of overscrubbing, yes, that can be a problem too! – use an oil-based cleanser first and follow it with a gentle milk formula.
As with all skincare, your cleansing routine and the products you use should be tailored to your needs, concerns and skin type. No matter what kind of cleanser you opt for, your skin should never feel tight or look overly red after cleansing. The result should always be soft, comfortable and renewed-looking skin. And isn’t that worth the extra sink time?
It’s all in the technique
The way you cleanse is equally as important as the product you use to do it. “Always cleanse for one-to-two minutes, using gentle massaging movements and remember to cover all areas of the face and neck down to your bust line,” advises Haley Shultz, business performance manager at About Face. Rub in small, circular motions to work product into your skin and encourage circulation, which plumps up skin. “Remove cleanser with a face cloth rather than putting your face under the shower,” adds Shultz.
Words by: Danielle Lagos
Photos: Thinkstock, Bauer studios