Whatever your skin type, cleansing is the key to healthy, clear skin. It really is the cornerstone of a skincare routine, but can be rather neglected. Research from the “International Dermal Institute” shows that most people spend less than 20 seconds cleansing their skin, this isn’t thorough enough to remove all the pollutants, oil and make-up that if not properly removed can sit on the surface and cause blackheads and undersurface congestion.
I always recommend to cleanse in the morning – this will remove any overnight sebum production and leave your skin fresh and ready for your moisturiser. It is essential to cleanse at the end of the day as well and for this I recommend a “Double Cleanse” – the reason for this is the first cleanse will remove all the environmental pollutants, grime, oil, make-up and sunscreen. The second cleanse that you perform will actually cleanse your skin and your pores. If you skimp on this and traces of either the above or any cleanser is left on the skin, then you may experience some lumps and bumps underneath the skin and more blackheads than usual with a dull appearance.
A great Product to start your first cleanse is Dermalogica PreCleanse, this is a lightweight oil made from Olive and Apricot Kernal Oil and fortified with Kukui, Borage and Rice Bran Oil. It is a Hydrophillic (water loving) and once it has liquified sebum and oil based debris on your skin, it rinses clean away without residue and the essential oils give it a fresh lemon smell. The reason oil based cleansers work so well is that oil attracts oil, whilst oil repels water – making this an excellent cleansing medium that leaves your skin ready and receptive for its second skin type specific cleanser. Please note, not all oil cleansers are equal and some will not rinse away, PreCleanse has been specially formulated to go milky when in contact with water and rinse clean away, Olive oil on its own will not do the same!
PH Balanced Cleansers
The PH of your cleanser is very important as our skin is naturally acidic at around 4.5 – 5.5 on the PH scale. This helps keep our skin protected from bacteria. A PH balanced cleanser will not strip the skin and leave it feeling comfortable and calm instead of tight and itchy. Soap is out of the question as it is far too alkaline and will strip the skin’s natural protective barrier and leave it tight and uncomfortable, the skin will often compensate if it can by pumping out more sebum leaving you slick and shiny. All Dermalogica Cleansers are PH balanced as are my other brands.
I have tested the PH of some other well known so called simple cleansing products, and was very surprised to find that some have the same PH as CIF cleaning product – which was very alkaline. You can buy a PH testing kit and try some of your own skincare products, some of the results may shock you!
How To Apply Cleanser
Regardless of the formulation, massage your cleanser onto the face and neck in small circular movements, work around the nooks of your nose and spend at least a few minutes of massaging in/or foaming up, this is a great time to give your skin a circulation boosting massage. Either rinse away with warm water or remove with a damp muslin cloth, I like these as they are have a slightly exfoliating action and feel great against your skin.
Which Cleanser is Right For You?
This obviously depends on your skin type and condition, but it also comes down to personal preference. Some people will not feel clean unless they use something that foams up, although oils and lotions are excellent cleansers it does come down to what you like to use. I always feel that good products whether they foam or not should be rinsable and leave skin feeling comfortable. You may need to tweak your cleanser with the seasons and as you age – I switch to a creamier cleanser in the winter time as my skin is a lot less oilier than summer.
Going to bed with your make-up on is one of the worst things you can do to your skin! (even if it is a mineral make-up) Please try, even if you may have had one glass of wine too many, to manage one cleanse, it is better than none.
If you need some advice on what cleanser will suit you, please ask as I am happy to advise.