Cleansing is the most important part of your routine. FACT.
Did you know that? It might be the thing that we all sometimes neglect to do but if you wash with water alone you’ll dry out your skin – find a good cleanser and it’ll remove everything from dirt to bacteria and sweat to make-up. And in a big city like London it’ll get rid of any remnants of pollution too.
So how do you find the right cleanser for your skin type? If you’re using something that’s too harsh it can cause your skin to dry out – if you’re get that tight ‘squeaky-clean’ feeling post cleansing this could be the reason. Similarly a cleanser that’s too rich could leave you with spots, oily skin and breakout. So you can see why it’s important to find one that suits your skin to get the right effect.
But what types of cleansers are there and which one is best for your skin? I’ve laid out the main types below but I do like to have two to hand at any time so that i can swap depending on how my skin is feeling.
These cleansers need to be mixed with water to use but try to steer clear of foaming cleansers as the chemicals used in them can have a drying effect on the skin. Anything containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a no go as this strips and dries so is especially bad for sensitive skin.
Cream and Milk Cleansers
These are very soothing and can offer a nice alternative to face washes. Try applying by putting a dollop in the palm of your hand and massaging all over your face – including your eyes and neck – before washing off with a cleansing muslin cloth.
These are usually made from gentle nourishing plant-based or essential oil formulas that can remove make-up – including mascara – easily as the oils melt whatever is on the skin’s surface. Sooth and massage them into the skin’s surface and again remove with a muslin cloth – make sure you’ve removed all residue as anything left on the skin can block pores. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of mineral oils (such as paraffin and petroleum) as these can dull the skin over time and cause spots.
Melting Balms and Oils
These are a fairly new to the market but they general come in a gel formula that transforms to a milk when water is added. If you haven’t tried them yet I’d highly recommend them – they’re a really effective way to remove the dirt and grime of the day from your face.
Let’s face it – we all use face wipes for convenience. They’re quick and easy and come in a handy packet. However it’s good to note that they’re normally packaged up with lots of synthetics, alcohol and fragrance which isn’t good for the skin and can cause sensitivity. More than that they’re not actually that effective at, well, really cleansing the face which is kind of the point. Keep them for festivals or when you’re really short of time not for your everyday skincare routine.
What to know the best way to cleanse your skin? Look out for part 2 of my blog on cleansers coming soon…