Skincare basics: Cleansers

It’s common knowledge that a good skincare routine begins with proper cleansing, yet I’m amazed at how many women neglect this important step. I’m always shocked at how many friends confess to going to bed while wearing makeup, and even more so when friends admit that they use soap to wash their faces. Splurging on expensive lotions and creams is pointless unless you have a decent cleansing regime in place, as the ingredients aren’t properly absorbed and you won’t see the full effects of whatever it is that you’re applying to your face.

Proper cleansing involves so much more than a quick once-over using any old face wash, though. These are the steps I follow on a daily basis – try them for yourself; you’ll be amazed at the results. Since I started following this (fairly long, I’ll admit) routine, I’ve noticed that I need less makeup than ever before; I suffer from fewer breakouts and my skin has a natural glow to it.

STEP ONE: Makeup Remover
Despite wearing a full face of makeup (foundation, bronzer or blusher – sometimes both, heavy eye liner, and mascara, with eye shadow thrown in for good measure on occasion), I’ve only incorporated a makeup remover into my daily routine fairly recently. I’m using Esse Eye Makeup Remover at the moment (read more about it here) and have loved using this product. It removes every last trace of my makeup, and using this product in conjunction with my regular cleansing products leaves my skin feeling super clean.

STEP TWO (optional): Pre-Cleanse
I don’t always include step two in my routine, but often resort to using a pre-cleanser when my skin is going through a particularly bad patch. A pre-cleanser is an oil-based cleanser that dissolves makeup, dirt and grime so that your regular cleanser can penetrate even further for a deep cleansing effect. I’ve only ever used Dermalogica Precleanse and I am obsessed. It’s worth every penny, in my opinion.

I often get asked whether it’s worth splurging on expensive beauty products, and whether they really live up to their promises. My opinion? Save on things like your cleanser, shampoo and body lotions, and splurge on a good serum, day and night cream, eye cream and conditioner. Stick to inexpensive, unfussy cleansers -these are rinsed off your skin before any ingredients can penetrate, so it doesn’t make sense to splurge of fancy cleansers (or shampoo for that matter. Rather spend your pennies on rich conditioners and hair treatments). On heavy rotation in my shower at the moment? QMS MediCosmetics Deep Cleanse, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel.

STEP FOUR: Cleanse, again. (This is called ‘double cleansing’)
Whenever I don’t have a pre-cleanser on hand, I like to ‘double cleanse’. The name says it all: the first wash removes all makeup and dirt on the surface of your skin, while the second wash allows the product to properly penetrate your skin to remove all impurities. I usually massage the cleanser into my skin in small, circular motions for at least a minute – this improves your skin’s circulation, resulting in clean, clear and glowing skin.

I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of facial wipes – not for every day use, at least. Sure, they’re fantastic in a pinch when you can’t wash your face for whatever reason, but I don’t feel as though they do a thorough job of cleaning my face. That being said, I always have a packet on hand for those late nights when I just don’t have the energy for my usual cleansing routine, and they’re great for a quick refresh on long flights or road trips, too. I love Simple Exfoliating Facial Wipes, as one side of each wipe has a rougher texture for a gentle exfoliating action.