Skincare school: Cleansing 101

Before we begin, let’s make sure we’re all on the same skincare page. Cleansing isn’t a) boring and b) simple. Sure, it’s like brushing your teeth or combing your hair – a necessary beauty task we put no thought behind and rush through on autopilot. But the first step in your skincare routine is as important as the last.

Any skincare obsessive or aficionado or expert for that matter, will agree. If you’re not doing it right you’ll end up with dirt, pollution and product build-up clogging pores and encouraging breakouts. What’s worse is that all of the skincare you’re applying afterward won’t be able to penetrate your skin properly – what a waste of time, money and good product!

Your skincare routine should start with a cleanser that delivers active ingredients while removing excess sebum, makeup, impurities, bacteria and even dead skin cells. So with that being said, let’s get down and dirty, or rather clean (ha!).

How to choose a cleanser

It really depends on your skin type. If you have sensitive or sensitised skin (think: impaired barrier, you overdid it on the actives, or you’ve had a flare-up), you need a gentle (being the operative word) drop in the form of an oil or creamy lather like our Gently Gently Balancing Cleanser to wash the day away without stripping your skin or exacerbating any redness or irritation.

If you’re acne-prone, oily or on the combination side you’re likely prone to a shiny t-zone and congestion so you’ll need a little extra oomph to cut through excess oil and grime. From oils to mousse to gels (like our Walk of Shine AHA Brightening Cleanser) look for a deep cleansing formulation to clear pores without leaving you feeling tight and dry.

For dry or mature skin, washing your face with a nourishing and hydrating cleanser is key to jam moisture back into your face. You’ve got two choices – in the texture: oils, balms and creams or in the ingredients: oils, butters and hyaluronic acid à la our Milk It Plumping Micellar Milk.

Now, let’s get down to the ~ rules ~ of cleansing

Do you need to cleanse in the morning?

There’s so much confusion around AM cleansing but let’s not overcomplicate it. Every skin type can cleanse in the morning, however if you have dry or sensitive skin you may want to skip it. A splash of water will suffice! Those who are oily, prone to breakouts or slather on heavy creams in the evening can benefit from a gentle morning once-over, ideal solution would be our no rinse micellar milk, Milk it. A quick wipe over your face and you’re done. Oh, and if you work out in the morning you must wash your face afterwards.

Do you need to double cleanse in the evening?

Yes. Double cleansing gets the job done. The first cleanse removes makeup, sunscreen, pollution, sweat, dirt etcetera etcetera. The second cleanse focuses on clearing out your pores and prepping your skin for the actives and products you’re about to layer on.

HOWEVER. Yes, there’s a however. Say you worked from home that day, or had a hungover Sunday on the couch and didn’t slather your face in SPF and makeup you’ll probably be fine with one cleanse. Case by case basis, OK?

Do I need a cleansing device?

These gadgets basically level up your cleansing game. Take our Clean Freak for example. Not only does it give your face a deeper clean, it also helps to oxygenate skin by boosting blood circulation, smoothing over fine lines and giving your complexion a supercharged glow. Plus, facial cleansing tools mechanically exfoliate for baby-soft skin, while minimising the appearance of pores. There’s more on minimising your pores here, BTW.

Walk of Shine AHA Brightening Cleanser

Gently Gently Balancing Cleanser

Milk it Plumping Micellar Milk

Clean Freak High Frequency Sonic Vibration Device

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