How do I cleanse my skin at home?
Seems very simple right? I mean we all know how to cleanse our skin properly don’t we? Maybe it’s not actually as straight forward as it sounds, in fact studies show that over 74% of us are cleaning our skin incorrectly, whether that’s through bad technique, choosing incompatible products or simply not being thorough enough. So how should we approach this essential part of our skincare routine?
First, let’s start with the eyes, they are the windows to our soul after all, so we need to make sure we treat them with the care they deserve. It’s important to be aware just how delicate and fragile the skin here is, think tissue paper and once stretched and pulled it won’t just ping back into shape, so be gentle!
Firstly, choose the correct eye make up remover for your eyes, if you know they are sensitive look for something fragrance and colourant free and always check it’s Opthamologist tested. If you wear quite heavy or waterproof eye make up you’ll need a mixture of water and oil, rubbing hard with one that’s purely water based will damage the area and you’ll get nowhere fast. Then I recommend applying to damp cotton wool, and with your spare hand, support the skin firmly whilst you cleanse. Try and move from the centre of the face outwards following the line of the socket, this will be more comfortable and cause far less irritation to the skin. Cotton buds can be very handy to have on standby for any stubborn areas or for getting into the inner or outer corners with your remover.
Now you’re ready to move onto the face, so let’s begin by having a look at your skin, do you see redness or inflammation? Blocked pores and blemishes? Areas of dry, flaky skin? If so make sure you are choosing a cleanser that is appropriate for you, for sensitivity look for botanicals such as camomile, aloe vera and allantoin, also check that its fragrance and colourant free. Oily and congested skins should avoid oils of any kind so look for something water based, perhaps with a little glycolic or salicylic for a slightly deeper cleanse. If your skin feels a little tight, dry and is prone to flaking look for natural plant oils in your cleanser to help restore comfort and suppleness.
Also think about how you like your skin to feel after cleansing, if you like it to feel deeply nourished and silky soft, go for a richer cream or balm, these will provide a more comfortable finish once removed. If you are a fan of the super smooth squeaky- clean finish, look for a foam, or gel that lathers when mixed with water, these will leave you matte and shine free.
Once you are ready to begin start gently massaging your cleanser over the skin beginning from the decollete and neck working upwards. Yes, you did read that correctly, it’s important to include the chest and neck as these areas are just as often on display and suffer environmental and UV damage also, so its vital we treat them as part of our face. As this is our first cleanse, the goal is to remove make up and pollutants if were cleansing in the evening, and to stimulate microcirculation if we’ve just woken up, so keep the pressure nice and light, circular upwards movements work best. This first cleanse should take a good 2 minutes to ensure we’ve been thorough, removal is best with damp cotton wool or muslin cloth which will really pick up all the debris that has been lifted.
Then we are ready to go again, it’s vital that we always cleanse twice! Now we are looking to start treating our skin with the lovely active ingredients in our cleanser, and to prepare it for the application of toners, serums and any other products that will follow. This means we need to use deeper movements to aid penetration, and to encourage the removal of any dead, dull excess skin cells we no longer need. Again, we move upwards and outwards with our circling action, working with the muscles of the face to really lift, never drag the skin or muscles downwards as long term this could result in sagging and premature lines. After a good 2 minutes, this time I recommend splashing your cleanser off with warm water and then drying thoroughly with a towel. The temperature is important as the two extremes of hot and cold can damage the skins protective layers and lead to dehydration and sensitivity.
Now your skin should look bright, clean and fresh, ready for the next steps in your skin care routine. Well done, great job!