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Washing your face…simple and straightforward, right?  Yes, but you may be doing more damage than you realise – I know I was.  Oil cleansing, double cleansing, facial sponges, cleansing brushes – where does one even begin?  There are also a multitude of products just to confuse the matter even more!  After a bit of research (and self-experimentation) I think I have finally got this all figured out.  Double-cleansing is the latest buzz in the beauty world – and it is the only way to remove makeup with spf or suncream properly.  I just use Dermalogica’s Precleanse first thing in the morning, but for an end-of-day cleanse I follow the steps below.

Removing makeup/suncream(because you are wearing it everyday, right?)/smog/sweat or whatever else has collected on your skin throughout the day.  For this I recommend an oil based cleanser, as oil is better at breaking down most of the above, particularly makeup.  I am a complete convert to Precleanse, but this is where the oh-so-popular micellar water could be substituted instead.  Completely removing all makeup and grime from your skin is the aim here – so keep going until the cotton pads are no longer “skin” coloured.  I like to massage the Precleanse into dry skin, before adding warm water to rinse off. Gently does it though, particularly around the eye area – as I pointed out before, your skin won’t thank you for using elbow grease.

oil based cleanser

Cleansing your skin – now that you’ve removed everything on top of your skin, a gentle cleanser can help remove any dead skin cells and stubborn makeup or suncream – despite the previous step, you would be surprised how discoloured a face cloth or clarisonic can become! expert's-guide-to-cleansingThe cleanser you choose is very important.  Because the heavy lifting has been done by the “pre-cleanse”, I find a gentle, non-foaming cleanser perfect. Foaming cleansers, apart from a scant few, tend to strip and dry out skin (and cause rebound over production of oil in some cases), and interfere with the skin’s pH – which is very important for protecting your skin as discussed here. This stripping of the skin may feel “squeaky clean”, but predisposes your skin to flaking, damage and even breakouts.  It can take a bit of getting used to if squeaky clean is your norm, but after a couple of weeks your skin should adjust quite happily.  My current favourite cleanser is Vital Cleanse from Elemental Herbology but I would also recommend the Ultracalming Cleanser from Dermalogica and am dying to try this one from Paula’s Choice.  I use it with my Clarisonic mia or a facecloth.  If you choose the facecloth option, swap them everyday for a clean one – you do not want bacteria building up for 24hours on a damp cloth and then wiping it all over your face. No. Penneys do 3 for €2 (insert link) so you have no excuse. Non-foaming cleansers are also available on any budget – just get into the habit of checking the ingredients list like you’re going to be eating the stuff (guilty!). The main ingredients to avoid are parabens, SLSs and anything else described as a foaming agent.

Have you tried double-cleansing? I hope this explains it for those of you who were in the dark!