You wouldn’t wax a dirty car. This analogy I have used on many clients in the past when conducting consultations about the basic skincare steps in their regimen and I believe in a daily routine, cleansing is one of the most important. Today in a world where we are inundated with products involving skincare, hair care, makeup and fragrances, proper removal of these chemicals from your skin is easily missed.
Please take a moment to think about what you come into contact with during the day!
Firstly your skincare, it does wonders over a long period of time but even the best of products have peak activity time frames and needs to be removed properly. You may enjoy how your skin feels the morning after a deeply penetrating night cream but that night cream has achieved what it was designed to do, it is now just residual, oxidized oils and chemicals that are doing nothing to your skin but clogging and suffocating your pores. Not to mention the dust and hair product that is sticking to it from your pillowcase. It needs to be cleansed!
Your cosmetics come next. A flawless base and colour correction gives that confidence we all need once in a while. These are pigments, oils and silicones that sit on the surface of your skin, providing a barrier between the elements and you. After a few hours however this barrier brakes down. Sun protection ingredients no longer protect and once encapsulated cosmetic pigments oxidize and start to be absorbed by your skin in its search for some hydration to soak up, burrowing down into your skin until it gets stuck and may create inflammation or infection, causing a break out. It needs to be cleansed!
Hair and fragrance are another form of general irritations the skin comes in contact with regularly. Mostly made up of alcohol and artificial fragrances these are often forgotten about when treating the skin. Ever have small breakouts around the hairline? Or dermatitis on your neck? Be careful where you spray your products and once again it needs to be cleansed!
Cleansing can be easy and affordable. I’m an advocate of using household products such as organic coconut oil or oatmeal for daily cleansing. Oh and a facial towel or flannel for my English friends is great to have on hand also.
I cleanse three times a day … well once in the morning and twice at night. But it takes no more then 5 minutes out of my day and is now a ritual I look forward to. I am not clean until I have properly cleansed, after that it is then time to relax. There are many types of cleansers, these can be narrowed into 3 main categories.
First cleanse - Second cleanse - Morning Cleanse.
First cleanse - This is where I would place make up remover type products. Designed as a first step in the evening to take majority of the daily grime off, I prefer to use things like cleansing oils and balms. I use more simple products here. The residue isn’t going to have much of an effect on the skin so your coconut oils and cleansing balms are great to break down that suborn make up and pollutant build up.
Some of my favourite First Cleansers are:
Dermalogica - precleanse
Clinique – Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm.
Coast to Coast – Oil Cleansers
Organic coconut oil
Second Cleansers – This is where the magic happens. I enjoy the experience of using my second cleanser the most as it will be what gives me that great deep cleanse and leave my skin stimulated and ready for fresh product. You shouldn’t feel tight after your second cleanse but if you do the cleanser you are using may not be right for you. Types of cleansers that I prefer to place in this category are your milks, butters and cleansing gels/foams.
Some of my favourite second cleansers are:
Edible Beauty - No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk.
Aspect - Gentle Clean Cleanser.
Shiseido - IBUKI Gentle Cleanser.
Organic coconut oil.
Morning Cleansers – Now as the name suggests this is more targeted at cleansers that wake the skin up, refreshes and prepares skin for product. This does not mean however you can only use these cleansers in the morning. I have on many an occasion used them at night when I have had an easy day, when my skin has not really come into contact with to many products or environmental pollutants and know that I just need a refreshment rather then cosmetic removal. A foaming or lathering cleanser does the job here but milk or balm cleansers are great also. Generally I’m looking for a product with a little extra something but nothing that will over stimulate or strip my skin.
Some of my favourite morning cleansers are:
Ole Henriksen - on-the-go cleanser.
CosMedix - Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser.
Clarins - One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser with orange extract.
Organic coconut oil.
There are no rules when it comes to skin care. As you can see I would use coconut oil in all three stages however there are some basic guidelines and by following them I enjoy exploring new, exciting results with my cleanser to get the maximum benefit out of them. I use this guideline as it gives me the confidence to know that if I have a reaction, break out, or just have a bad skin day. I know that my skin is clean, clear and will allow the healing process will quick and simple.
I hope this article proves insightful. Products listed are some of my own personal favourites however may not be correct for everyone. We all have different skin types and in different conditions. But by following a basic routine you can maximise your skin natural potential and allow it to grow, heal and age in its best condition.