My top 10 Cleansing tips. How dirty is your skin?

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Here are my top ten cleansing tips:

Despite my nagging, I have a few badly behaved clients who underestimate the importance of thorough cleansing. Stale make-up and pollution stretch and block the pores overnight and prevent product penetration: dirty skin simply can’t breathe.

Hopefully, this post will shame/scare them!

1. Swap cleansing wipes for a micellar water

I would love to ban all wipes. The harsh chemicals and preservatives strip the protective oils from the surface of your skin and leave a residue which prematurely ages your skin overnight.

Also they are fairly useless at cleansing because they only work on the surface. Swap them instead for a micellar water, which is far more gentle. The tiny particles of oil, suspended in soft water, cleverly pull dirt off the skin like a magnet.

My low-maintenance clients love them.

2. Cleansing with ‘natural’ soaps will dry out your skin

I am fed up with hearing: ‘But it’s a natural soap!’ It makes no difference whether you bought it from a hippie or a supermarket – soaps are alkaline and will disturb your acidic skin barrier. Soap strips the natural oils from the skin’s surface, leaving behind insoluble salts that are incredibly drying.
Never trust a skincare company that won’t tell you the pH of its products. The ideal pH of any cleanser should match the skin (4.2 – 5.5), but most soaps are between 7 and 9 – downright dangerous. Use on your armpits only!

3. Avoid cleansing with a foaming wash

Avoid any cleanser that leaves your skin feeling tight – it is probably too alkaline and has dissolved your precious skin oils. We need those natural oils to protect our skin from the cold and wind, especially over the winter.

Remember that foam is just a detergent.

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4. Single cleanse in the morning – not just a splash of water in the shower!

Many of my clients consider a splash of water plenty in the morning, but it is not enough to remove oil, toxins and dead skin cells left on the surface overnight.

I know everyone is rushed in the morning, but try a single cleanse with a facial wash (never shower gel!) instead. 

If hard tap water leaves your skin feeling tight, wipe over with micellar water instead.

5. Double cleanse as soon as you get home to remove pollution

I always recommend double cleansing as soon as you get home.
Most clients are too knackered to cleanse correctly at the end of the evening and just collapse into bed. However, pollution left settling on your skin will cause pigmentation and premature ageing, so the sooner it is removed, the better.


6. First cleanse: oil based make up remover

I love cleansing oils: they loosen make-up and physical sunscreen gently and effectively. Massage all over your face to speed up blood circulation and warm up the skin (warm, relaxed pores are much easier to clean); then splash with water to emulsify.

A skin cleansing brush
A skin cleansing brush

7. Double cleanse with a facial wash

Oil-based make-up removers only remove oil-soluble make-up and dirt, so you need to double cleanse with a wash to remove water-soluble dirt.

Pollution nanoparticles have sharp edges, so use warm rather than hot water (which dries out the skin) and be careful to massage and not rub delicate, wet skin.

Choose a gel cleanser with mild detergents, but if your skin still feels tight (especially over the winter), use a creamy wash or micellar water instead.

8. Double cleanse with an electronic cleansing brush

Cleansing brushes, like this one here. can be handy, especially if you live in a polluted area. However, do not overuse them, especially over the winter, because they can overstimulate sensitive skin and lead to spots.

Start using it twice a week and see how your skin tolerates it.

9. Blot dry with a microfibre towel after cleansing

Finally, blot dry with a super-absorbent microfibre towel – no rubbing!

10. Don’t cheat!

No cleansing, no bed!

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