If you want gorgeous, glowing, perfect skin make sure you cleanse both morning and night. It will get rid of any toxins that have built up during the day (pollution, smoke, stress), as well as any grime accumulated overnight. It's more than just a skincare ritual - it's the magic trick that all us young women should adopt and continue throughout our lives.
But cleansing is still an art, with rules to follow! You can use wipes, cotton pads, gentle brushes, your hands - the choice is yours: the important thing is that it's correctly done. Gently cleanse twice a day, concentrating on your eyes (eye make up can be tough to remove) and use a skin cleanser that suits your skin type - lotion, oil, micellar water, gel mousse... Finish off by applying a toner or a spritz of thermal water. If you want to go the whole hog, try double cleansing - works a treat!
WHY CLEANSING IS IMPORTANT EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT REMOVING MAKE-UP If there’s one thing that’s going to keep your skin beautiful for as long as possible, it’s this: always cleanse – even if you’re not removing any make-up. Here’s our 3-step guide to the most essential part of any good skincare routine.
WHY REMOVE YOUR MAKE-UP?
Removing your make-up is an essential part of your beauty routine, and the most important. Why? Because it not only removes product, it also gets rid of the impurities that have built up during the day, including pollution and excess sebum. If you don’t remove your make-up on a daily basis, those impurities will cause spots, premature wrinkles and blocked pores. Most make-up removers not only cleanse the skin but also help keep it soft, supple and hydrated too.
ARE YOU REMOVING YOUR MAKE-UP PROPERLY?
Ideally, you should cleanse twice a day: in the morning you need to remove the toxins from the night and prepare your face for your other skincare products; and in the evening you should remove your make-up to let your skin breathe. Be gentle with your skin to protect it and prevent damage to the hydrolipidic film, which forms a barrier against external aggressions. Start by placing soaked cotton wool pads over each eye to dilute your eye make-up. Use circular motions, moving from the roots to the tips of your eyelashes. Brush your eyebrows backwards with the cotton wool before smoothing them back down. End by cleansing the rest of your face using your hands to reduce friction and avoid irritating your skin. Use circular movements over your forehead, cheeks, chin and nostrils and don't forget your neck. Remove all traces of your cleanser with cotton wool soaked in warm water.
WHAT SHOULD I USE TO REMOVE MY MAKE-UP?
We’d like to say it doesn’t matter, provided it is gentle on the skin. However it’s also important to use the right product for your skin type.
- Lotions: gentle and kind to the skin, their creamy texture makes them the most pleasant to use.
- Micellar water: removes make-up and tones in one, without the need to rinse. Perfect for those in a hurry, it’s suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skins.
- Gels and creams: particularly good for combination or oily skins, these deep-clean the skin leaving it spotless. Remember to rinse off thoroughly.
- Cleansing facial wipes: ideal for travelling, these are not recommended for sensitive or dry skin as they can irritate.
- Cleansing foams: A mild cleansing foam is particularly deep cleaning, making them good for spot-prone skin.
- Oil cleansers: suitable for all skin types, even oily skin, they cleanse without friction and their vegetable oils offer a layer of protection.
- Cleansing bars: they soften, lubricate and soothe very dry and sensitive skin.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CLEANSER FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE Cleansing is an essential, non-negotiable part of any daily beauty routine. So choosing the right cleanser is key to keeping your skin flawless and glowing. Here are our tips for choosing the right one!
TO HYDRATE DRY SKIN
Dry skin: it feels tight and itchy after washing, is hyper-sensitive, hates changes in temperature, can get blotchy, feels rough and dry, flaky patches may appear.
Skincare prescription: to moisturise and make it feel comfortable.
The best cleanser: either a cleansing cream that's thicker than a lotion or micellar water. These will pamper and nourish your skin to make it even more beautiful as the days go by. It will be nourished and hydrated so you can kiss goodbye to ruddy, tight, itchy skin.
TO BALANCE OUT NORMAL OR COMBINATION SKIN
Normal or combination skin: dry patches on parts of the face with fewer sebaceous glands (cheekbones, temples, jawline), and oily areas on the central zone - the famous 'T-zone'. Normal and combination skins are the easiest to look after, it's just a matter of creating a balance.
Skincare prescription: hydrating active ingredients and those that balance out sebum production.
The best cleanser: a cleansing oil to dislodge impurities including waterproof make up, without irritating the epidermis and, most of all, without stimulating the sebaceous glands. You skin will feel clean, moisturised and its hydrolipidic film will be left intact.
TO PURIFY OILY SKIN
Oily skin: this skin type secretes a lot more sebum, particularly around the T-zone. The idea is to get rid of this excess sebum along with impurities that suffocate skin, obstruct its pores and lead to blackheads and blemishes.
Skincare prescription: a gentle, purifying beauty routine to balance and mattify your skin
The best cleanser: a gel or mousse to deeply cleanse your skin. Their aqueous textures will dissolve make up, purify your skin and get rid of excess sebum.
TO SOOTHE SENSITIVE, IRRITATED SKIN
Sensitive and irritated skin: a highly reactive skin type that can sting or feel itchy and hot. It can get blotchy and may suffer when exposed to the sun, cold, temperature changes, soaps, stress and emotional states.
Skincare prescription: a soft, moisturising texture to make it feel comfortable.
The best cleanser: a soothing formula, such as micellar water, perfect for sensitive skin and those that react badly to tap water. A soap and often perfume-free cleanser, it maintains skin's natural pH level and is suited to all skin types. Fluid, fresh and as light as water, as efficient as a lotion, it's particularly good for skin that tends to get blotchy.
TO NOURISH MATURE SKIN
Mature skin: We've accepted our wrinkles, now it's time to pay attention to the quality of our skin - loss of tone, slower skin cell renewal, sagging, lower collagen and elastin levels and a dry epidermis. Mature skin is thinner, drier and less dense.
Skincare prescription: gentle, loving care! Alongside active ingredients that will strengthen skin.
The best cleanser: a lotion to get rid of impurities without damaging skin. A cleanser that will also nourish mature skin. Ultra-moisturising, so that it won't, unlike tap water, harm skin.
GUILTY AS CHARGED...THE FACIAL CLEANSING NO-NO'S THAT WE ALL COMMIT! Cleansing is non-negotiable if we want to keep our flawless glow. But how and when is another matter - facial cleansing is an art in itself! So here's our little list of beauty tip no-no's to help you get back on track!
#1 NOT BOTHERING TO CLEANSE
Cleansing is THE flawless skin Golden Rule! It's the only way we can keep our skin in good nick. It gets rid of make up so that our skin can breathe overnight. And a morning cleanse will remove impurities (for example sebum) that accumulate whilst we sleep. If we don't cleanse, we won't just leave our pillows covered in grime, but also wake up to a dull complexion or (Heaven Forbid) pimples!
#2 NOT CHOOSING THE RIGHT TEXTURE
Oil, lotion, micellar water, cream, gel... It's a jungle out there and we're all guilty of grabbing the nearest product. BIG mistake! We need to choose a cleanser suited to our skin type: milk or lotion for mature skin, oil for normal skin, gel or mousse for oily skin and cream for dry skin. Be gentle when you cleanse - don't rub your skin to death or feel the need to deplete your cotton pad supply.
#3 USING THE SAME PRODUCT FOR OUR EYES AS OUR FACE
Eye make up removers can be used on our face, but not the other way round! Facial cleansers aren't always ophthalmologically tested, so you could risk irritating your eyes. So best to invest in a separate eye make up remover.
#4 FORGETTING OUR NECK AND CLEAVAGE
To avoid lines, we all smoothe our foundations/primers/blushers down our neck, sometimes as far as our cleavage. Then, at the end of the day, we forget to remove them. And wonder why our neck and cleavage skin isn't clean and smooth. The skin on our neck and cleavage is really thin and fragile: it needs gentle cleansing followed by a good dose of moisturiser.
#5 RUBBING TOO HARD
Heavy or waterproof make up can be hard to shift - we've all had moments when we've impatiently scrubbed it off. Another BIG mistake! Rubbing our faces harms the epidermis, leaving our skin fragile and sensitive. Cleansing needs a light touch - gently wipe off make up, working out from the centre of your face. Use as many cotton pads as it takes and always stick to the 'centre-out' rule.
#6 LEAVING OUR EYES 'TIL LAST
Leaving our eyes 'til last is a waste of precious time. We end up smearing eye make up over our cheeks, meaning they need a second clean. To make life easier, start with your eyelids and lashes, where waterproof make up can be stubborn, follow with your lips and finish off with the rest of your face.
#7 FORGET TO APPLY A TONER
If you love waterproof make up, heavier foundations or long-lasting lipsticks, then you're probably using an oil-based cleanser to get rid of any traces. This oil needs to be mopped up and that's where toners come in to play. Added bonus? Toners also leave us with a lovely, healthy glow!
DOUBLE CLEANSING: TRUE VS FALSE Double cleansing is a two-step skincare routine for flawless skin. Here's all you need to know about an Asian facial cleansing favourite that's gradually taking the beauty world by storm.
DOUBLE CLEANSING IS A BEAUTY MUST
False: A single cleanse is enough to get glowing skin and keep the signs of ageing at bay for as long as possible. Cleansing is THE skincare golden rule! Double cleansing is about fine-tuning your cleansing routine in order to purify the deeper levels of your skin. But the important thing is to at least cleanse.
ANOTHER ASIAN BEAUTY BOOSTER!
True: Inspired by Asian beauty routines, double cleansing is a simplified version of Japanese layering, a routine women swear by in their quest for a flawless complexion. Double cleansing follows two steps (rather than layering's six) and involves applying gentle, effective treatments that are kind to the skin.
DOUBLE CLEANSING MEANS USING THE SAME CLEANSER TWICE
False: Double cleansing is not about cleansing the face twice with the same product! It's about using a cleanser followed by a purifier. Two techniques, two products, two textures to get squeaky clean skin.
DOUBLE CLEANSING IS SIMPLY THE USE OF TWO DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FOR DACIAL CLEANSING
False Not any old product! The first step uses a fat-based treatment (butter, lotion, oil) to get rid of oily substances such as sebum, make up and sunscreens. The second is an aqueous formula (lotion, gel, mousse) that will strip off hydrophilic residues, including pollution and germs.
DOUBLE CLEANSING FOLLOWS A CERTAIN TECHNIQUE
True: Start by melting a bit of oil in your hand and massage it on to dry skin (eyes included), using circular movements. Keep gently massaging until the oil becomes an emulsion and then rinse of with warm water. Follow by applying your gel or lotion with a cotton pad, still using circular movements. Finish off with a spritz of floral or thermal water to get rid of any limestone left behind by tap water
DOUBLE CLEANSING IS TOO HARSH FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
False: This beauty routine suits all skin types, even the most sensitive. Only glitch: if you suffer from acne, you'll need to use specially adapted treatments. Don't be put off if you have oily skin - the oils, butters and lotions used are rinsed off, so you won't end up with greasy-looking skin.
GIVE DOUBLE CLEANSING A MISS, IF YOU'RE IN A HURRY
True: Double cleansing will leave you with perfectly cleansed skin but, obviously, following two steps does take a bit of time. For example, if your smokey eye make up or lipstick is stubborn, you'll need to repeat the first step. So, if you're rushed off your feet, you'll probably want to give this one a miss!
REMOVE EYE MAKEUP IN 4 EASY STEPS The skin around our eyes is far thinner and more fragile than the rest of our face. Cleansing without irritating our skin or eyelashes is not as simple as it seems. The golden rule? Be gentle!
STEP 1 : CHOOSE GENTLE PRODUCTS
We all know that soap's a no-no, but you should also avoid facial cleansing lotions and micellar water. Opt instead for a product designed to cleanse the eye contour, such as a cleansing oil. There are cleansers that get rid of waterproof make-up for those of you who like smoky eyes, as well as formulae for sensitive eyes that are ophthalmologically tested, unperfumed and paraben-free. These are great if your eyes need extra care or if you wear contact lenses.
STEP 2 : DON'T BE FRUGAL
Remove your eye make up and cleanse the eye contour before starting on your face! Use a soft cotton pad and soak it with your cleanser. Don't scrimp - you'll need more than a drop or two if you don't want to damage your eyelids or lashes.
STEP 3: TAKE YOUR TIME
Close your eyes and hold the cotton pad against your skin for a minute or so. This will allow your cleanser to fully penetrate your lashes and dissolve any make up or grime. Gently move your fingers around the cotton pad (making sure it stays in place), so that your cleanser is massaged into your eyelids. The idea? To ensure that all traces of make up are dissolved by the eye makeup remover.
STEP 4 : USE A LIGHT TOUCH
Follow by gently wiping your eyes, working from the inner to outer corner. And keep going until your eye contour is squeaky clean. Whatever you do, don't rub! If you do, you'll irritate your skin - our fragile eyelashes are easily damaged and a heavy hand will make your skin age faster.
3 REASONS WHY CLEANSING OILS ARE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD Too greasy? Doesn't do the job? Cleansing oils have a hard time... They don't at all deserve a bad reputation, as they're one of the best products on the market when it comes to getting rid of stubborn make up and general grime. Here are 3 reasons why you should stock up on these 5-star cleansers.
#1 THEY REMOVE ALL TRACES OF MAKE UP
You've piled on the waterproof mascara, gone for a smokey-eyed look or perfected your pout with a hard-wearing lippy.
So why use a cleansing oil to remove your warpaint? Because make up and impurities are lipophilic, meaning they dissolve in oil. It's a scientific fact that oil should be used to clean off oil. And there's nothing better than a cleansing oil to get the job done! Which is why waterproof make up removers are oil-based.
In other words, cleansing oils capture and dissolve make up's greasy pigments. In one clean sweep, without the need to rub, they'll remove all traces of make up and impurities that have built up during the day (pollution etc.).
#2 THEY SUIT ALL SKIN TYPES
Promise! Even if you have combination or oily skin! As soon as it's mixed with a drop of water, a cleansing oil won't leave behind a greasy film and can be gently wiped off without rubbing.
Its oil-base means it cleans without harming our skin. It can be used daily without hurting or irritating skin - eye contours included.
That its efficient and super-sensual explains why Asian women, known for their fine and fragile skin, swear by cleansing oil's magical properties.
#3 THEY PROTECT OUR SKIN
Cleansing oils' added plus is that they moisturise whilst cleansing our skin. Being composed of vegetable oil, they dislodge impurities that cling to our skin, whilst keeping its hydrolipidic barrier in tact. Unlike micellar waters, which can dry out our skin.
And if that's not enough, there's no need to reach for a cotton pad, as cleansing oils can be massaged on with your fingertips. What better way to pamper your skin after a day battling the elements?
Article supplied & written by Marie Claire, part of Hearst Communications, Inc.