Thought the most important step in your skincare routine was your fancy serum or multi-tasking moisturiser? Think again. A Dermal Therapist makes the case for why the humble cleanser deserves more recognition.
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Plus, with so many new technologies and skincare advancements, it’s easy to get caught up and want to try - and buy - every new thing.
However, the newest serum will do nothing if you haven’t set yourself a solid foundation to add that new serum into. Key to this is finding a great cleanser.
As a Dermal Therapist I honestly feel a great cleanser is the backbone of a great skincare routine (after SPF). Yet cleansing never gets the recognition it deserves.
You see, cleansing isn’t just about quickly doing a 10 second lather then calling it a day.
A proper cleanse is cleansing for at least one minute every morning and doing the same thing at night with a double cleanse to properly remove your makeup, sunscreen, as well as any additional pollution, dirt and grime on your face.
And if we aren’t cleansing properly? Well, leaving your skin unclean can accelerate premature ageing and increase the likelihood of breakouts - or prevent current ones from healing.
When you’re not cleansing properly the serums and products that you use after will likely not work as efficiently. And when we’re spending upwards to $200 sometimes - we want these products to be working as best as they can.
Incorrect cleansing can also lead to irritation and skin sensitivities. So let’s chat through a few cleansing tips that will help.
Washing your hands before cleansing your face is important in order to prevent the transfer of bacteria and in turn, prevent acne.
Using the right cleanser for your skin is vitally important. Every skin is unique and needs to find something to suit it.
Choosing the right cleanser will ensure you’re actually removing dirt, pollution, bacteria etc… properly and you’re not compromising your skin’s barrier in the process.
Also, it is best to use a product specifically formulated for the face - and not the body - for best results.
Double cleansing involves washing your face using two products: an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser at the end of the day.
There’s no need to double cleanse in the morning, but at night it’s the best way to ensure your face is properly clean. The first step, which is often done with an oil or balm cleanser, removes your makeup and draws out oil-based impurities such as sebum and pollutants from the skin.
The second step thoroughly cleanses water-based debris with a gel/foam or cream cleanser - and this includes dirt and sweat.
Double cleansing is especially beneficial if you are a heavy makeup wearer. And yes, you can double cleanse with one well formulated cleanser if that is what you prefer.
A lot of people don’t realise that the cleanser they’re using contains active ingredients, so they use it 2-3 times a day and are even including vitamin As and other exfoliating serums into the mix.
All of which can be too much for the skin.
When your skin is prone to breakouts or is sensitive, this can lead to a whole range of other issues including increased sensitivities and skin irritation.
Final note: the cleanser you choose will depend entirely on your skin type, concerns and the rest of your routine.
However, you don’t want to be using anything that leaves your skin feeling "squeaky" clean. While the feeling is semi-addictive, that is an indicator that the cleanser you are using is stripping your skin. Your skin should always feel hydrated and balanced post-cleansing.
Acne, congestion prone skin, oily skin
An exfoliating cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin and contains both alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s) for gentle resurfacing as well as Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s) to clear out the pores and keep your skin clean.