Cleanse your face properly

2 Min Read.  A How-To: Cleanse your face properly 

Cleanser commercials lie!! Splashing water up at your face, slow-motion or not does not work.  Just getting this off my chest.  Thank you to all the Clean & Clear and Neutrogena ads that have had generations of women and men cleansing in the wrong way.   

The FACT is cleansing is by far THE most important step of any routine. 

It can make or break your skin, excel your routine or make it go backwards. 

There are two main factors when if comes to cleansing: 

- Choice of cleanser

- When and how you cleanse

Both are equally just as important. 

FIRST - Choosing the right cleanser  

Your cleanser goes down the drain but get cleansing wrong and it's hard to get skincare right. It absolutely set's the standard for your skin and skincare routine. 

Too nourishing it can cause clogging and congestion for some, too stripping and drying (skin feels tight and squeaky clean) and it can disrupt skin barrier function by removing too many essential lipids causing sensitivity, breakouts, even pigmentation and advanced aging. 

Choose your cleanser or cleansers, carefully, based on your skin type and condition.  Here are some key principles and tips to help: 

  • Don’t believe the hype of double cleansing at night. If you have an effective, gentle cleanser that can do the job in one go, brilliant! This is less likely to disrupt your skin barrier and cause irritations. If double cleansing works for you, carry on. 
  • Be realistic about what a cleanser can achieve, it cannot and should not ‘treat’ the skin i.e. pigmentation, rosacea, aging.  The words collagen cleansers or vitamin C cleansers are laughable!  Active ingredients are not going correct issues through cleansing. The job of your cleanser is to cleanse effectively and properly whilst causing no harm. 
  • NO devices, NO scrubs, NO brushes. Responsible for destroying skin barriers, I have seeneverything from broken capillaries, rosacea to milia build up (white cysts under your skin) 
  • Gentle cleansers are perfect for the vast majority of us. My preference is No actives, No acids, No fragrance, No foam

Cleansing oils

One exception to the rule is if you are really oily skinned i.e. hormonal teenagers and some adults then look for a cleanser with added salicylic acid that will help remove excessive oils. 
  • Morning -v- Evening cleaners, you can absolutely use the same cleanser of a morning as you do of an evening.  That said balm and oil cleansers are fantastic for an evening and particularly great at removing make-up/spf effortlessly.  Gels, milks and lotions are a perfect light morning cleanse.  Owning two cleansers or more does not necessarily cost you more in long run, you'll just use less of the other. But don't fuss if it's not your thing.  For some it's a ritual and they enjoy the different textures and sensual experience. I, obviously, am in this camp.

SECOND - When and how to cleanse

Twice a day. 

☼ Morning Cleanse - Removes dead skin cells, excess oils, sweat and skincare residue from the night before.

☾ Evening Cleanse - Removes make-up, spf, and environmental build up from the day such as pollution.  


The devil really is in the detail. I am obsessive about this in clinic. 

  • Use a sufficient amount of cleanser to lift and emulsify dirt and grime from your face. I prefer one larger, effective cleanse than double cleansing.  You will need more product for your evening for your PM cleanse than you do in the morning. 
  • Apply to dry skin. Yes, dry skin.  Even if it states otherwise on the bottle.  Massage onto skin.  If it’s a lotion cleanser, or you need more slip you can then add water to emulsify and loosen the product.  
  • Massage with your fingers ensuring an effective yet gentle cleanse. 
  • Remove your cleanser with a traditional cotton face cloth, soaked and wrung in warm water.  I prefer white face clothes as this easily shows when your face is clean. Use a clean face cloth every morning and take it through to the evening cleanse. 

  • Do Not put your face directly under your shower. So many do it and it leaves tell tale signs,  most often dehydrated and parched skin. The water temp is too hot and stripes skin of vital moisture.  If you want to cleanse in the shower apply your cleanser before you get in the shower, massage with fingers and remove with a clean face cloth soaked and wrung. Do not put your face directly under a running hot shower.  

I hope this helps you choose the perfect cleanser for YOUR skin.. 

Take a look at our hand picked curated cleansers below, then read our honest straight forward description to determine if it's suitable for your skin or not.  

P.s. don't forget face cloths. 

Claire  x 

International Advanced Holistic Medical Aesthetician, CIBTAC Qualified, British and International Awards

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