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''Get cleansing wrong and it's hard to get skincare right''

I heard Jordan Samuel - NYC Esthetician and Founder of Jordan Samuel Skin say during one of his many Instagram lives (well worth a watch!) and I thought that's brilliant!! I have since re-used this phrase many times with facial clients.

The fact is cleansing is by far THE most important step in any routine. (SPF aside) 

It can determine how your skin behaves, excel your routine or make it go backwards.

Here we give you all you need to know to getting cleansing and skincare off to the best start.

There are two main factors when if comes to cleansing:

1. Choice of cleanser

2. When AND How you cleanse

Both are equally just as important. 

It's true that your cleanser goes down the drain but like Jordan says 'Get cleansing wrong and it's hard to get skincare right' No matter how good or expensive your serum or moisturiser maybe.

Too nourishing it can result in clogging and congestion, too stripping and drying and it can disrupt your skin barrier function by removing too many essential lipids causing all kinds of issues from sensitivity to advancing aging of the skin.


First, be realistic about what a cleanser should achieve, you shouldn't try to ‘treat’ or 'correct' your skin concerns i.e. pigmentation, aging, dull skin with cleansers.  Vitamin C cleansers is all marketing - no worthwhile vitamin C can do its job its supposed to while cleansing your face.  Instead focus on the single most important job of your cleanser - removing dirt / pollution / sweat / make-up / effectively whilst causing no harm or stripping of your skin barrier.  Let your serums and treatments do the job of 'treating' your skin - which they do a far better job at.  

    NO devices, NO scrubs, NO cleansing brushes. Responsible for destroying skin barriers, broken capillaries, rosacea, acne, milia and advanced aging. All you need is a good old fashioned face cloth! A clean one every morning and take it through to the evening. Leave gadgets alone and save your money.

    We're adding NO Coconut oil - highly comedogenic it will block the pores of even the driest skins.

      Cleansing face cloths

      Pack of 5 Face Cloths

      Double cleansing - don't believe the hype. This refers to your evening routine when you need to remove Spf and/or Make-up and consists of two cleanses. Despite the huge buzz around it, if you have an effective, gentle cleanser that does the full job in one cleanse - brilliant!  If double cleansing works for you or you wear lots of make-up, carry on.  

      Consider your cleanser based on your skin 'type' i.e. Dry, Oily, Combination. For instance Cleansing Balms and more nourishing oils can work wonders for dry skins. Whereas active BHA acid cleansers work well for very oily skins such as teenagers, or biological males who have thicker skin and work well with dual action formulas.

      For the rest of us, over 20 years, your best bet is to ALWAYS go gentle - perfect for the vast majority of us who are dehydrated (a skin condition, lacking in water, not a skin type) gentle cleaners wont strip your skin or leave you feeling tight.  That's not the aim of cleansing, despite what we've been told. 

      Gentle cleansers typically contain NO actives, NO SLS (Sodium lauryl sulfate) NO acids, NO fragrance, NO foam (there are a few foaming exceptions that contain no SLS's!)  

      Cleansing oils

      Morning -v- Evening cleansers?  You can absolutely use the same cleanser of a morning as you do of an evening. You will just use less of it in the mornings than you do in the evenings.
      If using the same cleanser, twice a day, it's even more important to keep it gentle and non-active as you're at higher risk of stripping your skin too much. 
      Balm and oil cleansers offer a brilliant cleanse of an evening and make removing make-up and Spf effortless.

        While gels, milks and lotions can feel light and refreshing for a morning cleanse. 
        Owning two cleansers or more does not necessarily cost you more, as each will last you twice as long.
        But don't fuss over different cleansers if it's not your thing. For some it's a ritual and they enjoy the different textures and sensual experience. We, obviously, are in this camp.

        When to Cleanse? Twice a day. Always. 

        MORNING CLEANSE - Removes dead skin cells, excess oils, sweat and any skincare residue or bacteria from the night before (think of your pillow).  A little is fine, but use it, water on it's own doesn't do the job. 

        EVENING CLEANSE - Removes make-up, spf, environmental build up such as pollution. This is where you double cleanse, if necessary.

        How to cleanse? 

        - Use the right amount of cleanser to lift and emulsify dirt and grime from your face. You will need more product for your evening cleanse.

        - Apply to dry skin. Yes - dry skin. All those Neutrogena adds we grew up with lied, there is no splashing of water anywhere. If you need more slip you can add a little water later to emulsify and loosen the product. But always apply onto try skin. Massage lightly with your fingers, breaking down make-up, sweat, sebum.

        - Remove with a traditional cotton face cloth, soaked and wrung in hot/warm water. I prefer white face clothes as these easily show when your face is properly clean. 

        - Cleansing in the shower? If it's easier and works for you - carry on! But be mindful that the water temperature in showers (the nice warm kind) is too hot for you to be running your face under and often leaves tell tale signs of dehydrated, dry, parched and sometimes red skin. If shower cleansing keeps it easy, apply your cleanser before you get in and remove it with a face cloth, wrung out so it's not so hot inside the shower. Skip the part where you put you face under the running water unless it's cold :)

        Top Cleansing Recommendations:

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        Words and Recommendations by: The Skincare Edit - Team x

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