How To Thoroughly Cleanse Your Skin

You might be well versed in the fact that cleansing is one of the most important steps in your skincare routine. But are you getting it right? We asked facialist and skincare expert Abigail James to share her tips to improve your technique…

First, Don’t Overdo It 

Just because we have extra time, it doesn’t mean you need to overdo it or completely overhaul your regime. Stick to one cleanse in the morning and evening, and pay particular attention to your morning routine. So many people only cleanse at night, but we spend around eight hours in bed sweating. This is also when the body, including the skin, is regenerating. When you stick to a solid cleanse AM and PM, you’ll notice your skin becomes brighter. Starting with a thorough cleanse first thing will also allow every other product you use to absorb more effectively.  

Massage In Your First Cleanse

Get down deep with your first cleanse and really massage it in. Take your time with an oil, cream or balm (depending on your skin’s needs) and use your knuckles and fingers to get into the muscles, always lifting upwards. Not only will this boost radiance, it encourages lymphatic drainage and the removal of excess toxins, as well as easing facial tension. Include the neck too – it often gets neglected but still needs extra attention, just like your face. For techniques to follow, look at my YouTube channel and practice them every time you cleanse – you’ll soon notice a difference. 

Do A Double Cleanse At Night

It’s not always necessary, but now is the time to maximise your regime and double up on technique. The benefit of a double cleanse is you can apply a bit more pressure and take the time to massage everything in. Night time is also when you need it most, after the day’s dirt has built up. Just be careful if you suffer from rosacea or an acne breakout. Stick to one cleanse so you don't over-stimulate the skin and aggravate those conditions further. 

Wash Off With Warm Water 

Wash off both rounds of your cleanser with warm water and a damp cloth. This will ensure the skin is fully cleansed and your pores are closed. It’s also key to apply your cleansing oil or cream to moist skin as the ingredients from your products will sink in much deeper. You can try adding a little face scrub to your second cleanser too, if your complexion is feeling dull or needs a boost. 

Avoid Wipes At All Costs

If you have them – and you don’t need them, by the way – use wipes to clean out your sink before filling it with water. Then go in with a proper cleanser on your face. Wipes just won’t cut it when it comes to thorough cleansing. If you’re wearing make-up daily, live in a polluted area or have oily/combination skin, double cleansing should be an essential part of your regime. 

Stick To Gentle Formulas  

So many people think a cleanser is only working if the skin feels squeaky clean. That’s completely false. Using cleansers which are too harsh will just bring about midday shine and more oil production. Instead, look to gentler formulas with essential oils and ingredients like ceramides, which rebuild elastin and keep skin hydrated. An oil-based cleanser is especially effective for your first cleanse as it allows for better removal of make-up, surface grime and dirt. The second cleanser should be one that’s in sync with your skin type to finish the job. Look to ingredients you know suit you or, if you’ve already found your go-to, stick with it. The second cleanse will then get rid of dead skin cells and anything that’s left on the surface, so everything that comes after (serums, balms, moisturisers), works more effectively. 

Apply Serums Post-Cleanse 

Above anything else, a serum is essential after cleansing. Known for their more potent formulas, serums deliver powerful ingredients directly onto the skin via smaller molecules. Post-cleanse, you’ll get the most out of the high concentration of active ingredients. Great for targeting specific skincare concerns, like dark spots and wrinkles, seek out the formulas best suited to your needs.

Play With Ice

This isn’t an everyday tip, but while you have the time, try incorporating ice into your regime. There are so many health benefits – especially for the face. It works to boost blood circulation and lymphatic flow, in turn, boosting radiance for days. Splash the face with ice cold water, not just once, but about five or ten times after cleansing. 

Use Your Face Masks 

Finally, if there’s one change to make to your regime while in isolation, it’s adding more face masks. Now is a great time to reap their benefits – you can even wear them around the house for extra nourishment. There are hundreds on the market now, including biodegradable options.

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