Cleansing; are you doing it wrong?

Cleansing is one of the cornerstones of a good skincare routine. It’s what sets the tone for how your skin will deal with subsequent treatments, so it’s something you definitely want to get right. Believe it or not though, there’s a lot of mistakes people make with this seemingly simple step. Let’s take a look.

Mistake 1: Only cleansing once a day

Everyone has their own approach to bathing; some of us shower morning and evening, some only of a morning, others only of an evening. Heck, there’s even those of us who might skip a day here and there. Whatever floats your boat! But regardless of how often you scrub-a-dub-dub, it’s important that we wash our faces both morning and evening, as well as after any exercise which might see you sweating up a storm.

Let’s start with the evening cleanse; this one won’t be anything you’ve never heard before! At the end of a long day it’s really important to wash away all the dirt and grime we’ve been exposed to throughout the day, as well as getting rid of any makeup or other products.

But your skin is then nice and clean, right? And all you’re normally going to do after showering is sit on the couch before you catch some ZZZs, so surely cleansing again the next morning is a bit unnecessary? Whether you realise it or not, you’re normally going to sweat while you’re asleep. Sweat is salty and this can change the pH of your skin, upset your barrier and lead to breakouts. But even if you don’t sweat overnight, your skin is going to go through a reparative phase which includes the shedding of dead skin cells. If you’re using an exfoliant like Liquid Gold, this is going to be accelerated. When you wake, these cells can still be stuck to your face. By cleansing, we ensure they are moved along more quickly and efficiently so the daytime treatments you use are more effective.

Cleansing after exercise is again down to the salt in your sweat. Rather than letting this sit on your skin and cause breakouts, we recommend you wash your face (and your whole body for that matter!) to get it back into pH balance as soon as possible.

Mistake 2: Wetting your face before you cleanse

Wait… What?

Yes, you read that right. Ideally, you should be applying your cleanser to dry skin! Many of us will jump in the shower and wet ourselves down before commencing to cleanse, but the water on your skin can actually lessen the efficacy of the ingredients in your cleanser by diluting them.

Mistake 3: Only cleansing once

Allow us to introduce the gold standard in cleansing; the double cleanse. By cleansing our skin twice each time we do it, we ensure that we both eliminate all the makeup and any other grime which might be sticking around, as well as returning our skin to its pH happy zone. We know, you’re looking at mistake number 2 again. No, you don’t have to dry your face between cleanses. Provided your first cleanse is made onto dry skin, you’ll reap the benefits.

Mistake 4: Cleansing with your fingers only

Have you ever realised after cleansing that some remnants of your makeup are still hanging around on your face and wondered why? If you’re simply dispensing your cleanser onto your fingertips, rubbing it into your face and then rinsing, that’s probably the answer.

Imagine you’re cooking; after you’re finished, are you going to put some dish liquid in the pan, swish it around with your fingers quickly and expect all the remnants of oil and food to go away properly? It’s the same story for your skin! To maximise your cleanser’s power, we recommend you use a cotton cloth when cleansing. No, we’re not talking something awful and scratchy! Just a soft cotton cloth will do the trick.

Mistake 5: Using the wrong type of cleanser

As we’ve discussed before, there are several different types of cleansers out there and each can offer your skin different benefits beyond just the way they feel. While often there will be several cleansers which are suitable for your skin type, there’s one which is never right; if you’re still using a foaming cleanser, then it’s time for an intervention!

In case you haven’t heard our favourite saying before, bubbles belong in your champagne, not your cleanser! We can hear you protesting already. We know! You like that squeaky clean feeling they give your skin, and it just doesn’t feel like you’ve cleaned it properly if you use a non-foaming cleanser. Reality check; what you’re saying is that you like the way your skin feels when you have completely stripped it of its protective barrier, leaving it defenceless against external nasties and wide open to blemishes and becoming dehydrated. Yeah, it’s not sounding so great now, is it?

By using a non-foaming cleanser which isn’t packed full of harsh surfactants (which our foaming frenemies normally are) we allow our skin to return to pH balance as well as keeping it hydrated and protected. It also means your skin will be better prepared to take on any actives you use afterwards and lessen the chance of it freaking out over them.

Need help selecting the right cleanser for your skin’s unique needs? We’re here to help! You can chat to us live or request a live online skin consultation.