As with most things in life, you need to ensure you’re nailing the basics before acing the advanced, and your skincare is no different. From double cleansing to introducing acids, there’s more to the perfect cleansing routine than a ‘wash-and-go’.
While we’re all quick to invest in the latest wonder serum, our complexion doesn’t stand a chance if our twice-daily cleanse isn’t properly removing make-up and pollution residue, or worse, is damaging our skin barrier function.
Bazaar spoke to skincare expert Victoria Hiscock, product and education specialist at, to clean up the dos and don’ts of cleansing so your routine works perfectly for you.
Do: Start with getting the temperature right
“Before you even start cleansing, run the tap and make sure you always use warm water, never hot or cold. Hot water has the potential to upset the skin barrier function by inflaming and irritating skin. Cold water, however, won’t have the softening affects needed to thoroughly remove make-up residue.”
Do: Choose your cleanser carefully
“Whether you have sensitive, oily or dehydrated skin, your cleanser should be the first step in your routine to target your concerns. Knowing the difference between a gel or cream cleanser is important. Cream cleansers are known for being gentler on the skin as they don’t foam. They are formulated with rich ingredients that can moisturise skin, so are perfect for those with sensitive or dehydrated skin. (Try the AlumierMD SensiCalm Cleanser, £34, with naturally cleansing yucca root and niacinamide, ceramides, vitamin E and sunflower seed oil which are all natural moisturisers.) Gel cleansers typically provide a much deeper cleanse as they can be formulated to include acids which can effectively cut through pollution, oil and make-up. These cleansers usually foam which can be drying on skin, but work to reduce excess oil production. (Try the AlumierMD Acne Clarifying Cleanser, £36, formulated with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate as well as cleanse.)
Do: Double cleanse
“Some people fear double cleansing has the potential to strip the skin of natural oils and as a result impair their skin barrier function, however this shouldn’t stop you from doing it. If you’re wearing a full face of make-up each day, work in a polluted area or have oily/combination skin, double-cleansing should be an essential part of your evening routine. The first cleanse removes makeup, pollutants and dirt from the day. The second cleanse removes dead skin cells, meaning the products you apply afterwards can work all the more effectively.”
Don’t: Fear acid cleansers
“Using a cleanser which incorporates salicylic acid, will not only address the need for daily exfoliation but will also help your skin increase cell turnover and curb excess oil production, revealing a brighter complexion. Incorporating an acid toner into your cleansing regime is also a great way to see these skin brightening benefits. Try a toner like the the AlumierMD Bright & Clear Solution (£36) which can be applied using a cotton wool pad straight after your cream cleanse, the formula enhances skin cell turnover and refines the complexion, brightening and providing antioxidant defence.”
Do: Deep cleanse weekly
“While nailing your daily cleansing regime is essential, sometimes you just need that deeper hit. This is where a weekly enzyme peel can work wonders. The peel will work as a stronger exfoliator and deep cleanser, working harder than your daily cleanser to remove dead skin cells and increase cell turnover to reveal bright and evenly toned skin. Try the AlumierMD Enzymatic Peel (£60), with 10% lactic acid and fruit enzymes to promote exfoliation and skin renewal.”
Don’t: Scrub before you’ve cleansed
“Cleansing should always come first when you’re using a scrub. The cleanser will work to remove the pollutants and excess oil from your skin, this then allows your scrub to reveal fresh, beautiful skin cells. Also remember, don’t use a scrub on the same day as an acid exfoliator. It should be either, or.”
“So often we’re in a rush with our skincare regime at the end of the day, but it should be a time we slow down and enjoy. Once applied, spend at least a couple of minutes massaging your cleanser, not only will this ensure every last bit of make-up has been removed but also the movements of your fingers across the skin will help with lymphatic drainage to de-puff you face and improve circulation.”
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK