How to Cleanse Like a Pro

Cleansing. It's an essential step in looking after your skin’s health but is often rushed, overlooked or even skipped!⁠ We need to cleanse because throughout the day there is an accumulation of debris, pollution, sweat and sebum which are all contributing to blocking the pores even if we are at home all day, and not wearing any makeup. And overnight our skin goes through its renewal process, shedding dead skin which can sit on the surface and absorb your morning serums. Cleansing will remove all this build-up, creating a blank canvas for the rest of your skincare routine. 

In our #PSLIVE last week, we sat down with one of our therapists, Raluca, to discuss the ins and outs of cleansing, and share her pro tips to the best cleanse of your life. 

What are the most common mistakes we make when cleansing?

The biggest mistake is just applying the cleanser and removing it without having massaged it in. We must really take our time when cleansing, it is perhaps the most important step of our routine. Particularly when we invest in good quality skincare, we must ensure we are not just moisturising a layer of dead skin cells and debris. This ties in with ignoring the sides of the face - along with the ears, temples, all of which are common areas of congestion due to us not taking the time to properly cleanse.

Another mistake we see often is using unsuitable cleansing products - lots of foaming cleansers are rich in sulfates which damage the skin’s acid mantle leaving it dry, tight and compromised - if you’re left with a squeaky clean feeling, it probably means you are stripping and contributing to dryness.

We are at home at the moment, do we still need to cleanse in the evening?

Definitely! Regardless of us going out or not, the skin is still going through its normal processes. We have new cells being produced and ones that die that just sit on the skin so particularly for that reason, but also to remove the buildup of sebum and sweat which will contribute to follicular blockage, therefore, increasing the chances of breakouts.

What is a double cleanse and why and when should we double cleanse?

A double cleanse is basically us cleansing our skin twice. The first cleanse’s job is work away at the products, make-up and any debris on the skin. Take your time with this cleanse and make sure you are really massaging the cleanser into the skin. Once your skin is clear of any makeup and build up from the day, it’s time to focus on removing any impurities that lie deeper in the skin such as sebum, dead skin cells and any remaining product that you missed from the first cleanse

Do you really need more than one cleanser?

If you want to do it like a pro - yes. Ideally, a first cleanser would be an oil-based cleanser, which will dissolve all the build-up of debris, oil, pollution, etc, and a second cleanser would target a specific skin type or condition - such as a gel cleanser for acne-prone skin (as long as it doesn’t strip) or a creamy, milky cleanser for a normal, combination, sensitive skin. A creamy cleanser can be used for acne-prone skin as well if there is a lot of inflammation present and we want to work on calming that down.

But of course, we can always use the same cleanser for both cleanses as well, as long as it is not stripping the skin. We don’t really need that “squeaky clean” feeling on the skin - that might be a sign of the cleanser doing too well at removing oil - which will then contribute to the skin producing even more oil. A special mention for whoever has sensitive skin - avoid the ones which require to use hot water or ‘hot cloths’ and always aim for one that emulsifies nicely without the need for hot water.

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Cleansing - Step by Step

A great double cleanse, just like effective teeth brushing, should last 2 minutes. 

The First Cleanse

Apply the cleanser in your palms and spread evenly, then apply to your face and neck - feel free to include decolletage - always follow manufacturer’s instruction as to whether it is suitable for the eye area.

If you are using an oil cleanser, apply it on dry skin first dissolving all that makeup and debris from my skin. Then, add a splash of water and it will start emulsifying (transforming into a lighter milky texture). Spend at least 1 minute massaging the cleanser in, ensuring that you cover the whole area - every. single. pore! Common areas that are missed are the sides of the face, corners of the nose and behind the ears so make sure to spend some time on them!

Rinse your first cleanser with lukewarm water, if you like to use a muslin or flannel, soak the flannel and then wipe the cleanser off gently - no scrubbing or rubbing! 

The Second Cleanse 

Now it’s time for the second cleanse, this is when you would use a gel, milky, creamy or foaming cleanser. Again, take a minute here to really work the cleanser in. You can also use your massage tool at this point to release any tension and aid penetration of the cleanse. After a minute, gently rinse or wipe away the cleanser and pat your skin dry with a soft towel or mulsin cloth. 

Want to test your cleansing skills?

Take a cotton bud and swipe on the lower lash line, corners of the nose, and by the earlobes. If it comes back clean - you’ve cleansed like a pro!