STOP! You’re washing your face wrong.

Public service announcement:

You’re washing your face wrong…!

The Importance of Double Cleansing — It’s the beauty habit that comes as naturally to us as cleaning our teeth, but according to the experts, we’ve all been doing it wrong. We’re talking about washing your face. Yes, that seemingly simple task has just been turned on its head and that washing your face twice is best practice for healthy, clean skin. Boom – life changed.

Washing your face by cleansing should ideally be performed twice in the morning and twice in the evening or immediately after exercise.

Due to just how much product we put on our faces (whether it’s a full face of makeup or just sunscreen), a single cleanse apparently isn’t enough to fully wash away the day’s grime. Research by the International Dermal Institute has found that women typically spend just three seconds washing their face. It’s usually a quick rub round with a cleanser, a splash of water and that’s it. Dedicating just a minute more to your cleansing routine will be of enormous benefit.

Cleansing removes the dirt, grime, dead skin cells, excess skin oils, makeup and sun screen off the surface of the skin, preventing congestion, breakouts, dull, rough textured skin and even in the long term, premature ageing. By cleansing the skin, you ensure it remains healthy, clean and smooth and you have a fresh surface to apply your skin care products.

In case you’re now questioning your entire cleansing routine this is exactly how you should be doing it.

How to properly cleanse

– The first cleanse

The first cleanse is all about removing dirt and makeup. For the first cleanse, a cleansing oil is recommended as they ‘power through’ to remove the initial surface makeup, sunscreen, dirt and oils. They work on the principle that ‘like attracts like’, so the oil in the product attracts and ‘grabs’ the oil on the skins’ surface as well as any dirt and makeup like stubborn lipstick, heavy oil-based foundations and waterproof mascara. As a result, when you wash off the cleansing oil, you will thoroughly wash everything away with it, and allow your second cleanse with normal cleanser to work to its full potential to leave skin ‘squeaky clean’.

– The second cleanse

The second cleanser needs to match your skin type. If you have oily skin you need a cleanser with a stronger degreasing agent that does not strip the skin of oils. These normally come in the form of a clay-based cleanser or a gel facial wash.  If you have dry skin, you will need to use a milder cleanser, often a milky, creamy one. For those with combination skin, you can use a light milky cleanser or a gel facial wash. If you experience sensitivity, choose a cleanser with no known skin irritants (free from artificial colours and fragrance) and that has calming, anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients. There are three key products needed for an effective cleanse.

  1. A good cleansing product – A cleanser needs to match your skin type to be the most effective at cleaning the skin without being drying or sensitising.
  2. A cleansing cloth – These are great as they facilitate the removal of the last bit of makeup and cleanser. Ideally choose a cleansing cloth over a face cloth as they are normally made out of bacterial resistant material and dry quickly, reducing the incidence of bacterial formation.
  3. A cleansing brush – You can use cleansing brushes to assist in the cleansing process as they help to increase the circulation and dislodge dirt and oils. You can choose between either battery operated or manual.

Also recommended is the use of ‘tepid water’ that is not too hot or too cold to ensure you don’t over sensitise the skin.

Ingredients to avoid – Traditional soap just won’t cut it.

Step away from the bar of soap. Apart from the artificial fragrance and colours that most soaps contain, the actual core ingredient is also damaging to your skin. Most soaps are made from animal fat and caustic soda (or lye) which are highly alkaline and literally strip the skin by dissolving the skins protective lipid barrier, which is your skin’s defence against infection. It can cause increased skin sensitivity, dehydration and environmental damage. Other ingredients she recommends avoiding: facial washes that are merely liquid soap, contain SD alcohol, mineral oil, artificial fragrance or are comedogenic.

Courtesy of Dermalogica Australia