A very good place to start!
Before we layer on our serums, oils and moisturisers. Before we exfoliate, spot-treat or put on a face mask. We cleanse…and if you’re anything like me, you cleanse again! I truly worship at the church of Caroline Hirons (check her out if you haven’t already) and have been double cleansing since I knew it was a thing. As you may have guessed from my last post I’m not a minimalist when it comes to my skincare. The amount of cleansers I own is not something I’m telling you to replicate but I hope some of the suggestions ahead are helpful.
So, double cleansing is simple. Cleansing once to remove any surface dirt, make-up, SPF etc and then going in again, with the same or a different cleanser, to clean the skin. Due to my maximalist ways I sometimes give my face a quick pre-cleanse with the Garnier Micellar Water or Clinique Take the Day Off make-up remover to tackle any stubborn mascara or lipstick.
Rise and Shine
In the morning, however, I’m somewhat more low maintenance and stick to cleansing once, usually in the shower. I like to use a gentle gel-type cleanser that is going to wake me up and take off any leftover oils, treatments or sweat. Some nice imagery for you there! I tend to switch between Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser or Dr Sam Bunting’s Flawless Cleanser on normal skin days. Both of these are super gentle and non-drying. Glow Lab Gel Cleanser (a TK Maxx treasure) is also lovely but often hard to find in the UK. If I’m feeling congested my current favourite for keeping blackheads at bay is the Alex Steinherr Pore Balance Cleanser from Primark. As with the majority of my cleansers, this one is sulphate free to keep from drying out the skin. I also try to remember to turn the temperature of the shower down when washing my face as I’m definitely in the “the hotter the better” camp when it comes to my morning shower!
So as I said, the purpose of first cleanse is to take off that surface dirt. So you’re not looking to use your most expensive product here, as you’ll basically be washing all the precious active ingredients you paid for down the plug hole. You can, however, use this cleanser again for your second cleanse if you only have one. As well as the products mentioned above I love an oil-based cleanser for both first and second cleanse. Used on dry skin, they break down SPF and make-up with ease but then also go on to nourish the skin. Long-standing favourites are the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil and the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil. If an oil isn’t for you, the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm is a cult classic for a reason. I’m also a big advocate of using a muslin cloth or flannel to remove cleanser rather than emulsifying, but go with what feels right for you.
To use a mullet analogy, whilst the first cleanse is all business, the second cleanse is the party. Here is where I take my time, massage the products in and mix it up depending on how my skin is feeling. I pretty much turn my postage stamp size bathroom into a mini spa. All of this means I have quite a few cleansers at hand for this step!
I don’t have acne-prone skin but I have more than a few potholes masquerading as pores! When I’m feeling the need for a deep clean I reach for Tata Harper’s Purifying Cleanser to deal with any blackheads and minimise the look of my pores. Another great deep-cleanse option is the Lixirskin Electrogel Cleanser that you massage for a minute and then leave as a mask for a minute.
As my skin’s dry it can sometimes look a little dull. So here’s where a cleanser that includes AHAs and vitamin C can help to enhance my glow. Rodial Bee Venom Cleansing Balm and the Super Facialist Skin Renew Cleansing Oil both utilise vitamin C to brighten my complexion. The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is packed full of acids, enzymes and vitamins to perk up the skin and has been on my repeat-buy list for about 5 years.
Votary Rose Geranium and Apricot Cleansing Oil. I love you! This is possibly my favourite cleanser. If you’re not into aromatherapy or have sensitive skin this may not be for you. It’s basically a trip to the spa in bottle form! I massage the oil into my face for a couple of minutes, then take a warm face cloth and hold it over my face for a few moments, breathing in the gorgeous steamy scents. If you fancy giving an in-depth at home facial massage a go whilst you cleanse have a look at Caroline Hirons cheat sheet.
All in all, this might seem like a lot of effort to simply wash your face, but I love the routine of it. The escape. To me, skincare and self-care go hand in hand. If you ever feel stressed or overwhelmed, lock the bathroom door, turn on that Spotify “chill” playlist (or something more upbeat if you want a skincare dance party!) and put aside a few extra minutes to indulge in washing your face.
Remember, you can find more of skincare favourites over at @_vickyloves_