How to cleanse your face the right way

A great cleanser is a source of joy, okay? Don’t argue with us on this. Cleansing your face is simple, no? Splash your face with water, and you are done. Hmmm, no. We are not savages for crying out loud. In these challenging and stressful times, it is a ritual to be savoured to keep ourselves sane. And there is definitely a right way to get our faces clean.

Why is cleansing important?

Because it is the first (and one of the most important) steps to great skin. If you get this step wrong, it can cause skin problems that can easily be avoided.

The “right” cleanser

The “right” cleanser should have a skin-friendly pH (more about that here) and cleanse your skin thoroughly without stripping it of its natural oils. A cleanser with excessively high pH can disrupt the moisture barrier. The goal is soft, comfortable, supple skin. Not squeaky clean skin. This especially applies if you have oily or combination skin. By using a cleanser with a high pH, you are stripping your skin of its natural oils. In turn, your skin will overcompensate and produce even more oil. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Cleanse twice a day

Even if you are not wearing makeup, you should do a double cleanse in the evenings. Why? Sunscreen. Because we are all sunscreen wearers around these parts, no? Massage oil or a balm into dry face (you can emulsify with water if you wish) and remove with a wet face cloth. Follow up with your favourite second cleanse. That way the skin is clean and ready for the rest of the steps in your routine. By doing a double cleanse, you’ll also prevent any potential pesky breakouts and clogged pores that can happen if we don’t remove all of makeup and sunscreen. In the mornings, a light cleanse gets rid of all that sweat that accumulated over the night. Cleansing twice per day is enough for most of us. More than that can again strip the skin and leave it irritated and sensitised. If you are physically active, you can do a pared-down routine.

A cleanser should not cost a ton

Don’t get us wrong, we love a sensory experience. And by all means, it’s okay to treat yo’ self from time to time. But, the fact of the matter is, a cleanser shouldn’t be super spend-y. Especially since there are so many great affordable options available (from high street to online retailers, we are spoilt for choice). Save your money for an effective serum.

Use a clean face cloth daily

Use a clean face cloth daily (Primark usually has affordable packets. Amazon, too). Once you are done, chuck it in the washing machine. Dirty (and damp) face cloths and flannels are bacteria magnets, and you don’t want that all over your face.

Water temperature matters

Cleansing your face with hot water will leave your skin feeling tight and dry. And while we like to splashing cold water on our face from time to time, it won’t magically minimise your pores. Lukewarm water is the way to go.

No to wipes

Wipes don’t constitute a cleanse. End of. If you need to remove your eye makeup, use micellar water or go in with a cleansing oil, cream, or a balm.

Don’t scrub your face

Physical exfoliation is ok from time to time. But your chemical exfoliants should be doing the heavy lifting. Don’t use a scrub daily because it is a recipe for a disaster (namely disrupted moisture barrier and irritation).

Roberta Striga