Cleansing: the first process in our all-important skincare routine. When asked the question, ‘which is the most important component out of your skincare lineup?’ many would answer with their favourite serum/s. If this applies to you, we’re here to convince you that cleansing is, or should be, the most important and highly regarded step in your everyday skincare regimen. And here’s why.
Yes, you’re correct in thinking that your serums are your targeted solutions, your powerful, concentrated cocktails of active ingredients designed to address specific conditions and show results in a short period of time. While this is true, there’s one thing that will prevent your active serums from carrying out their roles in the first place – and that’s an insufficient cleanse.
Your cleanse sets you up for the rest of your routine, removing everything from the skin’s surface and providing a lovely blank canvas for the rest of your products to go about their work. Your morning cleanse will efficiently remove sebum, sweat, and waste that has exuded from within overnight, while your evening cleanse will melt away everything your skin has accumulated from external and internal sources – makeup, environmental pollution, and once more, sebum and sweat. Without completing this process thoroughly, the function of your active ingredients may be impaired, with any lingering remnants on the skin’s surface preventing proper penetration of your actives. If you aren’t cleansing correctly, you run the risk of every product you apply afterwards having to work twice as hard as a result!
The technique and time you dedicate to your daily cleanses will both play a role in how effective your removal of makeup and waste is, and how well your subsequent products perform from there. Most professional skin therapists, including April Brodie, believe a minimum of two minutes is required in order to perform an effective cleanse. Just like brushing our teeth – which is recommended two minutes in the morning, two minutes at night, each and every day. “Our skin needs lots of movement to flush out cellular debris and to increase oxygenated blood flow, helping our skin function,” says April.
“I often use the analogy – if you are baking a cake and the four is not sieved properly in the beginning, it doesn’t matter how beautiful or expensive or organic your ingredients are – your cake will form lumps and will not rise effectively. Just like your skin – poor cleaning cannot be substituted by expensive creams and serums.”
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to your cleansing technique. When you begin your cleanse, start with slow, fluid movements and large circular patterns to spread your product throughout the entire area. Never forget to include your neck in your skincare routine! Start from the neck and work your way up, increasing pressure as you go. When you reach the forehead, drop back down to the neck and start again. Once you’ve circulated the face a few times using slow sweeping pressures (including deeper pressure in areas of muscle tension) switch the faster-paced, smaller circular motions. Circle anti-clockwise and keep working your way upwards. You may feel the increase in warmth and can picture the boost in blood circulating throughout the face, feeding your skin cells with nutrients. Avoid going too close to the eyes to prevent the discomfort of cleanser going into them! Give some extra love to those common regions of congestion, around the chin, upper lip, and corners of the nose. Once your two minutes has elapsed, remove with warm water or using your favourite facial cloth. If you are wearing makeup when you first begin, we always recommend a second cleanse.
So remember next time you’re washing your face, or settling for that quick facewipe or micellar water – nailing the art of a great cleanse will only help boost the action of your products, and if you aren’t sure you’ve completed your first cleanse effectively – feel free to go back for a second!