Sorry about the slightly aggressive tone in this blog title! This is what I say to myself when I’ve had a shower and then look in the mirror and see there’s still some mascara smudged on my face. I’m a big fan of double cleansing when I’ve been wearing makeup, or twenty layers of SPF (Put your darn sunscreen on!) but finding the right pairing can be tricky. The last thing you want to do is strip your skin of its natural oils, over-washing can mess up the ph levels on your skin, lead to excess oil production, dry you out in a pretty dramatic way or leave your skin feeling pink and tender.
Cleansing the first step in a skincare routine, so you want a good foundation to build upon, right? So here are some skincare scenarios, and some of the products I’ve been loving for a gentle but effective cleanse.
Get this stuff off me, Netflix is waiting! Routine for washing off makeup/zinc sticks/glitter etc.
First, cotton pads moistened with either micellar water, makeup remover or warm water. Wipe off excess makeup with this, then pat dry. Next, Sunday Riley’s cleansing balm. Dig out some of this beautiful blue balm, which smells ever so slightly herby and botanical. Rub it in your dry palms, then massage over your (also dry) face! It becomes an oil as you do this, it feels very smooth and soothing. I have accidentally gotten this in my eyes more than once without any disastrous results. This balm can also be used as a calming and moisturising face mask which is very exciting. It isn’t cheap, but the tub is a generous size, and you don’t need much. Rinse this off with warm water, then fetch a small dollop of Drunk Elephant’s jelly cleanser. Scent free and PH perfect, the DE cleanser is an awesome second step as it leaves your skin cleansed, but soft. Both of these products work well for reactive skin, and are suitable for mature skin as well!
Something has gone terribly wrong! Routine for reactive, sensitive skin days.
The cleanser that I always return to, my desert island pick, is the Fresh Soy Cleanser. It’s formulated for all skin types, but it’s so gentle and great for balancing skin that’s seen better days. If I have an allergic reaction, or have some kind of unhappy, fussy skin day, this is the cleanser. It smells lightly of cucumber, it’s a smooth gel/serum-like texture. Inflamed skin wants to be left alone for the most part, so I use this and then follow it up with a simple fragrance free moisturiser like the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream.
Winter is harsh! Routine for dry, tight, wind-slapped skin days.
Morning and night, the Sunday Riley balm. If you need to double cleanse, follow up with the Fresh cleanser. Your skin will feel super soft, but be sure to follow it up with a mist, followed by moisturiser, followed by more mist. That’s right, you need to double mist. Spray, then gently press into skin. The Sunday Riley balm’s double purpose as a mask should also come into play here. A couple times a week, smooth it on and leave it for about twenty minutes. I know we all like hot showers in winter, but make sure you wash it off with blood-temperature water so you don’t undo all the good work.
Summertime sadness (on my face)! Routine for shiny, shiny skin.
Ibuki cleanser from Shiseido! Gentle enough that it can cope with skin that’s been put through the ringer (think sand-blasted beach days, sweating your way through heatwaves, and heaven forbid- sunburn) AND it’s great for finding a balance. You don’t want oily skin, sure, but you don’t want to go too far in the other direction either. This cleanser has such an attractive scent, light and floral without being overwhelming. It becomes a rich lather as you do, and rinses off for a brightened complexion. Beautiful! After this I like to use the Pixi Glow Tonic. Make sure you wear your sunscreen every day, be especially diligent if you’re using glow tonic as acids make the skin especially vulnerable to sun damage.
What is this?!? Routine for breakouts.
No matter the cause of a breakout, many of us want to react with wild scrubbing and astringent products. But please, slow down. Blemishes are inflammation, what your skin needs now is an extra cautious approach or it will flip-out even more. Find good core products, use them carefully and then let them do their thing. The Fresh cleanser is such an efficient and soothing wash, it’s a great option as it balances your skin and prepares it for healing. The soy and cucumber soothes redness and won’t provoke extra swelling. The Drunk Elephant is an excellent choice because it has powerful but minimal ingredients, I’d really recommend it if your skin is feeling like a disaster zone. With this, you have the perfect jumping off point for other products. Remember that no matter what, your skin always needs hydration. Oils might seem counter-intuitive, but the Herbivore Lapis Oil is amazing and when I get a hormonal break-out I love to gently apply a small amount before bed.
Quick shout out to recent cleanser empties: Clinique ‘Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm’ and Tatcha ‘Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil’ both of which I love, and will be talking about in an upcoming ’empties’ post.