We are positively passionate about cleansing. When we wake up, we smile, realising that we will get to start the day with a good cleanse. So, we come to you in this post to give you our expert tips for how to cleanse your face.
Cleansing is the cornerstone of your skincare routine, and without a thorough double cleanse, the rest of your skincare routine - those super active serums, that amazing essence, that Micro-Mask – simply cannot work as effectively as they would with an entirely blank canvas. That’s why cleansing is so integral in our eyes – it allows you to put your best foot forward and start your routine off fresh.
Expert Tips For How to Cleanse Your Face
How to Pre-Cleanse
The first step of your double cleanse, your pre-cleanse works to remove the majority of debris, sebum, SPF and makeup from your skin. There are plenty of pre-cleanses available out there, such as micellar water, pre-cleanse balms, micelle gels, pre-cleanse oils... And... Wipes, if you count them. In our opinion, wipes aren’t a pre-cleanse, as they just don’t remove makeup and oil as well as other pre-cleanses do. Our favourite, which will come as no surprise if you’re already a Skingredients fan, is the Cleanse Off Mitt.
Our founder Jennifer Rock created the Cleanse Off Mitt when working in London as a facialist. Her clients were using top of the range skincare, the most innovative and well-researched ingredients out there, but many of them were simply wiping their face down with face wipes and then popping on their serums. They came to her asking how to improve results and she decided the solution was to create a pre-cleansing tool that cut down on single-use waste whilst simultaneously being incredibly skin-friendly. Hence the Cleanse Off Mitt was born.
To pre-cleanse with the Cleanse Off Mitt, you simply add water to the delectable microfibre reusable mitt and swipe it across the face gently in circular motions. Now, it’s not magic – it's science. When you add water to microfibre, it creates a positive charge. Oil, debris and makeup on the skin has a negative charge. Opposites attract, so this means that this film of gunk is gently removed from the skin like a magnet. The Cleanse Off Mitt has another trick up its sleeve – the microfibre loops are very thin, about the width of a hooman (human) hair, allowing them to help dislodge debris from the pore.
It’s that simple – that's your pre-cleanse, done and dusted in 30 seconds, and ready for you to move on to your cleanse.
Tips for cleansing
How would you rate your cleansing skills? If you can’t put your hand on your heart and say at least 8 out of 10, we’re willing to bet you’re a “splash and dasher”. The “splash and dash” is the cleanse you see on ads, a haphazard swish of a foam across the face followed by a big splash. The problem with the splash and dash is that it doesn’t do much... If anything.
The cleansing routine we’d promote is more akin to a 60 second facial massage. After pre-cleansing, while your face is still damp, pump out a coin-sized amount of your cleanser (may we suggest the creamy, dreamy PreProbiotic Cleanse?) and use the tips of your fingers to massage in circles, moving from the centre of the face outwards to promote lymphatic drainage.
It’s the nooks and crannies that are often forgotten – under the jawline, along the sides of the nose, in the eyebrows, the hairline... You may recognise these as the areas you’re most inclined to get spots and now you may know the culprit.
Once you’ve cleansed every inch of your face, neck and chest (from the nipples up, baby), you can use the clean side of your Cleanse Off Mitt to remove all residue of your cleanser. There’s a big difference in how products that are meant to be left on versus washed off are formulated, so it’s possible that leaving your cleanser on the skin for an extended period of time may cause irritation, so its key that it’s properly off the skin before you continue with your skincare.
Bonus: no puddles down the sleeve of your top nor wet socks. These are things we should all be happy to leave behind. You’re an upgraded hooman now.
Are you over-exfoliating?
We believe that the best mode of exfoliating is with an active treatment cleanser like Sally Cleanse. Sally Cleanse is formulated for oily and spot-prone skin with 2% salicylic acid, the highest amount permitted for use in the EU in cosmetic products... Not to toot our own horn, or anything. For some, 2% salicylic acid in a leave-on product can be a bit dehydrating to the skin, and we think a wash-off formula is the way.
However, you can have too much of a good thing (except for hummus – there is no upper-limit on hummus consumption, if you ask us). Over-exfoliation can lead to a compromised barrier, meaning that your skin’s protective layer isn’t as well-equipped to keep hydration in and fend off intruders. Physically, this can mean itchiness, redness and skin dehydration.
So, we love to alternate between an exfoliating cleanser that ups skin cell renewal plus a nourishing cleanser that gives back to the skin. It’s a yin and yang, it’s like your neighbour popping your bin out for you every second week. It’s a true balance.
If you’re using Sally Cleanse (or any other potent exfoliating cleanser), save it for once every 2 nights, and use a mild, gentle, hydrating cleanser like PreProbiotic Cleanse the other nights and in the morning. PreProbiotic Cleanse contains a prebiotic-probiotic complex that works to help balance the skin’s bacteria while softening and hydrating the skin, so it’s perfect for TLC each AM + PM.
If you’re using any exfoliating ingredients, it’s more cause for daily SPF usage. Exfoliating acids can make our skin more susceptible to the dastardly damage that UV rays can cause, so we must shield it (we do have our own SPF – Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++).
Try the Jesus Christ Test
The JC Test, as it is affectionately known, is when you press your cleansed face into a white towel to test yourself. If your towel remains spotless and Vanish-white, you’re good to go. If your towel looks like the Shroud of Turin, you need to hold yourself to more godly standards of cleansing.
Keeping up your cleansing hygiene
Using a dirty face cloth or Cleanse Off Mitt day in, day out, means you’re reintroducing bacteria to your face while cleaning it. Piling your damp face cloth or Cleanse Off Mitt by the sink gives bacteria the environment that it loves to grow and multiply.
The Cleanse Off Mitt is very easy to hand wash post-cleansing – we opt for a traditional soap bar rubbed along the COM, getting in there with your fingers to remove any staining, rinsing it and hanging it up by its ribbon-loop. HOWEVER, if you know you won’t, you will triply-love the Cleanse Off Mitt 3-Pack (€17.00 | £15.50). 2 pink Cleanse Off Mitts and 1 blue Cleanse Off Mitt snuggled together in one pack, so you always have a clean COM on the go even between machine washes. To machine-wash your COM, turn it inside out and wash it at 60˚ c – alongside your knickers and bedsheets.
Further nerdie reading: Is makeup bad for your skin?