If you were to do only one thing for your skin every day, cleansing would be it. A lot of grime collects on our skin throughout the day (unless you live in an unpolluted paradise), and of course there are remains of skin care products and makeup that need to be cleaned off. Here is my guide to cleansing:
I have divided cleansing into three kinds: makeup removal, basic daily cleansing, and once-in-a-while deep cleansing. and have suggested some products to use -- of co
Remember that the goal isn't to have squeaky clean-skin that has been stripped of all its natural oils! That skin will react by either drying up or over-producing sebum.
* Makeup Removal:It's very important to remove makeup before doing the actual cleansing, otherwise you're just smearing it all over your face. Most makeup (with the exception of mineral makeup) is a burden to your skin at night. You can do remove your makeup before bed or even as soon as you come home -- try to be dilligent with it. After removing makeup you will still need to do your regular cleansing.
You can use: makeup-removers are often rather harsh (Michelle Phan reported how the melt the plastic containers they are stored in in factories), so I suggest oils instead. Massage a plant oil into the skin, and wipe it off with a cotton wipe dipped in warm water -- it removes absolutely everything! Also: micellar solutions, really effective (most drugstore brands carry micellar cleansers). For lazy days when you are about to commit the sin of falling asleep with your makeup on, have some baby wipes handy. Be sure to choose unperfumed ones, without alcohol.
* Daily cleansing:Removing the grime that has collected during the day, remains of yesterday's moisturiser as well as excess skin oils is key to having healthy skin! You should cleanse your skin every evening, make it a part of your before-bed routine.
You can use: any cleansing product that is free of sulfates and alcohol, micellar water, cider vinegar and water solution, DIY almond cleanser,
If your face feels very greasy in the morning, cleanse it as well. If it is sweaty or only lightly greasy, a wipe of toner is usually enough (use any alcohol-free toner, a hydrolate like rose-water, a DIY vinegar-based toner or even water kefir).
* Deep cleansing:Very important for those that have problems like blocked pores, acne, or live in a very polluted environment -- in this case you should deep-cleanse 2-3 times a week, otherwise once a week is usually enough.
You can use: first, some kind of exfoliant to remove dead skin cells: for most I recommend a gentle scrub, for sensitive skins or fragile capillaries I recommend these forms of exfoliation.
Then to draw out dirt from within the pores: a clay mask (clay that you mix yourself with water is usually better than the ready clay masks which contain too many unnecessary ingredients), the oil cleansing method, facial steaming, or the aspirin face mask. Follow deep cleansing with a moisturiser, or even better: a rich moisturising masque.
Example beauty routine:If you don't have a beauty routine yet, you can try doing something like this:
Morning: wipe face with rose water.
Evening: cleanse skin, follow with rose water (it re-balances the pH level of the skin).
Once a week: deep cleansing.
Of course my product suggestions are not exhaustive -- there are many products and DIY methods out there. Basically, steer clear of SLS and other sulfates as well as alcohol as they are drying and strip the skin of its natural oils. Correct cleansing should clean the skin without drying it out or disrupting its natural moisture production. Also, don't look for moisturising ingredients in cleansers -- that's what moisturisers are for. I recommend looking on review sites before buying a product -- search for one in your country, it will be one of the best things you will do for your skin. Makeup Alley, Wizaz KWC (PL) and Pink Melon (DE) are what I use, as well as googling for reviews on forums.
It might take a bit of trial-and-error to find out what works best for your skin,
Over to you: what are your favourite cleansing products? What does your cleansing routine look like? Don't forget to mention your skin type.