Washing your face – it sounds like it should be pretty easy, right? Get a cleanser, mix with water et voila! Except it's not quite as straightforward as that…
There's a whole array of cleansers on the market that all claim to do different things – exfoliate, stop oil production, hydrate, just to name a few. Plus there is the common advice that we should be double-cleansing – maybe even triple-cleansing.
So what's the answer? To help out, I spoke to Consultant Dermatologist Alexis Granite, who has a clinic at Mallucci London – here's her top advice…
Don’t rely on face wipes
Face wipes are good for a quick cleanse, for example after a work out, but I wouldn’t recommend using them in place of washing your face. They don’t thoroughly cleanse your skin – they’re not totally effective at getting rid of excess oil and make-up, so using them regularly could lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
Don’t worry about water temperature
There’s lots of conflicting advice about the temperature that the water needs to be for cleansing, but it’s a myth that water temperature impacts pore size. I recommend cleansing with warm water – mainly just for comfort. Hot water will not harm your skin unless it’s so hot it could cause a burn, and cold water is just as effective at cleansing as warm water.
Skip the double cleanse
Double cleansing can be over-drying and/or irritating, especially for those with sensitive skin; cleansing once in the morning and once in the evening is plenty, and you can follow up with a micellar water to remove light make-up, or a dedicated make-up remover to remove heavier products such as foundation and waterproof mascara.
Cleansing cloths are optional
I don’t feel that cleansing cloths are necessary, but there is certainly nothing harmful about them. Cleansing is a sensory experience so if you enjoy the feel of them, there is no reason not to use them – just make sure to clean the cloth regularly to prevent the growth of mould and mildew.
Be careful with exfoliating cleansers
Take notice of the ingredients in your cleanser – if they are exfoliating, you need to be careful not to overdo it. Generally, exfoliation is needed once or twice a week and not much more. Those with very sensitive skin and with conditions such as rosacea and eczema are likely better off using mild cleansers rather than exfoliating products.
Choose the right cleanser for your skin type
Milky cleansers are best for sensitive and dry skin types – I recommend Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser and SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser. For normal and oily skin types, I generally recommend a foaming cleanser such as Natura Bisse Oxygen Mousse and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser.