What is face cleansing?
Cleansing helps remove dirt, excess oil, sweat, sebum, dead skin cells and makeup from the skin. It cleans and refreshes the surface, allowing the complexion to replenish with natural oils. Sometimes pollutants from the air and other environmental factors, as well as bacteria, can be transferred onto the skin through touch, leading to dirt and clogged pores.
Skin should be cleansed morning and night to remove bacteria, dirt and impurities that occur during the day or at night. It helps to prevent clogged pores for smoother-looking skin, reduce texture and remove oil and sebum to prevent blemishes and spots.
What is double cleansing?
Double cleansing consists of a two-step method, first to use a cleansing oil and then a water-based facial wash. First established in Japan and Korea, it’s said Japanese geishas used this method to remove their white makeup. It’s also common in the complicated 10-step Korean skin routine which has been adopted by Western culture over the years.
The double cleansing method is easy to follow. First, use a cleansing oil that is particularly good at dissolving makeup - even the stubborn eyeshadow and mascara - and sebum from the face. Oil cleansers are also really great at removing sunscreen and pollution. Once you rinse that off, you ‘double’ cleanse with a water-based soap wash for a thorough clean.
However, if oil-based cleansers don’t work for you, you can still double cleanse with two water-based cleansers or facial washes that you’re comfortable with. It’s not a beauty standard for every person, you don’t have to double cleanse if you feel it wouldn’t benefit you.
Those with oily skin types may prefer to use two gentle and mild formulas, as an example, as they would want to avoid leaving their skin feeling too dry and lead to more oil production. The same can be said for acne-prone skin if you’re considering double cleansing for antibacterial soap purposes.
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How to use cleansing balm, butter and oil
Cleansing balm, oil or a butter, is an oil-based cleanser which is effective at removing makeup, oil, sebum and sunscreen. To use the balm, morning or night, scoop out a coin-sized amount and apply to your skin - you don’t need to wet the face beforehand. Then, with your fingertips, gently massage the balm in circular motions into your skin around the face for around 30 seconds. Once you’re satisfied you’ve rubbed most of your face, add water to emulsify the balm and use water to rinse off the balm. You may need a few rinses to get most of the balm off - and the makeup and grime will be removed at the same time.
You can also use a microfibre makeup towel to remove most of the balm if you prefer. You will always need to wipe off the balm to remove the impurities even if you’re not taking off any makeup. However, as it’s an oil-based cleanser it doesn’t tend to strip away natural oils or moisture in the skin, therefore, if you wanted to stop your cleansing routine there, you can. However, some people use it as part of a double-cleansing routine and use a water-based facial wash afterwards.
What is micellar cleansing water?
Micellar water is a type of cleanser with removes dirt, oil and makeup. It’s considered a gentle cleanser as they do not disrupt the natural barrier of the top surface of the skin - the lipid barrier.
The Micellar cleansing water gets its name as the formula includes tiny structures - ‘micelles’. They act as cleansing bubbles which attach themselves to make-up, sebum, oil and impurities. And when you wipe it away with a cotton or cloth pad, the dirt lifts away with it.
It is effective of cleansing the face - however, if you have a strong build up of dirt, oil, makeup or sunscreen you may want to stick to a stronger cleansing method - but it can also be used as a toner. If you want to add it to your routine as an extra step, like a toner, first, use a gentle cleanser and once your skin is dry, use the Micellar water. Pour a small amount on a cotton or cloth pad and sweep across the skin in an upwards motion.
They tend to not include soap, alcohol or drying cleansers. However, each person and skin type is different and you may find that you need to simply add it into your routine instead of replacing it all together.
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How to use a facial cleansing brush
Facial cleansing brushes are a useful tool to get into congested areas of the face, like the chin, nose and T-zone in general - or problem areas you have. Most brushes come with different types of brush heads, so first, pick the right one for your complexion and routine.
You’ll need a somewhat clean base, so remove eye makeup, lipstick or foundation with your normal method - cleansing balm, facial wash, Micellar water etc. Then wet the facial brush with warm water and apply your chosen cleanser to the bristles. Before turning it on, place it against your skin to avoid the product spilling across the bathroom. Then turn it on and ensure you move the facial cleansing brush across the skin in circular motions.
Avoid staying in one place for extended periods of time as it may become too abrasive and damage your skin by being too exfoliating. It may be tempting to be aggressive in problem areas or an in attempt to clear blackheads and pores, but gentle circular motions across the face will still be productive. The bristle heads will work the product into clogged pores and work their magic.
After, rinse off the product from your complexion and the brush head to keep it clean and finish your usual skincare routine.
How to use cleansing milk or lotion
Cleansing milk works similarly to cleansing balms so the application tends to be the same. The main difference is likely in the consistency of the product, with balms being thick formulas and cleansing milks being more free-flowing and liquid. Best suited for dry or normal skin, cleansing milk can be used daily because it’s a gentle formula.
To try it out, take a coin-sized amount in your hand and apply it to your face. Some may prefer to use cotton or cloth pads or to go straight in with their hands. Once applied, massage it into your skin in circular motions for around 30 seconds. Next, take a pad to wipe it away or rinse your face with lukewarm water.
Depending on the time o the cleansing routine you need to follow that morning or night, you can also leave it on the skin. If you have makeup, sunscreen, sebum and dirt to remove, then you can use the cleansing milk as a part of a double-cleansing routine, and use a water-based wash afterwards to ensure you’re squeaky clean. However, some users prefer to use it daily and to remove excess cleansing milk with a cotton pad so that some parts of the product remain on the skin. Check the instructions on your product to be sure, as certain formulas will act like moisturisers and nourish the skin and can be left on, whereas others will be removed.
There is no right or wrong way to cleanse - each skin type, complexion and routine can be different. Try out a few different methods to see which one works best for you! You may find that morning and night time routines will differ after a day of wearing makeup, dirt and oil, and certain formulas work better with your skin.
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