The fountain of youthful skin starts here.
How you cleanse your skin is the foundation for all that comes after. If you want better, healthier skin and get better results from your chosen skincare regimen, well, then, getting your cleansing right is the best place to start.
But why does it matter?
Your skin is exposed to pollutants every day, so even if you find yourself on a makeup-free day, your skin has still been exposed to the environment and the toxins in it. That alone is a good reason to cleanse your skin properly and if you are wearing makeup it’s especially true.
Skip the beauty hacks. Inadequate cleansing or just using the wrong cleanser for your skin type will make a huge impact on the results you’re getting for your skin.
First up, shortcuts or hacks are not the way to great skin. Nothing good can come from using cleansing facial wipes. Just this one change? Much better skin.
Cleanse properly every night with the right cleanser? Even better skin.
You don’t need to cleanse again in the morning unless you have a particularly dry or dehydrated skin or, your skin becomes easily irritated in which case, an oil-based cleanser applied to your face before your shower will protect your skin from any pH disruption caused by the water alone. This is especially true in winter.
There are thousands of cleansers on the market. It could even be said it’s a crowded market. It’s exhausting. So how do you choose?
What type of cleanser is right for you?
I love a cleanser that suits all skins. But, just because it says it’s for all skin types, doesn’t mean it is. If it foams up, then it’s not really the best cleanser for dry skin. Likewise, if your cleanser is heavy with emollients then it may not suit a post oily skin, even if it’s dehydrated.
The very best cleansers remove only what’s on the surface of your skin like, dirt, oil, pollutants and makeup with minimal disruption to your acid mantle or the pH of your skin. You’ll know this by how your skin feels after cleansing. If your skin feels uncomfortable and you find yourself reaching, post-haste for your moisturiser, then it’s the wrong cleanser for you.
Look for a formula with a low fragrance or none at all. A heavily fragranced cleanser could contain irritating botanicals or, alcohol which is, of course, drying to the skin. Avoid.
What about Parabens?
While there is no clear evidence to suggest paraben preservatives are toxic to you or your skin, in this day and age of sophisticated skincare there seems no reason to continue to use them if you don’t have to.
6 Cleansers worth taking a closer look.
The amount of cleansers available is staggering, but I’ve found 6 that do the job well, cleansers that won’t strip away you skins natural lipids while getting the skin ready for any other active serums you are using.
This Australian brand never fails to impress.
As the name implies, this cleanser is getting your skin ready.
It’s difficult for me to go past this one. I absolutely love it. Everything you need in a cleanser can be found here. It will remove your makeup, including eye makeup effortlessly.
It will balance the skin without any disruption to your natural acid mantle and leave the skin feeling soft and moist ready for any serums or treatments your skin needs. It’s for all skin types.
Sure, at $90 for 200ml it may be more than you’d normally pay for a cleanser, but the formulation is one of the best I know of and worth the price. It may take you a few evenings of cleansing to get used to the feel of this cleanser, but once you do, it’s doubtful you’ll ever switch to another cleanser.
Keihl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser
Keihl’s is an American brand, founded by John Kiehl back in 1851.
This cleanser is recommended for all skin types, however, it does contain sodium laurel sulphate which is a surfactant that gives this cleanser a slight foaming action, so although it’s a great cleanser I suggest it is best suited for slightly oily or post oily skins. You’ll need a separate cleanser for removing eye makeup. Overall this is a good all-round cleanser and a pretty good price at $28 for 150ml.
Radical Skincare Hydrating Cleanser
Radical Skincare was founded by sisters Liz and Rachel Edlich. Their goal is to provide gentle, preservative-free skincare loaded with anti-oxidants.
This cleanser is a gentle, balancing milk. It will leave your skin feeling comfortable and relaxed and with a long list of useful ingredients to protect the skin from free radical oxidation as well as gently exfoliating the skin with the fruit enzymes from mango and papaya extracts. It removed my eye makeup without any problems at all, however, if your skin is particularly dry around the eye area then I’d opt for a gentle eye makeup remover like Ella Bache’s eye and lip cleanser. Radical Hydrating Cleanser is $52 for a 150ml tube.
Alpha H Age Delay Cleansing Oil
Alpha H is an Australian success story founded by Michelle Doherty.
When a cleanser combines the nourishing and protective benefits of plant oils, I’m in. This beautiful cleansing oil combines coconut oil, grape seed oil and sea buckthorn, the last one is a new ingredient to me, but I like the antioxidant properties it brings to the skin.
This sophisticated formula is free of parabens and artificial fragrance or colour and as it’s an oil and can double as an overnight nourishing balm when the skin is feeling particularly dry or sensitive. Not so cheap, at around $50 for 100ml but well worth what’s inside and with the added bonus of being a multi-tasking cleanser that removes every trace of eye makeup.
Ella Bache Eye and Lip Cleanser
With a huge list of very specific cleansers in the range, there is something for every skin type, in fact, Ella Bache has made diagnosing a cleanser for your skin type an absolute art form.
When it comes to the skin around the eyes and removing stubborn mascara I don’t believe there is anything better than their Eye and Lip Cleanser at $39 for 30ml.
If you like your skincare a little more tailored to your specific needs, then Ella Bache has plenty of well-formulated cleansers to choose from.
Eve Lom Cleanser
When a product reaches cult status, there must be something good about it. Right? A first glance and when I used this product I was more impressed than I thought I’d be. It not only cleans the face beautifully but it doubles as an eye makeup remover, which is always a plus in my book. It’s a cleanser that all skin types should be able to use. If you have a skin that is slightly oily then you’ll definitely want to use the muslin cleansing cloth that comes with the cleanser.
However, as much as I liked this cleanser, I don’t like the price and the number of parabens in this product seems unnecessary.
As this product is revered by so many and at the price of $172 for 200ml it really should have a lot fewer preservatives than it does. But hey, if the price and the parabens don’t bother you then you may like to join the Eve Lom cult.
Squeaky clean is not clean, it’s stripped!
If you love the feeling of a squeaky clean skin, or if you’ve been cleansing your skin with products that leave your skin feeling this way for so long it just feels normal to you, then making a change to a cleanser that actually balances your skin correctly may take some getting used to. In fact, when you first make the switch, it’s quite likely you’ll feel a little dissatisfied. You may even think you’ve made a mistake, but you haven’t, persevere, your future skin will thank you.
See you next time,
This is part 2 of a two-part series. Part 1 can be found here – Cleanse your way to healthy skin. Part 1.