Don't know your micellar water from your makeup wipe? Fear not! Because our ultimate cleansing guide will get you up to speed in no time. Soon you'll be on par with the skincare pros...
Different Types of Cleansers
We all know that cleansing the skin is an absolute must. From ridding the skin of dirt, debris and oil to topping up on hydration, the benefits are endless. And for every skin type, concern and lifestyle there's a different cleanser up for the job. So, which one do you need?
This type of cleanser does exactly what it says on the tin. Once applied to damp skin and given a little massage, it foams up and nourishes the surface of the skin. Then splash on clean water to rinse off and pat dry.
As this foaming action is quite intense, it's great for oily skin types. But, best avoided if you have dry or sensitive skin.
Gel & Lotion Cleansers
These are milder than most cleansers, so are best for sensitive/irritated skin types. They tend not to give a deep cleanse, so use an oil-based cleanser first and follow with a gel or lotion, to make sure you remove all dirt and makeup. Alternatively, apply a gel or lotion cleanser to a dry face, add a splash of water to loosen the formula, then use a hot flannel to remove completely.
It's no secret that this type of cleanser is having a skincare 'moment.' Introduced to us by Parisian beauty brands, this formula is packed with 'micelles' which work to lock in impurities so they can be easily wiped away with a cotton pad.
It not only cleanses, but tones too, and is very kind-to-skin. You can also get micellar water wipes, which are great for when you’re on the go.
Suitable for most skin types and easy to incorporate into any lifestyle, cream cleansers are popular for good reason. They’re also gentle but will remove makeup effectively. Apply to dry skin, massage in, then use a clean, hot flannel to remove.
Cleansing wipes have a reputation for not removing makeup properly and drying out the skin - but that's mainly because we are a little heavy-handed when using them.
For best results, choose really wet, soft wipes and place them over your eyes for a few minutes, before gently rubbing backwards and forwards across your face. Opt for a micellar formula if you want to inject a little moisture into your cleansing routine.
Infused with oil, this cleanser almost melts your makeup. Apply to dry skin and massage in for a couple of minutes. Then use warm water to emulsify the formula and remove with a hot flannel.
If you have dry skin, you may find an oil cleanser can make your skin even drier over time, so don’t use them daily. However, oily skin types will benefit from using these cleansers as they work like a magnet and attract excess oil, then remove it.
Electronic Cleansing Brush
Electronic cleansing brushes are to be used with your usual cleanser. These devices work by dislodging make-up and impurities from the skin more effectively than simply using your fingertips.
Use the brush twice a week at night using small circular motions, this will leave your skin looking polished with a healthy glow.
Top Tip: As the brush draws out impurities from deep within the skin it may lead to some initial breakouts if you do not follow up with a toning lotion.
Balm cleansers are like regular cleansers but in solid form and are most suited to those who have drier skin. They feel luxurious to use, but they can add extra time to your routine. They should be applied to dry skin and massaged in for a couple of minutes. Some balms will emulsify when water is added. Always remove with a hot, clean flannel.
Cleansing is so great, the pros are doing it twice!
So word on the skincare circuit is that one cleanse is simply not good enough, we should be doing it twice. This is because one lot of cleansing removes the daily dirt buildup and makeup and the second restores balance and hydration.
Double cleansing may not work a dream for all skin types but if you want to give it a go then try using two different types of cleanser before bed. Start with an oil-based or balm cleanser, depending on your skin type/concern, which will work to dissolve makeup. Ideally it’ll be something that’s gentle enough to remove eye make-up, too. Follow with something water-based – a lotion or a gel – for a deeper cleanse. Finish with a hot cloth to remove the cleanser, then pat your face dry before applying your usual serum and moisturiser.