How To Really, Truly, Perfectly Cleanse Your Skin

Yes, there are a lot of steps, and yes, the results make them worth it.
Publish date:
January 13, 2014
masks, How-To, exfoliation, cleansers, regimens, dermalogica, face brushes

Whether you’re one of those people who are
scowling at your friends doing the whole “new year, new you”
resolutions, or you’ve actually found yourself at the gym multiple times since
the year started, I recommend stepping up your skincare regimen this year. It’s time to stop sleeping in your makeup, start remembering to apply moisturiser every night (guilty as charged), and never again forget your sunscreen, even when it’s
cold outside.

I’m going right down to the fundamentals of skincare for a mini
crash course, starting with the very,
very basic: how to clean your skin.

Start by washing your hands.

Whether it’s early in the morning or after a day of activities, your
hands are going to be dirty, even if you can’t see the dirt with the naked eye.
Your hands are going to be what you’ll be using to apply products on your
skin, so start by washing your hands with antibacterial soap.

Remove your makeup with a makeup remover.

Even if you’re going to be scrubbing your face
with your trusted Clarisonic, try to remove as much makeup from your face
before you start washing it.

Remember to use a separate eye-makeup
remover for your eyes. I like Mario Badescu's Eye Makeup Remover Gel.

Use a pre-cleanse.

You can’t walk to a sink and splash cold water on your face and
expect it to be clean. Your face, as the rest of your skin, is a pretty petri
dish of germs and other impurities.

I don’t mean to sound like a fangirl (I am), but my
daily skincare regimen is literally Dermalogica everything: precleanse,
cleanser, scrub, moisturiser and eye cream. And every Dermalogica regimen is
based on their recommended double-cleansing method. This means you use a
precleanse to help dissolve layers of excess sebum, sunscreen, waterproof
makeup, environmental pollutants and residual products that build up on the
skin throughout the day before you use a cleanser, which would help clean the
skin for professional cleansing results.

Whether or not you use Dermalogica, I highly recommend double
cleansing. Even if you can’t see any residue on your skin at the
end of the day, chances are there is still something left on your skin. With
long-lasting makeup and industrial-powered sunscreens, you never really know
stubbornly sitting on the surface of your skin.

Double cleansing has been touted as a technique hailing from
Japan; whether that is true or just marketing, I cannot confirm, but
Japanese brands like Shu Uemura and Kanebo highly recommend this technique, too.

If you’ve been travelling, like I have, and an entire bottle of
precleanser is hassle to lug around, pick up Dermalogica’s PreCleanse Wipes,
which were only recently released and are essentially their popular precleanse
liquid in wipes form.

One wipe is really all you need; waterproof
mascara and eyeshadow, all the way down to my foundation and lip stain--gone. It’s value-for-money, and doesn’t irritate my skin the way a lot of
drugstore cleansing wipes do. This, of course, makes my facial cleanser’s
job much easier.

The wipes are also incredibly hydrating, which may be due to
the fact that they contain aloe and apricot kernel oil.

Use lukewarm water.

Remember not to use hot or cold water, and instead, settle on a
middle ground and use tepid water instead. Excessively hot water, while it may
feel good on your skin in cold weather, will strip natural healthy oils from
your skin.

Wet your skin before applying your cleanser because this will
distribute the product more evenly.

Apply your cleanser.

Yes, finally it’s time to use your cleanser. Apply
it on your face in small circular motions, thereby massaging your
face and encouraging blood flow.

Use your cleansing brush.

Whether you’re using a Clarisonic, an Olay
Cleansing system, or any of the electronic cleansing brushes available, use
the product as directed, and not longer, because even if you’re
using a brush head for sensitive skin, that kind of exfoliation your skin may
be too harsh if used for prolonged periods. A light touch is what’s
needed with the Clarisonic--don’t press down too hard on your skin
with it. You’re not cleaning a grimy floor!

Because of the eczema-prone sensitive nature of my skin, I use
the Clarisonic on my face no more than thrice a week.

You can also use a washcloth for your face instead of a cleansing
brush, but remember to dump it in the wash after two uses or so because the
cloth can harbour bacteria.

Exfoliate sparingly.

I know how good a scrub can feel on your skin, but I don’t
do it any more than twice weekly with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. Despite
the name of the product, my skin type doesn’t allow for this product to be used
daily, and I have to finish off the regimen with Dermalogica’s
Skin Hydrating Masque.

You, too, should use a hydrating masque to replenish the
moisture that has been removed from your skin through exfoliation.

Who knew there could be so many steps to cleaning a surface area
so small? Let me know what’s the most effective way you’ve
cleansed your skin, and if you’ll incorporate the steps above to your