So, let’s start with a confession… When it comes to cleansing our skin we can be a little remiss. Most of us have pretty dirty skin and are not as focused on cleaning it as we should be. We know we need to clean our skin but the reality is we are often more interested in what we put on after the cleansing stage of our home care routine than actually cleansing, after all that’s were the results are, right?
Now hold that thought for a moment as you read on, we are told from a young age (pre-teen and upwards) that you cleanse once to remove make–up and once to clean your skin. What that tells us is if we are not wearing make–up - or very little make-up - one cleanse will do and that one cleanse in the morning (if at all) is perfectly sufficient, after all we didn’t put make on to go to bed. At the other end of the day we are exhausted and as long as we make some attempt to clean our skin that’s good enough. A quick cleanse that should do it, even if there is still make–up coming off on the towel, we’ve cleansed it and rubbed it with the towel and it will be fine. Or will it?
It’s important to remember that the skin is the largest living organ of the body, it has many jobs to do, temperature regulation, absorption, elimination of waste to protect us from the build-up of toxins, protection from chemicals, free radical damage and ultra violet radiation. These functions are happening all day and even as we sleep at night.
Elimination and temperature control involve the skin secreting salts, urea, waste products and sebum onto its surface (basically lots of oil and sweat). As part of its defence mechanism the skin renews itself, it does this to build what is known as the barrier function, and to remove damaged skin cells. This leads to the loss of around 1 million skin cells every 40 minutes, some of these skin cells become household dust, the rest get stuck in the skin secretions and hair follicles.
Imagine what that looks like on the skin’s surface, a lovely layer of oil congealed together with dead skin cells and toxins. Ok, now let’s add into that the dirt, pollutants, and chemicals in our environment and seal it all in with nice layer of moisturiser followed by make–up! The fact our skin isn’t completely clean will lead to other issues, such as congestion and breakouts, dull lacklustre complexion, and poor results form our other products. The truth is that if we do not have clean skin anything you apply after will be less effective, as the actives struggle to pass through the layer of excess oil and dirt to get into the skin. If we want healthy skin, we must not only double cleanse but effectively cleanse as well.
Tips for effective double cleansing
- Double cleanse morning and night – weather you have make-up to remove or not a double cleanse will ensure the removal of all unwanted waste products form the skin.
- Use your cleanser correctly – we don’t need to use a lot of product to clean our skin, use the required amount as directed. Foaming cleansers need water – it’s how they work, creamy cleansers can also often be used with water to effectively emulsify the make–up, dirt and grime on the skin.
- Effective removal of your cleansing products – If you are rinsing the skin by splashing with water make sure you are getting product out of the hair line; product left behind can cause breakouts. If you choose to use a cloth make sure it dries in between uses and is washed regularly. Clothes left damp for longer periods of time can harbour grime and bacteria.
- Cleansing technique – To effectively clean your skin use a light pressure so as not to pull or irritate, move over the skin in circular movements in an upward direction. This ensures that the hairs on the skin are lifted and your cleanser can be worked into the hair follicle to breakdown and remove excess
- Sufficient time – This is so important! You can be doing all of the above really effectively and not spending enough time actually cleansing your skin. We advise that you double cleanse should take in and around 2 minutes and that your cleanser is never on your skin for less than 30 seconds at a time. Remember that over cleansing isn’t healthy for the skin either, so double cleanse effectively morning and night. You will quickly see a change in your skin’s health and radiance as your skin is clean and the actives applied though your serums and moisturisers can do their job effectively.
For more on cleansing, read: