A word on cleansing

Some people find it silly that I thoroughly enjoy cleansing my skin. At the end of the day, all I want is to take everything off my face and give myself a good rinse and a facial massage. Winter time for me is an excuse to start my evening routine at 6 PM already – it’s dark outside, so that means the day is over, right? However, I know that not everyone is as familiar with cleansing as that, and for some people it might even be one big mystery. I tried to list up everything I think you should know about cleansing your face and hopefully I’ll give you some motivation to love it just as much as I do!

Why you should cleanse

Unfortunately, I know so many people who just don’t cleanse at all. You may think: I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, so why on earth would I cleanse my skin in the evening, let alone cleanse in the morning as well? Well, you take a shower every day too, don’t you? And you wash your hair, right?

Cleansing is not just taking your makeup off (first cleanse), but also washing the daily grime and grease off your skin.

When you should cleanse

In the morning:

Sleep = sweat. A quick cleanse in the morning will brighten up your skin, make it a clean canvas for whatever you’re putting on next and will make you feel a lot fresher too.

In the evening:

I’m a double cleansing advocate. Double cleansing means that you start your evening cleansing routine with something to take your makeup off, and then you go in with a different cleanser for a deep rinse of the skin. Again, to make it a clean canvas for whatever you’re putting on next. I double cleanse when I’m wearing makeup and/or SPF. If I’m not wearing either, one cleanse will do.

What you should cleanse with

In the morning:

I prefer something gentle and pure in the morning, like a cleansing milk. The Likami Cleansing Milk and the Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Milk are two items I reach for a lot, because of how soft yet refreshing they are. To be really honest, I don’t always use a cleanser in the morning. I also just like to wet a cleansing cloth or washing flannel and give my face a gentle and extended wash with just that, or have a simple rinse in the shower.

In the evening:

First cleanse: something that takes your makeup off. For me that’s, preferably, something not too expensive that I can use liberally. I like a good oil cleanser to take makeup off, like the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil. Balm cleansers are really easy and gentle as well, like the Farmacy Green Clean. I also like micellar waters but I’m picky on them too, because one’s a lot better than the other. The Garnier ones are nice and gentle, the Bioderma and Louis Widmer as well. Micellar waters need a cotton pad, oil cleansers and balms don’t. So that’s why I usually prefer the latter. Read my blog post on my favourite makeup removers for more in-depth reviews.

Second cleanse: this is where you choose something to treat yourself a little. For me this is my more expensive, luxurious cleanser. Whether that’s a gel, a milk, a cream, an oil, a balm, a clay cleanser… Doesn’t really matter. I like the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing gel here as well, the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing balm, the Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser and the Skin Regimen Cleansing Cream. My guide to choosing the right cleanser for your skin type might help you find a second cleanser that really suits you.

General word on foam cleansers: I really don’t like them. Most foam cleansers are designed to completely strip your skin from oil, which sounds appealing for the oily/blemished but it really is not. Stripping all the oil from your face will only make your body produce more of it, plus it makes your skin a playground for bacteria. My skin has improved so much since I’ve stepped away from foam cleansers so I just avoid them as much as possible, although I’m sure there are some nice and gentle ones available as well.

How you should cleanse

Just some general tips to get the best cleanse:

  • Apply your cleanser on dry skin – if you want and if it suits the cleanser you use, emulsify with some water afterwards, some cleansers change texture when you add water (balm to oil, gel to milk …)
  • Massage your face a little, it’s nice and gets your blood running
  • Don’t forget the little spots like nostrils and the fold of your chin
  • If it stings or irritates your eyes, it’s probably not suitable to be used there
  • Wash your cleanser off with a fresh, clean cloth
  • Take your time to take all the product off and re-wet your cloth twice
  • Don’t use hot water, because it will dry your skin out – opt for a comfortable (luke)warm temperature instead. If you can no longer keep your hands under the running water it’s too hot for your face as well!
  • End your cleansing routine with a splash of cold water for a nice boost of freshness, hydration and radiance

Some of my favourites

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