It should be the simplest step of our skincare routines, and yet so many women are perplexed by facial cleansing: what type of cleanser is right for each skin type? How often are you actually meant to do it? And what does double cleansing even mean?!
These stumbling blocks are made all the more significant when you consider the potential side effects of not cleansing properly: “Skip it and pores will clog up with makeup, pollution and excess oils, which can lead to dullness as well as congestion,” cautions marie claire acting beauty director Sally Hunwick. But help is at hand: below, everything you need to know about cleansing correctly.
1. Double cleanse daily
We all know to wash our faces daily (that’s morning and night), but your evening routine should step things up a notch. Not only do you need to remove the natural oils that have accumulated on your complexion, there’s makeup, pollution and grime to get rid of – and that calls for an extra-conscientious cleanse.
Double cleanse each evening using a balm or oil formula first, followed by either your usual morning cleanser or a lighter gel, milk or foam formula. The first cleanse should break down the oils on your face and most of your makeup (as oil attracts oil); the second will ensure a thorough clean and leave your skin prepped and primed for your skincare.
2. Choose your formula wisely
“A hard-working cleanser is a must,” says Sally, who recommends you “look for products with added antioxidants and perhaps salicylic acid if you suffer from congestion.”
Oily and combination skin types should stick to non-irritating foaming, gel or milk cleansers; dry skin types can benefit from more hydrating cream formulations. Whatever your skin type, steer clear of anything that leaves your skin feeling tight or dry – a telltale sign your cleanser is stripping your skin of more than just your makeup.
3. Boost your cleanse
Putting your freshest face forward requires a little more TLC than cleansing alone: add a weekly (or even better, twice-weekly) mask to your routine to really restore your skin’s glow.
A nourishing clay mask is the ideal multi-tasker for most skin types: “They’re your go-to for a deep-down cleanse, but they’re also able to infuse skin with complexion-boosting ingredients, which makes them great for skin in need of a hydration boost,” explains Sally. “The clay helps draw impurities and excess oil out of the skin, while added antioxidants can infuse skin with radiance and hydration.”
Take the Minenssey Clay Mask collection: four Australian clay masks for every skin type. For a purifying cleanse that won’t strip the skin of moisture, the Deep Cleansing Clay Mask is our top pick. With a base of Australian Green Clay, the formula doesn’t completely dry out and crack on the skin like other masks – simply leave for 20 minutes or more for a gentle cleanse and glowing results.