We spend so much time obsessing over the right creams and serums, cleansing is often left by the wayside. But the dirt that clogs your pores will prevent your products from sinking in; there’s an art to getting rid of it, and it starts with identifying the right products for your skin type and daily regime.
ALL skin TYPES: OIL
The most effective way to remove your daily make-up, oils dissolve everything off your face, from waterproof mascara to the liquid lipsticks that usually leave stains. These are suitable for all skin types, so don’t shy away even if your face is an oil factory – just check that the formula is non-comedogenic. This is the key first step in double cleansing – there’s a reason that Charlotte Tilbury’s Goddess Cleansing Ritual comes with both a citrus-oil starter and a charcoal second step. Neither is optional.
ALL skin TYPES: EYE make-up remover
Formulated for use around the eyes, eye make-up remover comes in various forms, but all of them are gentler than the average cleanser, as the skin around the eye area is substantially thinner than on the rest of your face. Lancôme’s Bi-Facil Non-Oily Instant Eye Makeup Remover does the trick of getting rid of waterproof eye make-up without needing any pulling or tugging on your skin.
OILY skin: FOAM
For those with oily skin or blockages, foaming cleansers are the way to go, as they go deep into the pores to rinse out dirt clogs. Some formulas may be too strong for those with sensitive or dry skin, so look for a sulphate-free version that won’t strip your skin of moisture, like Omorovicza’s Cleansing Foam.
DRY/SENSITIVE skin: CREAM OR MILK
A friend to dry or sensitive skin, cream cleansers, such as The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang Facial Cream Cleanser, are applied to the face and wiped off with a tissue or cotton pad before the residue is rinsed off, one of the gentlest ways to rid your skin of impurities. Cleansing milks also don’t require the addition of water to work (though of course, you’ll need water to rinse off).
ALL skin TYPES: CHEMICAL EXFOLIANT
Sounds scarier than it is – chemical exfoliants or peels smooth and brighten, as well as getting rid of dead skin cells using compounds that boost cell turnover; and they typically use AHAs and BHAs, gentler fruit enzymes or retinol to do so. Skin Design London’s transformative Designer Balm uses high-dosage retinol, while Natura Bissé’s NB.Ceutical Tolerance Enzyme Peel does the job with both acids and enzymes.
OILY skin: EXFOLIATING SCRUB
There’s nothing more satisfying than going to town on your face with a scrub, but go gentle – look for fine granules and use a delicate hand, lest you damage your face with micro-tears that do more bad than good. Using Dior Prestige’s Sugar Scrub is a good bet, as its formula contains sugar micro-crystals that will subtly polish, not destroy your skin surface.
SENSITIVE skin: CLEANSING CLOTH
If chemical and mechanical exfoliation still stress your skin out, never fear, Pai Skincare is here. The brand’s Dual Effect Sensitive skin Cloths are made of muslin and flannel – the muslin side can aid in gently exfoliating, while the terry flannel opposing side is perfect for the eye area. This can be used with your favourite sensitive-skin cleanser to remove dead skin on a daily basis.