Everyone knows the importance of cleansing. We do our best to wash our faces morning and night. Yet it’s often conceived to be a quick step before going ahead and treating our skin. Many people mistake cleansing to be something that simply cleans the skin and has little more effect. They couldn’t be more wrong.
The simple act of cleansing can determine the overall health of your skin. It can make or break your skincare routine. Without realising this, however, many people are cleansing incorrectly – and it’s leading to a whole host of skin issues. Incorrect cleansing can result in excessive oily or dry skin, irritation and sensitivities and even breakouts. Here we list out the 10 most common mistakes you can make when it comes to cleansing.
Not using a cleansing device
Cleansing devices not only look pretty on the bathroom shelf, they also work wonders for your skin. They can also help to clear up congested skins with open pores, blockages and breakouts. Dull, dry complexions can benefit from regular cleansing brush use, as can male skin - they're great when it comes to tackling ingrowing hairs. The same goes for women with excess facial hair, as hair follicles tend to get blocked, causing congestion that can sometimes lead to acne. Cleansing brushes help as the bristles can actually penetrate deeper into the epidermis than wiping over the surface can, enabling a more thorough, deep cleanse. The Clarisonic Mia Smart and FOREO LUNA 3 are great options to get started with if you're new to cleansing devices.
Choosing the wrong cleanser
Our skin is unique and should be treated individually. It’s important to ensure that your cleanser suits your skin’s needs – be it oily, dry, sensitive or combination. Opting for a natural cleanser can clean your skin without smothering it in any unnecessary chemicals that can harm your skin. Most importantly, make sure to use a cleanser that is designed for the face, not the body. We still hear horror stories where people use a bar of body soap to wash their face. This sort of product is far too harsh and can destroy the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Choosing the right cleanser for your face will mean you are adequately removing any dirt, makeup, and oil without compromising the healthy functioning of the skin. We recommend the pH restoring Balance Cleanser from BeautyBio, which ensures the lipid layer of the skin remains intact.
Water is too hot
On cold winter mornings, it may feel wonderfully comforting to use hot water to wash your face. However, your complexion is delicate and heat can affect the moisture barrier as well as damaging capillaries which leads to permanent red marks. Use lukewarm water to avoid skin feeling tight or over-producing sebum.
Rubbing too hard
Think rubbing your skin as hard as possible when you cleanse gives you a deeper clean? Wrong. Rubbing too hard can damage your delicate skin, cause premature ageing, encourage certain skin conditions to worsen (like Rosacea) and even cause broken blood vessels under the skin.
Exfoliating too much
When your skin is prone to break-outs and you want your skin to feel supremely clean, it can be easy to think that exfoliating is the answer. But scrubbing at the skin can enlarge pores and cause further imbalances. Try the Clarisonic Exfoliating Head for gentle, yet effective exfoliation. Or try a wash-off cleanser that contains enzymes – these eat away at dead skin to reveal a radiant complexion without you having to scrub away.
When you fail to remove your cleanser fully, there remains a residue on the skin. This product is designed to rub on and wash off, not to be left on the skin for an extended period of time. When a cleanser sits on the skin for longer than intended, it can irritate and aggravate. Be sure to take the time to fully remove your cleanser with a gentle exfoliating cloth.
Neglecting the neck
We are firm believers that whatever you do to the face, you should do to your neck. This area needs attention and care to ensure it does not age faster than the rest of our body (including the face). When you consider the skin on our neck and décolletage can be exposed to the same products and pollution as our face (sunscreen, makeup, pollution) it makes sense that we ought to be cleansing there too.
Using face wipes
Yes, they might be an easy option but facial wipes are not your skin’s best friend. Not only will they fail to adequately clean your face, leaving product and oil behind, they are normally full of harmful chemicals which are known to aggravate our skin. They also tend to involve a lot more tugging and pulling on the skin just to get any makeup and daily debris off your face. The fact is, you will save time and clean more effectively when you ditch the wipes and embrace using the right cleanser and a gentle exfoliating cloth. Plus, they're incredibly damaging to the environment, taking hundreds of years to decompose, so not only are you saving your skin when you cleanse correctly, you're saving the planet.
Using a dirty towel
Once you’ve done the hard work of cleansing your face, why undo it by rubbing your skin with a dirty towel? Pat skin gently with a cleansing cloth to soak up excess water. Although it may seem excessive, having a clean cloth for every morning of the week will ensure your skin is in tip-top condition. Just don’t forget to do your laundry at the weekend.