You would have no doubt seen beauty editors in Asia, America and Australia singing songs and tales about double cleansing. A beauty practice that has now sufficiently pervaded the skin-conscious women of New Zealand, I’ll be taking you back to basics to nut out the common cleansing mistakes and bust some myths that still seem to be causing some confusion!
Double cleansing works on two key levels to remove epidermal debris – the first is to wipe away oil-based debris like SPF, makeup and sebum; and the second step is to draw out water-based impurities such as sweat and dirt. As to why daily double-cleansing is so important in the journey to great skin is because it ensures clean skin void of all the yucky stuff, including modern long-wear makeup formulas that are a lot tougher to remove than what we’re used to. Then there are environmental pollutants, in which fine airborne particles becomes lodged within the skin’s deeper structure and in turn, generates free radicals to break down the skin’s natural lipid barrier; basically, it’s an extrinsic stressor that makes your skin age at a fast rate.
But first things first – have you ever stopped to consider how long you should be cleansing for? Emma Hobson, Education Manager for Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute, says that for many, this is around the 5-20 second mark. A shockingly (for me personally, at least!) short time for one to be cleansing their skin! We’ve all learnt from science class that we should wash our hands with soap for a minimum of 30 seconds, so why should our face receive one sixth of the attention? I’m not sure how much impact 5 seconds is going to do in terms of cleansing, but it sure ain’t going to be removing dirt and pollutants that are stuck in your pores, let alone the cosmetic debris. Not only will inefficient cleansing cause congestion, breakouts, skin ageing, dullness and sensitisation, you’ll also reducing the efficacy of your expensive serums and moisturisers that you’re applying afterwards. You’re essentially throwing your hard-earned cash in the bin and lighting it on fire.
Step Zero – A Slick Slather
Oil binds with oil – it’s a relatively simple concept; lipid-based cleansers pull out oil-based surface impurities – which brings me to the point that oil cleansers won’t exacerbate the oil production in oily skin; it may seem unnatural at first, but just remember that oil adheres to oil! For a while now, many would have opted for an innovative oil cleanser like myself – but since I got my hands on a prototype of Dermalogica’s new Precleanse Balm a few weeks ago, I have fallen head over heels for the balm formula. Efficacy wise, oils and balms are neck and neck – both are great power cleansers suitable for all skin types – from dry to oily skin. But what makes the balm so blimen fantastic is its conveniency. Its thick paste-like texture makes leak-proof transportation for gym-goers and avid travellers super duper easy. Housing the much-loved skin-nourishing ingredient of apricot kernel oil and their hydrating biolipid complex, your skin will feel soft, instead of stripped taught which you may find with other formulas.
TIP: An unorthodox but incredibly useful way to use this banger is to remove chewing gum from hair! And take your kids’ endearing marker artwork off the walls – after you’ve taken a quick snap of course.
Dispense an almond-sized amount of PreCleanse Balm onto your fingers or the silicone cleansing mitt. Swipe the balm onto dry skin and use circular motions to massage the balm in. Really work the porous parts of your face such as the forehead, nose, chin and don’t forget to go up to the hairline, under the jaw, neck and the back of your ears. If you’re wearing makeup, this product will lift it off effortlessly.
Wet your hands and shake off the excess. Massage the skin to emulsify the oil into a milky consistency and work the product until a minute is up. Rinse with tepid water thoroughly.
Final Round – Back to Bare
With zero make-up, zero irritation and zero residue, you can move onto your second step of cleansing. Gentle yet effective, foaming cleansers are still my go-to formula for finishing off my cleansing regime in the evening. For those with oily or combination skin who still yearn for the ‘squeaky clean’ feel, opt for the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, $66. If you have sensitive or dry skin, use a soothing milk cleanser. An oil-water hybrid of sorts, they’re lightweight, hydrating and an amazing way to wake up in the winter mornings with a warm micro-cloth.