How important is cleansing?

By Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

Lady with a foaming sponge to her face.  How important is cleansing?

How important is cleansing?

It’s drilled into us from a young age to keep the skin ultra clean, morning and night, to avoid spots, dryness and ageing.  Cleansing is the core and first part of the daily routine that we are sold from product companies, skincare magazines, beauty experts and even our mothers!

But how important is cleansing?   

And is it as necessary as we’re made to believe?  

Well, yes and no! 

Yes, at night it is.  During the night our cell turnover is increased, meaning that our skin is working to renew itself more at night than it is during the day.  The cells from the lower layers of the skin are working harder to get themselves nearer to the surface, which will give us smoother, hydrated, more radiant skin. 

If the surface of the skin has residues of make-up or dirt and grime on, not only does this create a barrier, thus not allowing the fresh skin cells to appear on the surface, but it will also cause the pigments from the make-up or the dirt to get trapped below the dead cells on the surface and cause blocked pores, spots, and generally dull skin. 

So at night the skin needs to be completely free of make-up, dirt, grime, sweat and excess oil.

So, what about in the morning?

So many beauty experts will tell you that cleansing in the morning is a must – however I disagree. If you have properly cleansed your skin the evening before, I don’t feel the need to disrupt it further in the morning.

You may wake up with a sheen or shine on your skin. This will be a mixture of sweat (in the majority) and sebum – the skins natural oil. While you will want to remove this sheen, I don’t recommend using a cleanser – a wipe over with a toner is sufficient, to remove the surface layer of sweat to clean the skin more simply and freshen the surface. This sheen of sweat and sebum is called the acid mantle, and this gives us an essential layer of anti-bacterial protection.

This doesn’t mean that cleansing the skin isn’t important – it really is, however, be aware of over-cleansing!!  

Squeaky-clean skin – when it feels very tight and dry –  is not a good thing.  

This means you have stripped some of the essential acid mantle – that we talked about earlier – that protects us from bacteria, leaving you prone to spots, dryness, sensitivity, and dull lack-lustre skin.  

Learn more about the importance of the ACID MANTLE here. 

So cleansing in the morning just isn’t necessary.  As long as you have removed make-up the night before, you don’t need to. And could strip those valuable oils away.  A splash of water or going over the skin with some toner is sufficient to freshen up before your daily moisturizer.

Always follow cleansing with the use of a toner.  A  TONER is an essential product to use in your skincare routine!!  Find out WHY HERE. 

What cleanser should I use?

Dry Skin

Using a cleansing oil or balm is ideal (see my favourite from Evolve below), as at the end of the day when the moisture has been sucked out your skin, this feels so delicious on your skin!  It also adds to the hydration of the skin, and leaves the skin, not only soft, but soft, calm and moisturised as well.

Try; Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt – My favourite!  Smells diving, with vanilla and natural baobab, which contains Vitamin A & c, both essential anti-oxidants for the skin.  This balm just melts make-up and is so soothing and softening on the skin – so good for dry, dehydrated, mature skins!  Shop here.

Neals Yard Remedies Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Wash – Moisturising with the essential oil frankincense is perfect for those you like to use a wash rather than a cream or milk.  Removes make-up and impurities without stripping the skin.  Shop here

Oily Skin

Treat an oily skin gently.  The tendency is to try to cleanse away all the excess oils on the surface.  DON’T!!  An oily skin does have excess surface oil, but if you strip it all away the skin will compensate by making more and you enter a vicious circle.  Again, a balm will soothe an oily/spotty skin, or using a facial wash with added ingredients to hydrate is ideal. 

Try; A gel that transforms into a foam, CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is an ideal gentle but effective cleanser for oily skin. Hyaluronic Acid works to maintain moisture in the skin, while Niacinamide soothes irritation and helps to reduce oil.


Sensitive Skin

A light cleansing milk will suit a more sensitive skin.  You need to protect the surface of the skin, as well as removing make-up.  E’spa’s hydrating cleansing is perfect for a sensitive skin. 

Try; E’spa Hydrating Cleansing Milk – I just love E’spa products!  I used to work with them in a salon a longtime ago, and the products and treatments are just divine!  This soothing cleanser nourishes with Sweet Almond Oil, Marshmallow and Chamomile. Shop here.

Make your own homemade face wash with essential oils.