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 at Audrey, we’re looking at ten cleansing mistakes that are all too common.
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.
Not rinsing 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.
Slacking off on their routine
We know it can seem like a chore some days, especially when you’ve just got home from work and can’t lift yourself off the couch. But the simple fact is that you can’t expect your skin to flourish while it remains smothered. Take a moment to consider everything that ends up on your face; from your SPF and moisturiser, through to makeup and pollution that you’re exposed to throughout the day. We should take a small amount of time out of our day to let our skin breathe and repair.
Not double cleansing
Have you heard of double cleansing? It helps your skincare products work more efficiently and encourages your skin to breathe and rejuvenate. You don’t need more than one product, just the motivation to cleanse the skin twice. This is most important when you have makeup on. Essentially you do the first step to remove anything that’s on the face and the second to properly clean the skin. Many old-fashioned toners are often used to remove any excess makeup as well, but this shouldn’t be necessary when you double cleanse.
This process should not be too harsh or dry the skin out when you are using the appropriate cleanser for your skin and following up with your hydrating steps.
Using extreme temperatures
Hot water does not bode well for your skin. It damages the natural moisture barrier and can lead to broken capillaries, not to mention excessive dryness or oily skin. We have a habit of thinking hot water is removing our makeup and breaking down oils faster and more effectively, but this ought to be left to the cleansing product itself.
As soon as you cleanse the skin, you need to replenish it. This ought to be done whilst the skin remains a little damp as it promises the most absorbency. Once the skin has been allowed to dry, you may notice that any hydrating/moisturising product you apply feels a little tacky, sticky or oily as a lot of it remains on the surface of the skin. Avoid putting your skin under unnecessary stress by replenishing its hydration levels straight away.
Not washing your hands first
You wouldn’t use a dirty cloth to clean your dishes so why would you do the same to your face? Our hands come into contact with any number or foreign bacteria and contaminants as we move about our day. By washing your hands before cleansing you’re ensuring you aren’t rubbing these all over your face in an effort to be ‘clean’. The same goes for your wash cloth as well – it’s best to use a fresh one each time to cleanse the face.
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 the wrong towel
Even those who take special care while cleansing can go wrong when it comes to drying. Often we are too rough, almost scrubbing the face with a rough towel. After cleansing, try using a fresh towel and pat dry your face. It’s important to avoid using your normal towel that you use after a shower in this instance, as they can hold a residue and house bacteria – neither of which you want to transfer to your freshly cleansed face!
Resorting to 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.
It’s easy to feel like your skincare regime is overwhelming and end up wanting to fly through it. We are all guilty of at least one of the above mistakes, but it’s most important to remember that caring for your skin is caring for yourself. When you commit to nourishing and loving your skin on a regular basis, it’s easy to maintain a skincare routine that you enjoy.
How are you going to better your cleansing routine today?
For more information on how you can create the perfect cleansing routine to suit you and your skin type and product recommendations to match, visit our friends griffin+row.