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Ask any dermatologist, any experienced skincare guru (we have Marcia) or any leading cosmetic chemist and they'll say the same thing: good cleansing is a non-negotiable ‘step 1’ in your skincare routine. Most oily complexions thrive on a twice daily clogged-pore, emulsifying, oil-absorbing (but non-drying) takedown and drier types on a single, more thorough evening ablution (so barrier ceramides can refill in between). Frantically busy types opt for a quick cleanse (which is better than nothing), while skincare junkies probably opt for the double-cleanse, the triple-cleanse - or soon, any cleanser addict worth their salt will be extolling the virtues of the quadruple cleanse.
You don’t necessarily have to wash your face twice a day (it really depends on your skin type, and what you need to wash off). Those with dry and sensitive skin may only want to cleanse in the evening, while those with oily or acne prone skin benefit from more regular oil absorption.
Double-cleansing is NOT a necessity if your first cleanser is effective at removing excess oils, makeup and pollution layers. (Of course, there’s nothing more satisfying than a squeaky clean, post-double-cleanse face cloth, and as long as you’re not stripping your skin, a second cleanse is your prerogative!)
Feeling ‘the burn’, or any tightness or dryness, doesn’t mean your face is cleaner, it just means that the protective acid mantle of your skin has been upset, which can lead to sensitivity if it’s not rebalanced. (Certain exfoliating acids can lead to a burning sensation on the skin, but generally calm down as the cellular turnover is re-equilibrated by the active ingredient.)
Your grandmother may have washed her face with soap and water, but regular soap is for cleansing regular things. Dewy, soft, hydrated, glowing skin is not regular. Most soaps strip the natural oils and hydrators from your skin which can disrupt your PH level and could damage the skin barrier, causing dryness, irritation and loss of moisture. So sure, you can wash your face with soap and water, but there are so many better options.
Acne is not caused by washing your face too little. There are four factors that can make your skin more prone to acne. Excess Oil Production (which is genetic), Hormones (which can cause the oil in your skin to become stickier), Humidity (which causes your skin to swell, trapping bacteria inside your oil/hair follicles), and Excessive Keratinization (too many skin cells lining the pore walls and the skin’s surface). So yes, gentle exfoliating, good deep-cleansing and fruit acids will help, but everyday dirt is not the culprit when it comes to controlling facial acne.
At BEAUTY PIE we’ve searched the GLOBE for the greatest cleansing formulas out there, and now stock everything: from a transforming Japanese gel-to-oil-to-milk, an American fruit-acid infused foamy clay formula and an Italian natural nourishing balm, to a brilliant British double-cleanse-in-one, a Jeju-infused deluxe massage-on milk and a quick and easy new-tech micellar water - all of which compete every week for the most-popular cleanser spot. Read about each below, and find out what you need for YOUR perfect single, double, or even triple cleanse, every day:
Ideal for: Clearing, calming and smoothing congested, oily/combination, acne-prone or oily skin types. This gently foamy super clay is like a facial at your fingertips. With oil-absorbing Kaolin and Montmorillonite Clay, pollution-purifying Moringa Seed Oil, microbe-fighting Lauric Acid and dead-cell smoothing Lactic Acid, this cleanser will be your new obsession if you’re breakout prone, super oily, or a teenager. Use it every evening (for problem skin) with a super hydrating moisturizer afterwards, or alternate with Jeju Daily Purifying Cleansing Milk if you’re an ‘in-between’ type and need cleansing with a little less oil-absorption/drying.
Ideal for: All skin types including sensitive. Great as a first cleanse to break down makeup, or as a second to emulsify in-pore oils. Apply a hazelnut-sized dollop onto DRY skin, to optimize the emulsifying ability of the oil phase (so before a shower rather than ‘in’ the shower, or first thing in the morning massage around to get your lymph moving). This cult-status Japanese antioxidant wonder cleanser is a gel, then an oil, then a rinseable milk, that dissolves surface makeup and impurities, small particle pollution, and then at a deeper level, emulsifies clogged oils and pore-clogging intracellular lipids. It’s in a travel-friendly 100ml tube. (Yes, some members buy these in 6 packs.)
Ideal for: All skin types when in need of a quick, moisturizing, one-wipe cleanse (but not meant for mascara or eyeliner removal because deep cleaning surfactants can cause eyes to sting). Have a bottle of this around for when you’re too exhausted for a traditional double cleanse. Remove your face makeup with one cleanser-soaked cotton pad, and then use another to clean deeper. Formulated in Switzerland, it contains organic Cornflower Water, energizing Ginseng and Ginger Root Extracts and humectant Hyaluronic Acid. Note: This is not your basic drugstore micellar water, it’s also calming, a tonic, and leaves skin feeling super dewy (rather than squeaky and dry).
Ideal for: Brightening, refreshing and multi-phase cleansing (use it first, use it second, use it alone), for all skin types. An addictively deluxe cleanser that rubs on as a cream, massages into an oil, gets milky when you add water, and rinses off, leaving skin fresh, bright, soft and invigorated. It’s infused with Jeju Cherry Blossom, soothing Bamboo Grass, Liquorice-Root Extract and Meadowfoam Seed Oil. This one’s still a bit of a secret, we think. But once you try it, it’s difficult to forget.
Ideal for: Sensitive, normal, combination and dry/dehydrated skin types who love a rich, balmy cleansing massage and a nourished, soft after-feel. (While this cleanser works beautifully on oily skin types as well, you may find the texture too heavy and prefer a cleanser that leaves a squeaky-clean feeling.) It’s a totally deluxe Italian-made cleansing balm that’s so good it almost makes you feel guilty. It’s enriched with cold-pressed Rosehip Seed Oil, Apricot Butter and vitamin E to melt away makeup and impurities. Just add warm water and it breaks into a lightweight milk for a super-moisturized, clean and totally refreshed face.
Ideal for: Normal, dry, combination or even slightly oily skin types. This amazing formula can be used on dry skin as a deep cleaning cream, on damp skin as a light milk, and then rinsed off or massaged off with a warm, wet washcloth. It’s infused with cushioning Baobab and Meadowfoam Seed Oils, Aloe Vera and antioxidant vitamin E, for refreshed, radiant, healthy, well-balanced skin.
Hyaluronic Acid: The Secret To Glowier, Dewier Skin
It's the most marvellous moisture magnet.
There’s a reason that Hyaluronic Acid has become a household word – at least under the roof of any self-respecting serious skincare enthusiast. It delivers an instant hydration hit, helps barrier-repairing function, protects your skin against inflammation (which BTW, experts now say is responsible for aging), is compatible with all skin types, is non-comedogenic and makes your face look plumper, dewier and younger.