The ins and outs of correct cleansing – what to do and what not to do!

The ins and outs of correct cleansing – what to do and what not to do!

How to choose the correct cleanser

I can’t stress strongly enough how important the role of cleansing is in our daily skincare regime. Cleansing removes dirt, make-up, excess oil and dead skin cells and helps control the bacterial load on your skin’s surface. However, it’s vital to use the appropriate cleanser for your skin type.

If you have dry skin, the right cleanser will cleanse and moisturise at the same time, while a well-formulated cleanser for oily skin will help reduce excess oil and pore-clogging impurities. Foaming formulas usually suit normal, combination and oily skin. If you have dry skin, a hydrating emollient cleanser is best.
Using the wrong type of cleanser for your skin type can cause problems such as breakouts or irritation.

The best way to ensure you are getting products that actually work and are right for your skin is to visit a cosmetic dermatologist, who will, after examining your skin, put together a tailored regime for you. If that’s not possible, visit for more information and recommendations.

Which cleansing aids to use!

In most cases, a cleanser, water and your hands is all you need. Cleansing clothes or other special cleansing aids are not really needed, using your hands is fine.
What about electric cleansing brushes? I don’t think they are necessary for daily use, but 2-3 times per week or so they can be a great addition to your regime as they are able to remove pollution leftovers and other contaminants much better than manual cleansing, so I use mine when my skin has been exposed to more than usual urban pollution. However, if you suffer with inflamed acne or rosacea lesions, please refrain from using electric brushes all together until that’s sorted.

About wet wipes, soap and shower gel

I do not recommend water-less cleansing such as using cleansing wipes. If you are on a long-haul flight, they can of course be useful, as a one-off, however they should not replace cleansing properly – with a cleanser and water – every day.

Also, traditional soaps won’t do you any favours. They cause irritation, dryness and roughness by disturbing the skin’s natural pH (acid balance); disrupting its protective barrier function; and damaging the fat and protein structure of the surface horny layer. Fatty acids in soap are also comedogenic, so can aggravate breakouts. Stick to modern, soap-free cleansers.
And it goes without saying that shower gel is no replacement for a good facial cleanser!

Do I need a toner?  

While cleansing is an important part of your daily skincare routine, toners aren’t strictly necessarily. Toners were originally developed to remove irritating soap leftovers from the skin surface, but thanks to modern soap-less cleansers, they’re no longer necessary. Toners can even irritate dry and sensitive skin, especially if they have an alcohol base.

Most skin types won’t need a separate toner. Only oily skin may benefit from special oil-reducing toners. For oily skin, there are also some great home-peel pads available that can help to remove excess oil and clear congestion.

Is double-cleansing necessary?   

I don’t routinely recommend double-cleansing for everybody, as if you have a good cleanser, one go is usually sufficient. However, if you wear make-up, especially quite durable make-up, double-cleansing might be a good idea, as you might want to start with a specialist make-up removing cleanser (but I recommend to do this with water, just like a normal cleanser, not just pads) and then a more deep-pore cleansing cleanser. The reason is that modern, specialised make-up removers ‘slide’ off make-up really well, but don’t cleanse your pores as well (and vice versa), so in my opinion it works best to start with a make-up remover and finish off with a ‘normal’ cleanser.

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