This morning whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed I spotted a link to a Daily Mail article talking about a woman who wore heavy eye make up for years without cleansing her skin and removing it properly. The consequences of this are actually quite severe and she has developed black calcified spots on the inside of her eyelids as well as significant discomfort, I won’t link it, firstly because it is the Daily Mail and secondly because the whole story is quite graphic and not for the faint of heart. I doubt she is alone in her habit of not removing her make up and skipping cleansing, many of us have fallen asleep with our make up on sometimes, but as this case demonstrates particularly when it comes to eye health this really isn’t a great idea. Here are some cleansing tips and some gentle cleansers for all skin types to help you achieve the perfect cleansing routine:
Which cleanser to choose? – The market is flooded with different types of cleansers; oils, balms, gels, foams, but what should we be using? The answer to this depends entirely on a few different factors. What skin type you have (or more importantly how your skin is currently behaving), the kinds of products you use (someone who wears heavy stage make up will need something more heavy duty than someone who wears little make up for example) and which cleansing method you prefer to use. I am a big believer in finding products that you enjoy using, after all there is no product that works if it is only ever sat on the bathroom counter. Personally I think a cream cleanser is a good option for most skin types, but I also love an oil or balm, it really is a question of trying a few to see which one suits you. You can find cleansers to fit all budgets and preferences so it is worth shopping around.
Consider using a separate eye make up remover – With the rise in long wear make up, completely removing eye make up has become more and more difficult. Even natural brands can be a challenge as formulas have adapted and changed. For that reason, personally I like to use a separate eye make up remover on cotton pads (reusable or normal both work well!) to enable me to get my eye make up off without irritating my delicate eye area. A simple oil works well here as long as is it essential oil free.
The right tools for the job – Never underestimate how much effect your cleansing accessories will have on your cleansing experience, it really does make a difference. I use a bamboo flannel, a fresh one daily and then pop it in the wash, but a muslin cloth is a good choice if you are looking for more of an exfoliation. Some brands offer dual sided clothes like the ones from Pai, meaning you get the best of both worlds.
Take your time – There are lots of different opinions from skincare experts on how much we should cleanse our skin, some are firmly in the “double cleanse” camp, whilst others say cleansing too aggressively can damage the skins barrier. Whichever method you choose, making sure that you have massaged your cleanser in to your face long enough to loosen all the dirt and grime is essential. Once a week a try and do a longer massage and at home facial, including a longer cleanse stage, this really helps with congestion and hydration. Don’t forget to take your products down your neck and chest area either.
Have a plan for emergencies – I keep a bottle of micellar water and some cotton rounds next to my bedside for those times when I have arrived home late or I have a teething toddler who won’t let me get to the sink. We all know that cleansing at the sink with a warm flannel is the best option overall, but there are also times when this might not be possible, for example during times of illness or if someone suffers from chronic pain. Finding other suitable options for cleansing for those times is always going to be better than not cleansing at all.
Make it part of a little you time – Most of us don’t get a lot of time to ourselves these days, I know I certainly don’t! Why not make your skincare routine into a pampering treat, rather than just another thing on your to do list? I like to pop on a podcast or some music, indulge in a little bit of facial massage or pop some aromatherapy oils in my diffuser, the little touches added makes it a pleasant ritual at the end of the day and helps me feel ready for bed. For those of us with small children, especially those with difficult evenings, there is no reason why you can’t remove your make up and cleanse your face as soon as you get home and know you won’t be going out again. Doing my skincare routine before the evening madness commences is really helpful, because I know sometimes it is the only it will happen.