August 07, 2013

Squeaky Clean - A Cleansing Rundown

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It doesn't matter whether it’s 3am and you've just tumbled in after a wild night out, or a lazy Sunday morning, there is never an excuse not to make sure you face is squeaky clean!  I’m rounding up cleansers in all shapes and formulas to give you all you need to know about the different cleansing options.  So step away from face wipes and find your perfect cleansing match below…

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Creams. Probably one of the most traditional methods of cleansing, and a very popular choice indeed.  Perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin and super convenient (I always keep one in my bedside table for those drunken nights out).  Cream cleansers are great all rounders but I personally would always recommend a double cleanse when using them.  Once to remove surface dirt and makeup and then a second to actually clean and treat the skin.  My cream cleanser of choice is the Botanics All Bright Gentle Cleansing Cream which is great for sensitive skin.  The hibiscus and natural AHA’s gently exfoliate the skin with each use leaving skin bright and fresh.  Cream cleansers work great with cotton wool or muslin a good facial massage with your fingertips and some warm water.

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Wash. Face washes are quite the controversial subject in the beauty world, however, good or bad they seem a popular choice.  To cut a long story short, some face wash ingredients (especially anything foamy) are guilty of drying the skin out causing premature aging.  That doesn’t mean all washes are bad, keep an eye on the ingredients and do your research before buying.  I wouldn’t recommend using a face wash every time you cleanse, but for using every now and then or with something like a clarisonic they can be really handy and effective.  Recently I’ve been enjoying using the Antipodes Juliet Skin Brightening Cleansing Gel*, it’s a great one to use in the morning as the scent is really uplifting and fresh, and it really awakens the skin.  A little goes a long way with this stuff too, which takes the sting out of the price.  This is like a more grown up sophisticated version of the Botanics cream cleanser, with the same theme running in the ingredients, although the natural content in the Antipodes boasts a higher percent.  This one is great to use with fingers or muslin and some warm water. One word of warning I would give though is that if you do have very mature or problematic skin then a wash really isn’t going to be for you.

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Water. If you haven’t been made aware of the recent craze of micellar waters then where have you been?!  For make up artists and beauty whizz kids these aren’t so new but to the general public they are very much the new cleansers on the block.  When it comes to removing makeup these guys are fantastic!  However, they don’t do much in the way of treating the skin.  For your first step in cleansing I would 100% recommend using one, but would then maybe follow up with something else.  My water of choice, is of course, Bioderma Sensibo H20* this is my third bottle of this stuff and I love it.  This works with all skin types from sensitive to oily and is a great product to have on hand.  I use this with a large cotton wool pad and my makeup glides off so easily, even waterproof mascara.  The formula has such a high water content and cucumber too which leaves skin feeling very cool.

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Clay. Out of all cleansers this is my personal savior.  Clay based cleansers are brilliant for young, problematic skin or acne sufferers.  They come in different forms, but I’d recommend a wash off formula as they can leave behind residue and be slightly messy.  They are great for using in the morning as clay has really strong mattifying properties which really prep the skin for makeup.  My clay cleanser of choice was recommended to me by my facialist and it’s the Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser.  This stuff may have a hefty price tag but the formula lasts forever, and also doubles up as a mask.  This is packed full of problem busting ingredients like green clay, sambucus, cucumber and sage.  I would say that any sensitive soles should steer clear of cleansers like this as they can cause irritation, so maybe stick to something a little gentler like a cream cleanser.  This style of cleanser is so easy to use and really gives instant gratification.  This is perfect used with fingers and warm water.

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Oil. Oils are a still a fairly new kid on the block, and I think some people are still a little weary of them, but don’t be put off as oil + oil DOES NOT = oil. In fact, it helps.  Oils are a really luxurious way to get our faces clean at the end of the day and are almost always packed with skin loving ingredients (which usually makes them quite a pricey option).  If your going to be using these then I’d take some time to learn a little facial massage routine as that just adds to the benefits and luxury of the experience.  The Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes* smells wonderful and really removes all traces of makeup gently and quickly.  Personally I prefer using oils on makeup free skin, but that’s just personal preference.  This oil is packed with sunflower seed oil, soybean and jojoba oil making it very skin loving.  However they do tend to be expensive so definitely ask for a sample first.  Oils work great with fingers, muslin and warm water.

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Balm. This is certainly a popular option at the moment, one that I wasn’t to sure of at first to be honest. But after trying out some cleansing balms I can definitely say I see what all the fuss is about.  There is a great price and choice range with balms and the benefits to the skin are endless.  Again like oils it gets you into the habit of facial massage and really working products into the skin to get the most out of the ingredients list.  One thing I will say about balms is to keep an eye on the expiration date as they tend to run out quicker than other cleansers due to their natural content.  My balm of choice is Neal’s Yard Remedy’s Wild Rose Beauty Balm* which is a multi-purpose natural balm that cleans my face gently and effectively.  This stuff is amazing, I use it for cleansing, moisturising and treating skin problems.  It comes with a handy little muslin cloth and is 99% organic filled with Shea butter, beeswax and rose hip oil.  My skin loves this stuff, and feels so plumped and clear after I’ve used this.  I personally would only use this type of cleanser in the evening, but if you have dry skin then this would be really effective to use morning and night. This works really well with muslin and warm water.

I should probably mention that I am in no way claiming to be an expert this is just my experiences and thoughts with these cleansers.  Skincare is such a personal thing and it’s best to always stick with what works best for you.  I’m definitely a clay and balm kinda gal, and with that in mind pass the muslin I’m off to get clean…

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