No matter your age, the fundamentals of good cleansing remain the same.
That being said, the older you get, the more likely you are to appreciate the benefits of a really great cleanse with a proper cleanser. These benefits are two-fold. First, there’s the fact that as we age, our skin is less able to bounce back. No more sleeping in your makeup and swerving the consequences – this overnight debris shows itself in the form of dullness and blemishes. Secondly, cleansing your skin is a gorgeous ritual to bookend your day with. It sets the tone for your morning, and gives you a me-time moment to decompress and mull over the day before bedtime.
Cleansing is the foundation on which the rest of your routine is built. Think of it like putting together an outfit. If your underwear is ill-fitting, then the clothes you layer on top won’t hang properly. Starting from the base up is always a good approach.
If you wear makeup or SPF during the day, a single cleanse won’t be enough to remove them from your skin. Start your double cleanse first with an oil-based balm cleanser to melt away the day, using a cloth to really get into the nooks and crannies of your face. Once the path is clear, go in with a gel cleanser to give your pores a good clear out.
The skin around your eyes is extra delicate, so think of cleansing your peepers like caring for a piece of silk. Too much rubbing and you’ll run the risk of redness, irritation and even creating fine lines. Work in gentle, sweeping motions instead.
Be honest, when was the last time you actively cleansed the front of your neck – or the back of it for that matter? Our necks can quickly develop those tree bark-style rings around them where product has collected in the creases, especially if you’re a fan of take tan. The skin is also thinner here, with less collagen to support its structure, meaning it can show signs of ageing ahead of your face. The best (and easiest ) thing you can do for this delicate skin is to incorporate it into your facial skincare routine. That means cleansing from forehead to decolletage, and following the same path with the rest of your skincare.
As we travel down the path of life, the structure of our skin begins to change. Take the time to massage in your cleanser, working in upwards motions to discourage sagging. Manipulating and applying pressure to your skin will also increase oxygen and blood flow to the area for an instant glow. Win-win.
Not all cleansers are created equal, and the consistency and the ingredients really matter. If your skin is on the oily or combination side, there’s a tendency to gravitate towards foaming washes with stripping ingredients to whisk away excess oil. In some cases these can be too harsh for the skin, leaving it tight and dehydrated. On the other side of the fence are super thick, oil-based cleansers that, if used as your only cleanse, can leave a film over your complexion. Skin feels suffocated, and can break out in retaliation.
Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, which is why bathrooms are such a hot-bed for mould. So, if you have been making a habit of leaving your face cloth to dry on the side of the sink, you might want to re-think. To keep your facial or muslin cloth at it’s best, and to avoid transferring yesterday’s grime back onto your face, wash daily and dry properly. In an ideal world, it’s a good idea to have a collection of seven cloths, one for every day of the week, so you can wash them all in bulk.