Cleanse the right way!

Choosing the right cleanser is just as important as choosing the right moisturiser or lipstick. Pooja Nagdev gives the low-down on cleansers...

Studio portrait of a beautiful young woman wiping her face with a cotton pad against a blue backgroundStudio portrait of a beautiful young woman wiping her face with a cotton pad against a blue background

More and more we’re realising the importance of our skincare regimes – we spend hours looking for moisturisers that won’t block our pores and choose toners that will give us radiant skin. But when it comes to cleansers, we’re much less discerning; we’ll choose one based on brand, packaging, or an ad we saw. Getting clued up on your cleansers is actually really important, because knowing which type of cleanser to use can have a huge impact on your skin. We all know how long we spend decoding our moistursers and the process should be the same for our cleansers. To make it extra easy for you, here’s the ultimate cleanser breakdown, so you can choose the best one specifically for your skin type:

Now you know which cleanser you should be using, here’s how you can get the most from your cleanser:

* If you wear heavy make-up, use a double cleansing method. First, remove your make-up with a make-up wipe, micellar water, a foam, or gel cleanser, then follow with a cleanser suitable for your skin type. Follow with a toner or micellar water.

* Always use warm water to wash your face. Studies have shown hot water can dry out your skin, increase the likeliness cleansers will irritate your skin, and even cause damage to your facial capillaries and the barrier function of the skin’s surface. Once your face is clean, use a splash of cold water to close your pores.

 *Always moisturise after your skin is cleansed, this is particularly important at night, even if you have oily or acne-prone skin, as your face loses more moisture overnight than at any point.

* Always go for products that are made with organic, sulphate-free
and eco-certified ingredients.

Gel cleansers  

Gel formulas are clear with a thick gel consistency, and they’re amazing for deep cleansing. They decongest clogged pores, remove excess oils without stripping the skin, and many formulas also have antibacterial ingredients that are perfect for calming acne-prone skin. Gels are ideal for deep cleaning without over-stripping. You can even use some gel cleansers as a mask, just leave them on your skin for a couple of minutes and wash off.

Best for: Combination/oily/acne-prone skin

Beware of: Strong ingredients that can overly strip your skin. If your face feels tight after using a gel cleanser, it could be too intense for your skin.

Best ingredients: Alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, tea tree oil, witch hazel.

Cream cleansers

Cream cleansers are typically a thick, dense formula that is extremely moisturising (perfect for ageing skin), while they’re also great at removing make-up due to their heavy consistency. The rich consistency means that they’re less foamy, and as a result, will not dry your skin. If you’re a heavy make-up-wearer, it’s better to remove make-up with a wipe or micellar water first and then finish with your cream cleanser. Some formulas even say to apply on dry skin and wipe away with a cotton ball — in this case, it’s better to use a toner after to make sure no residue is left on your skin.

Best for: Dry/sensitive/ageing skin.

Beware of: Some cream cleansers can block your pores, so look out for labels that say non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, as this means the product has been specifically tested for this and won’t block your pores.

Best ingredients: Vitamin E, jojoba, shea butter.

Foam cleansers

Foaming cleansers usually come with a pump dispenser and are typically a little tougher on your skin. They’re perfect for getting rid of make-up and removing dirt and oil, but if your skin tends to be dry, it’s better to steer clear of foam cleansers as they’ll strip your skin of all the moisture. There’s a little controversy around foam cleansers, as some believe they can be too harsh on your skin, but foam cleansers are a great option for oily skin types.Just be sure to follow with a moisturiser as oily skin needs moisture, too!

Best for: Oily/acne-prone skin.

Beware of: Check the ingredients and be sure to avoid sodium lauryl sulphate, as this ingredient can irritate your skin.

Best ingredients: Tea tree oil, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and 
benzoyl peroxide.

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Cleanse the right way!

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