Put down the make-up wipes & listen up! We’ve got some real cleansing to do

This article is sponsored by CeraVe

We know what you might be thinking – there are rules for everything these days. Gone are the nights you could give your face a quick once-over with a wipe, rub in your favourite moisturiser and crawl into bed. Now it’s all 10-step routines, rose-quartz facial tools and fancy serums you’ve got to keep in your fridge.

But here’s the thing about beauty – the only rule you really need to follow is doing what’s best for your skin. That means finding products that suit your skin type and using them to the best of their ability. It could mean two steps, it could mean five – whatever your face needs to feel happy.

Cleansing is arguably the most important step in your skincare routine (sorry serum lovers, stick with us!). It’s responsible for removing any make-up, dirt and sweat from your face, but also ensuring your skin gets a good cleaning too.

So why is it so important to perfect your cleansing technique? Well, think about it this way: if you’re not taking the right steps to clean your skin (e.g. you’re going in quickly with a wipe and leaving it there), you’ll just be moving the dirt around your face, and any product you put on top won’t be performing to its full potential. Yep, that means any money spent on serums, moisturisers and treatments will essentially be running down the drain.

But don’t panic – with the help of CeraVe, we’re here to explain how to cleanse like a dermatologist, breaking down the when, the how and the perfect formula for your face.

How often should I be cleansing?

Most people benefit from cleansing their face both morning and night. In the morning, choose a gentle formula that can be used to sweep away any traces of sweat, excess oil or pore-clogging ingredients from your overnight skincare. This helps prep your skin and get it in a good place for the day ahead.

At night, this is when you introduce the double cleanse (more on that later). This is when you’ll be removing make-up and any dirt or oils that’ve accumulated on your face throughout the day.

If your skin is very dry or sensitive, you may find that your skin feels happier if you skip the morning cleanse. Does it feel stripped of moisture or ‘squeaky clean’ to the touch? Maybe stick to the evening cleanse for now.

How should I be cleansing?

There are three words to remember when it comes to cleansing like a derm: quickly, gently, thoroughly.

First off, wet your face using lukewarm water. Hot water might feel nice, but extreme temperatures can quickly damage delicate skin and strip it of the natural oil barrier that helps maintain healthy skin. It could also cause your skin to feel dry more quickly than usual.

Apply your cleanser to your fingertips and take it to your face in swirling circular motions. While it might be tempting to go in hard and fast, washing your face too aggressively can cause it to become red, itchy and irritated, so try and take it slow.

Make sure to hit every spot, including your t-zone and u-zone (around the jawline). Once you’ve built up a nice lather (around 20-30 seconds), carefully rinse away the product. You don’t need to pat dry – a damp face is a great base for the rest of your skincare products.

What’s double cleansing?

As the name might suggest, double cleansing is when you cleanse your face twice at night-time. Some people do this with two different cleansing products, others go in twice with the same product.

Most dermatologists would recommend double cleansing as it’s the most effective method of ensuring your skin is the cleanest it can be. Products like make-up and SPF are designed to stay on your face throughout the day, so it makes sense that they require a bit more time to remove, too.

The first cleanse should focus on removing any make-up or product that’s sat on top of your face. Always remove the heaviest thing first – for example, if you’re wearing eye make-up, start here. The second cleanse is more about giving your skin a cleanse, helping to keep your natural skin barrier feeling healthy.  

What type of cleanser should I use?

Gels, milks, lotions, balms, oils… the list of cleansing formulas goes on. When it comes to picking the right formula for you, it’s best to consider the ingredients and textures that are right for your skin type.

If you have normal or dry skin, choosing a formula that has added moisturising ingredients helps to nourish and stop your skin from drying out even more. For combination and oily skin, pick something that has a blend of moisturising and oil-balancing ingredients (think ceramides and niacinamide). Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe’s range of cleansers are designed to support your skin’s natural barrier.

For normal to dry skin

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin

• Size: 236ml

• Contains three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid

• Fragrance free

This non-foaming gel formula helps remove dirt, oil and make-up without leaving skin feeling dry and tight. Plus, the addition of hyaluronic acid helps to retain your skin’s natural moisture, leaving you with happy-feeling skin.

For normal to oily skin

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin

• Size: 236ml

• With ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide

• Fragrance free

The addition of niacinamide helps this foaming cleanser calm the skin and help control the oil balance. The refreshing gel transforms into a foam that’s great for removing make-up and dirt while still boosting your moisture levels.

For dry, rough, bumpy skin

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser with Salicylic Acid

• Size: 236ml

• With ceramides, hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid

Fragrance free

For skin with a bit more texture, this formula helps gently exfoliate the skin as it cleanses, removing any dirt, oil and make-up build-up, as well as smoothing any rough or bumpy patches.

Remember, taking the time to cleanse your face like a pro will not only help support your skin, but also ensures the rest of your skincare routine work to the best of its abilities too.