Caring for the skin on your face is a much more complicated process than many of us might think. You might think that a quick rinse with water in the shower is all your face needs, but if you have oily skin, spots, dry patches or you wear makeup, your skin needs extra attention to keep looking its best.
The first step to a clean face is to take all your makeup off properly. Most makeup is oil-based, so it won’t just come off with water. Eye makeup especially is made to have staying power and comes in dark colours, so it’s much harder than foundation to remove. Use a lotion specially formulated to remove makeup, such as cold cream, micellar water or makeup removal wipes. Don’t scrub at your skin; instead, gently press the wipe or cotton pad soaked with remover against your eye for a few seconds before wiping gently downwards. When your top lid is clean, open your eye and remove any residue on your lower lid.
Now that your face is bare, use a cleanser to remove any remaining oil and dirt. Look for one that’s formulated for your skin type – the gentler, the better. Foaming gel cleansers work better for oily skin, while cream cleansers work better for dry skin. Massage it into your face with a soft washcloth to help remove dead skin cells and encourage blood flow – try to do this for a full minute if you can! You can give yourself the same pampering experience found at the best spa facial treatments in London. Some people also swear by the oil-cleansing method, where special beauty oils are used to clean dirt and skin oils from your face without drying out the skin with harsh detergents.
Next, exfoliate – this is the key for baby-smooth skin. The best way to do this is to use a chemical exfoliator containing AHAs. You might have seen exfoliators on sale containing microbeads or crushed apricot stones, but stay away! Not only can microbeads harm your skin by causing thousands of tiny micro-tears, they’re made of plastic that’s dangerous for the environment after you rinse them down the sink.
You might have seen skincare brands endorsing a 3-step technique – cleanse, tone and moisturise. The truth is that you don’t have to use a toner, and most of them contain alcohol which can have a drying effect. If you have oily skin, this can temporarily make your face less shiny, but it will only prompt your skin to produce more oil later on.
However, it’s always vitally important to moisturise, no matter what kind of skin you have. Moisturising restores valuable oils to your skin to keep it looking smooth and young. Without it, dry skin will become flaky and oily skin will become slick and greasy. Choose a moisturiser that heals and protects your skin, specially formulated for your age and skin type. It’s never too late to start looking after your skin. Put a routine in place now, and you’ll be reaping the benefits for decades to come.