For clean, glowing skin that’s free of impurities, you’ll need to follow these three crucial steps, recommended by beauty editors.
It takes more than splashing some water on your face and massaging some cleanser into it. How do you know if you’re making the most of your cleansing routine? And more importantly, why is it so important to cleanse your skin thoroughly? Good and proper facial cleansing can prevent acne breakouts, improve skin texture and reduce skin inflammation. A basic rule of thumb is washing your face twice daily: once in the morning to get rid of dead skin cells as our skin self renews every night, and once more before you go to bed to remove traces of pollution, grime, sebum and makeup that have accumulated on skin’s surface throughout the course of the day. However, it is also important not to wash your face too frequently even if you have shine-prone skin as overdoing it can strip away essential moisture on the skin’s surface. Finally, due to how follicles grow on the face, it’s best to wash upwards and outwards to get a deeper cleanse and pay attention to the jawline, hairline and nose as these are the most commonly neglected spots.
Always Double Cleanse
While double cleansing is still a relatively new concept in the West, thankfully most Asians are long used to the standards that Japanese women have set for us, along with their admirable commitment to a rigorous skincare routine. The purpose of the first cleansing step is to remove makeup, and usually involves a cleansing oil, balm, or milk to melt away all traces of makeup. More often than not, these makeup removers are massaged directly onto dry skin, before a small amount of water is added while you continue to massage it onto your skin as it emulsifies. Lastly, rinse it all off or wipe away all residue with a warm and damp cloth.
Try Dior Prestige Le Baume Démaquillant, $130 for 150ml, a sumptuous balm that melts into a silky oil upon application to the skin. Infused with micro-active rose water, it keeps skin deeply moisturised while thoroughly eliminating all traces of makeup. When in contact with water, it transforms into a lightweight, non-greasy milk that rinses away easily as skin feels soft and supple.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, try Mamonde Petal Spa Cleansing Balm, $28 for 80g. Its oil-jelly hybrid texture dissolves makeup and impurities while rose oil extract strengthens skin’s moisture barrier. Even on days when you do not wear makeup, you should still double cleanse as long as you are wearing an SPF product, regardless of whether it’s tinted or not.
Follow with a facial cleanser to give skin a deeper, more thorough cleanse. KORA Organics Foaming Cleanser, $43 for 100ml, lathers into a rich foam that cushions the skin for a luxurious wash. It is also fortified with certified organic noni fruit, sandalwood oil, aloe vera and green tea extracts to soothe, hydrate and protect skin from free radical damage.
Try a mud cleanser like Pixi Mud Cleanser, $28 for 135ml, if you have enlarged pores. It contains glycolic acid that gently refines skin texture as it removes gunk and sebum from deep within pores.
Or stick to something extra nourishing like Laneige’s Moist Cream Cleanser, $32 for 150ml, if you have dry skin, as it contains plant-based natural oils to ensure long-lasting hydration.
The upgraded Neutrogena Deep Clean Foaming Cleanser, $11.50 for 100g, not only purges pores of grime, it also contains glycerin and beeswax to seal in moisture for a gentle yet effective cleanse.
Go beyond manual cleansing and supercharge your cleansing routine with high-tech devices. If you prefer a cleansing brush, try ReFa CLEAR, $360, which uses the elliptical motion and 3D sonic vibrations so that the brush comes in constant contact with the contours of the face. In addition, since the vibrations occur in tiny horizontal and vertical motions, grime trapped deep within pores are eliminated and stubborn comedones are loosened without any abrasion to the skin. and that removes makeup residue and grime from pores and skin. Ion cleansing also means impurities are drawn out of pores gently and effectively.
Alternatively, try FOREO Luna 2, $319, which combines both deep-cleansing and anti-ageing benefits in one handy gadget. The front side of Luna 2 is curved and specifically designed to fit the contours and angles of the face. Couple that with its 8,000 T-Sonic pulsations per minute and you are guaranteed a power-packed cleansing action. Use the reverse side as you apply your skincare products for a line-smoothing effect, thanks to the lower-frequency pulsation which also aids product penetration. The entire device is also made of silicone which keeps bacteria build-up at bay.
Exfoliate & Peel
Every once or twice a week, it is vital to exfoliate your skin to clear away the debris of dead skin cells that have accumulated on skin’s surface. Not only does this help rid skin of roughness and dullness, it also improves microcirculation to reveal smoother and brighter skin. And when it comes to exfoliation, there are two main classes of products you can choose from: chemical exfoliants or physical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants involve the use of acids or enzymes to dissolve the “glue” that results in dead skin cells sticking to skin surface whereas physical exfoliants (more commonly known as face scrubs) use tiny granules to sweep away dead skin cells. And while many people are used to face scrubs, acids-based chemical exfoliants can still seem daunting to some.
Suitable for all skin types, Dr Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, about $114, at Net-A-Porter is a two-step system that first infuses skin with powerful exfoliating acids. Apply directly onto clean, dry skin in circular motion until the pad feels dry and leave on for two minutes before continuing with the second step provides skin with nutrients like antioxidants, phospholipids and vitamins. Its use of AHAs and BHA also mean that not only does it improve skin texture but it also decongests pores. Moreover, it uses a combination of multiple acids at low concentrations to ensure that the formula stays safe for skin while achieving optimal results. Dr Dennis Gross’ iconic peel is also available in Extra Strength and Ultra Gentle options.
If you prefer a typical scrub format, try Tatcha’s The Rice Polish Classic Foaming Enzyme Powder, $95 for 60g. Made with Rice Ferment Filtrate, Rice Bran Extract and hydrolyzed silk, it gets rid of dead skin cells while reducing hyperpigmentation for a softer, more radiant complexion. Dispense half a teaspoon of powder and massage into a rich, luxurious lather between wet hands. The dense foam thoroughly cleans out pores without causing any irritation, making it perfect for all skin types.