A non-negotiable for clear and glowing skin, cleansing is usually step one in a woman's skincare regime. Not only does it remove make-up, dirt, excess oils and impurities that build up during the day on our skin, it also helps to eliminate bacteria, pollutants, dirt and dead skin cells. And who wants those lying on their face?
Face cleansing is also key to keeping our skin soft and supple, as excessive build up of dirt on the surface of our skin causes blockages in the tiny hair follicles on our visage, trapping sebum, sweat and bacteria, causing inflammation and blemishes.
A whopping 92% of British women currently use facial cleansers, with face wash (55%) the UK's most popular cleansing product. And while it may seem like the one skincare step we have nailed – just splash on some water and you're away – there's more to cleansing than meets the eye. From harsh chemicals, damaging water temperatures and a slap-dash technique, there's a whole host of slip-ups that could be wreaking havoc with your skin.
Luckily, we have you covered with these common cleansing mistakes you may be making and how you can stop today.
Not double cleansing
Nope, it's not an urban skincare myth, double cleansing is very much a thing and very important at that. While it's not necessary in the morning (one cleanse is enough to remove dead skin cells and sweat), it's imperative for your evening cleanse if you've been wearing SPF, have a face full of make-up or if you've been in an urban environment.
For the first round of cleansing, make sure you spend at least one minute working the product into the skin to ensure all make-up is dissolved – don't forget your neck and hairline. Remove all excess with a soft muslin cloth, flannel or reusable cotton pad. Our Willowberry Nutrient Boost Cleansing Balm is perfect for melting away all traces of grime and make-up and strengthens the skin's barrier thanks to the inclusion of essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
Once you've removed what's on the surface, it's time to get into a deeper second cleanse to really make your skin sing. Massage the cleanser into your skin again using upward motions, really getting into all areas of your face and neck to remove all traces of pollution, excess oil, toxins and product build-up. Use this time to give yourself a little face massage, then remove with a wet cloth.
Cleansing in the shower
We know, it makes perfect sense to wash your face when you're washing the rest of your body but cleansing your face in the shower could result in congestion and inflammation. As we turn up the heat and enjoy the wonderful relaxing steam on our muscles, our blood vessels and capillaries are dilating which can lead to permanently broken vessels, rosacea and dehydrated skin on the face.
What's more, if you're used to lathering up and incorporating a hair wash during your shower time, residue left from your shampoo can sit on the skin causing further inflammation and blemishes aplenty. The solution? Keep your shower temperature down and save any cleansing of the face or body until after you've washed your hair, or avoid washing your face in the shower altogether, and save your routine for sink-side.
Choosing the wrong cleanser
With an abundance of options on the market, choosing the right cleanser for you can be overwhelming. While face washes have traditionally been hailed as the most convenient, with many people associating lather with a clean feeling, many face washes add the harsh chemical sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) to the formula, which makes it lather. This actually strips and dries the skin, making it sensitive over time. For more delicate skin, cleansing milks can provide an added element of hydration for more dehydrated skin and they don't require water, making them perfect for travelling. Cleansing balms are also great for all skin types. Perfect for removing make-up (even stubborn mascara), their rich content restores skin's moisture balance while sweeping away excess oils. Natural cleansing balms are a great way to help hydrate and nourish skin while you cleanse, as they are formulated with natural oils and butters.
Article by Jessica Harris
Willowberry is 'Nutritious Natural' skincare for grown-ups for your best skin. Launched in 2017, Willowberry is an award-winning independent British brand that has gained a cult following. Loved by top make-up artists, the streamlined, highly effective range protects skin’s natural barrier function to nourish and transform grown-up skin, with indulgent formulas that feed the skin and soul.