How to wash your face properly

Cleansing broken down into 8 easy steps.

How to wash your face properly

  1. First thing’s first. You need to make sure your hands are clean. Because, GERMS. So wash your hands with antibacterial soap.

  1. Next, you’ll need to remove your eye makeup. The skin around your orbital bone is much thinner and more sensitive than the rest of your face, so it deserves extra TLC. Use a cleanser specifically formulated for the eyes, such as Simple Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover on a cotton pad.

TIP: it’s important not to drag the cotton pad around the eye area as this pulls the skin (not ideal for fine lines). Instead, hold the soaked pad over your lashes to dissolve the makeup first and then gently wipe away.

  1. Then, do NOT wet your face – yet. You’re first going to use a cleanser made to remove stubborn makeup. Dermalogica’s Precleanse and other oil-based cleansers are ACTUAL miracle workers.

  1. Work your oil-based cleanser in a circular motion with your fingers all over your face. Then add water. Continue to massage the water and oil around your face as it forms a milky emulsion – this is your makeup lifting off your skin. Basically, the oil from the cleanser is attracted to the oil on your face, and as the milky emulsion forms it dissolves your makeup in front of your eyes. MAGIC.

TIP: to remove toxin and fluid build-up, you can slowly work the cleanser around in circular motions towards your lymph nodes. These are located under and behind your ears, under your jawline and chin, and at the base of your neck near your collarbones.

  1. Next, rinse the milky emulsion off with a light splashing of warm water. Alternatively, you can wipe your cleanser off using a cloth. Dermalogica’s Sponge Cloth is gentle and bacteria-resistant, so you can’t go wrong.

TIP: I usually do these steps before I get into the shower, otherwise I find my face gets wet before I use my oil-based cleanser (and you want your face to be dry!).

  1. Once you’re in the shower and the water is a comfortable temperature (too hot and you can cause capillary damage, as well as dry your skin out), it’s time to wet your face to prepare for your second cleanse.

TIP: Wetting your face will mean you’ll have a deeper clean as your skin can absorb more product.

  1. Your second cleanse can be more customised to your skin concerns as it’s the one cleaning your skin, rather than just removing your makeup. Work it all over your face and don’t be afraid to go into your hairline. Rinse.

TIP: Gel and foaming cleansers are usually great for oily skin. Sensitive or dry skin types tend to love creamier products. That said, don’t pigeonhole yourself. There are plenty of different cleanser types to choose from and your skin might look and feel it’s best using a random one. You can also use the same face wash for both cleanses if you don't want a bazillion products everywhere*.

Slight exaggeration. It's only TWO* cleansers, people.

  1. Alternate your second cleanse throughout the week with a chemical exfoliating cleanser. Keep your eyes peeled for ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Beta Hydroxy Acid and lactic acid. They keep on top of shedding dead skin cells to save you from using a hardcore scrub once a week.

TIP: If you want to supercharge your second cleanse, you can use a fancy brush. The bristles help work the product deeper into your skin and can generally remove debris more thoroughly than your fingers.

On another note, you can also simplify your cleansing routine if this is all too much. Leigh Campbell, our Beauty Director, absolutely swears by micellar water.

"It's a French cult product and you don't need to use anything else. Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution is the original and the best. It takes all of your makeup off and doesn't leave an uncomfortable-feeling film on your skin which can be common with other products that don't require rinsing."

And if you think you're just washing your face with plain old water and it's all a con, think AGAIN.

There's actually micelles oil droplets in the water that attach to dirt and makeup which are then gently removed. The bonus? The fact you don't need to rinse afterwards means you're also saving the planet and money. SIGN US UP.