It’s back to skin fundamentals with this week’s post!

Cleansing is the first step in nurturing balanced, healthy skin. It clears the pores of dust and debris, and prevents the build up of sebum leading to clogged pores and / or dull skin.

Cleansers come in all forms (gel, foam, cream, bar) and benefits (brightening, balancing, gentle, oil control and many many more).

Read on as we take you through the questions that our customers have put to us on cleansing dos and don’ts

#1 Why should you avoid washing your face with soap or cleansers containing Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulphate(SLES)?

Our skin has a natural protective barrier at its surface which protects the skin from its environment (bacteria, dust, light radiation, among others) as well as sealing hydration in the skin. Soap and ingredients such as SLS and SLES weaken this protective barrier. Long term this dries out the skin – which ironically might translate into the skin feeling oily as the skin goes into overdrive, and produces too much sebum to replace the removed layer. It has also been known to cause irritation and flakiness in sensitive skins.

Use a gentle cleanser, with a pH that is closer to the skin’s natural balance, between 4.5-6.

#2 What is double cleansing (and is it relevant for me?)

Double cleansing uses two separate products: an oil based cleanser (oil, cream, lotion in form) followed by a water based cleanser (gel or foam).

Double cleanse if you are wearing heavy or water resistant make up or sunscreen. You need an oil based cleanser to remove oil based residue from your face, followed by a water based cleanser to remove all traces of your oil based cleanser.

You can go for water based cleansing with no or light make up (basically if it looks like you are make up free at the end of the day!). The test to confirm this: wipe your face with a toner imbibed toner at the end of your cleansing step. If it is residue free, one step cleansing should be enough.

#3 Should you apply your cleanser on dry skin or wet skin?

Oil based cleansers (oil, cream or lotion cleansers) should be applied to dry skin – as water would dilute the cleansing power of the oil ingredients.

Water based cleansers (gel, foam) should be should be worked into a lather in the hands before being applied to the face (dry or wet, does not matter). This helps to spread the cleasing ingredients evenly on the face.

#4 Should you cleanse your eye area and your neck?

You should cleanse your eye area and your neck. Avoid wiping cleansing product in the eye (as it will sting) and be sure to rinse thoroughly after.

#5 Does it matter how long you cleanse your face?

It takes time to loosen up the dirt, dust and sebum which coat your pores. Use gentle circling movements to help the cleansing ingredients sink in. It should take you 15 seconds to apply your cleanser to your entire face and neck.

#6 How often should you exfoliate?

It depends on your skin type:

  • oily and combination skins will benefit from gentle daily exfoliation to reduce pore clogging
  • dull complexions and rough textured skin will also benefit from daily exfoliation as it removes dead skin cells allowing new, brighter skin to appear.
  • dry and / or sensitive skins should exfoliate two to three times a week.

If you are using a separate exfoliating product, exfoliate after cleansing the skin…. Or use alcheme’s exfoliating cleansing gel for a two in one step.

 #7 Should I use a toner?

Toner is the first leave on step of your skincare routine. All toners offer immediate hydration to the skin, helping to sooth it as well as allowing better absorption of the active ingredients in the serum and moisturiser.

You don’t absolutely need to tone the skin – but it does help in particular if you have concerns around dehydration, sensitive or irritation prone skin.

#8 Should I cleanse once or twice a day?

You should cleanse your skin twice a day, every day. No exceptions.

#9 Can you recap what the cleansing steps are?

To recap:

  1. Cleanse with oil based cleanser (if you are doing double cleansing) to remove make up and sunblock
  2. Cleanse with water based cleanser & Rinse
  3. Exfoliate & Rinse (if you are using a separate a separate exfoliator)
  4. Tone
  5. Apply treatment skincare, i.e. serum and or moisturizer, mask….