Skincare Philosophy [Pt. 1a: CLEANSING]

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Thorough cleansing is absolutely necessary for optimal skin health. In my opinion, cleansing, alongside exfoliation, are the two steps that outweigh all others in terms of importance (save for sun protection) in a skincare routine. They are the ones that make the most difference. You don’t need the $70 floral water spray, and you don’t need the $150 moisturizer, but you do need to wash your face properly. Twice a day, every day. If you skimp on cleansing but splurge everywhere else, you’re wasting your money. Also, mixing face wipes with a high-tech serum just sounds wrong, doesn’t it?

I am an unwavering devotee of the hot cloth method. To quote Sali Hughes (icon!), simply put, it is “the correct way to cleanse.” Although I follow up with a chemical exfoliator in liquid form after, the hot cloth method does provide a mild degree of physical exfoliation. To use, you will require three things: a fluffy face cloth, a balm/cream/lotion/milk cleanser, and hot water. Start by soaking the cloth in hot water (hot water, but not third-degree-burn-causing hot water) and holding it over the face for a few seconds. Repeat this a few times. The steam from the cloth will soften the skin, and loosen the dead cells of the uppermost layers that make your complexion look grey/dull. At this point, the skin shouldn’t be wet, but it should be slightly dampened and warm from the steam. Apply the cleanser—a generous quarter-sized amount for cream/lotion cleansers, or the tip of a cosmetic spatula for balm cleansers—to the skin, and work it in with massaging movements. Soak the cloth in hot water again, and wring out. Fold the cloth into a square or diamond shape to retain the heat inside it. While the cloth is still hot, gently wipe away the cleanser. The cloth should be hot at all times while doing this—once the heat is gone, run under hot water again, and wring out. This might take a few times before all the cleanser is removed. Splash the face with warm water to finish the cleanse, and pat dry with a clean towel. If you’ve never done this before, give it a go—you will be hooked. Please note that this does not work well with liquid/gel/foaming cleansers. I reserve this method for creams and balms only, which just so happen to be my preferred texture in a facial cleanser.

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10 thoughts on “Skincare Philosophy [Pt. 1a: CLEANSING]

    1. Ahh! Part 2 of this post on cleansing is going to go more in-depth on the different types of cleansers! It’s like you can read my mind… 😉 I love well-formulated cleansing oils (Dermalogica, Origins, The Body Shop, Clarins…) that remove everything, emulsify with water, and rinse clean. I think the OCM (oil cleansing method) that had it’s stint in the skincare community a while ago is rubbish. I don’t know why anyone would want to use mineral oil and/or cooking oils – coconut, olive – to “wash” their face. I mean, if it works for them and they like it then that’s fine. I just think there are better options available. 🙂 x

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      1. I’ve never used olive or coconut for cleansing! I couldn’t fathom doing so. I have been using shu uemura oil cleansers for the past 9 years and I will probably never use any other method of cleansing!! I’m spoiled I can cleanse and remove makeup at the same time! You can’t beat that!! I look forward to your follow up post!!!

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  1. I also LOVE Sali Hughes. And, I agree about the face wipes!

    I haven’t done a hot cloth cleanse in a very long time, but you’ve inspired me to try it again soon. My evening routine is much shorter nowadays, so I’ll have extra time to do this right.

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  2. I love how thorugh and clearly you write. I love the feel of the hot cloth on my face but my skin is very reactive-I go quite red when I do this. Is that okay or does it mean I should stay away from warm to hot water? I do love it…have you tried Marcelle’s Ultra gentle cleansing gel? I really like it-very inexpensive too!

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    1. Aww! Thank you so much. 🙂 I really appreciate that! It depends on how quickly the redness subsides – if it disappears after 5-10 minutes I’d say you’re fine! Always use your better judgment, though – if you feel it’s too much for your skin, cut back on using the cloths, and use tepid water when you’re not using a cloth. You know your skin better than anyone else; if you’re ever in doubt, always err on the side of gentle when it comes to skincare. I haven’t! I will have to look into that! Marcelle is a popular brand amongst the women in my fam! x

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  3. Thank you. The redness does subside pretty quickly so no damage done I guess! I don’t use Marcelle products besides this cleanser. It does the job and is quite hydrating. For 12.00 it is a deal. I don’t spend a lot on cleansers-prefer to get serums etc when I splurge. Thanks for the reply!

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    1. My pleasure! Yes, like I said, if it’s just an instant flush that goes away, you should be fine. I get nice pink cheeks using the hot cloth method; I don’t think I’d ever give it up! Since serums tend to not work that well on my skin, I prefer to spend money on cleansers and oils. 😛

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