Who doesn't want to rediscover youthful looking skin and unlock glowing radiance and vitality? I know that I do which is why I'm constantly on the quest to discover the best skincare innovations. It's not just an old wives tale that going to bed with your make-up on can play havoc with your skin. Using the wrong cleanser can actually be just as damaging.
Luckily for you, it's one of the things that I love most in life, so my trial and error can be to your direct benefit in my regular series called Tried and Tested.
Think of me as your guinea pig on a journey of "skin-exploration!"
Today facial cleansers take on so many different guises:
Cleansing / Micellar Water
You can use them with cotton wool, a hot muslin cloth, a sonic cleansing brush or just massage directly onto the skin with your fingers.
It seems there is no end to the options available for achieving squeaky clean, fresh faced beauty.
Normally your selection is going to be based around whether you have Normal, Dry, Oily, Sensitive or Combination skin. Then there's the question of whether you need a different Day and Night cleanser. There are even PRE- cleaners available. No wonder so many women just reach or a bar of soap! Just making a choice is EXHAUSTING not to mention confusing.
So how do you go about choosing a Facial Cleanser?
Well, ideally you want to choose something that doesn't include alcohol, fragrance or parabens.
Look instead for products that contain active and natural ingredients like witch hazel, bio-flavonoids, oxygenated water, floral water and essential oils. Make sure that your face doesn't feel too tight or taut after cleansing either. 10-15 max is how long you should have that slight tight sensation - that's a good feeling - its proof that your product has done its job of removing the surface oil and dirt that's collected.
Is there a right way to Cleanse?
Well the answer of course is YES. Try not to drag or pull the skin. Use light patting movements, upwards and outwards, which is going to encourage the flow of blood and help prevent the loss of muscle tone and skin sagging.
And ALWAYS, I said ALWAYS, rinse with water.
Tried and Tested - Here's my PICK of the best in each category
The go to favourite is usually a cream cleanser. Pop into the shower for a thorough and luxurious facial treatment that will result in a deeply moisturised and instantly youthful glow.
Tested:I tried out Elemis Anti-Ageing Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser and adored it. Wonderful active fragrances, super luxuriant and full of wonderful anti-oxidant and anti-ageing ingredients.
A foam is a great all round choice for purifying the skin day and night without stripping away moisture.
Tested: I just love Omorovicza Cleansing Foam, it's a delicately scented blue cleansing foam that always leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed and super hydrated.
Gel formulas can be high in alcohol so generally are better for oilier skins. They normally have a luxurious feel and are great at melting away impurities.
Tested: I tried Chanel Gel Purete and I was hooked! It left my skin feeling fresh and youthful and has a lovely energising fresh scent
With the highest concentration of emollients of any type of cleanser, a balm is more like a moisturiser than a cleanser and is great for locking in moisture, especially handy for drier and more mature skin.
Tested: I tried out the iconic Eve Lom Cleansing Balm and what can I say. SOLD. Baby soft smooth skin. I'll be regularly buying this one.
These are great if you wear a lot of make-up regularly. The oil formula will work to break down the lipids found in foundations, powders and eye make-up.
Tested: Hands down my personal favourite and a regular in my bathroom is Tom Ford Purifying Cleansing Oil. It definitely leaves my skin feeling refreshed, smooth and super detoxified plus it smells divine. Great to use at the end of the day.
Milks are great for all types of skin, especially sensitive and more mature skin because they tend to be less aggressive and more soothing.
Tested: You can't go wrong with Clarins Cleaning Milk. Soft and gentle yet super effective.
This is a suds free way to wash and there are plenty out there now on the market including micellar waters. What that basically means is that they prevent too much product from landing in one area which may lead to irritation.
Tested: I've been using Perricone MD Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment and its great at attacking surface dirt and grime but not stripping your skins essential oils.
A powder is a great choice if you lack a certain glow.
Normally they'll contain pulverised minerals and grains too so once mixed with water, they transfer into a paste.
Tested: My favourite is Dermalogica Daily Microfliant, a unique rice based enzyme powder that micro foliates to remove dull debris on the surface of the skin revealing an instantly smoother and brighter complexion.
Those are my top Tried and Tested cleansers - there's bound to be one that you're going to love from the list above. Let me know how you get on and which ones you love.