Spring clean - for skin


With spring just around the corner, now is the time to overhaul your skin care regime, slough away winter and reveal a fresh faced healthy complexion. But how do you choose the correct cleanser for your skin? Sally Penfold of the International Dermal Institute shares some of her top tips...

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How to choose a cleanser
A cleanser needs to match your skin type. If you have oily skin you need a cleanser with a stronger surfactant (degreasing agent) and one that does not strip the skin of oils like soap or products containing S.D. alcohol. Look for a clay based cleanser or a soap free gel facial wash.

If you have an oil-dry skin, you will need to use a milder cleanser with less surfactant. They often come in the form of a milky, creamy cleanser. For a combination skin
the cleanser sits in the middle of the cleansing spectrum (regarding surfactant) and can be a light milky cleanser or a gel facial wash.

If you experience sensitivity choose a cleanser with no known skin irritants (free from artificial colours and fragrance) with a calming and soothing ingredient base.

What should my cleansing routine involve?
Firstly ensure you have your hair back from the perimeters of your face so you can get to the often neglected hair line and around the ears. Apply the correct amount of product (check product instructions) to the skin with clean hands. Then with an exfoliating facial brush or your fingers work the cleanser into your skin in light circular motions from top to bottom or vice versa.

Pay special attention to the areas where you have congestion such as the nose, forehead, neck or chin. Ensure you take your cleanser right up to your hair line and around to the back of your ears as these are common areas for congestion often due to poor cleansing.

Research at The International Dermal Institute found that most people spend less than 10 seconds on cleansing and it should take about a minute to cleanse your skin thoroughly! To remove your cleanser use tepid water and splash away all traces of cleanser, using a facial cloth will also ensure you get every last bit. Now one of the secrets to effective cleansing, follow the same process all over again. Yes that's right, double cleanse!

What about my eye make-up?
I'd always advise a make-up remover that is specially formulated to use around the delicate eye area verses a general cleansing product. This should ensure that: a) the product won't sting or irritate the eye b) that all your eye make-up, especially that stubborn mascara comes off.

Try to avoid eye make-up removers that contain mineral oil. This ingredient can cause little white heads around the eyes and leave a film over the eye.

What are pre-cleansing oils?
Pre-cleansing oils are a fantastic new type of product that you use for your first cleanse. They work on the principle that like attracts like. The oil in the product attracts the oil as well as the dirt, make-up and debris on the skin surface. Therefore, when you wash off the pre-cleanse product you will thoroughly wash away all the surface debris and oil. This ensures your second cleanse with your normal cleanser really cleans the skin so it is squeaky clean.

The really great thing about this type of product is that they are also very good at removing sun screens and wax based make-up, which can otherwise sit on the skin and result in skin congestion or sensitivity.