Your quick cleansing guide to removing ALL of your makeup after work
Clean up your act, stat!
Fact: Cleanliness is next to gorgeousness. You need to get your fundamentals right by sudsing up and scrubbing down because hey, why risk the heartache (and face-ache) of pitted pores and pimples, all because you aren’t being meticulous about makeup removal at the end of the day?
Now that the scary bit is out of the way, let’s dish the dirt, so to speak, on some of the most common cleansing boo-boos, and what to do instead. Cheers to cleaner (and clearer) skin!
Yours truly is an enthusiastic endorser of incorporating oils in skin care – like the traditional Chinese proverb exhorting the fighting of poison with poison, “good” oils are the best medium for removing excess “bad” oils.
To that end, try Shu Uemura’s awesome Anti/Oxi+ Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil, which boasts a carefully curated botanical blend of detoxifying green goodies that claims to calm your complexion and purge pores like no other. When you work warm water onto your skin, the oils “emulsify” – that is, the liquid envelops the tiny globules, turning into a milky solution – which can be rinsed right off.
Amp up your cleansing oils by using ‘em with a brush
And while it’s mighty fine used on its own, consider boosting its beautifying benefits by using it with a fab facial brush the likes of Clarisonic’s Mia 2, whose whirring mechanism helps the golden goodness to penetrate your pores that much better. Simply slather your cleansing oil onto dry skin, activate your appliance, press to face, rinse off – and you’re done. Maximum cleansing with minimal elbow grease on your part!
When it comes to makeup remover, micellar water’s the way to go. Now, what exactly is this hugely hyped and relatively new kid on the beauty block? Well, micellar water gets its exotic name from the formula’s minuscule “micelles”, or oil molecules suspended in a “shell” of water. Rubbing releases the micelles, instantly sopping up grime and grease on your skin. And unlike regular oil-based cleansers, this next-gen, non-foaming solution boasts the kind of “slip” and shine-free finish you’d expect from a water-based product – no rinsing required, too.
What to try, what to buy? My money’s on La Mer’s terrific The Cleansing Micellar Water, a lush liquid shot through with the brand’s near-mythical blend of moisturising marine algae actives. Another big beauty bonus: The product more than passes the smell test, too. Slapping on this subtly scented salve is ridiculously relaxing, especially when it’s hot as blazes outside.
The cool lotion-like consistency of this skin-softening salve is also very reminiscent of the latest trove of Korean toners, and can indeed be used, toner-style – simply pat on with cotton pads, AM and PM, to comfort, contour and condition your complexion.
One point to note when it comes to micellar water: Remember to pat, not rub, as harsh handling of post-shower skin is a surefire way of promoting premature ageing.
Facial cleansing wipes may seem like a windfall for lazy ladies when it comes to late-night makeup removal. After all, what could be easier than fishing one out from a resealable package, sweeping it over your skin and calling it a night?
The ugly truth, unfortunately, isn’t all that rosy. While their dirt-dissolving surfactants are much the same as those in wash-off cleansers, celebrity makeup artist Larry Yeo cautions against depending upon wipes for all your cleansing needs: “Without a good rinse with water, wipes will inevitably leave behind a layer of grime, and cannot be counted upon as perfect substitutes for proper cleansing.” Bummer.
Use a supercharged 'water' to splash off any cleansing wipe residue
What recourse, then, do we wipe worshippers have? If you must use a wipe, always follow up with a quick splash of a “toning” water like Laneige’s lovely Essential Power Skin Refiner for sensitive skin, an incredibly comforting concoction that leaves a super supple finish – so much so that I’ve found myself skipping my moisturiser on nights when I just can’t be arsed to follow through with my eight-step regime. *Happy dance
Here’s a ‘dirty’ little secret: Most deep cleansers do double duty as pore-purging masks – and by the same token, products marketed as masks may be used as cleansers in a pinch, since masks are meant to sop up grease and grime in much the same way facial washes do.
Product-wise, there’s a plethora of pore-tightening poultices lining the beauty aisles, but I’m particularly fond of Estelle & Thild’s terrific Deep Cleansing Detox Mask, which comes chock-full of naturally sourced calming clay, an incredibly absorbent ingredient which is great for getting under the skin and clearing out unwanted riff-raff clogging up your pores. Simply dab a dollop onto blackhead-riddled regions like the chin and nose, then let dry for about 15 minutes before splashing off with warm water.
Put it this way: A Porsche is worth peanuts without its engine fuel. So yes, standard operating procedure applies, cutting-edge cleanser notwithstanding – and that means a largish coin-sized dollop of a face wash like Albion’s awesome Exage White Clearly Wash, $41, which when spread ought to be enough to cover your face, neck and then some. Bonus: Said cleanser boasts sebum-sopping and softening ingredients that work in tandem to scour off surface spots and such for comfortably clean, incredibly incandescent skin.
Bottomline: At the end of the day, you do need a little water and elbow grease to take it all off – a small price to pay, really, for beautiful skin begins and ends with a perfectly clean canvas. Cheers to good complexion!