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Ask any dermatologist, leading cosmetic chemist or skincare expert (we have Marcia) and they'll say the same thing: good cleansing is a non-negotiable ‘STEP 1’ in your skincare routine.
Of course, unexpected stressors (weather, changing seasons, hormones, pregnancy, pollution and monthly cycles) play their part – but – whether you’re a time-starved ‘quick cleanser’ or have turned double-cleansing into an art form, there’s a go-to formulation, ingredient and - YES - cult cleanser created just for you. But first:
Double-cleansing is NOT a necessity if your first cleanser is effective at removing excess oils, makeup and pollution layers.
Your grandmother may have washed her face with soap and water, but regular soap is for cleansing regular things. Dewy, soft, hydrated, glowing skin is not regular. Sure, you can wash your face with soap and water, but there are so many better options.
Feeling ‘the burn’, or any tightness or dryness, doesn’t mean your face is cleaner, it just means that the protective acid mantle of your skin has been upset, which can lead to sensitivity if it’s not rebalanced.
Acne is not caused by washing your face too little. There are four factors that can make your skin more prone to acne. Excess Oil Production (which is genetic), Hormones (which can cause the oil in your skin to become stickier), Humidity (which causes your skin to swell, trapping bacteria inside your oil/hair follicles), and Excessive Keratinisation (too many skin cells lining the pore walls and the skin’s surface). Yes, gentle exfoliating, good deep-cleansing and fruit acids will help, but everyday dirt is not the culprit when it comes to controlling facial acne.
To cleanse or to double-cleanse? As long as you’re not stripping your skin, a second cleanse is your prerogative!
At BEAUTY PIE we’ve worked with chemists at dozens of the world’s leading skincare labs, to bring together an edit of the most effective facial cleansers for your skin type. From a makeup-melting Japanese Transforming Gel, an incredibly cushioned Cleansing Milk, and an American-lab-made Fruit-Acid infused foamy Clay Cleanser, to an Italian Rosehip Seed Oil Hot Cloth Cleanser and an amazing new Baobab and Rice Bran Oil-infused Double Cleansing Balm, every one of our cleansing formulations is amazing.
–Marcia Kilgore, PIE Founder.
Ideal for: Sensitive, normal, combination and dry/dehydrated skin types – who love a rich, balmy cleansing massage and a nourished, soft after-feel. (While this cleanser works beautifully on oily skin types as well, you may find the texture too heavy and prefer a cleanser that leaves a squeaky-clean feeling.) It’s a totally deluxe Italian-made cleansing balm that’s so good it almost makes you feel guilty. It’s enriched with cold-pressed Rosehip Seed Oil, Apricot Butter and vitamin E to melt away makeup and impurities. Just add warm water and it breaks into a lightweight milk for a super-moisturised, clean and totally refreshed face.
Ideal for: All skin types including sensitive. Great as a first cleanse to break down makeup, or as a second to emulsify in-pore oils. Apply a hazelnut-sized dollop onto DRY skin, to optimise the emulsifying ability of the oil phase (so before a shower rather than ‘in’ the shower, or first thing in the morning massage around to get your lymph moving). This cult-status Japanese antioxidant wonder cleanser is a gel, then an oil, then a rinseable milk, that dissolves surface makeup and impurities, small particle pollution, and then at a deeper level, emulsifies clogged oils and pore-clogging intracellular lipids. It’s in a travel-friendly 100ml tube. (Yes, some members buy these in 6 packs.)
Ideal for: All skin types when in need of a quick, moisturising, one-wipe cleanse (but not meant for mascara or eyeliner removal because deep cleaning surfactants can cause eyes to sting). Have a bottle of this around for when you’re too exhausted for a traditional double cleanse. Remove your face makeup with one cleanser-soaked cotton pad, and then use another to clean deeper. Formulated in Switzerland, it contains organic Cornflower Water, energising Ginseng and Ginger Root Extracts and humectant Hyaluronic Acid. Note: This is not your basic drugstore micellar water, it’s also calming, a tonic, and leaves skin feeling super dewy (rather than squeaky and dry).
Ideal for: Brightening, refreshing and multi-phase cleansing for all skin types (use it first, use it second, use it alone). An addictively deluxe cleanser that rubs on as a cream, massages into an oil, gets milky when you add water, and rinses off, leaving skin fresh, bright, soft and invigorated. It’s infused with Jeju Cherry Blossom, soothing Bamboo Grass, Liquorice-Root Extract and Meadowfoam Seed Oil. This one’s still a bit of a secret, we think. But once you try it, it’s difficult to forget.
Ideal for: Clearing, calming and smoothing congested, oily/combination, acne-prone or oily skin types. This gently foamy super clay is like a facial at your fingertips. With oil-absorbing Kaolin and Montmorillonite Clay, pollution-purifying Moringa Seed Oil, microbe-fighting Lauric Acid and dead-cell smoothing Lactic Acid, this cleanser will be your new obsession if you’re breakout prone, super oily, or a teenager. Use it every evening (for problem skin) with a super hydrating moisturiser afterwards, or alternate with Jeju Daily Purifying Cleansing Milk if you’re an ‘in-between’ type and need cleansing with a little less oil-absorption/drying.
Ideal for: Deep-purifying, blackhead emulsifying, nourishing, pampering, face cleansing, on all skin types including sensitive, dry, flaky skin.
Fragrance-free. Clean. Cruelty-free. Gluten-free and made in Japan, with a buttery texture that ‘warms-as-you-rub’ to emulsify, soothe and soften your skin. It boasts Aloe Vera for soothing and hydrating, Rice Bran Oil (to cleanse, soften, moisturise, soothe, nourish, and smooth) and Baobab Sariche Oil which provides relief for dry and damaged skin. Apply a grape-sized amount, AM or PM (although in the morning, some people don’t feel the need to deep clean). Remove it by adding water, massaging it into a milk, then rubbing with a washcloth to remove any residue (try: Double-Sided Organic Cotton Cleansing & Exfoliating Cloths).
Hyaluronic Acid: The Secret To Glowier, Dewier Skin
It's the most marvellous moisture magnet.