The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Gentle cleansers can be a vital ingredient in your skin routine


Ever since my teenage years I’ve chosen the squeaky clean feel of a freshly washed face over a cream cleanser.

But as our understand­ing of how best to support the skin’s barrier (the stratum corneum) increases, so the idea of “squeaky clean” becomes less appealing.

That’s because detergents used in traditiona­l face washes can strip away the moisturisi­ng oils in your skin, leaving it dry and irritated.

And if after washing and drying your face you find it feels tight and in instant need of moisture then you might want to look for a gentler alternativ­e.

For the die-hard washer (of which I’m one) there are soap-free foaming cleansers that give the feel of soap while being kinder to skin.

Cerave’s Foaming Cleanser is the best I’ve tried in terms of washing your skin and removing all traces of make-up quickly without leaving it overly dry.

But better still is a face balm.

I’ve talked in this column previously about the advantages of conditione­rwashing (co-washing) your hair instead of using shampoo.

The co-wash (I love the As I Am range) gently removes dirt and oils without stripping your hair – and face balms offer a similar solution.

These oil-based cleansers take a bit of getting used to but, used correctly, will effectivel­y remove dirt and make-up, yet your skin will feel soft and nourished afterwards.

I’ve been using a balm-gel cleanser from Harborist in recent months and love the difference that balm-washing makes to my skin.

I wet my hands slightly before massaging the cleanser into my face, taking time to work it into my mascara.

From there I use a face cloth to remove my eye-make up fully and then splash my skin to rinse off the remaining balm.

Any cleansing balm from Elemis is a real treat because their products are so beautifull­y formulated and delicately fragranced, but you don’t have to spend much to find good options, including The Body Shop’s Camomile Balm.

I’ve seen a few beauty influencer­s talking about how they use coconut oil to cleanse and moisturise their skin.

While I love the sound

of using a natural, single ingredient like this, I have to share a note of caution.

Coconut oil is very rich in oleic acid, making it comedogeni­c, which means it’s more likely to clog our pores.

It took me some years to figure out that certain skincare ingredient­s were disrupting the sebum output on my skin and causing closed comedones, those annoying whiteheads which are hard to get rid of.

But by using noncomedog­enic oils in my skincare such as sunflower, grapeseed, hempseed and squalene, it is now almost completely clear for the first time in my life.

Ironically, adding more oils (just the right ones) into my routine has been really beneficial in terms of keeping my skin hydrated and smooth, while being less oily.

 ?? ?? Facial balm cleansers are less harsh than traditiona­l detergent face washes that strip away skin’s natural oils.
Facial balm cleansers are less harsh than traditiona­l detergent face washes that strip away skin’s natural oils.

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