The Beauty of Cleansing

Somewhere between intense microdermabrasion sessions, copious face masking and serum upon serum, we’ve lost the art of the simplest beauty trick, cleansing.

Throughout the day, airborne bacteria, pollution and dead skin cells can become lodged onto the skin’s surface. In not washing these impurities away, skin is prone to breakouts, premature aging, and pigmentation.


Why cleansing?

There are so many benefits to cleansing, but above all the removal of bacteria from the skin is the most important. The skin on the face is in first contact with pollutants, viruses, dirt and old skin cells. Cleansing aids the removal of these impurities, thus eliminating a thick layer of dirt and grime which make it difficult for other products to penetrate the epidermis and work effectively.

Cleansing can also help to boost levels of hydration in the skin. Of course, nothing surpasses the work of the trusted moisturiser, but regular cleansing helps to manage pH levels. Without these pH levels enabling sufficient water and product retention, skin can appear rough, wrinkled and aged – the first signs of a dehydrated complexion.

When skin is rough and calloused, and impurities are building up, skin can begin to look grey and dull. Excessive build ups like this can cause blockages in the tiny hair follicles and pores that sit on the face. Perspiration, and dead skin cells sitting on the skin stops pores producing fresh sebum which naturally protects against these external pollutants. The lack of sebum on the skin’s surface allows bacteria to penetrate the pores, causing inflammation and further down the line, blemishes and acne.

Correct cleansing can reduce the risk of all of these damages and will keep skin looking radiant and healthy.

When to cleanse?

By the end of the day, skin has accumulated all sort of debris and pollution so this is really where skin needs cleansing. Not only are you removing makeup, you are also eliminating potential impurities that could turn into infections. Research has shown that skin enters a recovery mode whilst you sleep so a good, clean base is the perfect place to start.

Skin temperatures rise overnight, which leads to trans-epidermal water loss. Cleansing then moisturising will help to retain water and avoid dehydration.

How to cleanse?

Remove makeup with a wipe or micellar water, this will dislodge any heavy eye makeup or SPF that clings to the skin. Apply the Eve Lom Cleanser to the entirety of the face, rubbing in soft, circular motions. A little goes a long way, just a pea sized amount will hydrate and cleanse your face. If you have the time, leave the product to settle – this will allow dirt and pollution to be broken down –  before once again rubbing in circular motions. Finish by removing the product with a muslin cloth doused in lukewarm water.

It’s a common myth that hot water opens pores and cold water closes them. Switching from hot to cold water, will only put skin into shock, effectively doing more harm than good. Keep water lukewarm, just hot enough to dissolve product without causing redness.

What is Double Cleansing?

Known as the Asian skin-care phenomenon, double cleansing originated in the far east during the fourteenth century. Historical texts reference Korean women using plant-derived oils to cleanse their complexions, before using rice water or ground beans to flush out underlying impurities. In Japan, double cleansing was born of necessity, as cleansing oils were the only means of removing the white paint-like base that women traditionally wore. This was then followed with a foaming cleanser to refresh the skin and remove oil residue.

Today, double cleansing involves using an oil based cleanser to first remove a primary layer of dirt and pollution before following with a water-based cream or foam cleanser. If the first round of cleansing removes perspiration, bacteria and old skin cells, the second step will prepare skin for serums, essences and other moisturising agents.

Double cleansing is especially important if you live in a city or built up area. There are no rigorous scientific trials that show the anti-ageing benefits of double cleansing, however there is plenty of evidence to suggests that pollution and environmental toxins can accelerate the ageing process. Removing such toxicity from the skin will allow skin to breathe clearly, promoting the growth of new skin cells and a fresher, more youthful looking complexion.

Words by Georgia Leitch / Images via Eve Lom

Georgia Leitch

Georgia Leitch

Writer and expert

A fan of maximalist fashion and all things fluffy, you can find me layering prints or looking for new earrings. A disco queen at heart, if I'm not dancing around the house to 70s soul, I'm counting my flares.

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