Skincare connoisseur Angela Langford knows a thing or two about the wellness benefits of self-care. Here she shares her foolproof skincare tips and the soothing power of creating indulgent routines
For anyone who has dabbled in skincare, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that there are bountiful wellbeing benefits to be found in these simples steps. From tuning in to the sensation of water and products against your skin to relishing ‘you time’ and ensuring that you’re making yourself a priority, self-care is at the heart of good mental health. So how can you make sure that you're getting the most out of your routine?
For me, cleansing is the most important step in a good skincare routine, but it’s the step that many of us overlook – preferring to invest our hard-earned cash in serums, oils, and creams to nourish, rejuvenate, brighten, restore radiance, and repair damage. But if you apply all those lovely products onto skin that hasn’t been properly cleansed, it’s just a waste of money. It’s a bit like decorating a room in your house – prepping your walls will give your paint a much better finish. So in this article, I’m going to explain how to cleanse your skin properly.
When is the best time of day?
Night-time cleansing removes the daily dirt, grime, make-up, and oil – leaving our skin prepped and ready for all those lovely products. Lack of time, being too tired or just not understanding the importance of cleansing means that sometimes we give our skin a quick once over with a wipe or micellar water – neither are options that I recommend. Worse still, we just don’t bother cleansing at all, going to bed without removing our make-up, SPF or daily grime. Even if you don’t wear make-up or SPF, the day’s dirt, grime and pollution still need removing. Not cleansing can result in clogged pores and can cause breakouts as well as upsetting your skin’s natural balance.
In the morning, it’s important to cleanse too – you will have sweated in the night so cleansing in the morning leaves your skin clean and ready for the day.
You might use an oil-based make-up remover like I Can See Clearly Now to remove all make-up including foundation and mascara, or Clean Sweep natural cleansing balm – which is rich in natural and organic butters and oils. Look for a cleansing balm or make-up remover oil that contains organic jojoba and castor oils, as these are magnets for make-up and SPF. I recommend choosing plant-based cleansing oils and cleansing balms rather than anything that contains mineral oil or petroleum-based ingredients.
Is a second cleanse worth it?
There’s been a lot of talk about double cleansing which is where you essentially cleanse twice – the first cleanse is to remove make-up and your SPF; the second is to cleanse your skin and if you incorporate some facial massage too, this can help improve circulation and brighten your complexion too.
Your second cleanse is to clean your skin – and this is where you can take some time to massage your skin when you do this cleanse. Indulge You can use a cleansing balm like Clean Sweep, for both the first and second cleanse or you can swap to a lighter non-foaming face wash like Sweet Cheeks, if your skin is oily or very congested. This is also an opportunity to practice a bit of TLC on yourself – tune into the sensations on your skin and give yourself the treatment that you deserve.
Just remember, double cleansing is for night time only - in the morning you only need to do a single cleanse as you aren’t removing make-up or SPF.
How to choose a cleanser
When you use a face wash it’s really important to use a non-foaming wash that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. It’s a common perception that we need foam to cleanse our skin but this is not true. Foam can be harsh, drying and irritating. Ingredients to look for in a non-foaming face wash include cypress that cleans and tightens pores without drying it out; papaya to help stabilise oily patches but also exfoliate dry patches, organic jojoba oil to unclog pores and gently cleanse your skin and rose petals to help clear impurities.
Don’t go for an oil-free cleanser – even if you have oily skin; our skin needs oil to be well-balanced. If you strip your skin of oil this can make your skin panic and produce even more oil; so even if you are going for a face wash, make sure it contains some oil in the list of ingredients. These type of cleansers are great for most skin types and are the most popular choice for oily or combination skins – they gently cleanse without stripping skin. Always opt for non-foaming face wash/cleansing gel that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulphate, which can irritate your skin as well as dry it out.
Whichever type of cleanser you opt for, spend a few minutes cleansing your skin. Massaging in your second cleanse at night (using upwards, circular motions) will boost circulation and give your skin a healthy glow. And don’t forget the tip of your nose (often overlooked) as well as your neck and décolletage.
Whether you opt for a cleansing balm, cleansing oil or face wash in the morning is down to personal preference and also depends on how your skin is feeling. If you have dry skin opt for a balm or oil; if you have oily skin or congested skin then a non-foaming face wash is ideal. If you have normal skin, chose the product that feels right for you.
When you are choosing your cleanser I recommend using something that you wash off with water – rather than something that you wipe off with a cotton pad. So I avoid cleansing wipes, micellar water or cleansing milk. Cleansing balms tend to be the richest of the cleansers and take more rinsing off, followed by oils, followed by the lightest cleanser – a non-foaming face wash.
Always use plenty of warm water and a cleansing cloth to remove your cleanser; an organic muslin cloth is my preferred cloth as they are also mildly exfoliating but you can also use a cotton flannel or bamboo cloth. Make sure you regularly change your cloth though – they can harbour bacteria and dirt – so using a dirty cloth is like eating a delicious dinner using last night’s dirty cutlery.
You deserve it
Now you know how to do it properly, consider how getting into a healthy routine could help you. From getting your day off to a refreshing and soothing start to slowing down before bed, there are plenty of wellbeing benefits to taking care of your skin.
For more information visit angelalangford.com and if you’re not sure which cleanser is right for you, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01348 811 711.