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Cleansing is the key to younger-looking skin

Updated: Jan 11

woman cleansing her face

If you think cleansing is just a minor step before you apply expensive anti-ageing serums and moisturisers, think again.

No amount of collagen, retinol, peptides or other ‘scientifically proven’ products will do their stuff if your face isn’t clean.

The washing grime off your face bit is actually the most important step in any skincare regimen.


Because it keeps your skin healthy.

Not only that, good, effective cleansing prepares your face for all the other products, ensuring it is in optimal condition.

Why cleansing really matters

As well as removing make-up, a good cleansing routine will sweep away dead skin cells, prevent grease and dirt from blocking pores and, generally, stop the skin from becoming congested.

The problem is that this stage of your regimen should always involve more than a quick wash with soap and water.

In fact, for best results, anything you wash your face with should be hydrating and nourishing.

For this feature, I will walk you through a great cleansing routine - so you can ensure whatever you put on your face after does what it is supposed to.

That serum you paid a small fortune for isn’t going to do anything if it can’t penetrate the top layers of skin, so baked on grime is a real no-no.

And, guess what? You shouldn’t limit your cleansing routine to evenings only. You need to do it all again in the mornings too - for best results.

It’s true that skin cells repair and renew themselves overnight, but all that good stuff is happening at the same time your skin loses tons of moisture. A good night cream (nothing too light) and a morning cleansing routine will keep you on track.

woman cleansing her face with a wash

The wash

For clean, hydrated skin, go with a cleansing balm. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one. This is the only cleansing product that we know won’t leave your skin feeling dry. It will also deliver a truly deep-down clean - essential for any anti-ageing treatments.

If you really can’t stand balms, go for a hydrating face wash. Check out inexpensive products from Olay and Revolution Skincare.

Avoid soap, unless it is infused with hydrating ingredients, and always rinse thoroughly. For fans of soap, check out hydrating products from The English Soap Company.


After the initial wash, you will need to exfoliate your face at least twice a week.

This can be with either a gentle exfoliant, a polishing product or dual action cleansing cloth.

We recommend Revolution’s pineapple gommage and Sanctuary Spa’s warming skin polish. However, any gentle exfoliant will do the job.

Micellar water

You are not done yet! If you wear make-up, we recommend you still use a micellar water. Most branded products won’t strip your skin of moisture and may even include some beneficial properties.

Concentrate on the eye area, especially if you wear mascara, eyeshadow or eyeliner (or all three!).

Avoid cleansing milks and lotions, unless you happen to have one that is actually effective.

face toner


Your routine shouldn’t be complete until you have toned your skin. Clarifying toners help ward off and even tackle dark spots and other obvious signs of ageing.

Once you have toned your face, the skin is ready to receive a serum and moisturiser.

Remember to choose a toner that targets your specific skin concerns.

Ready to take the next step in cleansing?

As you can see, good cleansing involves more than one step. So, if you want to look after your skin and delay the signs of ageing, think carefully about how you approach the most important part of your regimen.

Without clean, exfoliated skin, nothing can help you.

For more skincare tips, visit our Nobody’s Perfect blog.

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