by Mayah Parmenter.
If you’re a city dweller, cleansing is arguably the most important step of your skincare regime. When skin is coming into constant contact with pollutants and toxins in the air, the cells are being bombarded with free radicals that cause damage which eventually leads to our skin not looking like it’s best self. On top of that, there’s something about nailing down the perfect cleansing ritual which immediately makes you feel like you’re drawing out all the stresses of the day along with the toxins. But what is the best cleansing ritual for you?
The Quick Cleanse
For those of us whose skin is treated to a clean air and makeup free lifestyle, keeping your cleansing regime pared down is the best option. As you essentially only need a refresh, you do not want to upset your skin’s balanced by stripping it back to much. The best tools out there for keeping things simple are the Konjac Sponge Company Facial Puff Sponges. With six options infused with different clays and extracts, these 100% pure vegetable based sponges are ideal for a variety of skin types, and gently cleanse and exfoliate using mother nature’s most abundant beauty product – water! For a little more of a deep cleanse, combine with a light gel cleanser such as Therapi’s Organic Honey Cleansers. The antibacterial powers of unadulterated honey shine in these certified organic formulas and are complemented by essential oils such as rose, lemon tea tree and sweet orange depending on your skin type. If that wasn’t enough, they wash clean with water alone, leaving your skin feeling fresh rather than stripped.
The Oil Cleanse
When it comes a full deep cleanse, there’s only one way to go; oil cleansing. If you’re willing to invest the extra time and attention this method requires, you’ll find that results soon follow. Absolutely ideal if you’re a makeup wearer, massaging in a natural oil or balm cleanser onto a dry face every evening will stimulate your skin and loosen all grime. After a minute or two, give your face a mini steam with a warm-hot muslin cloth which will lift the oils from your skin and all the makeup and dirt along with it. If you’re prone to blemishes approach with caution, because not all oil based cleansers are made equally and some will be too heavy for reactive skin. The best I have come across so far for my combination skin is the Vedani Botanicals Light Cleanser No.21. Light in texture as the name suggests, it glides on beautifully and doesn’t leave much residue once removed. Among the high quality and organic oils in the ingredients list is tamanu oil, which is a brilliant healer when it comes to inflammation. On the opposite end of the skin spectrum? Then you’ll love Skin & Tonic London’ Steam Clean balm. Grape and thistle seed oils meet dry skin like a hug at the end of a long day, removing all dirt, while uplifting spearmint and eucalyptus will boost your spirits further. Oil cleansing is usually best followed by a second light cleanse, but this depends on what feels right for you.
The Cream Cleanse
A classic, and sometimes hard to beat. Whilst cold cream style cleansers on the mass market are full of silicones, fillers and mostly water, the best natural alternatives are packed with gorgeous oils, flower waters and plant extracts. Far from just being a way to wash your face, they become a vehicle for nourishing your skin and delivering hydration. The Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser is pure luxury; whipped to perfection, it contains African botanical heroes baobab, kigelia and mongongo which are all ethically sourced through a sustainable fair trade program. These rich skin foods combined with Aurelia’s peptide complex leaves skin with a natural radiance and feeling silky soft. Apply and remove the same way as an oil cleanser, making sure to massage into your face in circular motions. For those who love the ritual, but who want to shy away from double cleansing, this is the ideal solution.