So let’s start from the beginning.
Skin, our very own protector and guardian, protecting the body from water loss and shielding us against external damage that comes from UV rays, chemicals and infections. It fights a constant daily battle with the frequent hot to cold and cold to hot thanks to moisture sucking central heating and aircon and for a while it seemingly puts up with bad diets, excessive alchohol consumption and smoking but eventually all these factors take it’s toll, leading to our decline in collagen and elasticity production that causes premature ageing.
Obviously genetics play their part here to and your parents are a very good indicator as to how you yourself are likely to age, so if they’ve adopted bad habits that have speeded up the ageing process then it’s very likely that you to will be affected in the same way if you adopt similar lifestyle choices.
Our skin after all is a projection of the state of our health and people subconsciously respond to it good or bad depending on how healthy we look and as its the bodies largest organ consisting of three layers, the epidermis (upper layer of the skin), dermis (middle layer) and the subcutaneous layer (lower), all three need to be maintained for skin to be at it’s healthiest and youthful.
When it comes to problems with our skin we often think the way to treat it is just with topical solutions rather than a holisitic approach. So we need to be doing our best to eliminate or at least try to cut down on any of the aforementioned bad habits Eating a diet rich in antioxidants/essential fatty acids, exercise, sleeping well and drinking plenty of water will help to maintain all the layers of our skin, starting with the deepest layer, the subcutaneous. It’s mostly made up of fat and is essential for our skin to function normally, any significant loss here contributes greatly to ageing and once the skin loses it’s elasticity and collagen in the next layer, the dermis, it then becomes weaker and poorer at maintaining the supply of nutrients and water which is vital for the epidermis (surface of our skin) to regenerate new skin cells. This is why skin then starts to sag, wrinkle and become thin, so you really need to look after skin from inside out.
Having a good skincare regime is also important, it goes a long way to help rejuvinate and kick start the skin cell renewall process and cleansing should be the one area in which your attention should be the primary focus. Without proper cleansing, other products that you use wether it be primers, serums, night creams etc won’t work as efficiently.
Regardless of what type of skin you have cleansing should be gentle and thorough, not abrasive and harsh. Doing so only over stimulates sebum oil production in the dermis which leads to pores clogging. The purpose of cleansing is just to remove make up, grime and dead skin cells on the skins surface, not a full scale attack.
Cleansers come in all sorts of varieties, gels, oils and creams and so on but I’ve listed below my favourites that cover all skin types. You will find that your skin type may change from week to week or month to month. It can be affected by the weather, hormones and other environmental factors so you will need to adapt from time to time the products you use depending on the current condition of your skin.
Shu Uemura Skin Purifier ultime8
One of my absolute favourite cleansers ever! I use it every night as it completely dissolves any make up and impurities on the skin, you only need a few little drops from the dispenser to massage on the face, then add a little warm water to emulsify it then you rinse of with warm water. It contains 8 botanical ingredients that target 8 different skincare concerns, to then provide you with 8 skincare benefits. It’s a little pricey at £34 for 150ml bottle but because it’s so replenishing and nourishing you may find you could skip the need for a moisturiser.
Alpha-H Triple Action Cleanser
This is my go to cleanser if my skin is feeling a little oilier than usual. It’s so gentle at mopping up any excess oil on my skin but very effective at removing all traces of make up whilst still maintaing a healthy pH balnce in my skin, thanks to it’s soothing cucumber, hydrating Aloe Vera and Thyme wich acts as a natural anti- bacterial. I’ve recommended Alpha-H to a lot of people who’ve been seeking products that are effective at dealing with their skin concerns, from acne, open pores, pigmentation and sensitivity amongst others and I’ve heard nothing but great results. In my opinion one of the best skincare brands across the board.
Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser
Another 3 in 1 cleanser from Alpha-H except this one is cream based and is rich in Vit E and Aloe Vera so it has great antioxidant and soothing properties. Ideal for all skin types, it serves as a make up remover, facial wash and toner.
LANCOME GALATEIS DOUCEUR
Gentle Softening Cleansing Fluid Face and Eyes
A great cleansing product I love to use on shoots as it’s very quick at removing stubborn make up and leaves their skin super soft. Once you’ve applied the cleanser you only need a soft tissue to remove any residue but i usually spritz a piece with a rose or lavender infused toner if a model has oily/combination skin before removing.
Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser
This cleansing product from Dermalogica contains Lactic Acid (Alph-hyydroxy acid) it’s a naturally occurring substance in milk and dairy products that’s ideal for those with sensitive skin as it’s much less potent than Glycolic Acid which is another natural substance derived from sugarcane. This product works by retexturising the skins surface by removing dead skin cells and accelerating skin cell renewal. It’s perfect for those with skin that has a tendency to be dry and because it has an AHA in it, it allows other products you apply to penetrate the skins surface a little more deeply thus making whatever you use after cleansing much more effective. Just remember to make sure you apply an SPF as use of AHA’S make the skin more sensitive to the suns UV rays.
Beauty cleansing staples in many a make up artists kit. They remove make up up from eyes, face, lips quickly and efficiently without any need for rinsing of. A brilliant timesaver when I need to create different looks on models without aggravating their skin, as they have very soothing and hydrating properties. I wouldn’t use them as a constant alternative for a thorough cleanse but they’re perfect for quickly removing make up after a heavy night before crashing into bed, when rushed for time in the morning or even if skin needs a little refresher throughout the day. They’re also great to use as toner after using oil based cleansers.
Eau Micellaire Douceur
Bioderma Crealine H20 Micelle Solution
The subject of skincare is ever evolving but I hope you find this post on cleansing, sheds a little light on the story so far.
Beauty images shot by Matthew Donaldson