A strong cleansing and moisturising routine is essential to ensure a healthy looking complexion. You’d be surprised to find out the multitude of substances that can accumulate on your skin over the course of the day; dead skin cells, old make-up, dirt and dust, sweat and bacteria are all things that you should be looking to rid your face of regularly.
Regardless of your age and gender, you can play a huge part in keeping your skin looking clear, supple and healthy over the years, by simply having a regular and effective cleansing routine.
The first thing you want to get right is your choice of products. If you have sensitive skin for example, then steering clear of perfumed products is probably a good idea, as these may cause irritation or dry the skin out. It’s also important to make sure the water is at the right temperature; having the water too hot can dry the skin out, but having it too cold won’t dissolve the make-up or dirt effectively.
If you have long hair or a fringe, ensure these are tied back with a bobble or headband. Start by ensuring you have clean hands, before splashing the face with warm water which will work to open up the pores and ensure a deep clean.
Apply your chosen facial cleanser or gentle soap, massaging in circular motions. This can be done with your hands or cotton pads if you prefer. If you wear eye make-up, then you may require a more specific cleanser for this area. Take special care when cleansing this region of the face, as this skin is particularly delicate and eyes themselves can be sensitive.
Once a week or so, you may be inclined to incorporate a facial scrub into your routine. These contain tiny beads or particles that help remove any dead skin cells and ensure pores are unclogged, leaving skin looking smooth and polished. Overuse however, can damage the skin slightly and lead to dryness, so be cautious not to overdo it.
Your face is now ready to be rinsed. Splash the face repeatedly with warm water. This is best done using your hands, as flannels and cloths often tend to drag the skin, which encourages wrinkles. Make sure all products are fully removed however, as keeping soap film on the face can clog pores and leave skin dirtier than it started. If a cloth is needed to remove all traces however, then a muslin cloth provides a less abrasive alternative. Pay close attention to areas that are commonly missed such as the hairline, the jawline and the neck.
Use a soft, clean towel to pat face try. Apply an alcohol-free toner to the face, which can be patted on with the hands.
Moisturiser can then be applied to the face and neck using gentle upward movements. It is preferable to use a moisturiser that is SPF 15 or above to avoid harmful rays from the sun which will bring about ageing. If you have oily skin or your skin is prone to spots, then use a water-based moisturiser rather than an oil-based one.
A separate moisturiser is often required for the eyes and lips, as the skin is more delicate in these areas. Any ailments, such as styes or cold sores should be avoided with any moisturising creams and treated instead with the appropriate eye or cold sore cream.
Fragrance-free products for sensitive skin: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Rosacea/Pages/Prevention.aspx
Hot water dries skin out: http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/RashesAndSkinProblems/RashesAndSkinCare
Warm water opens pores: http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/EyeProblems/GeneralEyeCare
Skin around eyes is delicate: http://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files%5C100322vitrectomyrecovery.pdf
Keeping hair off face reduces spots: http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/RashesandSkinproblems/commonskinconditions