Monday, 4 April 2011

Essential Skincare: Cleansers

Cleansers are, I think, the most important item in your beauty regime. You need a good cleanser to get rid of all the grime and make-up and to protect and perfect your skin. The cleansing stage is also key to ensuring a great make-up look - prep your skin and you won't actually need as much make-up!

I have tried a lot of products out there (one of these days I might let you guys peek inside my bathroom always evokes a gasp of shock and/or joy at the sheer number of products in there) and have narrowed it down to two top products:

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

Vaishaly Cleansing Balm

I've known Vaishaly for over a decade and can vouch for her entire range. Her products are organic and smell absolutely divine - a real treat to use! Her products are at the pricier end but are worth it in the long run, if you can spare the extra pounds. If it is a big squeeze for you, why not get a cheaper foaming cleanser for the mornings (Murad products are fab and you only need to use a tiny amount), then in the evenings use some cleansing wipes (Simple's are good) before using her cleansing balm, so you can minimise the amount you need to use and it'll last much longer?

To be completely honest, I used Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser a few years back and felt a bit 'blah' about it but I'm more impressed with it recently. It's a safe bet and is more affordable. Liz Earle's products use only natural, botanical ingredients -  it's important not to be slapping chemicals and nasties on your face! Under the Liz Earle regime, you are supposed to use muslin cloths. I do have a few of these but I find them quite rough and so prefer using a flannel most days. Those with normal to oily skin may find the muslins beneficial, though. Either way, make sure you pop them in the laundry after each use!

Both cleansers should be massaged on to dry skin. Vaishaly taught me her facial massage technique over a decade ago and can say hand on heart that it is guaranteed to give you a gorgeous glow, get your circulation going, de-puff and aid the elimination of toxins. After completing the massage about three times, with Liz Earle's cleanser, having filled the sink with hand-hot water, remove with a flannel. When I'm doing a full-on pampering facial session, I like to springle some oil in the basin - lavender is good - and hold the hot, oil-enriched flannel over my face for a few seconds. Vaishaly's just needs to be emulsified with some warm water. Finish by splashing with cold water to tighten pores and refresh the skin. 

Now, I'm reaalllly hoping you all do this already but it is essential that you wash your face morning and evening. Washing in the morning will clear away any oiliness built up overnight and the evening cleanse will get rid of the day's grime and make-up. I always thought my brother was being excessive when he washed his face as soon as he got in the house but this is a good idea for those working in the city. I always wash my hands as soon as I get in the house (eww...the tube!! Those Dettol adverts gross me out, it's enough to make anyone OCD  - I wear gloves on the tube unless it's really hot, a tip from my mother!) so it makes sense. You can always do the cleansing wipe option when you get in and leave the more thorough cleanse right before bedtime, if you like to use the routine to relax yourself.

Vaishaly's products can be purchased online from her website or from her clinic (near Baker St tube). Liz Earle products can be got in her salons, on her website or from John Lewis. 

Et voila - gorgeous, glowing skin!

AB x 

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