how to supercharge your cleansing routine 3 ways

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Hands up if you think washing your face is as easy as splashing water on your face, rubbing in a little cleanser and rinsing it all off?

*raises hand*

I used to be so guilty of this. I thought cleansers aren’t that important. They just remove dirt, not fight wrinkles or something so why bother with them?

Because if you don’t remove every last trace of dirt, grime and makeup, your pores get clogged, your skin turns into a playground for bacteria and your precious serums can’t penetrate your skin as well (and won’t give you the results you want).

These days, I take no chances. Here are 3 easy ways I supercharge my cleansing routine and make the most out of my cleanser:

1. Give It A Moment

Yes, cleansers aren’t something you want to leave on for ages. Their job is to remove dirt, makeup and excess oil, not strip away every little drop of sebum they can find (sebum is skin’s natural moisturizer, remember?).

But rinsing it off too soon isn’t good either. You need a little time to massage the cleanser everywhere. Yes, even along the hairline, neck and sides of your nose – you know, those areas you often forget about. Ahem…

As a rule of thumb, aim for 30 to 60 seconds. Anything more than that and you may be asking for trouble…

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2. Cleanse After Showering

I know what you’re thinking, “But Gio, cleansing my face in the shower saves me a couple of minutes in the morning and I need my beauty sleep!”

Nice try.

Cleansing your skin in the shower is a no-no. For starters, the temperature of your shower water is way too high for cleansing. Take it from someone who LOVES boiling hot showers: hot water strips away sebum and leaves cracks in your skin’s protective barrier. Translation: it makes your skin super dry.

Plus, when you cleanse at the sink you can remove every little residue from shampoo (and whatever else you’ve used in the shower) that was somehow still lingering onto your skin.

Totally worth it the extra couple of minutes in the morning.

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

3. Add A Washcloth

If you really wanna save time in the morning, why not cleanse and exfoliate at the same time?

Exfoliation is a must. It removes all those dead cells that accumulate on your skin, roughing up its texture and dulling out its glow. Once those are off your skin, your face looks smoother and brighter.

The best way to exfoliate during cleansing is with a washcloth. Cleansers with exfoliating acids don’t work that well because acids need to stay on the skin for hours to “dissolve” the glue that holds them together.

A washcloth, on the other hand, removes those pesky dead cells manually along with the cleanser, killing two birds with one stone.

I like that Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser comes with two soft washcloths that make it easier to get in the habit (and save you money, too).

P.S. If you’re already exfoliating with acids (I’m assuming your skin isn’t sensitive), you can still use a washcloth. Here’s what I do: at night, I alternate glycolic acid with retinol. On retinol days, I use Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser with washcloth to give my skin a subtle exfoliating boost. On glycolic acid nights, I don’t. Simple.

The Cleanse & Polish Ritual

Here’s how to turn a cleansing chore into a pampering ritual:

  1. Massage 1-2 pumps of cleanser on your face and neck and take a moment to breathe in the scent.
  2. Rinse the cotton cloth in lukewarm water and wring it out to remove any excess before polishing off the cream (pro tip: use a clean section for every part of the face).
  3. Splash your face with water.
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Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Lavender & Vetiver Limited Edition

I first tried Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser eight years ago and we’ve been in an on and off relationship ever since. I break it off whenever I want to try something new (I’m a skincare magpie) and then regret it so back I go.

I like it because it has no surfactants yet it removes every last trace of grime and makeup (yes, even those stubborn waterproof mascaras!) quickly without irritating or drying out my skin.

Plus, the washcloth saves me precious time in the morning because I cleanse and exfoliate in one go. It gives my skin a subtle, healthy glow too. You can read my full review of the cleanser here.

I’m not the only one to love this cleanser. It’s so popular Liz Earle keeps bringing out limited editions of it. The newest LE, Lavender & Vetiver, features a blend of Bulgarian lavender contrasted with Indonesian vetiver.

I have to admit I’m not into lavender scents very much but this one is gorgeous. The vetiver takes center stage, giving the scent a woody base punctuated by earthy lavender whiffs. It’s not too strong but very soothing.

One more thing: regular readers will know I don’t like scented skincare products very much because they can irritate sensitive skin. Fragrance can indeed be irritating if your skin is sensitive. For anyone else, a small amount of fragrance left on the skin for less than a minute won’t do any harm. If anything, it may make your cleansing routine more pleasant. 😉

Available at: 150ml pump & 2 pure cotton clothes, £23.50 at Liz Earle