Even though it's just one part of our extensive beauty routines, cleansing skin is arguably the most important step.
Somewhere along the line of stocking our skincare arsenals with antioxidant serums, moisturisers filled to bursting with hyaluronic acid and eye creams that promise to smooth away crow’s feet in next to no time, we seem to have demoted cleansing to the bottom of the list, often opting for a quick once-over with a face wipe or settling on a dash of micellar water to dissolve all traces of grime.
We tend not to give a second thought to the implications of skipping a proper water-based cleanse but not only will swerving one result in breakouts, dullness and possibly even dehydration, it makes it increasingly difficult for any skincare goodness you feed your skin to work its magic. Yep, that diamond powder-infused serum you blew your last pay packet on may be rendered null and void if you haven't purged the grease, makeup and dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface of your skin every day.
But it's not enough just to step up your cleansing game. When choosing a moisturiser or a serum, you wouldn't just grab any old product off the shelf, would you? You tend to tailor it to your skin's concerns – and that same logic needs to be applied when searching for a suitable cleanser, too. "Cleansing is an essential part of a daily skincare routine and a good cleanser is paramount," says Tanya Zahoor, cofounder of Aesthetics Lab. "However, it is so important to use a cleanser appropriate for your skin type in order to get the best from it."
If you have dry, sensitive skin, it's a good idea to opt for for creamier textures while acne-prone skin responds well to cleansers containing ingredients like bacteria-zapping niacinamide or oil-dissolving AHAs. For those in the middle, or with combination skin, it’s all about formulas that fuse the two and offer a deep yet nourishing cleanse.