My Current End-of-Day Cleansing Routine (2016)
The first commandment of an excellent skincare regimen: Thou shall take the day off. (a.k.a. CLEANSE)
I am very anal about my cleansing routine – probably one of the understatements of my life. I do it a certain order and stick to tried-and-tested products. I do not sleep with any trace of makeup on my face, no matter how tired I am. I will do my cleansing routine with no miss and will probably have nightmares if and when I forget doing so. I found that I get less prone to breakouts by being disciplined this way and I give justice to the skincare that I apply after cleansing because I am certain that all the good stuff gets absorbed optimally. Curious? Read on!
STEP 1: OIL CLEANSER
If there’s one step that has re-defined my cleansing routine, it would be oil cleansing. When I got curious about it, I had to get my hands on the pioneer of oil cleansers to the mass market: Shu Uemura, who introduced this to Japan in the late 1960s. The “magic” behind oil cleansers is its back-to-back ability to (1) remove makeup and impurities most gently yet effectively, while at the same time (2) maintaining skin balance by not stripping your skin with its natural oils and moisture. With dry and clean hands, pump the product on your palm and massage directly on your dry face. Smooth over your entire face in circular motion – this breaks down makeup, gunk, sebum that has lodged on to your pores. The effective cleansing system is based on this principle: (good) oil breaks down (bad) oil. Next, wet your hands with water and continue massaging your face – this turns the oil into a milky emulsion which dissolves everything off your face. Wash your face all the way thru then pat dry. Feel how clean and plush your skin feels after oil cleansing – revolutionary!!
STEP 2: GEL CLEANSER
While Step 1 insists that double-cleansing is not necessary, I know too well that skincare is very personal. For my skin type (combination) and lifestyle (multiple layers of makeup, long days), I ventured into double-cleansing and never looked back. Cleansing oil PLUS the combination of essence + serum + moisturizer — this has the tendency to over-saturate my face with oil/moisture. Piled on top of each other, I produce more oil overnight that can supply a day’s worth of oil in the market! Like the SU oil cleanser, Kiehl’s Blue Herbal gel cleanser is very gentle and the experience of using it is such a skin pick-me-up. It feels cool and refreshing during and after washing. It takes away a bit of the moisture residue from the oil cleanse, which benefits my skin more. Gel cleansing makes my oil cleanse bulletproof.
STEP 3: MICELLAR WATER
By the Step 3, you probably think I’m crazy for stretching my cleansing routine this long. But hear me out. I first learned about micellar water while I was building my professional makeup kit and learned that Bioderma micellar water is a must-have for being able to prep a perfect canvass (soap-free and non-rinse method of cleansing and toning the face); in no time, I got a bottle for my personal use. I knew that on desperate days when I’m too worn-out and drained to do my 2-step cleansing routine, I will wet a cotton round (or two) with this miracle water to wash the day’s worth of grime. Micellar water is composed of micelles (oil molecules made of fatty-acid esters) that draw out makeup and sebum, without the usual abrasive chemicals, unnecessary fragrance and alcohol that usual cleansers contain. While micellar water will be a lazy girl’s cleansing dream, I primarily use it to tone my face. Only after micellar water can I be appeased that my face is clean.
OPTIONAL STEP: MAKEUP REMOVER WIPES
I take makeup remover wipes on-the-go: I have one in my bag and in the car so I’ll be ready to take off my makeup anytime, even if I’m not yet home. I will not, however, consider makeup remover wipes to be sufficient enough to replace any of my cleansing steps. It does however earn points for its convenience and portability.
After these cleansing steps, I move on to my elaborate skincare routine, which will most likely need a dedicated post all on its own. Watch out for it!