The Most Common Cleansing Mistakes According To A Dermal Therapist

Women cleansing her face.

For years, I went to bed with makeup on. I know. I knoooooow. I wasn’t a fan of super heavy makeup or anything so I figured it would be.. okay? It wasn’t. 

Obviously I’ve come a long way since then (as an over zealous SPF wearer I double cleanse daily, thank you very much) but I’m always trying to avoid making similar mistakes that I’ll look back on and regret. Which is why I asked/begged Dermal Therapist and Skin Care Wizard, Yadira Cauchi, to share the most common cleansing mistakes she sees with us.

Read them! Learn from them! Feel less bad about your own skin mistakes! (Then tell me what those mistakes were in the comments to make me feel less bad about mine.)

1. Going Too Fast
“Not spending enough time with the cleanser on your skin to remove your makeup or SPF is probably the most common mistake I see with cleansers,” says Yadira. This is because cleansers need time to do their job. Slapping some cleanser on for five seconds is not going to be enough to remove all the SPF, makeup, excess oil, or grime on your face. When you’re cleansing, aim to massage your cleanser in for around 30-60 seconds to ensure you’re thoroughly removing everything.

2. Incorrect Application
Different cleansers need to be applied in different ways. Working with a cleansing mousse? Apply to damp skin. Oil cleanser fan? You need dry skin and dry hands.  “A cleansing oil is best applied to dry skin so the oil can blend with the other oils/dirt/makeup on your face - and then you add water/rinse,” explains Yadira.  

3. Not Washing It Off
In the same way that your cleanser needs time to work, removing it correctly also takes time. And it’s actually super important. “If you don't wash cleansing oil off your face properly it can leave a film or residue on your skin that won't help the rest of your skin care work properly,” says Yadira.  

And if that’s not enough: Not removing your cleanser correctly can also lead to breakouts, congestion, or irritation. Or in other words: It completely defeats the purpose of cleansing in the first place. Don’t rush it! Take your time and ensure all that cleanser is thoroughly removed. 

4. Not Considering Your Skin Type
We all have different skin types and different skin concerns. Which unfortunately means that just because something works for your skin care obsessed friend, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right for you as well. It’s super important to keep in mind your skin type and concerns when you’re picking out your cleanser to make sure it can do its best work. 

If you’ve got oily skin for example, Yadira recommends you steer clear of comedogenic (pore-clogging) oils like coconut, cottonseed and wheat germ, especially if you’re acne-prone. Not sure what skin type you are? Here’s a helpful guide to get you on the right track.

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