You may know how to get the most out of your makeup, but is your removal game on point? Believe it or not, your cleansing routine might be making you look older! But don’t worry - understanding the wrongs and rights of your nighttime skincare habits can help keep your skin beautiful for years to come.
Do you use the same cleanser every day regardless of what your skin is going through? Stop it! It’s time to start listening to your skin and choosing a cleanser accordingly. While a gentle cleanser works for your average days, you may need to try double-cleansing to battle big city grime and heavy makeup days. If the weather has changed, you might need to introduce a hydrating cleanser to protect your skin from becoming overly dry or chapped. Sweating in the gym? Look for ingredients like AHA’s or salicylic acid to prevent buildup and breakouts.
Don’t fool yourself into believing it doesn’t matter what cleanser you’re using. After all, you’re rinsing it off, right? Wrong! The ingredients and quality of a cleanser can make or break a good skincare routine. You need to preserve your skin’s natural moisture barrier while removing impurities that clog pores and leave skin looking dull and damaged. After all, hydrated skin is plump skin is young skin.
Do you love the convenience of facial wipes? While they are great for a quick refresh and much, much better than not removing your makeup before bed, they don’t cut is as an every day cleanser (and are bad for the environment, too!). Those with oily or acne-prone skin should pay extra attention to how clean they are getting their face. Residual dirt, oil, and cosmetics can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Those with sensitive skin may find they are susceptible to redness from a lack of proper cleansing, and redness from tugging on their skin too harshly. If you must use a wipe, make sure you’re removing ALL impurities.
Your complexion is much more delicate than the rest of your body. While you can loofah and dry brush every day, don’t be so harsh to your face! Gentle circular motions and only the occasional (once weekly or less) micro-exfoliator will keep your skin soft and bright without abrasion, redness, and damage. The less you pull and tug on your skin, the better.
Are you cleansing everything? If you are a full-face makeup gal, make sure you are removing the full face! That means cleansing the skin around your hairline, jaw, and neck.
It’s important to note that the neck is the area most prone to premature ageing. It makes sense; the area is often overlooked when applying moisturiser, serums, or other anti-aging products. When it comes to your skincare routine, think of your neck and décolletage as an extension of your face.
It may seem like an old wives’ tale, but repetitive downward force on your skin can lead to increased sagging. Wrinkles are caused by overuse- frown and smile lines, crow’s feet, etc. are caused by repetitive movements. So, while the occasional tugging on your skin may not sound like a big deal, consistent pulling and prodding may be enough to start (or increase) your sagging lines!
Steal a tip from celebrity facialist Nichola Jost, a personal favourite of Meghan Markle (who just turned 40 and somehow hasn’t aged a day past 25!). Whatever you apply to your skin, apply it with an upward swipe. Use your nightly beauty routine to massage your face into a better, more youthful-looking visage. Work the product using both long and brisk upward strokes, paying special attention to the smile lines and cheekbones. The gentle upward pressure helps diminish the appearance of fine lines, relaxes muscle tension (great for sleep), and even assists in lymphatic drainage (depuffs the skin).
PAT, PAT, PAT
So, you’re not dragging the skin with face cloths or scrubs, you’re gently cleansing the skin, and using quality products, but do you follow the last rule?
Always remember to pat, pat, pat. Eye cream? Pat it into your skin gently with your ring finger. Wet face? Pat dry, never rub. Serums? Pat and press into skin. Eye makeup remover? Place a cotton round with micellar water over the lash line, let it sit for 10-15 seconds, then gently (never tugging or pulling) pat and swipe along the lash line.
When in doubt, be gentle, be thorough, be kind to your complexion. It’s the proven way to keep your youthful glow for decades to come.