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Skin Cleansing & Toning - 5 Reasons Why You Are Doing It Wrong.

Your face, like the rest of your body has to be cleaned to stay healthy, obviously. But that doesn't mean we can just get out the lathery soap and loofah and treat the face in the same way as the skin on the rest of the body. Having the correct skin cleansing and toning routine for your face is imperative for long term skin health. It will lead to anti-ageing benefits and allow all the other lotions you place on your skin afterwards to do a more efficient job.

Every day in my home beauty salon in Aldershot, I come across women who have reached their 40's, 50's+ and still not found the best skin cleansing routine for their skin type . It is never too late and you are never too old to learn new habits. So to get you on the right track, here are 5 reasons why you are (most likely) cleansing and toning your skin wrong.

1. You are not starting skin cleansing with a pre-cleansing oil.

An oil? I hear you scream in shock? Is skin cleansing with an oil good for you? Well yes. Specifically, a pre-cleansing oil is an oil that can dissolve in water, therefore it will not leave an oily residue on your skin afterwards.

If you have oily or combination skin, starting your skincare routine with a pre-cleansing oil helps to dissolve excessive surface oil thereby decongests and unblocks congested pores. If you have dry or dehydrated skin it helps to inhibit moisture loss. For all skin types a pre-cleansing oil lifts and traps environmental pollutants and contaminants from the skin and removes them as they are washed away. By pre-cleansing, your skin is the cleanest it can be which allows for maximum absorption of other products.

How to use: Apply skin pre-cleansing oil morning and evening with wet hands and massage in a circular motion to lift and trap contaminants in the oil. The oil will become a milky emulsion then rinse off with tepid water, damp bamboo pads or cleansing lotion/ gel.

2. You are not skin cleansing with a separate product to remove your eye makeup.

There's a myth that you can use the same skin cleansing product to clean all areas of the face. Sadly this is wrong and not healthy for your eye area. The skin tissue around the eyes is more delicate and easily aggravated leading to puffy or dry skin. Eye makeup removers have specific properties to gently treat this delicate area.

How to use: Apply eye makeup remover to bamboo pads and soak the lashes for a few seconds, do not rub. Gently wipe down the lashes on to the cheekbone and remove using a sweeping motion inwards towards the nose. On the eyebrows follow the direction of hair growth. For waterproof mascara, use a small amount of pre-cleansing oil first to dissolve the mascara.

3. You are only skin cleansing once.

In the professional beauty trade we carry out two skin cleanses. It is known as a superficial cleanse then a deep cleanse. The superficial cleanse and deep cleanse uses the same skin cleansing product, done once and then repeated to thoroughly remove makeup, dirt, pollutants, excess sweat and oils. After this process the skin is fully prepared for further products allowing maximum absorption of their beneficial ingredients.

How to use: For morning and evening use, following the manufacturer instructions as they differ slightly. Apply cleansing gel to damp skin and cleansing lotion to dry skin. Apply to face and neck, massage well then remove using tepid water or damp bamboo pads.

4. You are using the wrong toner or no toner at all.

Technically we are moving out of the skin cleansing routine, however toners are so crucial to the preparation of the skin and long term skin health, I felt it important to mention them here. Toners of yesteryear were very astringent lotions designed to remove any remaining cleanser or makeup residue. Often, afterwards the skin felt very tight and dry. Luckily today's toners are much healthier for your skin.

Toners are designed to restore the natural pH of the skin after cleansing which helps to maintain the skins protective barrier. They also aid in enhancing the penetration of further products, so all in all your skin will be more moisturised and protected plus the benefits of your serums and moisturisers that follow will be more efficient.

How to use: Apply toner to the face and neck using dry bamboo pads morning and evening.

5. Other skin cleansing mistakes you could be making.

  • Using water on the face that is too cold or too hot, especially in the shower. The extremes of temperature are too much for the delicate capillaries under the surface of the skin, particularly on the cheeks and nose and can lead to broken capillaries or thread veins. Only use tepid water on the face.

  • Using one product for everything. It might be tempting to use one product to cleanse the face for ease but it is not the healthiest for the skin. As I have described above, each product has it's function and separate benefits.

  • Using soap, face wipes or shower gel on the face! Stop this now, they are too strong for the face, too alkaline and contain too many other harsh ingredients. I mean it, if you are using any of these on your face, stop it now and let's not talk about it again.

  • Using a skin scrub to exfoliate your skin. Granular exfoliants break down the delicate acid mantle which is the protective layer on the surface of the skin. As a result, the skin loses moisture and gets drier and more sensitive.

  • You are rubbing your face too hard. If you are using mitts, flannels or cloths on your face, ensure you are still being gentle. The face should not be bright red or feel pulled after skin cleansing. This will lead to damage of the capillaries, the protective barrier and can promote wrinkles later down the line. Eek.

Hopefully you can understand now why skin cleansing is so important when done correctly. These reasons translate to 5 easy steps that should only take about 3 minutes of your time in the morning and evening. That is only 3 minutes to give you optimum skin health, saving you money and delaying the ageing process too. That sounds like time well spent to me.


The products I used in the videos are Environ Skincare, a professional, scientifically formulated range based on active ingredients that give optimum penetration. I have personally used the Environ range for over 15 years and as an official stockist, I use them in my salon treatments as well retail them to my clients. As a former acne-sufferer nearing my 50's, my skin has never looked so good.

If you would like to learn more about the range and how it can benefit your skin, please get in touch with me here, or you can book an online skin consultation to delve deeper into your skin concerns and how we can improve them.

For now, thank you for reading. Ema x

P.S If you are local to Aldershot, Hampshire, why not read my blog: 5 Awesome Reasons To Visit My Home Beauty Salon in Aldershot

Or, if you are a bride getting married, here is my very useful blog: 9 Tips For Pre-Wedding Skincare


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