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TO CLEANSE OR NOT TO CLEANSE?

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There's a 'trend' (you might call it) going around on the Skinternet that I wanted to investigate a little. The idea is that splashing your face with water in the morning is more beneficial than doing a proper cleanse of the skin. But, does it hold any weight...?

Cleansing is undoubtedly one of the most stripping and potentially-damaging steps in your skincare routine, so it's no surprise that for those experiencing a compromised skin barrier; it's the first thing to go. However, what about for the rest of us? I have very dehydrated skin and whilst, by and large, I do still put it in the 'normal' category, it can genuinely get dry sometimes (especially around this time of year). I usually finish off my nighttime routine with an oil, but since we switched the central heating on, sometimes I still wake up in the morning with my skin feeling uncomfortably-tight. Could skipping my morning cleanse be the answer?

I won't lie; the idea initially felt icky and unnatural to me. Perhaps I'm just gross but tossing and turning at night and sharing a bed means I usually wake up a bit sweaty and crusty, so not using a cleanser to wash all of that away after showering did gross me out a bit. However, I did it for you guys! You know what; I didn't hate it, but I don't feel it was dramatically beneficial for me and my skin. Personally, I avoid gel or foaming cleansers in the morning as it is; for me they belong as the second step of a double cleanse (even then, I stick to products that create a gentle lather, not reams of bubbles!) I totally agree with proponents of this method that these formulas are often too stripping on the skin in the morning unless you're quite oily. Unless you're applying way too much oil-based product, there shouldn't be a ton of stuff on your skin to cut through by the morning, therefore these more heavy-duty products are likely going to be too harsh.

Ultimately, this was a beneficial thing for me to try, because it made me really stick to completely non-foaming cleansers in the morning. And, this is just my experience; some people totally swear by it. You're certainly not going to be doing your skin any harm by giving this method a go. However,  if you decide it doesn't quite do it for you, I have a few alternatives to talk about which - on the whole - actually often leave my skin feeling less dry than before I cleansed, because they don't contain the sorts of surfactants we know can strip the skin!

My current weapon of choice is the Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse* | £23. This is packed full of good stuff like PHAs for very gentle exfoliation and hydration and pre and probiotics, which help balance the natural bacteria on the skin and promote a healthy barrier. It's a lovely moisturising option that you can add to damp skin for a really moisturising cleanse or to wet skin to get more of a lotion-like texture.

An old favourite of mine for dry, winter skin is the Wow You! Zen Cleanser | £16 (15% off with code JASMINE15). This is a lovely, thick cream cleanser that still doesn't feel overly rich and doesn't leave a residue on the skin but thoroughly moisturises it. It's formulated with oat, cucumber and avocado which are great calming, nourishing and replenishing ingredients. I love how soft it leaves my skin after use.

The next cleanser I have is perfect for those who like the idea of a cream formula, but aren't quite ready to take the plunge: the Sioris Cleanse Me Softly Milk Cleanser* | £22 | (15% off with code JASMINETALKSBEAUTY). This is more lightweight, lotion-esque option that still offers a gentle, non-foaming cleanse without being overly creamy, so it could be a great option for more combination skin types. A variety of fruit waters alongside macadamia oil ensure this is a moisturising and hydrating morning cleanse.

For dry skin, I recommend the Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser | £13.90 (ml). I've used up a small tube of this and there's not much left in my supersized, so I definitely need to stock up because I can't be without this! Yes, it's a great makeup remover, but it's also a fantastic for when your skin needs a bit more love. Squalane is a plant-based, skin-similar oil that's suitable for even the most sensitive skin types and isn't overly greasy. This comes out as a creamy balm but melts down and emulsifies with water - perfect for a gentle cleanser that probably leaves your skin more moisturised than it was before!

If you really can't get on-board with oil-based or creamy cleansers, the Dr Sam's Flawless Cleanser | £16 | is a great option (CeraVe's hydrating cleanser also does a similar job, I just don't have it to hand at the moment). This is a jelly as opposed to a gel, so it doesn't foam and it's formulated with humectants to pull water into the skin. It's basic, functional and will work for most skin types (including sensitive) due to its gentle, non-foaming texture.

For sensitive skin types, I really like the Eucerin DermatoClean Hyaluron Cleansing Milk | £10.50, This is a non-foaming but lightweight gel-milk that cleanses the skin whilst remaining very moisturising. And, it's the sort of formula that you can rinse off totally but you can also pat off with cotton wool, so if you have very dry skin, this quasi-leave-on formula could work really well. It's free from fragrance and harsh ingredients, so great for sensitised skin.

If you don't mind fragrance in your cleanser, I really like the Nuori Protect + Cleansing Milk* | £35. The texture is very lightweight so isn't overly rich or creamy, if you aren't a fan of those sorts of formulas, and gently removes dirt and oils whilst leaving my skin lovely and soft afterwards. It doesn't leave any excess on my skin despite the moisturising finish. It's formulated with calming aloe, glycerin to pull water into the skin, shea butter and lipids to replenish the skin and moisturising oils in the form of avocado and castor.

Finally, no post is complete without a product from this range, it seems! I'm almost out of my Kate Somerville DeliKate Soothing Cleanser* | £33 | but will absolutely pick this up again because it's my go-to when my skin is dry, compromised or sensitised. It doesn't foam, it's not super-creamy - more like an emulsion - and is very calming and moisturising on my skin with cucumber oil and ceramides. 

Are you Team Cleanse or Team No Cleanse?



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