When it comes to the basics of skincare, cleanse, tone and moisturise is the mantra of anyone who knows anything about how to take the best care of your complexion. It’s a phrase that has been printed in beauty magazines probably a million times over and despite the sometimes giddying variation of beauty products on the market, cleanser, toner and moisturiser are still three of the best-sellers by any brand because of the accepted wisdom that they are an absolute must.
Having said all of that, there are plenty of us who are occasionally lazy when it comes to our facial skincare routine, leaving out vital steps which could lead to imbalances in the skin and cause dryness, oily breakouts or a combination of the two. We thought we’d take a look at each step of the ritual to give you an insight into why each step is as important as the last and to inspire you to stick closely to the knowledge which has been passed down through the generations:
If you’re a daily make-up wearer then it’s easy to see why there’s the need to cleanse your face, as leaving traces of the days cosmetics on the face while you sleep clogs pores, causing outbreaks of blackheads and pimples, as well as drying out the skin. However, cleansing your face even if you choose to go without make up is equally as important because your skin is still a magnet for environmental pollutants that float around in the air, which can cling to the skin and will also clog pores and cause breakouts and irritation.
This is the step that is most often ignored by those of us wishing to take shortcuts in our daily skincare routine, but toning the skin after cleansing and before moisturising is hugely important for balance. Cleansers often contain ingredients which open the pores so that dirt can be removed and toner is the step which closes the pores again afterwards. Leaving the pores open is asking for trouble as open pores will collect more gunk, leading to pimples and lacklustre skin with an uneven appearance.
Moisturiser can be a fairly misunderstood product, in the grand scheme of things; many people choose not to moisturise, especially if they already have oily skin, but the key to great looking skin is finding the right moisturiser for your skin type. If you do suffer with oily skin, opt for an oil-free formulation which won’t add to the shiny effect that excess sebum can create. If your skin is dry or aging, you’ll need something slightly richer and if you have combination skin, it may well be worth investing in a couple of different products which can be used on days when your skin is either dry or oily.