Top Tips for Cleansing Your Skin

Follow our advice and you'll soon see a real difference in the quality of your skin.

Skin imperfections beyond our teenage years feel unreasonable. We all expect and accept acne and blemishes during adolescence. It feels unfair to also manage outbreaks alongside wrinkles and laughter lines, though.

The good news is you can enjoy glowing, radiant skin as an adult. How to achieve this is a bigger query. Wander into any pharmacy and an avalanche of products will be available. Each of these will promise to leave your complexion as smooth as a nectarine. Choosing which of these cosmetics are genuine and which are snake oil is just part of the equation.

You also need to understand how to use cleansing products to enjoy the maximum impact. Thankfully, Derma Reading is here to assist. Follow our advice and you'll soon see a real difference in the quality of your skin.

Dirt on the skin – how this happens, and the impact it has

Nobody likes the idea of dirty, oily skin. Most of us feel substantially cleaner and more refreshed after washing and cleansing our face. The reality is, though, a little dirt and skin oil is a good thing. As with all things, it's a matter of striking the perfect balance.

Human skin contains natural oil, known as sebum. The sebaceous glands, which are found just below the skin, produce fats known as lipids. Sebum is the result of these lipids.

As discussed, a little sebum is essential. A thin layer provides a protective, moisturising layer to the skin while also offering a shiny glow. A little sebum goes a long way, though. Too much fat on the skin leads to pores becoming clogged - which, in turn, causes acne and skin blemishes.

Sebum also coats your skin with a waxy substance. As a result, any kind of dirt will cling to the skin. Grit and dust will blow into your face while walking outside, for example. In addition, the average person touches their face 16 times an hour. Every time you do so, you'll be transferring dirt from your hands and fingers.

The more dirt on your face, the more clogged your pores will become. Eventually, your skin will lose its shiny lustre and become discoloured. Coupled with blocked pores, this can lead to a range of avoidable aesthetic concerns. Cleansing is essential to rectify this.

The importance of understanding your skin type

Simply washing your face with soap and water offers inadequate protection against sebum. You'll need to invest in an appropriate cleanser. Before you do so, however, be sure to understand your skin type.

Cleansing products are similar to shampoo, and the skin is comparable to shampoo. Use an anti-dandruff shampoo unnecessarily, for example, and you'll risk exfoliating the scalp to excess. The same applies to cleansing the skin.

There are five core skin types. Understand which applies to you and select an appropriate cleanser that will meet your needs.

Understanding your skin type is essential before investing in a cleanser. Seek professional advice if you are unsure of your skin type. Derma Reading will be delighted to aid with this.

"Normal" skin is clean, soft to the touch and devoid of any blemishes. If you're lucky enough to boast this skin type, you'll still need to cleanse to retain such an appearance.

Sensitive skin, sometimes known as irritated skin, reacts poorly to any stimulus. Touch, dirt or the use of the scented products irritate sensitive skin. Such a skin type feels hot or tight to the touch and often suffers rashes and outbreaks.

Dry skin lacks moisture, feeling tight and liable to crack. Dry skin is common during winter, when artificial heat sources, harsh winds and low humidity create a sterile environment. Some people experience dry skin by default, though.

Oily skin will lead to a red-faced appearance and often result in acne. An excess of sebum usually causes oily skin. A surge in sebum could arise due to stress, hormonal changes or hereditary genes.

Combination skin is an amalgamation of normal, sensitive, dry and oily skin types. Anybody living with combination skin will likely experience localised breakouts and blemishes, such as around the nose.

Skin cleanser 101

Once you understand your skin type, you can select the ideal cleanser for your needs. The table below describes the different types of cleanser and which skin type each suit best.

It may take a little trial and error to find the perfect cleanser. Everybody's skin is unique and will react in different ways. You'll know when you've found the ideal for your skin type. You'll look and feel fabulous.

StyleIdeal For
Creams and LotionsDry or sensitive skin. Creams and lotions moisturise the skin without removing naturally occurring sebum. Those with sensitive skin should always use an unscented cream or lotion.
Gel or FoamOily or combination skin. Gel cleansers act as a decongestant for blocked pores.
Micellar WaterDry or sensitive skin. This water contains tiny traces of oil that will attract and remove dirt. There is no need to wash off Micellar water.
OilAny skin type. Oil cleansers are a perfect all-rounder. These remove any debris from the skin, unclog pores and gently remove excess sebum.

Essential tips for cleansing the skin

So, you have purchased your cleanser, and you're ready to apply it to your skin. Don't just lather it on and hope for the best. Follow these steps, making them part of your daily beauty regime. Appropriate use of the cleanser will provide the greatest likelihood of success.


Wash your face before you apply the cleanser. Do not scrub your skin raw. Just use water in the shower. If your skin is already moist, the cleanser is likely to be absorbed.

Consider drinking a glass of water before applying a cleanser, too. Doing so will keep you hydrated both inside and out.


Apply your cleanser of choice while the skin is still wet. Do this twice a day – first thing, straight from the shower, and before you go to bed.

Do not layer on multiple cleansers. Less is more when it comes to skincare. The more varying products that you apply, the more your skin will react. The sebaceous glands are likely to release more sebum, negating the impact of cleansing.


Unless you are using Micellar water, wash your cleanser from your face once the skin has absorbed it. Use soft material, such as a muslin cloth, for this. Flannels will be a little harsh and may contain bacteria from previous use.

If you can afford it, consider using an anti-oxidant, such as CE Ferulic by Skinceuticals, which provides environmental protection, helps prevent free radical damage and improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness.

Once you have cleansed your face, apply sunscreen. Such a product is not just for use during a heatwave or when venturing outside. UV rays are all around us. Daily sunscreen will keep the skin looking younger and softer for longer, although if you are out in direct sunlight you will still need to apply a high factor sunscreen.

If you are applying make-up after cleansing, ensure any brushes are clean. Shampoo is best for this. By cleaning your make-up brushes, you will avoid reapplying any dead skin cells or bacteria that have been painstaking through cleansing.

Book your consultation

For more information, or to book an appointment with one of our dermatologists, please call the clinic or contact us.