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How Celebrity Aestheticians Actually Cleanse Their Skin

January 1 | 5 minute read

Memo Face Cleansing Tips Hero 16x9

Words by Arabella Roden

Originally published on | January 9

In the interests of starting 2024 as we mean to go on – fresh faced – we turn to the people who do it best: elite aestheticians, whose magical hands have cleansed, toned, extracted, exfoliated, hydrated and otherwise bestowed glow upon the complexions of A-list celebrities, the socialities of London and LA and the world’s most exacting beauty editors.

Our question to them: how do you cleanse your face? Because while a luxurious expert facial never goes astray, when it comes to skincare, it’s what you do daily that counts most…

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“I like to feel into what the skin is asking for based on what’s happening in my life and health, the weather and the season”

– Tammy Fender


Tammy Fender, champion of holistic, plant-derived skincare, Founder of her namesake line and facialist to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Julianne Moore, takes an “intuitive” approach to her daily cleanse.

“Skin is ever changing,” she explains. “I like to feel into what the skin is asking for based on what’s happening in my life and health, the weather and the season.” 

Fender regularly turns to the “invigorating and enlivening” Purifying Cleansing Gel: “On a quiet morning, nothing awakens the skin like this revitalising aromatic blend,” she tells The MECCA Memo.

The cleanser is formulated with cucumber, aloe leaf and spearmint to “support the skin’s natural protective barrier” and is suited to dry, oily and combination skin types.
Close up of a tube of face cleanser with bubbles.


If you’ve heard of Kate Somerville, you know about ExfoliKate® – the brand’s legendary collection that combines chemical, physical and enzymatic exfoliants and is beloved by the likes of Meghan Markle, Drew Barrymore and Olivia Culpo.

As Kate Somerville’s Expert Facialist and Education Manager for the UK, Katey McTavish swears by the cleanser: “Pro tip: I use it as a mask, leaving it on for a few minutes for an at-home ‘mini chemical peel’ to revive dull, tired skin."

Fender takes a similar approach: "When I feel that I need a little more cleansing power, I love to double-wash by following with the micro-exfoliating Tammy Fender Epi-Peel. This versatile mask-and-peel is formulated with a clay base to draw impurities away from the skin, leaving the complexion softly refined.”


McTavish starts her “essential” evening double cleanse with Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser to “effortlessly dissolve makeup and SPF”, removes it with a damp cloth, then follows with a cleanser "tailored to skin type or concern – I like EradiKate® Daily Foaming Cleanser, with 3% sulphur for treating sebaceous filaments, breakout-prone or oily skin,” she says.

Meanwhile, Milena Naydenov, Global Head of Aesthetics and Celebrity/VIP Aesthetician at 111SKIN (a brand loved by the likes of Margot Robbie and Victoria Beckham) double cleanses with 111SKIN Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser, “which not only brightens, but calms sensitive skin and redness.”

Her top tip? “I emulsify it to a foam in wet hands, not on my face – this prevents unnecessary friction that can lead to irritation... Then I finish with a rinse of cool water to close the pores."
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All three aestheticians stress the importance of working your cleanser into the skin, both to thoroughly purify and to allow active ingredients to work their magic. Naydenov shares her expert technique: “Using circular movements, I work the cleanser over the face and neck, emphasising upward movements and never dragging the skin down.”

While she says ultrasonic devices can be used during cleansing, she advises against brushes due to the risk of irritation.

"After cleansing AM and PM, essence application is vital before any routine that follows"

Milena Naydenov

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The bridge between your cleansing routine and your skincare is an aesthetician favourite: an essence. “After cleansing AM and PM, essence application is vital before any routine that follows,” says 111SKIN’s Naydenov [editor’s note: try 111SKIN’s Anti Oxidant Energising Essence]. “I then apply 111SKIN’s Intensive Collection products – the celebrity favourite Black Diamond line that uses black diamond particles as a delivery system for actives – and gives incredible results.”

Meanwhile, Fender spritzes with her brand’s Essential C Tonic, “blended with bergamot and ginseng, and hibiscus – a natural source of AHAs that promotes rejuvenation and increased elasticity" followed by “1 – 2 pumps of nourishing Plant Milk Serum, pressing with my fingertips." This step "nurtures and soothes, while calming any irritation and redness."

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