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Bad Cleansing Habits Might Be Holding Your Skin Back

January 1 | 3 minute read

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Words by Ruby Devlin

Originally published on | April 1

Proper cleansing is just as crucial to unlocking the glowing skin of our dreams as our favourite serums.

But it seems not enough attention is being paid to this first step. So, we tapped two cleansing enthusiasts – a celebrity makeup artist and a member of MECCA’s Skin Education team – to give us the lowdown on face-washing, and why it’s the makeup prep you should never skip.

Why should you cleanse?

“Just as it's recommended to stretch before a workout, cleansing is the preparation step in skincare,” says Beauty Board member and MECCA Skin Education Cadet Jordie Johnson, adding, “[It] helps to remove the debris of the day, creating a clean slate.”

This ‘clean slate’ means our beloved toners, serums, and moisturisers can fully absorb into the skin and deliver all their hydrating, brightening goodness.

Daniel Martin, Tatcha’s Global Director of Artistry & Education (and makeup artist to the stars), agrees, advocating for a deep clean to give you the most radiant results: “Purifying your pores is really an essential step in creating a healthy-looking, glowing complexion,” he explains.

Cleansing is the secret to the smoothest makeup base

Martin – who’s painted the faces of Michelle Yeoh, Bella Hadid and even Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on her wedding day – emphasises the importance of cleansing his clients’ faces before anything else; not only to ensure smooth application, but also “to truly optimise the longevity of makeup.”

“You first need to start with a clean palette for the skin to prepare for everything you're putting on top of it,” he adds.

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For those with an oily skin type, Martin praises Tatcha’s latest addition: The Matcha Cleanse.

“Many cleansers I’ve tried that are designed for oily skin seem to strip the skin of all its natural oils and hydration, which ultimately leads to an overproduction in oil later in the day, causing makeup to slip and slide,” Martin explains. In comparison, The Matcha Cleanse’s soap and fragrance-free gel formula creates a lightweight, silky foam, which leaves skin “feeling hydrated and soft, instead of tight.”

“I find that it truly helps prevent that midday makeup ‘meltdown’,” Martin adds.


To double cleanse, or not to double cleanse

It would be remiss of us to talk about cleansing without emphasising the importance of effectively removing the remnants of your makeup at the end of the day. According to Martin, “Sleeping in makeup can wreak havoc on your skin over time – making sure you’re removing [makeup] correctly will help maintain your skin’s quality in the long run.”

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On the days when you’re wearing makeup, both he and Johnson advise double cleansing with two different formulas before bed.

“The first step is to ‘break up’ the makeup,” Martin explains, adding that this is typically done using an oil-based formula – he recommends Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil or Indigo Cleansing Balm. “Then, the second cleanse can remove any remaining residue and really purify the pores,” he adds.

According to Johnson, you can choose any gel, cream or foaming cleanser for your second step, so long as it works for your skin type (that’s where The Matcha Cleanse comes in, for those with oily or combination skin types).

Our Skin Cadet, who has a balanced skin type, loves a multitasking cleanser that can break down any residual makeup, SPF or build-up from the day: “These are cleansers that transform from one texture to another, such as the ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm that goes from balm to oil to milk with water.”

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