Skin Cleansing 101: A Solution for When Dry Itchy, Irritated Skin Is Making Removing Makeup a Major Chore

I have spent Winters in a few countries whilst traveling.  From snowy and windy cities to the dry, hot, yet frosty(at night) out back.

We all know our skin’s needs change with the seasons and for me, Winter means switching out my lighter cleanser and moisturiser for a crème cleanser and a moisturiser designed to address a drier skin. 

For some of my clients it means itchy, irritated skin which makes removing makeup a major chore.

 Let me take you on a deep dive on why this is so.

 Removing Makeup

Who hasn’t gone to bed without removing her makeup at least once in your life. Your bed beckons you after a long night out or a frantic day at work and then you wake up and take an apprehensive peek in the mirror.  

 While doing this once in a blue moon may not be too bad, making it a habit, is not a good idea. It can lead to premature aging and collagen degradation. So removing foundation, mascara, lipstick and other products before going to bed is essential if you want to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. 

That's why today I want to talk about the importance of removing makeup, skin cleansing, the best products to use and how being disciplined can help maintain glowing skin for years to come.

Why is it important to remove makeup before bed?

Before we give the rundown on makeup removers and cleansers, here’s how sleeping with your makeup on at the end of the day can impact your skin. 

And, it’s quite a list! 

  • Makes skin dull because it traps dirt and environmental pollutants inside the skin, especially if the makeup product has dimethicone in it.  This type of environmental stress can result in increased free radicals which can prematurely age skin.

Sleep is the time when your mind and body, including your skin replenishes and healing takes place. You've probably noticed that after a good night's sleep, your skin appears refreshed and feels plump and smooth.  

  • When you sleep with makeup on, the skin cannot breathe, and this deep epidermal renewal process is hindered.  Instead of looking fresh, your skin appears dull and stressed. Makeup can clog your pores and is not designed to be worn around the clock. If you remove your makeup at night you allow your skin to breathe and go through that deep epidermal renewal process. During sleep your makeup also mixes with the natural oils in your skin and dusty debris on your bedlinen, which can cause breakouts and acne. 
  • After you finally wash your face, the tendency is to over moisturise and cover up with makeup which creates a vicious cycle. 
  •  Perhaps the biggie is speeding up ageing. There is no question that no matter what products you use,  if you go to bed with makeup on, your skin will age at an increased rate. 

During the day, your skin is exposed to pollutants promoting free radicals. If you don't cleanse before bed, these impurities are layered on your skin, helping to speed up the development of fine lines and wrinkles. 

  • Wearing even the healthiest natural makeup for too long isn’t a good idea.  Yes, these healthier makeup choices are better, and many allow your skin to breathe, they are still a layer on your skin. 
  • Sleeping in mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow is the easiest way to cause eye irritation and even infection. We rub our face and eyes with our hands or pillow when we sleep so makeup is then rubbed into your eyes, leading to itchiness, dryness and in a worst case scenario, eyelid cysts! 

 Not to mention, dried out mascara can make your eyelashes brittle, causing them to break and fall out! 

 What is Double Cleansing and when is it needed?

 Have we convinced you of the need to remove makeup?

It may all sound a bit scary, but fortunately these scenarios can be avoided by...simply washing your face to remove makeup and impurities before bed! 

 Many people get confused about the options; should they use makeup remover, cleanser, tissues or other products and what's the difference between removers and cleansers? Let's clear this up. 

 Makeup removers are formulated to solely remove eye makeup, foundation, blush, and other products from the surface of your skin. They often contain potentially harsher chemicals which can strip and irritate the skin.

 My strong preference has always been to do a double cleanse with your favourite cleanser, which will also remove sebum, sweat, grime and everything else from the skin to prevent pore clogging and other issues without removing the natural oils. See my video on how to do a double cleanse. I always try to minimise the number of products I use and carry around when I travel, so a multi-use cleanser is the way to go. You could also use a crème cleanser for the first cleanse and then follow with a wash-off cleanser for the second cleanse.

Super Fruit Wash-Off Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin and Acai

Learn about Super Fruit Wash-Off Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin and Acai

 Why remove makeup before washing your face?

First of all, the initial cleanse removes all makeup and the second cleanse will finish the job and ensure clear and smooth skin that's ready to absorb your serums and moisturisers. 

 How to remove makeup before bed?

We understand, sometimes you're so tired, but trust me, removing makeup takes just a few minutes that pays off with dividends.

 Here are the most common options.

  • Makeup removers. These specially designed products dissolve your makeup, remove even the thickest foundation and layers and layers of mascara, but often contain harsh, irritating ingredients.
  • Micellar water. This relatively new product has become super popular in recent years. Micellar water is tiny oil molecules suspended in water that easily lift dirt, oil, and makeup up and away from your skin (no rubbing needed). Micellar water is usually suitable for even the most sensitive skin. 
  • A Cream or Oil based cleanser is another excellent option when you need to remove a thick layer of makeup. It's one of the most gentle products and it leaves your skin smooth and supple. 
  • Makeup wipes. While wipes can be handy when travelling, we recommend avoiding using them regularly. When wiping your makeup, you're smearing it all over, and the rubbing action can leave the skin irritated and even inflamed. Lastly, many wipes often contain harmful ingredients.

Skin cleansing 

So, you've removed your makeup with your makeup remover of choice. Now's the time for the next step - cleansing.

 And we're not talking just water. 

 Even the best removers will leave some residue on your skin, so make sure you don't skip cleansing!

And if you're not using a makeup remover, no problem! You can achieve the same (or even better) results by double cleansing your skin. This means cleansing your skin with your wash off or crème cleanser twice.

Daily Revitalise Cleansing Crème with Lemon Myrtle, Papaya and Coconut

Learn about Daily Revitalise Cleansing Crème with Lemon Myrtle, Papaya and Coconut

 Skin cleansing benefits

Cleansing your skin properly, removing dirt, debris and sweat prevents bacteria from pollutants and dead skin from building up, which can eventually lead to blocked pores, blemishes, and premature ageing. 

Regular facial cleansing is also imperative for keeping your skin moisturised. It helps manage pH levels of the skin, enables sufficient water and product retention and is essential for skin hydration.

Lastly, if you don't cleanse your skin correctly, the layer of dirt and build-up will prevent it from absorbing all the active ingredients from your skincare. Basically, your serums and moisturisers will have much less of an effect than they would on squeaky clean skin. 

When to cleanse your skin?

You should aim to cleanse your skin morning and night.  If you have thoroughly cleansed your skin the night before a quick cleanse during your morning shower is enough.  For those with a dry skin, cleansing in the morning with a creamy cleanser will help in your fight against flakiness and help quench a dry skin.  It is an important step in helping to address dryness.

Skin cleansing at night

The skin regenerates at night, so naturally, you should dedicate more time to your cleansing process then.

After removing your makeup with the remover of your choice, follow up with a cleanser.  If you are opting for a double cleanse (which is my preferred option), choose your cleanser either cream or wash off and use it twice.  This will clean the skin properly and give it a chance to breathe and repair, utilising oxygen which is vital for regeneration.

After cleansing, we recommend applying serums and moisturiser on damp skin to lock the moisture in and penetrate deeply to be the most effective. 

How to best cleanse the skin 

After removing your makeup using your chosen cleanser and a warm, wet face cloth, apply your cleanser again and massage it for a minute or so. 

This will help the active ingredients do their job without unnecessary rubbing or scrubbing.

Don't use too hot water when removing, as it will dry and irritate your skin by stripping it of natural oils. Washing with cold water is not recommended either as it won't open your pores, allowing removal of toxins. We recommend rinsing off your cleanser using a warm wet face cloth. 

Skin Therapy Glow System

Skin Therapy Glow System

 A final thought or two

 So there you have it, a deep dive into the importance of removing makeup, skin cleansing,.

 A couple of final thoughts:

We're proud of our active, gentle, vegan and cruelty-free cleansers that cleanse the skin without causing irritation. 

Our Daily Revitalise Cleansing Crème with Lemon Myrtle, Papaya and Coconut gently removes pollution buildup and purifies the pores, revealing radiant, healthy skin. 

 Infused with nourishing organic ingredients that help detoxify the skin whilst balancing natural oils.

The Super Fruit Wash-Off Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin and Acai contains a potent, multi-fruit complex designed to gently yet effectively remove dead skin cells.

The cleanser is rich in natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's) via the multi-fruit complex, which works to exfoliate the skin's surface gently and promotes increased cell turnover, increased collagen production and a brighter-looking complexion.