I’m having a bit of a skin moment. I’m hoping to turn it into a skin lifetime. It all started with my discovery of the Gel. You need go no further than my previous blog posting to read about its marvels. My second epiphany came with my new nightly cleansing routine. It’s called “the double cleanse” and I’ve now been doing it long enough to decide that it works really well (3 weeks). I’ve heard about the double cleanse for a while now. Beauty insiders rave about it. I’m not sure why I resisted trying it for so long, probably because you do have to invest a fair amount of time. My nightly skincare routine now takes close to 10 minutes but you can multitask at certain points. Here’s what you do:
Step 1 (2 min): Select an organic vegetable oil for your skin type (avocado for dry skin, jojoba for normal or combination skin, grapeseed for oily skin). Note: olive oil is a great cleansing oil for all skin types, plus you probably already have some in your kitchen. I’m using rosehip oil at the moment because I’m trying to fade my sunspots. Although so far, it’s hard going.
Massage the oil in circular motions for the full 2 minutes. Set a timer if it helps. I’ve taken to listening to podcasts during my nightly skincare routine as a nice way to pass the time while I’m doing all the primping and preening. During this step you can even massage the eye makeup off your eyes provided you are using a pure vegetable oil and haven’t added any essential oils to it. Mineral makeup in particular sticks well to oil and comes off easily.
Step 2 (2 min): Repeat step 1 this time preferably with a cream-based cleanser, or if you must have foam look for a sulphate free non-irritating version. I really like Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Chamomile Cleanser.
Step 3 (30 sec): With a warm, damp muslin cloth massage off the oil and cleanser taking care to rinse the cloth a few times when it starts to fill with product. This step is also very exfoliating. A few times a week spend a little more time on this step.
Step 4- optional (30 sec): For those of you used to foaming cleansers full of nasty sulphates this is where you will start to wane since you are now done with the cleansing and you won’t feel like your face is squeaky clean (although it is, I promise you). That “clean” feeling that you are used to is actually the feeling of having your skin completely stripped of all of its own natural (and good!) oils as well as its pH balance being disturbed.
Apply an alcohol-free toner if you are so inclined. Wait for it to set into your skin.
Step 5- optional (1-3 min): If you are using a treatment serum, now is the time to apply it. Have you heard about the Gel? Let the treatment serum set into your skin before proceeding to the next step
Step 6: moisturize (30 sec): Select a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type. Now that you are not over stripping your skin with a harsh cleanser you’ll probably find that you can get away with a lighter moisturizer.
Step 7- optional (30 sec): Facial oils are truly amazing. I recommend you apply one after your moisturizer to help your moisturizer penetrate your skin but also to put more goodness into your skin. You can even put a little of the vegetable oil you used in step 1 on at the end if you don’t have a separate facial oil. You can make your own facial oil here.
After the first few days of starting the double cleanse at night, I had a few spots rise to the surface. This was because I had some bacteria clogging my pores beneath the surface and the double cleanse helped bring them to the surface (which is the same outcome as when you get a facial at a spa and you might have a small breakout the next day). I have made some of the steps optional so that you can see what the most important steps. Although I would recommend that you follow all of them, if you don’t have all of the products already in your bathroom, then think about adding nice organic and non-toxic ones over time.
You know when your mom told you “you are what you eat?” What she meant in grown up terms is that your skin reflects what you eat, as does lifestyle factors like smoking, sun exposure, stress levels, etc. Therefore it’s important that you address these factors as well. The double cleanse will certainly help fight off the bacteria that’s already gotten into your skin, but even better would be if you can manage not to get it trapped there in the first place. So, reflect on what your mom taught you while you’re doing your double cleanse. That should keep you busy for a while!