An expert reveals the common cleansing mistakes we all make

Despite all of the bad things that have happened since we entered a new decade, being in lockdown and rarely leaving our homes meant many of us started focussing on our skincare regimes much more.

One of the skincare brands that has reached cult status over the past few years is CeraVe. In 2020, sales of the US brand were up a massive 321 per cent as people discovered the importance of cleansing, especially to avoid ‘maskne’ (acne caused by wearing a face mask).

It only makes sense then, to see that for 2022 CeraVe has launched its first Micellar Cleansing Water, and it only costs £10, in-keeping with CeraVe’s purse-friendly prices.

CeraVe micellar cleansing water

CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water, £10, Look Fantastic

According to data from L’Oréal via Google Trends, 42 per cent of people only use water to clean their face. A deeper, more efficient cleanse is key to protecting your skin’s natural barrier, but how do we know we’re doing it right and using the best products?

To find out, we asked Dr Alexis Granite, CeraVe’s consultant dermatologist, to give us the lowdown on why we should be using a cleanser and how to avoid common cleansing mistakes.

Why should we cleanse our skin?

‘One of the biggest myths when it comes to cleansers is more is more. Your daily cleansing routine doesn’t need to be overly complicated or time-consuming,’ she starts.

Quick and easy cleansing? Yes, please.

Dr Alexis continues: ‘It can actually be more effective to keep your cleansing step super simple and leave the targeted treatments and ingredients for serums and moisturisers.’

Without cleansing, we don’t give our skin the chance to renew itself. ‘We’re essentially allowing build-up on the skin which can open up a whole range of issues,’ Dr Alexis says. ‘Even if you don’t wear makeup, you still need to remove other products which your skin comes into contact with, from moisturisers to SPF, as well as daily pollutants, dirt, oils and sweat.

‘Build-up of these toxins can result in everything from lack of luminosity to clogged pores, dry, irritated skin, breakouts and acne. Cleansing also ensures a fresh canvas on which to apply additional products, so they can penetrate more effectively.’

woman washing face
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How often should we be cleansing?

The expert said ‘one cleanse in the morning and one in the evening should be more than sufficient if you’re using the right products for your skin and cleansing thoroughly every time.’

We’re inclined to think the more we cleanse, the cleaner our skin and therefore the healthier it will be. However, cleansing too much can dry out and irritate skin. Rather than over-cleansing when it comes to removing make up properly, Dr Alexis suggests removing it with micellar water before your deep clean.

What exactly is micellar water?

Micellar water contains small suspended surfactant molecules called ‘micelles’ that are designed to cleanse without the need to rinse. Micelles attract makeup, excess sebum and daily grime, rather than the natural oils from your skin.

CeraVe’s Micellar Cleansing Water contains moisturising ceramides, niacinamide and Vitamin B3, which ‘has anti-inflammatory effects and works synergistically with ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier.’

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What type of cleanser should we use?

As you may have discovered, not all skincare products will work for you and your skin. It’s important to shop for products based on your skin type or if you have specific concerns. Dr Alexis suggests opting for a cream or lotion-based cleanser if you have dry and sensitive skin, to up the hydration.

For normal or combination skin, a foaming or hot cloth cleanser will probably work better. But be sure to take notice of the ingredients in your cleanser – don’t let the big scientific-sounding words put you off. See our beauty director Edwina Ings-Chambers’ guide to the best cleansers here.

Liquid exfoliants should be used more sparingly, like once or twice a week. ‘Those with very sensitive skin and with conditions such as rosacea and eczema are better off using mild cleansers rather than exfoliating products,’ says Dr Alexis.

We can’t wait to try out our new self-care cleansing tips…

READ MORE: CeraVe’s very first serum contains hyaluronic acid