I’m no hausfrau, but I’m rather obsessed with the idea of cleaning as far as health and wellness is concerned. Every morning, I do oil pulling for 20 minutes, then scrape my tongue with a pure silver tongue cleaner. A swish of mouth wash, dental floss, and I’m midway through my ritual.
Next up, clearing out my sinuses with warm water and sea salt via jal neti and wrap it up with a spritz of organic rose water in each eye to ensure that my whites look pristine. Other cleansing rituals include water in a copper jug, a series of cleansing breaths and my yoga practice, but I’ll just stick to skin here.
Recently, a friend told me that she never washes her face before going to bed. She’ll slap on the most expensive serums in the day, but at night, she almost invariably goes to sleep with the entire day on her face.
At the risk of sounding clichéd, allow me to spell it out for you (and her): cleansing is essential because it removes any dirt or grime that may stand between your complexion and your expensive skincare products.
It is evermore essential at night, because this is when your skin naturally regenerates itself. You can enhance this skin regeneration by supporting it with a serum that fulfils your own particular needs: Vitamin C for pigmentation, retinol for lines and wrinkles, acids for pores and uneven texture.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of double cleansing. But sometimes, even I’m too lazy to go through the whole process of cleansing balm and foaming face wash. At moments like these, face wipes always come to the rescue. I feel terrible every time I use them, because they’re so bad for the environment. However, they’re the perfect solution for people such as my aforementioned friend. I’ve got her two: one for her car and another for her bedside table.
Still, if you have time I’d recommend a double-cleanse, no matter how inebriated you may be. Even if I don’t put on my serums, I’m happy going to bed with a clean face. During winter, I would use Bioderma Sensibio micellar water as a first cleanse, followed by Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm. This balm moisturises the skin even if you don’t follow up with a serum. It also comes with a dual-sided cleansing cloth with muslin on side and microfibre on the other for buffing and polishing — I’m not much of a fan, however.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, I first use the Kahina Cleansing Oil; it contains argan and carrot seed oils as a base, with blue tansy and turmeric to calm and clarify the skin. Despite being such a nourishing oil, I find that it also removes every bit of makeup and sunscreen. Still, I follow up with a foaming face cleanser — I live in Delhi, after all. The Kama Ayurveda Sensitive Skin Cleansing Foam is such a great surprise: it gives you the pleasure of using a foam but doesn’t dry out your skin. I’m also immensely impressed with their All-Natural Makeup Remover, a cream cleanser that removes everything, including the most stubborn mascara.
I used to be of the school of thought that you only need water to cleanse in the AM. However, an expert once told me that our skincare oxidises on our face over the course of the night, therefore it’s important to wash it off. So I usually end up using a cleansing oil or face wash depending on how dry/oily my skin feels. But mornings are a great time to use home remedies too. My favourite is a splash of apple cider vinegar, a couple of pinches of any clay, half a spoon of honey, mixed together and used as a morning cleanser. You can also mix moong dal flour with milk or rosewater to use as an exfoliating cleanser. If the evenings are about deep cleanse, then the mornings are about nourishing. And after all this, if your skin doesn’t glow like a lightbulb, I’ll eat my hat.
A column to remind you about all things skin deep.