Last month I had me a major skincare epiphany and it was largely down to the discovery of skin guru Caroline Hirons.
Following my decision to avoid botox but still coveting the peachy skin of a 21 year old Victorias Secret model, I researched the shit out of retinols and serums in a bid to scale up my skincare before The Wedding ( it’s getting caps now it’s only 5 months away.)
Turns out that I was doing it all bloody wrong.
Since then I’ve spent a pretty penny ( and all my Christmas gift cards) on lotions and potions and developed a new routine, or rather a sassy little ritual, which makes me feel lovely and pampered, like a woman with fewer lines around her eyes and her shit together.
My skin certainly looks brighter and (crucially) less old BUT I’m still dealing with spots under the skin around my chin and cheeks, giving me a run-down Britney during the Frappuccino years vibe that no amount of pricey retinol or acid seems able to completely get rid of although there are significant improvements.
The internet tells me that the spots are probably down to coming off the pill a few months ago and that my GP can give me an antibacterial cream or something to help so I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.
In the meantime let’s talk less about my grotty little clogged pores and more about my gorgeous new skincare routine, which begins with cleansing, more specifically double cleansing.
Prior to reading Caroline’s blog, I was partial to Liz Earl Cleanse & Polish, eventually replacing it with a cream hot cloth cleanser from REN, which successfully removes all the makeup that I like to trowel on, while still being gentle on the skin and smelling pleasingly botanical ( see expensive).
I like the process of using a cloth in warm water to remove cleanser along with all of the dead skin cells residing on my face, as it feels more thorough and exfoliating that just washing cleanser off with my hands.
Full disclosure: Back in the dark days, before I properly learned about skincare, I was known to use a cheap NIVEA eye makeup remover all over my face when the REN ran out, or if I’d had a particularly lavish month I’d buy a cheap facial scrub from Superdrug to see me through until payday.
I’m sure it’s no coincidence that my pores were blocked, my skin was tight, dry in places and oily in others and my complexion was grey at times.
Come on then, what’s this double cleansing all about?
So, Caroline writes at length about double cleansing – according to her it’s the key to great skin and I get it.
It’s just about cleaning your face properly and you may actually be double cleansing already, without even knowing it.
Do you take off your mascara using eye makeup remover and then use a hot cloth cream cleanser? You’re doing it babes.
Do you use micellar water to remove your makeup and follow it up with a balm or oil cleanser to get your skin squeaky clean while remaining gloriously balanced? You’ve got this double cleansing business NAILED.
Do you use a harsh facial scrub and then a face wipe to ensure all your makeup is off? Shame on you! That was a trick, Caroline says that facial scrubs are evil and face wipes are the cleanser of the devil – for emergencies only.
My understating is that if you want to take off your makeup properly and leave your skin balanced and healthy then you’re probably going to have to invest something a little more advanced and, ahem, expensive, than a foaming face wash from Simple.
Grease is apparently best for removing SPF and thick makeup ,so balms and oils are perfect. Having never used a balm until trying a mini Emma Harding Amazing Face Morninga Cleansing Balm, I’m totally convinced of its magical powers.
Caroline and lots of skincare peeps recommend this particular cleanser and if money were no object I’d use it everyday. It smells and feels divine, leaving my skin feeling silky soft while some injecting A list glam vibes into my morning, but it costs £39 *sad face*.
The mini version I have came in last years Marks and Spencer beauty advent calendar and its lasted me about a month but sadly I won’t be purchasing the full size version any time soon.
Instead I tried the Pixi Cleansing Balm, which is £18 and feels just as effective at the Emma Hardie, although not so god damn delicious.
Pixi actually do a Double Cleanser in one handy pot in collaboration with Caroline herself, which I’m gagging to try.
When should you be cleansing?
This is a new one on me and it’s actually made my life a bit better, for reals.
To get the most out of your skincare Caroline says cleanse when you get in, around that magical time when you rip off your bra and slip into some sexy jogging bottoms.
Doing the cleansing and then the rest of your evening skincare routine nice and early gives your lovely products time to properly soak in before you lay down to sleep and unwittingly slather them all over your pillow.
The ritual of taking off the day and having your skin feel all fresh and clean while you watch Netflix and scroll through Instagram is also super satisfying.
You should cleanse again after crawling out of bed in the morning but only once to take off those pesky dead skin cells.
A final word on double cleansing
Queen Caroline says there’s no point slathering on that pricey serum or super duper moisturiser if you first cleansed with a face wipe as you’re literally wasting your money, which kind of makes sense to me.
I’ve also learned that my new routine isn’t a substitute for botox as even if I’d opted for a bit of chemical enhancement, I would still have wanted the rest of my skin looking and feeling its best.
Will my swanky new routine actually yield results? I’ll keep you posted lovers. I’ll also fill you in on my voyage of discovery through retinols, acids, serums and moisturisers.
There’s heaps of lovely cleansers out there, which I look forward to giving a bash! Have you got any recommendations?
Happy double cleansing darlings xxx