The art of Cleansing with Facialist Mandy Oxley Swan

There are various types of cleansers available: balms, lotions, foaming, gels but how do you know which one to choose to best suit your skin?

Cleansing is the cornerstone of a good skin routine and essential for keeping your complexion clear.  Regular cleansing helps remove sebum, make up, pollution and dead skin cells and prepares the skin for the absorption of serums and moisturisers.  There are many different forms of cleansers available such as Gel cleansers, oil Cleansers, as well as cream cleansers and balm cleansers so how do you find out what is best for your skin?  We asked facialist Mandy Oxley Swan to tell us a bit about her favourite types of cleansers and how to use them.

Mandy Oxley Swan

What is your favourite type of cleanser?

I love a cleansing balm! This is usually a thicker texture and is formulated with natural oils.  Traditionally, cleansing balms work on the premise that like attracts like - so the oils in the balm attract the oil/sebum on the skins surface. They also effectively, but gently, remove make up, SPF, and pollution from the skin and can also help to restore moisture and leave the skin both clean and hydrated.  As a facialist, I particularly like a balm cleanser as these usually have plenty of “slip” which means it is perfect for enjoying a facial massage whilst you cleanse, to energise, plump and depuff the skin: everyone loves a multitasker!

Balms can be used all year round but are particularly useful in the Autumn/Winter months when the colder weather takes its toll on skin to boost the skin barrier function, which means keeping hydration in and any pollution and dryness out.   As such, they can work wonders for drier and combination skins.  The Rhug Wild Beauty Deep Cleansing Balm contains wild foraged berries from the estate which are high in vitamin C + E to brighten and protect and a blend of Rosehip, Safflower and Calendula Oils that help boost collagen production and nourish the skin.

What is the best way to use a cleansing balm?

Take a small amount of the balm using either your fingertips or better still a spatula. Warm the balm in your hands and apply onto dry skin. Really massage the balm into your skin to help circulation and break down sebum, make up and SPF and if your balm smells lovely, like the Rhug Wild Beauty one, take some deep inhales and really enjoy the process.

Concentrate on any areas of congestion such as the chin or nose area. Massage in for at least a minute if you can, lifting up through the cheekbones and working along the jawline to depuff and sculpt. To finish, dip your fingertips in warm water and start massaging the skin again. The water will emulsify the oils giving a milky appearance and a silky texture for a deeper cleanse before removing with a warm soft muslin cloth.

Deep Cleansing Balm emulsifies with water on face

What are Cream Cleansers?

These are more milky in texture and beneficial for sensitive, drier skins as they are gentle and hydrating.  Like the cleansing balms, they remove dirt and sebum without stripping the skin of its crucial oils and leave skin plumped and nourished. They also allow for a facial massage should you wish and can be removed with a warm muslin cloth or simply warm water. 

The decision to use a cream cleanser over a cleansing balm is purely down to choice and the texture that you prefer! The Rhug Wild Beauty Cream Cleanser contains Organic Papaya Extract, which helps to gently remove dead skin cells and encourages cell turnover for brighter, smoother skin.  It also contains wild foraged Dandelion from the Rhug Estate which is rich in minerals to hydrate and support overall healthy skin function.

Wild Beauty Deep Cleansing Balm & Cleansing Lotion - Double Cleanse Set

What about Double cleansing?

I always recommend double cleansing where the skin has been exposed to increased pollution, or you really feel that your skin needs a deep cleanse, to remove make up or SPF build up.  This isn’t necessary on a daily basis, and we should be careful not to strip the skin of its natural oils, by over cleansing as this can over sensitise our skin and compromise our skin barrier function, which protects us from external stressors like pollution and UV radiation.

Use a cream cleanser first and massage into skin, removing with a damp cloth and then follow with the balm cleanser, applying a small amount all over the face to remove all traces of pollution and make up, removing gently with a damp cloth.

Once skin is cleansed, follow with a hydrating toner or mist, your usual serum and a day or night cream accordingly and don’t forget your daily SPF!