Cleansing has come a long way since my teenage years. No more makeup wipes that don't actually clean your face and stripping, overly foamy cleansers that promise to clear your acne but actually leave your face tight, dry and compromised - they've been put in skincare jail. Nowadays, milks, creams, oils, balms and gel cleansers reign supreme and rightly so, but still, we'll be the first to admit, cleansers aren't the most sexy product and often get overlooked on your shelfie. Despite the fact cleansers have come on leaps and bounds in the past five years or so, most people view the cleansing step as purely functional and frankly a bit of a chore. I think we've all found ourselves half asleep on the sofa, 5 episodes deep into Keeping up with Kardashians, toying with the idea of just sleeping with our makeup on. The reality is though, with the right cleanser - aka nourishing and gentle - and technique, cleansing can be incredibly beneficial for our skin (obviously) but also offers up a rare moment of alone time and zen.
Cleansing has always been my favourite part of my routine, which when I tell people this, often gets incredulous looks, but hear me out. There's something SO satisfying and symbolic about literally taking the day off. Had a bad day at work? Just throw some milky, creamy, cleanser on it. It sounds trite, but the act of cleansing really gives me the time to switch off and unwind, so when we launched Milk Melt, our new vegan oat milk cleanser, needless to say I was excited.
Milk Melt is right up my street. My skin is breakout prone, but not particularly oily and has become super sensitive this year when it never used to be - I'm blaming it on 2020. Milk Melt is made with oat kernel extract, probiotic coconut yoghurt and aloe and it's truly gently cleansing, balancing and softening and tbh, a pleasure to use. My fave way to use is it is either as a first cleanse if I'm not wearing much makeup which is most days, or a second cleanse if I'm wearing a full face with eye makeup. And then this is key part - I cleanse my face for 60 seconds. Yup, one whole minute. If you're not familiar with the #60secondrule, it was created by aesthetician and all round skincare guru Nayamka Roberts-Smith, AKA @labeautyologist. Most people only cleanse their face for 15 seconds but the truth is, if you want to actually CLEAN your face, then you need to be working in the product for much longer.
Cleansing your face (with your fingers) for 60 seconds allows the ingredients in the cleanser to actually work. Most ppl wash their face for like 15 seconds max.— Nayamka Roberts-Smith, LE (@LaBeautyologist) November 1, 2018
It softens the skin & dissolves sebum blockages better.
Texture & overall evenness improves. #60SecondRule https://t.co/TQk6xkopOz
By giving yourself 60 seconds, the ingredients actually have time to work. So in Milk Melt, the oat extract kernel actually has time to break down and dissolve dirt and grime, and the probiotic coconut yoghurt can actually moisturise and regulate the good bacteria to strengthen your microbiome.
The #60secondrule also gives us some proper downtime too and can be ritualistic in nature. How often do you get to put your phone down in a day? Locking yourself in your bathroom away from whatever is irritating you that day and spending the time to connect with your body and actually touch your face is incredibly grounding. In a world where human touch is limited, giving yourself a mini facial massage once a day is so important. Like meditation, it's relaxing and intimate and basically feels like giving yourself a massive hug, which I think we could all do with right now! Plus, it helps to stimulate your blood circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage, so it will leave your complexion glowing.
So, if you feel like giving your cleanser (and mind) a boost, try cleansing for 60 seconds tonight, you might just find cleansing is your favourite step too. Just make sure to use a gentle, nourishing cleanser. Luckily for you, we have three gentle cleansers to choose from.
Written by Saoirse, Senior Social & Content Exec