How to cleanse dry skin without parching it even more

Cleanse dry skin like a professional with these expert tips. Rachel Marie Walsh reports
How to cleanse dry skin without parching it even more

Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil €40

Dry skin is often at its tightest after cleansing. This skin type is often a sign of a depleted moisture-retention (hydrolipidic) barrier and the wrong products or habits can make it feel drier. I asked skincare expert Mariga Sheedy — who usually deals with dry skin problems every day at her clinics in Wexford Town and Donnybrook — how to cleanse this temperamental type without parching it further.

Don’t Overdo It

“I usually recommend cleansing dry skin only once a day, preferable at night. A rinse with water will do fine in the morning. Dry skin produces fewer lipids which are needed for creating and maintaining the basis of healthy skin: a strong natural barrier. We don’t want to strip these oils away by over-cleansing.”

Recommendation: BYBI Beauty Milk Melt Vegan Oat Cleanser, €20.45 at lookfantastic.ie 

BYBI Beauty Milk Melt Vegan Oat Cleanser, €20.45 at lookfantastic.ie
BYBI Beauty Milk Melt Vegan Oat Cleanser, €20.45 at lookfantastic.ie

This is a comforting wash that’s rich in supportive lipids. The probiotic coconut yogurt and oat milk in the formula also help to combat redness.

Cleansing Without Water Won’t Clear Things Up

“Water-free cleansing will not make any difference to dry skin one way or the other. The idea that water-free is a good option for dry skin probably comes from the fact that foaming cleansers are used with water. It is the foaming agents (detergents) in these cleansers that are drying the skin, not the fact that you use water to remove them.”

Recommendation: Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Hydrating Foam Cleanser, €72 at harveynichols.com 

Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Hydrating Foam Cleanser, €72 at harveynichols.com Re-Nutriv Hydrating Foam Cleanser (Repack) - Product on White
Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Hydrating Foam Cleanser, €72 at harveynichols.com Re-Nutriv Hydrating Foam Cleanser (Repack) - Product on White

This cleanser’s base is made up of moisturising glycerin and mild coconut-based cleansing ingredients including sodium cocoyl glycinate — one of the few cleansing agents that naturally produces a creamy lather without detergent.

Be a Diagnostician

“Watching how your skin reacts can save you a lot of irritation. If your skin feels tighter straight after cleansing than it did before cleansing, your cleanser is likely too aggressive for your skin type. Avoid cleansers with harsh detergents. In general, these are foamy formulas. They may feel nice and fresh but the detergents are drying out your skin. The ingredient to avoid here is sodium laurel sulphate.”

Recommendation: Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil, €40 at spacenk.com now, at look fantastic.ie from March. 

Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil €40
Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil €40

This organic dual-phase cleansing milk contains silver ear mushroom — a natural form of hyaluronic acid that helps bind moisture to your skin, as well as soothing appleseed oil, sunflower seed oil and babassu oil, all of which work in harmony to bolster the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Use a Microfibre Face Cloth

Try microfibre facecloths, they do a quicker, better job. You may be surprised to learn that most good quality cleansers are water-soluble, meaning that you can apply them like a traditional foaming cleanser and remove them with a facecloth to give you that satisfying clean feeling you get from using a cloth.

Recommendation: Elemis Pro-Collagen Naked Fragrance-Free Cleansing Balm, €56 at elemis.com  

Elemis Pro-Collagen Naked Fragrance-Free Cleansing Balm, €56 at elemis.com
Elemis Pro-Collagen Naked Fragrance-Free Cleansing Balm, €56 at elemis.com

This is a new and limited edition fragrance-free version of Elemis’s signature Naked Cleansing Balm. It is exceptionally high in essential fatty acids for a cleanser, can be used as a mask, and comes with a cloth.

Double-Cleanse with Care

“If you use long-wearing makeup you may want to double cleanse. The trick here is to use your regular cleanser to cleanse twice rather than buying an extra ‘pre-cleanser'. This title is just marketing! Your cleanser should be chosen for your skin type, not your makeup type. Double cleansing, if necessary, will be tolerated by your skin as long as the product you are using is suitable for your skin type. Using an oil-based cleanser with a microfibre cloth will remove all but bullet-proof makeup. If you need to, you can just rinse out the cloth under warm water for a second rinse without any additional cleanser.

Recommendation: Skin Essentials by Mariga Skin Comfort Cleanser, €27 at skinessentialsbymariga.com 

This is a one-step makeup remover and cleanser in a water-soluble oil formula.”

Toner is Optional

“Toners were invented to remove traces of heavy, cream cleansers before water-soluble cleansers were available. You shouldn’t need one for this purpose if you have a good quality cleanser. However, toners these days are different, they can be a second step in hydrating. If you enjoy them by all means use one after cleansing.”

Recommendation: Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Toner, €24 at paulaschoice-eu.com 

This alcohol-free toner is packed with antioxidants that replenish dry skin and help curb rosacea flare-ups.

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