This was unusual because it's not usually in my nature to clean. However, when it comes to cleaning my skin, I'm fastidious. I never go to bed with make up on and I rather enjoy the ritual of the cleansing process. There's something about it that appeals – that act of taking the day off my skin, so to speak. It's the ultimate end and start to a day.
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It's always good to re-evaluate your cleansing routine from time to time – and I can think of no better time to do that than spring. Over the years I've come to know a bank of cleansers that I believe is the best; and there's something here for all skin types.
If you wear make up, a good cream or oil-based cleanser is the most effective way to dissolve and remove it at night. I have a few favourites, of which Liz Earle's classic Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser (£12.75; www.lizearle.co.uk) is my number one. I've been using it for years – even when my skin was acne prone (I just followed it in the morning with Dermalogica's life-saving Clearing Skin Wash for double effect), as it removes every stitch of make up – even mascara. I just keep a stack of flannels and muslin cloths, which I rotate daily, which also act as gentle exfoliators.
Darphin's Aromatic Cleansing Balm with rosewood (£30; www.darphin.co.uk) is similarly effective; and, good news, it now comes in a handier, wallet-friendly size. Plus, it smells divine.
And the Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser (£27; www.timetospa.co.uk) might be new, but I like it so far.
In the morning, I like to use a more simple cleanser, like Dermalogica's Special Cleaning Gel (£25.50; www.dermalogica.com/uk). It's the most perfect, non-oily, non-drying, soap-free gel cleanser there is – great for normal, combination and even acne-prone skin as it's calming but effective. Checks and Balances by Origins (£17; www.origins.co.uk) is also good for combination skin.
If your skin is very dry or sensitive, Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with shea butter, (£17; www.clarins.co.uk), leaves skin supple – as does Sisley's Creamy Mousse Cleanser (£63; www.houseoffraser.co.uk), which is a pleasure to use but pricey.
If you're in a rush or in between make up applications, I love Dior's Instant Cleansing Water (£23.50; www.houseoffraser.co.uk). It's suitable for all skin tones and can be used all over face and eyes to remove dirt and make up in the quickest of steps.