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Classic cleansers

MAYBE it was due to the distinct lack of seasonal sunshine, but I ended up spending most of last Sunday spring cleaning my house.

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.

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