With Charlotte Tilbury revealing that she wears makeup to bed, and skincare guru Sali Hughes recently re-emphasising the importance of always cleansing at the end of the day, our skincare routines are back in the spotlight.
While sleeping in your makeup is a well-known no no, is it really necessary to cleanse, tone and moisturise twice, every. single. day?
Skincare experts are pretty unanimous that, in fact, yes – it is. Although, for reasons that you might not even realise.
‘You can’t see it but every minute of the day, whether you are wearing makeup or not, we shed 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells from the surface of our skin,’ celebrity massage and sculpt specialist Dimple Amani tells Metro.co.uk.
He adds: ‘Cleansing is essential for melting away sebum and oil production which naturally builds up on our skin and can clog pores and cause breakouts’.
There are thousands of serums, toners, acids, retinols, creams, oils and exfoliators on the market. While we don’t need to use them all, the professionals seem to agree that we should choose the best products for our skin and try to commit to using them, as consistently as possible.
Find a routine that works for you
‘Sticking to a good cleansing routine is the key to good skin,’ says Yuliya Medvedenko, skincare expert at LookFantastic. ‘I do mine every day – and it is this regularity that will mean you see actual improvement in your skin.’
‘It’s not essential to use the same products every single day – but it is certainly beneficial’, she adds, stating: ‘Using a different cleanser each day may do the short-term job of cleaning your face but it will not enable a product to work its magic long-term.
‘Your skin also gets used to the products you are putting on it and switching it up all the time can lead to irritation and essentially confusion!’
Of course, occasionally forgetting to cleanse won’t lead to irreversible problems – but getting into a regular routine that fits in with your life will work wonders for your skin. However, there is no point in investing in a ten part skincare program if it becomes unmanageable and means you end up skipping it.
For those of us who want to keep it simple, the bare minimum is: ‘Cleanse and apply SPF in the morning, and cleanse and apply retinol in the evening,’ according to Dr Yusra Al Mukhtar, author of Beautified Britain Index: The Skin Report.
Our skin is under attack both in and out of the house
But, Covid has changed our beauty routines, with a large number of us still working from home – and, therefore, often wearing less makeup on a daily basis than we were pre-pandemic (are you even working from home if you’re not wearing a Sudocrem face mask instead of foundation?).
So, what about if you’re just in the house all day, wearing no makeup at all?
‘You still need to cleanse your face,’Dr Al Mukhtar says. ‘If your house has windows and you’re looking at your phone or computer, you will be exposed to blue light and UV radiation – so you should be wearing SPF every single day, and you should be removing that SPF every single evening.’
It’s not just makeup that clogs our pores – there is bacteria on various surfaces within our home, which can easily be transferred to our faces. As well as this: ‘When we’re in the house, we spend time in rooms that haven’t been ventilated for some time, alongside putting the heating or air conditioning on, which can negatively affect our skin,’ Medvedenko says.
And if you go out, your skincare routine is even more imperative, although not just for the reasons you might think. Holly Martin, skincare expert and lead tutor from GlamCandy says: ‘Free radicals from the atmosphere can sit on your skin, clog your pores and can also be carcinogenic. Cleansing once you’re home will reduce these effects.’
But – surprisingly – be it pollution or sun rays, studies have confirmed that wearing makeup can actually be beneficial, as it can protect the skin from outside factors. But, either way – you still need to cleanse your face.
‘If you wear no makeup outside, your skin is more likely to absorb everything and as a result actually needs a cleansing routine more than ever,’ saysMedvedenko . ‘Especially if you are taking public transport where people coughing, sneezing and breathing bacteria ridden particles in the congested space – this can all be absorbed into the skin.’
Finally, the experts are unanimous that sleeping in your makeup is the ultimate skincare sin and should be avoided at all costs – despite what Charlotte Tilbury says.
‘Makeup is a substrate on top of which bacteria will proliferate and grow,’ saysDr Al Mukhtar. ‘It has many irritants and it will be comedogenic when mixed with oil from your skin. It’s important that you’re removing that, because it can be systemically absorbed.
‘Research has been shown that sleeping in your makeup can result in contact dermatitis and irritation, blotchy sensitised skin and breakouts.’
Plus, let’s be honest, nobody likes a mascara streaked pillow case… so while you don’t need to spend hundreds on a ten-step routine, get the basics down, and try to stick to it – yes, every. single day.