In the new issue of Brides, beauty editor Alice du Parcq has put together the definitive guide to skincare. Seen it yet? If not, there are plenty of tips and excellent new shopping suggestions, but her first bit of advice is this: start double-cleansing. Here, Alice explains a bit more about this easy, but transformative trick...
First off, please don't think this is another way of making you buy more cleanser! Since I started double-cleansing I've noticed huge changes in my skin and I haven't had to use more product than I was before. The secret is to use just one pump for each cleanse.
So why is double-cleansing a good idea? Whether you wear make-up or not, every day our skin collects dirt, germs and facial grease inside our pores - which makes for a perfect breeding ground for spot-making bacteria. One cleanse won't shift all of this efficiently, but two will ensure that you get every shred of grime off your skin.
That second cleanse does a lot more too: if you put 30 more seconds into massaging the product thoroughly into your skin, it will help to firm up pores and boost circulation to energise cells.
Trust me when I say this: after a week of double-cleansing (I do mine in the evening) your skin will begin to look brighter, more even in tone, and crucially it will feel less parched and thirsty straight afterwards.
Before, I used to plaster on moisturiser immediately because my skin felt tight and dry. Now, I can leave it until I'm good and ready for serum and day cream. Just make sure you have a rota of 3 clean face cloths (bearing in mind 2 might be in the laundry basket and 1 fresh one in the bathroom).
Here's a quick step-by-step:
1. Massage your cleanser into your skin - one pump if it's an oil, cream or lotion; one hazelnut-sized blob if it's a balm.
2. Drench and squeeze your cloth in warm water.
3. Wipe off the cleanser gently, but surely. I tend to include my ears and all the way round my neck too.
4. Repeat it all a second time, but make sure that second application is gorgeously deep massage.
And for the cleanser itself? On my bathroom shelf are these three, depending on the texture I fancy on the day:
Gel Cream: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £6.74, www.boots.com
Dense Balm: Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £39.50, www.timetospa.co.uk
Oil: Shea Cleansing Oil, £17, www.uk.loccitane.com