Cleanse. Tone. Moisturise.
There’s a very good chance your first real face-washing routine went something like this; maybe it still does. There’s been a lot of debate over the years about whether it’s necessary to use toner, with no real conclusion, but surely we all agree cleanser lives in the ‘every day’ basket.
Well, that’s not necessarily the case. Actually, there are quite a lot of women out there who take a simpler approach to keeping their face clean.
Charlize Theron doesn’t “believe in overzealous cleansing”, so she only rinses her face with water in the morning. Salma Hayek swears by the same approach. Meanwhile, Alexa Chung and Lady Gaga have both admitted to regularly going to bed without cleansing at night.
Poke around online and you’ll find a wealth of articles claiming cleansers, and overuse of them, aren’t actually great for your skin — especially when they include ingredients like sulfate, which can be quite harsh on your face’s natural oils. That tight, ‘squeaky clean’ feeling you often get after cleansing isn’t a sign of effectiveness; rather, it can signal damage being done to your skin. Eek.
Having read up on these kinds of reports, not to mention something called the ‘Caveman Regimen’ that’s basically a paleo take on skincare, One Daily Mail reporter decided to investigate what effect a cleanser-free routine would have on her skin.
For one month, 30-year-old Erica Tempesta was only permitted to wash her face with water, with the exception of a cream-based remover to take off her eye makeup. She was also allowed to use moisturiser.
As you might expect, the first water-only wash was a pretty weird experience for Tempesta.