Clean Up Your Act

After food, water and sleep, your cleansing routine should be up there with your daily essentials.

Whether you love dramatic make-up or prefer the au naturale look, cleansing is an essential part of looking after your skin.

Sisley skin consultant Victoria Levitskaya says: "We all need to cleanse, tone and moisturise in the evening, and exfoliate once a week."

But leaving the fresh face mission until night-time, it's all too easy to neglect our routines. When it comes to daily skincare it’s important strike a happy medium and stick to the basics.

Your first step to cleansing heaven is finding products that suit your skin type. There's no point borrowing your flatmate's lotions and potions if they have an adverse affect on your face.

"If you're not sure, a skin analysis at a reputable beauty counter is perfect for finding a routine and products suited to your individual skin type," says Levitskaya.

Those suffering from a skin condition like acne or eczema should consult their GP for advice on their routines first.

Cleansing the right way is the foundation to kicking off your fresh-face routine. "Go for a cleansing milk or cream if you like to see the removal results on a cotton wool pad, or use a mousse if you prefer the idea of 'washing off' your make-up," says Levitskaya.

For normal skin try: Dermologica Special Cleansing Gel (250ml), $53.

For dry skin try: Jurlique Replenishing Cleansing Lotion, $45.

For oily skin try: Clinique Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser, $38.

For combination skin try: SkinCeuticals Simply Clean Pore Refining Gel Cleanser for combination/oily skin, $58.90 .

"Many people tend to miss out toning from their routines but it's actually really important," Levitskaya warns. "Toner removes traces of make-up cleansing leaves behind and hydrates the skin."

Dry or sensitive skin? Check the ingredients and opt for toner without alcohol.

For normal skin try: Aveda Botanical Kinetics Skin Firming/Toning Agent (150ml), $54.95.

For dry skin try: Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner, $25.95.

For oily skin try: Kiehl's Foaming Non-Detergent Washable Cleanser, $38.

For combination skin try: Roc Normal/Combination Skin Toner, $25.

After cleansing and toning, your face deserves a treat with a luxurious dose of moisturiser to hydrate your skin. You can also up the ante against fine lines with an anti-ageing cream.

"Moisturise twice a day, morning and evening," Levitskaya advises. "Choose a hydrating moisturiser for night but your daytime moisturizer should include sun protection - even if it's raining outside."

For normal skin try: Darphin Hydraskin night, $115.

For dry skin try: La Mer The Moisturizing Lotion, $365.

For oily skin try: Estee Lauder Hydra Complete Multi-Level Gel, $68.

For combination skin try: Guinot Matizone Shine Control Moisturiser, $127.05.

After a big night out, taking off make-up feels like the beauty effort equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. But be warned, failing to cleanse will actually age you and prompt spot outbreaks.

That's reason enough to at least turn to a quick-fix cleanse for one night only, and save your pillow from make-up mess.

Cleansing wipes are a speedy way to remove grime. Try Nivea Visage Gentle Facial Cleansing Optimum Wipes, $7.50, or L'Oreal Paris Derma Genesis Illuminating Make-up Remover Wipes, $9.85.

All-in-one products are also great for those who consider the concept of “cleanse, tone, moisturise” a painful chore. RoC 3 in 1 Cleansing Lotion, $29, takes care of your skincare needs with one swipe of the cotton pad.

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