Beginners Guide,  Series,  Skincare

Beginners Guide To Skincare – Cleansers & Makeup Removers

Many of you liked my skincare blog posts and I often receive questions on certain products as well as advice on starting a proper skincare routine and what product not to mix etc. There are a few steps in a basic skincare routine, so I figured I’d chat about each step in detail and let you in on what I’ve learnt so far.

Cleansing might seem like an easy step as it really just boils down to removing your makeup and washing your face. Well, it’s actually not that simple because there are so many products out there with very complex ingredients. This initially left me feeling really overwhelmed, so the first step is to determine your skin type. Do you know what your skin type is, which ingredients to look out for that you know will help with your skin concerns and which do you avoid?

There are really helpful online guides, little quizzes and well as certain brands who do skin analysis for free. These brands use specific tools or devices that test hydration levels of your skin etc. So do a little bit of research

The first and most important step in your skincare routine is Cleansing. If you don’t cleanse properly, you’re stuck with the grime and built up oils that sit on your skin from the day and if you don’t get rid of this build-up, you’ll likely face skin issues such as acne, skin irritations and inflammation.

There are different types of cleansers/makeup removers on the market. We have cleansing wipes, cleansing balms, Micellar water, oil cleansers and liquid or gel cleansers. Makeup removers don’t only remove makeup but also cleanses off that first layer of dirt. So some of the above “cleansers” are essentially also makeup removers and great as your first cleanse in the double cleanse process.


1st Cleanse


1. Facial wipes

These are disposable cloths soaked in soap and other beneficial ingredients, which are supposed to clean dirt and grime. These aren’t my favourite but many use it to remove the top layer of their makeup. They, unfortunately, don’t do a great job at clearing the pores, so it’s suggested that you use this to remove the majority of your makeup (essentially a first step) and then cleansing with a liquid cleanser to make sure you get deep into those pores.

2. Micellar water

The two main ingredients in micellar water is water and surfactants. Surfactants attracts both oils and water so great as a makeup remover as well to cleanse the skin. You can cleanse your face using this at the end of the day but you’d probably need 3 layers to effectively remove everything. Others, however, can’t just rely on this as a cleanser, especially if you have enlarged pores and prone to breakouts.

3. Cleaning oils

Many love this type of cleansers, especially those who wear a lot of waterproof makeup. This works really well as the oils in the product binds with other oil residues on your skin. Emulsifies this by adding a little bit of water and then remove with lukewarm water. This is a great way to remove makeup as it dissolves dirt and makeup without leaving the skin feeling tight. Also, you’re getting amazing essential fatty acids that’ll leave your skin well hydrated.

This, however, can’t be your only and final step. This is the first step of the double cleansing process because if you don’t wash it away after, you’ll be left with clogged pores.

4. Cleansing balms

A cleansing balm is very similar to a cleansing oil but in a solidified version. They’re really effective at removing heavy duty makeup and simultaneously nourishes the skin with those botanical oils and antioxidants.


2nd Cleanse


1. Liquid Cleanser

This is the 2nd step of the double cleansing process. You find different kinds of liquid cleanser, the most popular being gel cleansers, milky/creamy cleansers and foam cleansers.

  • Gel cleansers are typically designed for deep cleansing by decongesting clogged pores, removing excess oil and killing bacteria. Gel cleansers are perfect for oily to combination skin types.
  • Milky/creamy cleansers are more suitable for those with dry skin as they contain botanical oils and emollients that nourish the skin.
  • Foam cleansers tend to strip more oils and therefore great for those with oily/acne prone skin.

I think the best way to choose your cleanser is to read what they’re specifically targeted for. So those with oily skin, you’d want to go for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, those with dry skin would need to go for cleansers that contain ingredients such as oils and emollient as this will leave the skin barrier well hydrated and comfortable even after cleansing.


Cleansers I’m currently loving


  • CLINIQUE Take The Day Off™ Cleansing Balm

What It Is
Our #1 makeup remover in a silky balm formula.

What It Does
Lightweight makeup remover quickly dissolves tenacious eye and face makeups, sunscreens. Transforms from a solid balm into a silky oil upon application. Cleans thoroughly, rinses off completely. Gently helps remove the stress of pollution so skin looks younger, longer. Non-greasy. Non-drying.



  • GLAMGLOW GENTLEBUBBLE ™ Daily Conditioning Cleanser

What it is: An ultimate daily conditioning cleanser to gently but effectively cleanse the skin and remove face makeup and daily impurities.

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination, and Oily

Skincare Concerns: Pores, Dryness, and Dullness and Uneven Texture

Formulation: Gel

Highlighted Ingredients:
– Teaoxi® Green Tea Leaf: Infuses antiaging antioxidants to combat the day’s stressors with essential vitamins for the appearance of an even, flawless complexion.
– Oat Amino Acids: Helps condition.
– Apple Extract and Vitamin E: Deeply cleanses.


  • Pixi Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel

This hydrating cleansing gel removes impurities without stripping the skin of essential moisture. With Moisclean™ and a unique blend containing glycolic acid, horse chestnut extract, aloe and ginseng, it helps refine and brighten complexion leaving skin energized and smooth.

•Hydrating & purifying cleansing gel
• Ginseng improves circulation and energizes
• Aloe vera soothes and hydrates


  • DR. BRANDT SKINCARE Clean Biotic pH-balanced yoghurt cleanser with chlorophyll

What it is: A multitasking, pH balanced yoghurt cleanser that instantly melts away dirt, pollution, makeup, and excess oil—without stripping the skin.

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination, and Oily

Skincare Concerns: Redness and Dryness

Highlighted Ingredients:
– Biotic Balancing Complex: Helps the skin maintain its balance of naturally-occurring flora for an optimal topical environment barrier.
– Antioxidant Blend (Green Tea, White Tea, and Grapeseed Extract): Helps protect the skin from free radical damages.
– Chlorophyll: Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, it helps detoxify, reduce irritation, and soothe the skin.


  • ELIZABETH ARDEN SUPERSTART Probiotic Cleanser -Whip to Clay

This whipped mousse cleanser transforms into a mineral-rich clay to purify, prep and infuse skin with protective probiotics to support skin’s natural defences. With water, it gently foams into a soft lather to rinse away makeup and impurities. Pores appear minimized and skin is primed for the next step in your skincare regimen.

  • Probiotic Complex – known to help to support skin’s natural defences.
  • Combination of Pink & Green Clays – act like magnets to unclog pores and remove impurities without drying skin.
  • Glycerin – a powerful humectant that helps skin retain moisture.


Cleansing your face will differ from person to person. All dependent on your skin type and what you prefer.  I have combination to oily/sensitive skin and I find what works best is the cleansing balm as my first cleanser as it breaks down any makeup with ease but still leaves my skin feeling nourished and then a gel cleanser as my 2nd cleanse to make sure I get rid of any debris.

It also boils down to preference as I said but just makes sure that you read the ingredients as some products contain really harsh ingredients that just strips the skin from its natural oils.

I hope this helped a bit. Let me know which type of cleanser you prefer and why?

Next, we’ll be discussing Exfoliators, both physical and chemical. Let me know if you have any specific questions regarding this step and I’ll try my best to cover it in my blog post.




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