How To Deep Cleanse Heavy Make-Up
How To Deep Cleanse Heavy Make-Up

How To Deep Cleanse Heavy Make-Up

5 minutes read

That time of year has come around again when make-up gets exciting. Summer may have been about tinted lip balm and skipping mascara, but autumn and winter are all about the make-up: spooky Halloween looks, festive red lips and shimmery holiday party make-up.  

And while we’re all about pre-planning our Halloween and festive looks, today, we’re shifting the focus to what comes after the party. The process of make-up removal, AKA cleansing.

Below, we detail why it’s so important to cleanse properly, especially when you’re wearing heavy make-up, and break down the correct way to clean your skin.

woman cleansing her face

The importance of cleansing properly

“The key to great skin is great cleansing – that’s something Jacques Courtin-Clarins (the founder of Clarins) believed,” says Jason Roberts, Clarins Commercial Training Manager.

Sure, getting a facial occasionally or applying a clay mask on a self-care Sunday can help clean your pores. But it’s the cleansing you do every day that makes a more significant difference. And if you have heavy make-up on, you need to put in the extra time to take it off.

“On average, people spend 15 to 20 seconds a day cleansing their skin,” Roberts explains. “Realistically, you should be massaging in your cleanser for about 30 seconds. But, on the other hand, you might have spent 15 minutes (or more) putting your make-up on, so, unfortunately, a quick sweep of micellar water will not cut it to remove the make-up properly.”

When make-up stays on the skin, it can wreak havoc on various levels. First, it will clog your pores, inevitably leading to breakouts and congestion. Also, as our skin regenerates during nighttime, sleeping with make-up on can obstruct the process. Remnants of make-up left on the skin will also make the skincare you apply on top less efficient.

“Spend that little bit of extra time cleansing at night to get rid of every trace of make-up, dirt and pollution, and you can do a quick cleanse in the morning,” says Roberts.

Cleansing: how to pick your products

A double cleanse is the best way to cleanse your skin correctly if you’re an SPF and make-up wearer. You need two cleansers, one in each of the categories described below:

The make-up remover

Cleansing oils and balms, micellar waters, cleansing foams and eye make-up removers – these are the products you need for step one. They’re going to help dissolve and remove your make-up. 

The skin cleanser

Step two thoroughly cleans the skin after most of your make-up is off. Here’s where you need to tailor your choice of cleanser to suit your skin type.  

Read: Is Double Cleansing Necessary? Experts Weigh In 

How to remove heavy make-up: a deep cleansing routine

The removal process could look slightly different when you have particularly heavy make-up on. Below, we share a step-by-step to take it all off without damaging the skin underneath. 

Step one

Whether you want to take off your waterproof mascara or a dark Halloween smokey eye, reach for a potent eye make-up remover. We like the Instant Eye Make-Up Remover, £22, that dissolves even the most long-wearing products. And it’s enriched with rose and cornflower waters that soothe the skin around the eyes.

eye makeup remover

“If you have some intense lip make-up on as well – I’m thinking about all the fake blood and gore that people may apply during Halloween – an eye make-up remover will work well to remove stubborn lip make-up as well,” says Roberts.

Step two

Next, use your full-face make-up remover. That could be a cleansing oil, balm or micellar water.  

Roberts recommends the Total Cleansing Oil, £24. “It’s the perfect first cleanse,” he says. “Anywhere between three to five pumps should suffice to cut through your base make-up – this includes everything from long-wearing foundations to face paints.” 

Gently warm it between your palms and massage it into the skin. Then, add some water to emulsify the oil. This is an excellent time to use a flannel or muslin to wipe away the product and all your make-up. 

Step three

Now that you’ve removed most of your make-up, it’s time to cleanse the skin properly. So next, use your favourite cleanser that suits your skin type.  

“If I were removing some intense Halloween make-up, I’d probably go with something like the Velvet Cleansing Milk,” Roberts says. Velvet Cleansing Milk, £24, is excellent at removing make-up but has skin-soothing properties.  

He adds: “Along with cleansing the skin, that product will add comfort. The cleansing oil and milk contain organic golden gentian and organic lemon balm that will soothe, calm and soften the skin.” 

Step four

Here’s a step that is extra important when removing particularly heavy make-up. Whether that’s face paint on Halloween or glitter pigments during the festive period, you will probably be a little harsher on your skin than usual.  

Plus, your skin has already been subjected to products it’s not used to (scratchy glitters or pigments, layered, heavier bases etc.). So to balance this, it’s essential to use a toner post-cleansing.  

If the skin looks red and irritated after all that make-up, a toner will help calm it down. “All the Clarins toners have the Microbiota Complex in them,” explains Roberts. “That’s going to put that healthy balance of bacteria back into the skin.” 

He adds: “I would even reach for another product that maybe you wouldn’t always use – something that’s going to help with calming. For me, that would be something from the Calm-Essentiel range, which will take down any redness.”  

And with the invitations coming in thick and fast, maybe stockpile the latter now – before sore, irritated, red skin takes over.  

Next read: Toner Vs Essence: What’s The Difference? 

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