Until my mid-twenties, I never had any ‘trouble’ with my skin. I didn’t suffer from spots, it wasn’t too dry or at all oily and the skin tone was pretty even throughout. But this all changed when I was around 26, so I had to move from slapping on any old cleanser and moisturiser in the morning and not worrying about it at all before bed, to thinking about what my skin needed and making a concerted effort to take care of it more carefully. One of the most upsetting developments of all was getting spots. I now almost constantly have at least one lurker on my chin.
As ever, I turned to beauty blogs and Sali Hughes to guide me through the mass of products out there, all claiming to deliver the results I desired – fewer spots, a less oily T-zone, reduced spot-related scarring and less redness in the centre of my cheeks. I tried a few different products and can report some improvement in my skin’s behaviour and appearance, thankfully. But the ritual that made the biggest difference overall was cleansing with a hot cloth.
Diligently applying cleanser to my dry face, then wiping it away using a face cloth that has been run under a hot tap and wrung out has made such a difference to my skin, and has become an important part of my daily routine since I’ve started wearing more make-up than I used to. I can see the difference when I have cleansed using this method, and I can feel it too. If I let this routine slip for even one day – using a face wipe for a quick cleanse when I arrive home knackered, for example – I can see the difference on my face the next day.
The best news for me about this realisation is that hot-cloth cleansing doesn’t cost much at all. You do need a balm, cream or oil-based cleanser but there are inexpensive versions of these available on the high street (The Body Shop Camomile range provides my favourites – I like the Silky Cleansing Oil and the Sumptuous Cleansing Butter). Face cloths are also very cheap and are resuable too after a cycle in the washing machine; this means you can afford to use a clean one each time (using the same one more than once means you’ll be rubbing the dirt back in). I use face cloths I’ve picked up in John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Ikea; they all cost around £1 each. So if you’re struggling with your skin, the thing I can’t recommend enough is a proper cleanse with a hot cloth.
Do you use the hot-cloth method? What other tips do you have for caring for 30-something skin?