How to clean your face…

…without using terrible chemicals or ruining your Egyptian cotton towels.

It seems pretty common sense right? Soap and warm water on a washcloth should take it all off. But like myself, many women today who wear sunscreen, primer and makeup on a daily basis find that the old soap and water isn’t doing the trick to remove these stubborn stick-to-the-face products.

Those who have used plain soap in the past might have found that the skin is left feeling tight and uncomfortable as the soap has stripped the skin of its natural (and essential) oils, prolonged and regular stripping of these oils will cause your skin to over compensate and produce more oil (like those people who shampoo too often). Often we overcompensate enough by ourselves by slathering on creams and lotions which can lead to breakouts, blocked pores and if you’re already prone to it; Perioral dermatitis.

On the other end of the spectrum some use specialised cleansers with all manner of complicated names and even more complicated ingredients lists. Cheap and cheerful or high end these cleansers are often full of sulfates and surfactants and the chemicals that could be seeping into your eyes (read SLS) and skin and causing problems for you later in life.

Perhaps you’re not removing your makeup at all in the evening, or simply using the newly popular makeup remover wipes. These are handy if you are in a bind or away from home for a night or two, but check the back and you will see that they are not simply moistened with water but a cocktail of chemicals that could cause irritation.

The following describes how I clean my face at the end of the day in a way that leaves it feeling fresh and has helped my skin recover from dermatitis and prevented break outs of acne.


It seems completely counter intuitive to use oil to clean your face right? But search the internet and find how many people are swearing by this practice. Don’t go out and buy an expensive cleansing oil as these are often blended oils with other products, what you want is a single origin oil. I use virgin coconut oil because not only is it extremely affordable and available in your supermarket, it is also a multi use product that can be used to reverse wash your hair ( ill post about this another time) and can be used a whole body moisturiser, hair defrizzer and it smells divine to boot. Coconut oil is the perfect, non toxic eye  and lip makeup remover.  Personally, I tend to use coconut oil sparingly on the rest of my face only because it makes it difficult for the cream I apply later to “stick” This little bird has also been known to use olive oil in a pinch to remove eye makeup and lipstains.

Facial brush and cleanser

After using oil to remove the majority of my makeup I will jump in the shower and use my Clarisonic mia 2 along with a gentle cleanser (please check labels!!!) to GENTLY buff the skin and remove the rest of my makeup. I generally avoid the areas around my mouth (especially the spots where I get perioral dermatitis) and don’t get too close to the eyes. The key term here (if you didn’t notice) is gentle. Don’t apply too much pressure and don’t focus on one spot for two long. The device is timed for 60 seconds and I never go over that time unless I choose to also use it on my neck and chest as well. The Clarisonic cleansing systems have been written about all over the place so I wont go into too much detail, but it does seem to be doing my face good and has eliminated the need for any “scrubs” of any kind. I did not even bother using the Gel that came with the Clarisonic as one of the major ingredients was SLS.

Thanks to a friend I have currently discovered an excellent line of cleansers and face products in the form of Sukin skin care. Their products are sulphate, paraben, detergent and animal derivative free and are available in Priceline and chemists all around Australia. I have only been using a cleanser from this line for a few days and have been very impressed with it and will be trying more of their products.


After cleaning my face I will usually apply a light amount of moisturiser. I am still on the hunt for the perfect product and after years of abusing my skin with a certain brand of creams and lotions (not mentioning any brands but the sales girls all wear lab coats) I have decided that less is more.  I have been using a Moo Goo product which has worked well but seems to leave a dull residue on my face (the milk powder?) I bought a Sukin moisturiser the other day and will trial that for a couple of weeks before I make a judgement about that. There is none of that day cream/ night cream/ serum/ intense moisture stuff going on here. Lets keep it simple.  If my skin IS looking dry I will apply some coconut oil and leave it a few minutes before using wash cloth and warm water to remove it. The residual oil is more than enough but I rarely need to do that.

The only product i use that is probably not doing me the best is an overpriced high end eye cream that i apply in the morning under my eyes to stop the caking of corrector and concealer which hide my genetic grey circles. I have yet to find an alternative that keeps my under eye area hydrated all day like this (probably toxic) baby does. But i guess I am performing harm minimisation in all other areas and hopefully it will counteract this shortcoming!


When I have any traces of dermatitis on my skin (and sometimes even when I don’t) I will then apply a small film of zinc based cream such as Sudocrem to the areas around my mouth which seems to soothe it and ward off a break out of the dreaded POD.

While I still use products, my routine is very simple and takes less than two minutes and so there is never an excuse of the being too tired. In fact in the time it took me to write this i could have cleaned my face (and my bathroom) numerous times.

 I doubt I will ever go back to using excessive, highly processed products, even though the persuasive beauty counter staff make everything sound so wonderful and as my skin starts to show more signs of aging the temptation becomes stronger.

MY skin is not perfect. I still have hormonal break outs and some occurrences of very mild POD but it is so much better than it was. As I touched upon in my earlier post about Perioral Dermatitis a couple of weeks ago I (stupidly) tried a sample of a high end moisturiser that came free with an order of cosmetics from my favourite brand. As soon as I applied it I felt a familiar slight sting on my skin and within three days my hyper pigmented and flaky spots re emerged. By following my regular skin care routine the spots have all disappeared in a matter of weeks as opposed to up to 6 weeks like it used to. If that’s not reason enough to avoid those products then I don’t know what is.

Lipstick 'n' Linguine
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