Skincare 101: This is how we CLEANSE.

Hello Lovelies!

Welcome to my skincare 101 series! I decided to do a series of posts about basic skincare best practices because skincare is the category of beauty I am most passionate about,  the only way to really make sure your makeup is flawless is if you take care of your skin right off the bat,  and usually when one of my friends or clients asks me beauty questions it is a skincare question more often than a makeup question.  And I’m sure all my lovely readers have some type of consistent routine but it’s a new year and I think it’s a good time to review our basics and get ready to be totally flawless in 2016.

I have been a skincare connoisseur since the age of ten when I first discovered the joys of weekly face masks.  While some kids spent their allowance on candy or video games,  I was happy to be able to splurge on that green Queen Helene Mask from CVS, some Sea Breeze Toner, and a huge tub of Noxema.  No joke.   The other reason I became interested in skincare from an early age is because I have had eczema since I was very young.  It is still an issue for me (which I keep in check due to a strict skincare routine),  and is the main reason I hate winter.  Over the course of my extensive beauty career I have learned and taught an immense amount of information about ingredients, products, and the fascinating biology of the skin.  Even though I am very knowledgeable,  I still continue to educate myself on the latest ingredients and advances in skincare.  I am constantly in awe of how the largest organ in the body is able to protect us, keep us warm, and with the right amount of tender loving care,  repair itself.

Lily’s Cleansing Commandments:

Commandment 1: Cleansing is a twice daily activity, no exceptions.

Thoroughly cleansing your skin daily is an absolute must so your skin can be healthy and the other products in your routine can work effectively.  When you wake up in the morning use your favorite cleanser to start your day.  Cleansing at night is absolutely necessary even if you don’t “wear makeup”, as in foundation, blush, and bronzer.  While you are sleeping your skin is working on repairing the damage incurred during the day.  Think about the harsh weather and pollution our skin is exposed to, in addition to excess oil and any dead skin cells.  All that buildup needs to be removed before you hit the pillow.


Commandment 2: Take off your makeup before you use your cleanser.

This is a cleansing tip I love to share. Your cleanser has one job, to cleanse. You want your cleanser to really be able to get into your pores, and it’s hard for your cleanser to do that if it has to fight through a layer of makeup.  The first step in my cleansing routine starts with a cleansing oil to remove my makeup, and the second step is then a gel cleanser or a creamy Glycolic acid based cleanser.

This two-step routine is often referred to as  “double cleansing”.  Using a cleansing oil is beneficial for all skin types, even if you are oily!  If you have combination to oily skin a cleansing oil will happily cleanse without over stripping your skin, balance your skin, and can also help keep treat breakouts.  If you have oily skin and use a cleanser that is too harsh and strips your skin of its natural oils, your skin will say overcompensate by producing even more oil, which will contribute to unwanted breakouts. If you have normal to dry/combination skin like me then a cleansing oil will calm, cleanse, and lightly moisturize your skin.  At the moment my favorite cleansing oils are  Josie Maran’s Argan Cleansing Oil and Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil.  After my cleansing oil, I use my Dermadoctor Ain’t Misbehavin AHA/BHA Cleanser or the new Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser.   The cleansing oil breaks up oil, makeup, my SPF, and environmental pollutants. The cleanser breaks up water-based debris such as sweat and dirt. You will notice your skin looks and feels fresher when you start cleansing with this method.  Awesome right?

Commandment 3: Yes, you need to invest in a Clarisonic Face and Body Brush.

I remember when the Clarisonic was listed as one of Oprah’s favorite things. I was intrigued by this magical tool that cleansed your face.    I have been using my Clarisonic for more than five years, and honestly I don’t remember life before Clarisonic.  I love it because it’s like having your own personal esthetician in your home.  When I got my first Clarisonic I had been having some mild breakouts on my chin  (that darn t-zone struggle is real).  Within ten days, my breakouts were gone and I was true believer.  I am currently using the Clarisonic for Face and Body.  I use it twice daily with my face cleanser.  The Clarisonic will give you the best cleansing results possible.  It is not meant to exfoliate, and when used on the face please do not use with a grainy or manual exfoliator.  Daily use will improve the texture of your skin, and the absorption of your serums, treatments, and moisturizers. It has done wonders for my skin from head to toe, and it even improves the absorption of Vitamin C into the skin. Vitamin C is a key antioxidant that brightens and firms the skin.

There are different type of heads that attach to the device for different skin types and concerns.  I alternate between the brush head for normal skin and the brush head for deep pore cleansing.  If I wash manually for more than two days, my skin is very angry with me. My Clarisonic also has a brush head that is specifically for the body.  The body brush head makes my skin incredibly smooth and I highly recommend it if you like to self tan at home.  I actually do have a pink one.


Photo credit: Pinterest


Photocredit: Pinterest

The picture above shows how to use your Clarisonic on each part of the face.  It has an internal timer so when it’s time to move to another part of your face you will hear a beep. I consider this tool a major must-have.  So…if you would like me to do a full in-depth blog post dedicated to just the Clarisonic please leave a comment below.

 I hope you find these tips helpful! I would love to know what your favorite cleansers are or if you have tried double cleansing as part of your routine.  Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram (@sagebeautyblog)


Lily Sage

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