Cleansing before cleansing

It started with black marks on my pillow. Old faithful wasn’t washing away my mascara thoroughly. I’m incredibly smart and resourceful so the next time I made sure to rub the gel cleanser around my eyes. You may think this was a bad move but at least I can say I went to sleep once with fire in my eyes.

Next came the makeup removers. Cotton balls are required and my lashes are tugged into submission. Not for me. The same goes for makeup wipes, but my biggest grief with them is that they smell like mothballs wrapped in George Washington’s wig.

So you could say when I discovered precleansers I was in a hopeless place. I had dirty pillows, bloodshot eyes, and I smelled like an octogenarian. Maybe I was just at Willie Nelson’s house. I don’t know.

Contrary to how it may sound, a precleanser is not a product of the department of redundancy department. It’s a gentle cleanser that washes away makeup and provides a clean surface for your night cleanser to take charge. I’ve learned that even the best cleansers need a makeup-free surface to maximize effectiveness.

When making your precleanser selection, look for key words such as gentle, milky, and sensitive. I’m stuck on oil precleansers most of these cold winter nights. Dermalogica’s Precleanse is a fine place to start.

Not too far from my precleanser rotation is Juice’s Cleansing Milk, Korres’ Milk Proteins, and Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser.

I always follow precleansers with a targeted face treatment. Last night Kiehl’s Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion was the winner, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been Bliss’ No ‘Zit’ Sherlock, MAC’s Volcanic Ash, or Neutrogena’s Acne Wash.

So though it began with dirty pillows and red eyes, my current nightly cleansing journey always ends with a fresh face in the morning—and that’s a redundancy I look forward to.

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