5 Cleansing Mistakes You Could Be Making Without Knowing (And How To Fix Them)

I started my 3-step skincare regime once I got into college and once I graduated I was lucky to be working in a company where I could get skincare products as part of the benefits programme. I think cleansing, toning and moisturizing are essential in getting my skin looking presentable and add- ons such as masks and scrubs are good when there's more time to spend or a big occasion to attend (I can see beauty advisors shaking their heads in disapproval).

I usually spend about 5 minutes in the morning getting my face prepped up which involves washing my face, applying toner followed by the slapping on of moisturizer. I know not to rub the skin downwards to avoid sagging skin but never knew there were before- going- to- bed cleansing mistakes until recently.

This month, Neutrogena sent me three cleansing products to review and I chose the set for dull skin as I felt that with the long hours I put in, my skin has become somewhat dull. Since I'll be reviewing my fave product from the three I received, I thought I might as well share some of the cleansing mistakes people make and how we can fix them.


I get super lazy when it comes to removing makeup after an event and usually just use the cleanser without a makeup remover. This is a big no-no in beauty advisors books. Mascaras make my eyes teary so I avoid them but I am fond of eyeliners and eyeshadows. Many eyeshadows have a high concentration of talc, which is a drying agent. When washed onto the delicate eye area it can cause irritation and actually zap the area of moisture and cause little fine lines to become even more noticeable. These makeup products can also sting the eyes if you accidentally wash residue into them, so play it safe and quickly wipe away makeup before you pop open the cleanser. 

Neutrogena's Deep Clean Brightening Cleansing Oil to Foam contains Oleifera leaf extract helps to remove makeup, dirt and oil in one wash.

I only use cold water so this is advice for those who usually use warm or hot water. Water that's too hot can cause aggravation and damage the moisture levels in skin. Really hot water can strip the natural oils and actually burn the surface, which is like sitting too long in the sun and suffering the consequences. The water you use should be warm but not hot, helping get your cleanser all lathered up and aiding the removal of makeup residue; don't blast your skin with freezing cold water either!  

It's important to use a clean face cloth every day (or every other day if you're not removing makeup) so you're effectively washing away grime and not just scrubbing it back onto your face again. You don't need to spend a fortune on face cloths. 

I hardly wear makeup but in Kuala Lumpur, my face does get grimy after a day out even in air-conditioned conditions. If you wear lots of makeup, it's a good idea to cleanse twice. The first cleanse removes the makeup and dirt you can see, but the second removes it from the lower layers that you can't; the result is squeaky clean skin that's ready for night creams. If you don't completely remove all traces of makeup (or worse, all traces of cleanser,) then this can cause irritation, breakouts or blocked pores. 

Sometimes cleansing too much can be just as damaging as under cleansing. Your skin is delicate and needs to be gently treated, not scrubbed till raw. Although double cleansing is always a great idea if you wear heavy makeup or SPF, if your skin is sensitive or if you suffer from a skin condition then it's probably best to stick with a singular cleanse. If your cleanser has exfoliants within the formula, it's a good idea to only use it two or three times a week - opting for a cleansing oil or balm on those other days so as not to damage the surface.  

I like Neutrogena's Deep Clean Blackhead Eliminating Scrub* as it is gentle enough to use on a daily basis. 

Here's my review:
The packaging is simple and classy and the product itself is gentle and pleasant smelling. It's no wonder Nicole Kidman signed on to be Neutrogena's latest ambassador! 

With and amount just the size of a pea applied to your skin, you’ll feel its gentle, skin-soothing micro beads exfoliate without overdrying to help stop blackheads before they start.

Texture: The scrub has some orange, round granules and tiny white granules concentrated enough in the entire scrub. The base itself doesn’t feel like soapy, but rather creamy and mild. It doesn't foam much which is fine with me. I feel it's easier to wash off with less foam. 

Smell: It has a slightly sweet peachy smell which does not knock you out. The smell doesn't remain on your skin once washed off.

Price: RM23.70 for a 100ml bottle.

What I like about it: You don't have to use a lot to feel the tightening of the skin and the soft finish it leaves once washed off. I don't really have black heads but I like the feel of the microbeads gently cleansing my skin. I think it's too soon to see its effect on my skin and I've had a lot of late nights the past week so the results might not be so apparent. The price is reasonable and with the small amount needed each day, I think I'll only have to purchase a new one in a couple of months.

I would recommend this product based on how it makes my skin feel after using it after a week and it's affordable price.

*Being an environmentalist, I feel a little torn about using a product that contains polyethylene beads. This is an ingredient that has come under controversy in the recent past. In December of 2013, research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin demonstrated that although polyethylene beads are non-toxic to humans, they are not filtered during sewage treatment and are accumulating in waterways. This means the beads have the potential to negatively affect marine wildlife who mistakenly consume them.

There is no hard evidence of its effects on marine life but before there is any, I hope beauty brands will put more research in creating an alternative to possibly harmful elements so there is no harm to nature and its wildlife.


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