Are you secretly sabotaging your cleansing routine?

Reality check


By Terry Saw

Are you secretly sabotaging your cleansing routine?

Fact: there is a big difference between washing and cleansing. For instance, when we sloppily stumble back home after a big night out, and do an even sloppier job of washing our faces – with or without facial foam, over our makeup that is – we honestly may as well be going to bed with our makeup on.

But we’re not saying you should – in fact, please don’t! Which is why, we’ve rounded up some top cleansing myths that may be keeping you this close from your best skin yet, plus three spa-strength heroes we’ve tested out, which will help you set your skin straight once and for all – you’re welcome.


Myth #1: “I have sensitive skin – exfoliation is not for me!”

 Good news is exfoliation can still be a good thing for you. Regardless of your skin type, dead cells still need the boot to make way for better absorption of your skincare products and treatments. It’s really about choosing the right formula and what works best for your skin.

Try: bliss Clog Dissolving Cleansing Milk, RM 119 for 200ml

Our verdict: 3.5/5

The name itself brings us so much joy! This works really well to deeply cleanse facial pores without stripping your face off its natural oils. The silky smooth, milky texture is gentle and feels extremely comfortable on the skin. And while it’s got the chops of an exfoliator to drive all the dirt and dead skin cells away, it does not irritate your skin, instead, it gives you a brighter complexion in under two weeks if you keep up with a routine. Bonus: it also dissolves light makeup, but we recommend removing your makeup prior to a proper cleanse.

Tip: This doubles up as an enzymatic mask. Leave on for five minutes before washing off. For acne prone skin, mix in a few pumps of the triple oxygen instant energizing mask to effectively kill off bacteria.


Myth #2: “I use a good enough cleanser that also removes most of my makeup and saves me an extra step – it’s all good.”

Is it, though? Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for multi-tasking cleansers and while they do give you additional skincare benefits in other areas, we do not recommend discounting the makeup removal step prior to actual cleansing. Especially if you’re wearing waterproof eyeliner and mascaras on a daily basis and still wake up with traces of it under your eyes despite cleansing before bed; you need to get onto a makeup remover, stat.

Try: Shiseido Japan Senka Perfect Liquid Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover, RM26.90 for 150ml works magic in removing all traces of makeup without leaving any oily residue.

Myth #3: “Body scrubs are more hype than they are worth.”

Maybe, if you’re not using the right products correctly, but trust us, they are well worth your time and money spent! Not only do body scrubs help you improve circulation, but they also increase your body’s ability to absorb moisture and balance your body’s moisture levels. In short, much smoother, healthier skin over time.


Try: bliss Hot Salt Scrub, RM169 for 550g

Our verdict: 4/5

This self-heating, oil-free sea salt body scrub scores extra points for its fun factor. Unlike most scrubs, which you apply post cleansing, this works best when applied on dry skin – it literally feels like you’re enjoying a body scrub at the spa! Infused with sea salt, minerals and algae extract to slough away dead skin cells, it’s super rewarding to watch the salt grains dissolve upon contact with water when you rinse.

Tip: Give the tub a good stir before applying the scrub onto dry skin so the goodness from the mixture is thoroughly distributed.


Myth #4: “DIY masks can’t do what facials can for my complexion.”

We agree, while they may not change your life overnight, it’s just as important to include a homecare mask step into your skincare routine. Facials are great because you are in the hands of a professional who works her magic on your skin as much as she possibly can within your treatment session, however, if you find that ‘glow’ disappears within hours of you exiting the facial salon, then it’s time to rethink DIY masks entirely.

A DIY mask gives your skin a quick confidence boost, and over time, this escalates into visible skin improvements. Once your skin is in a better condition, you’ll also experience longer-lasting post-facial results – It’s time to think long-term, ladies! 


Try: bliss Steep Clean Pore Purifying Mask, RM245 for 100ml or Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque, RM170 for 60ml

Our verdict: 4/5

It literally is a 15-minute facial in a bottle. If you’re strapped for time, spend the bulk of your time properly cleansing your face before applying this mask. With two fingers on the pump, dispense an equal amount of blue and yellow product and blend until you get a green coloured formula. Blending thoroughly activates the exfoliating enzymes in the product. Apply onto a cleansed face and leave on for 15 minutes before washing off. It’s also packed with vitamins and antioxidants, so what you’re getting is a brighter complexion and a more even skin tone. Especially if you have combination skin, you’ll love it for its sebum regulation – goodbye shiny skin, we’ll miss you – never.

Tip: If you’re really super-strapped for time, speed up the home facial process by applying the mask when your body’s circulation is at its peak – think after being in the hot shower for awhile, sitting in a steam room or when you’re fresh from a workout. 

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