The essential ritual: cleanse, tone and moisturise

I was 12 years years old when my mother sat me down and introduced me to cleansing, toning and moisturising, explaining that this was a routine I should now follow morning and evening. It's a process that people around the world have adopted for generations, whether it was massaging in olive oil or toning with rosewater.

Of course, there are some other skincare traditions that have thankfully been consigned to history, but cleansing, toning and moisturising has stood the test of time and for good reason. Here, we wanted to take a moment to go back to the basics of the essential ritual for skincare and remind ourselves why a good three-step routine is the foundation for glowing skin.

The benefits of a cleanse, tone and moisturise routine

You probably don't need us to tell you the general benefits of a good cleanse, tone and moisturise skincare routine. After all, it feels nice, it helps to keep skin clean and healthy looking and it can also be an extremely enjoyable ritual at the start and end of the day.

Each individual component in a skincare routine has its purpose, and it's the combination of those three essential steps that is ultimately important. The products that you use also have an enormous influence on how beneficial each of those steps is to your skin.

Benefits of cleansing

The essential benefits of cleansing include:

  • Gently removing dead skin cells
  • Keeping skin hydrated
  • Helps to keep skin smooth and healthy
  • It removes dirt, pollutants and make-up
  • Boosts blood flow to the skin

When it comes to choosing a cleanser, lots of people gravitate towards detergent based cleansers (facial washes and foams), which can be hard on skin and dry it out. That is especially problematic for anyone with sensitive skin, particularly when it's caused by cancer treatment. We always recommend using a balm cleanser, even if you have oily skin, as they help to balance oil secretion.

Try: Defiant Beauty Cleanse & Moisturise

A go-to product for us, this is a multi-purpose balm that acts as a cleanser, a moisturiser, and a face mask. It's fragrance free and contains cleansing mango butter, gentle apricot kernel oil, healing Calendula and nourishing shea butter.

Read about the benefits of using balms instead of creams

Benefits of toning

The essential benefits of toning include:

  • Freshen the skin
  • Minimise the appearance of pores
  • Temporarily tighten skin
  • Soothe
  • Helps to remove excess oil and make-up
  • Helps skin to retain moisture

A good toner is such a joyful part of any skincare routine, especially if you're feeling a bit groggy, but much like cleansers, you don't want to go with anything too astringent. They are that second line of defence when it comes to cleansing, removing any make-up and oil that you didn't quite get at first, but they also have two other important roles to play: they help to hydrate skin, and can help moisturisers to be absorbed.

Try: Defiant Beauty Hydrating facial mist

With a hint of orange blossom, this hydrating must cools and tones. It's also a great spritz to use throughout the day, especially while you're in hospital.

Benefits of moisturising

The essential benefits of moisturising include:

  • Nourishing the skin
  • Helping prevent dryness
  • Protecting the skin from the elements and pollution
  • Helping skin to repair itself

Choosing a moisturiser that does all these wonderful things but that doesn't irritate skin, especially when you are undergoing cancer treatment, can be tricky on the high street. So many moisturisers offer a myriad of benefits but it also means they contain a lot of ingredients, and as cancer treatments tend to cause skin sensitivities, this can present a problem. Furthermore, you want a product that will be easily absorbed by the skin so that it can get to work, rather than sitting on the surface. Our advice for sensitive skin is to opt for nourishing, natural skincare that contains a minimum number of hard working ingredients.

Try: Well Being Beauty Brightening Frankincense and Ylang Ylang Moisturiser

Natural and organic, it hydrates and has anti-ageing properties, but is gentle and kind to skin. It contains frankincense and ylang ylang essential oils as well as shea butter, jojoba oil and sunflower oil.

Bonus point: serums

For a bonus addition to a skincare routine, you can also add a serum. A great way to supercharge your skin morning and evening, they are concentrated and luxurious, designed to provide an extra restorative treatment after toning, allowing it to sink into the skin before adding your final moisturiser.

Try: Defiant Beauty Intensive Serum

Designed to reduce lines and dark circles, this serum apricot and peach kernel oils, known for their gentle, nourishing effects.

Why use natural skincare ingredients?

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