It's a dreary but cast-iron truth that removing make-up before bed will make your skin look so much better than if you leave it on overnight to clog your pores and ruin your pillowcase.
I don't mean dragging a wetwipe over your face in the dark (slap-dash, ecologically dubious and permissible only when drunk); I mean a thorough clean with a proper cleansing cream or lotion, and a hot face cloth.
I loathe using cotton wool to wipe off cleanser – it's wasteful and leaves skin half-clean and tacky to the touch. Using a damp, comfortably hot cloth will not only remove every last trace of make-up, but also gently scrub the skin, leaving it glowing and ready to drink up serum (I haven't used a separate exfoliator for years).
There are cleansers designed especially for this method – some even come with their own cloth – but almost any will do: my favourites are listed below. Soft muslin cloths are popular and ideal for sensitive skins, but I prefer the mild abrasiveness of old-fashioned terrycloths, bought in tens from Ikea. I use a fresh one each morning, then chuck it in the washing machine after my bedtime cleanse. Quick, unbeatably effective and smug in its simplicity.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish with muslin £13.25 for 100mlA naturally fragrant cream cleanser that's superb on all skin types. I can't live without it.
Eve Lom Cleanser & Muslin £50 for 100ml, spacenk.co.uk
Lom's much-loved signature product. It lasts for months and smells reassuringly medicinal.
Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Lotion £3.05 for 200ml, boots.com
A brilliant budget cleanser that's great with a hot cloth. I've used it on countless women and it never irritates.
NuBo Velvet Cleansing Cream £28 for 100ml
Works as a face wash, trad cleansing cream or hot cloth cleanser. Rich, dense and smells divine.
Burt's Bees Radiance Daily Cleanser £9.99 for 175ml
A light milk for normal or young complexions, or dull skin that needs a lift.
Oskia Perfect Cleanser £38.50 for 150ml, liberty.co.uk
A thick balm that shifts everything without drying out older skins. Expensive, but you use only a tiny amount.
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