If people are passionate about one thing when it comes to beauty, it's about how they clean their faces. Some women splash with soap and water. It's what their mothers always did. Others have an elaborate ''double cleanse'' system or swear by cleansing foams to ''really feel clean''. Or gels. Or creams...
One thing you can be sure of - they think their way is best. Other methods and products are a ''waste of time''. Or a ''waste of money''.
I'm open to trying different types of cleanser not only because, with this blog, I sort of have to be but because I think that if one thing is important to good skin it is cleansing. For years all I really used on my skin morning and night was cleanser - that and sunscreen. I recall a beautician almost reeling in disbelief and amusement when I told her that (after she had praised my skin).
''Ah,'' she said, ''to be young!'
Of course now I ''need'' moisturisers and a whole lot else but cleansing remains the priority.
I've been using a cleansing oil in the past three weeks of Melbourne heatwave. This may seem counter-intuitive but I've been layering so much sunscreen that something needs to dissolve it.
The oil is by Nude, a luxe French brand, and I've been following that with good ‘ol Cetaphil because, I guess, deep down I mustn't completely trust oils to leave my face clean. What do you think?
Cleanser needs to be good in summer when everything's so much thicker and slicker. The last thing you want is to go to bed greasy.
Lancome Express Clean Cleansing Water (rrp $69) wipes off anything and leaves the skin very soft and clear.
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed (rrp $40) is a shower standby and foams it all off. Really foams (or maybe it's the soft water here?).
Jan Marini Bioglycolic Face Cleanser (rrp $48) is the one to use to gently draw out impurities. Another truly ''skincare'' cleanser is Kerstin Florian Correcting Foaming Cleanser (rrp $79) which has salicylic acid. With this, too, you can see a difference to your skin.
But it's the Clarisonic that's causing excitement. It's not a product, but a device, a bit like a super-sized electric toothbrush. It's been in Australia for two years and the US for nine but now that l'Oreal has taken it on, word's getting out and the cheaper competitors are coming on to the market.
Cleanser needs to be good in summer when everything's so much thicker and slicker.
The Clarisonic is a handheld cleansing device with a brush that oscillates when you press a button. It turns itself off after a minute and in those 60 seconds it's thoroughly cleansed your skin - using any old cleanser (you don't need Clarisonic's cleanser). The skin is perfectly cleaned.
Fine lines and pores are cleared of makeup and sunscreen so that you're not putting makeup on top of old makeup and serums and moisturisers are better absorbed.
While now easily available, it's not cheap (travel-size Mia II is $175 and replacement brushheads $29) yet I have friends who seem hooked.
When one was burgled in January, she was more bereft that the Clarisonic had been stolen than her Omega watch. (So we're on the lookout for a punctual young criminal with very good skin).
What's your favourite way of cleansing? What are you using at the moment? Have you gone the Oprah route and converted to the Clarisonic? Is cleansing even a priority in your beauty routine?