Cleanse Like A Nerd

Pop quiz: what’s the nerdiest bit of skincare? Is it the micro-masking? The dermal rolling? The internal facial massage? (Yes, this is definitely a thing – check out our handy live and get a seriously nerdie education).  

Oh, I’m sorry, that’s the buzzer – time’s up. The nerdiest bit of your skincare routine is also the simplest – it’s your cleansing, nerd. Cleansing correctly is one of the best of things you can do for your skin. This is why I’ve compiled my tips for you so that you can cleanse like a nerd, and learn the best methods of cleansing for healthy skin.  

Why should I cleanse? 

Cleansing is one of the first things we try to get hoomans who are new to skincare to do regularly. It’s one of the best skincare habits that we try to teach younger hoomans who are starting their skincare journeys, as it can help to soothe and minimize skincare concerns before we need to turn to more intense solutions.  

Cleansing your skin twice a day can remove pollution, SPF, makeup, and excess oil from your skin. Using a treatment cleanser as part of your skincare routine can help to exfoliate your skin and tackle your skincare concerns such as breakouts, pigmentation, dryness, and much more besides. Cleansing can be customised to work for you and your skincare concerns, as well as being important for general skin maintenance. Cleansing doesn’t need to be a challenge – it can be a simple, yet effective part of your skincare routine, particularly with my nerdie tips.  

How to cleanse 

You should cleanse your skin twice a day – AM and PM. You can bookend your night of sleep with cleansing if it suits – last night before nerdie noggin hits your silken pillow, and the first thing that you do after you crack those peepers open. Or, you can start your evening routine with your cleanse, and repeat the process after breakfast the following morning – it’s all about what suits you.  

However, it’s important to cleanse twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.  

This ensures that you’re removing the remains of the day in the evening, and removing any build-up of oil, product, or skin in the morning. 

Also, nerdie tip: if you wake up rather puffy about the visage (it’s a hazard of beauty sleep, nerds), cleansing can help. The process of washing your face in the morning can help to prompt lymphatic drainage (the process by which we drain excess fluid which can build up in our skin, particularly overnight, away from our faces).   


A pre-cleanse is the first part of your cleansing routine. You can use a pre-cleansing product or you can use a pre-cleansing tool to help.  

The Cleanse Off Mitt was created for this express purpose. It’s a mircrofibre mitt which you should run under warm water, squeeze until it’s merely damp, and then glide it in small circles over your skin to cleanse your skin of makeup, SPF, pollution, and oil, before you head in with your double cleanser.  

The Cleanse Off Mitt uses super-fine microfibre technology. It works to hook pollution and product from your pores and remove them from the skin, unlike wipes. Face-wipes are not suitable for a pre-cleanse. They do not help to remove product from skin – they merely move product around. Also, many wipes are created with alcohol, and their cocktail of ingredients can strip the skin of goodness, leading to sensitisation over time. 

You can also pre-cleanse with a balm, such as Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse Balm. This is often nerdily loved by hoomans who love to wear a good bit of makeup and enjoy the feeling of a balm to remove it.  

Double cleanse 

This is the part of your cleanse which happens with your cleansing product. This might be a gentle cleanser in the AM, or a treatment cleanser in the PM. It helps to fully ensure that all product is removed from your skin, and that you skin is entirely clean and serum-ready. 

What is an active cleanser? 

An active cleanser, or a treatment cleanser is targeted towards your specific skin concerns. It is a form of exfoliator which is generally formulated with an exfoliating acid. Since mechanical exfoliators (read: scrubs) aren’t nerdily loved, we always advocate for a treatment cleanser.  

Nerdie Cleansing Routine 

How can you cleanse like a nerd? Here’s our guide.  

  1. Start your day (and night) with a pre-cleanse. 

That’s every day and every night, nerds. Double cleansing twice a day is the nerdie preference. Use a Cleanse Off Mitt or also Environ Skin EssentiA Dual Action Pre-Cleansing Oil 

This botanical pre-cleansing oil is a great choice if you’ve been wearing a good bit of makeup in recent days.  

  1. Use a gentle cleanser in the AM. 

In the morning, you should only use a gentle cleanser. We have some suggestions for gentle cleansers for everyday use.  

Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse 

This pre and probiotic cleanser is the hydrating first step in the Skingredients Core 4 routine, but you can use it by itself if you like. It’s formualted with PHA for super gentle exfoliation and is suitable for all skin types, even sensitively skinned hoomans.  

IMAGE Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser 

This gentle cleanser contains aloe vera and green tea extracts as well as hyaluronic acid to restore moisture and hydration to the skin. It’s super gentle, and antioxidant rich. 

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser 

The clue’s in the name here – the Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser is formulated with Avene’s super gentle thermal water which is truly soothing and gentle on skin which might need comforting or just enjoys a gentle texture.  

  1. Massage your product in.  

Be sure to get right in there when you’re applying your product. It’s a simple matter to mimic some of the techniques of facial massage as you gently massage your product into your skin, and move the fluid in your skin away from your face.  

  1. From the nipples up 

That’s right, you should be cleansing from the nipples all the way up to the hairline, baby! It’s important to make sure that you are applying product all the way from your nipples across your decolletage all the way up your neck and every bit of your face, too.  

  1. Use a treatment cleanser at night 

The evening time is the perfect time to apply your treatment cleanser. This is to give your skin a chance to adjust overnight. It’s not a good idea to use something like your salicylic acid-based cleanser in the morning time as it can increase your photo-sensitivity. We always recommend SPF (365 days of the year!) but it’s particularly important the morning after you’ve used a treatment cleanser.  

Some of our favourite treatment cleansers follow; but remember, but every cleanser will suit every hooman. You can chat to our Nerd and Nerdette team during your consultation about the correct cleanser for you if you join the Nerd Network.  

Skingredients Sally Cleanse 

This is a salicylic acid based cleanser suitable for use up to three times a week and best used on hoomans with oilier skin. It can also be used for applying directly to spots and micro-masking, too! It contains 2% salicylic acid, the highest percentage of salicylic available over the counter in the UK in cosmetic products.  

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 

This powerhouse cleanser contains a blend of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid, making it a powerful exfoliating wash for use as a treament cleanser in the evening, as often as is recommended by your Nerd or Nerdette.  

  1. Spend 60 seconds 

This time is yours! Be sure to set a timer if you struggle (or do a nice slow count aloud, just don’t get cleanser in your mouth) all the way to 60 seconds. This allows the product to works its scientific magic on your skin and ensure that you’re cleansing everything away fully. Also, it’s 60 seconds for you. It’s not often we get that, all to ourselves.  

So there you have it – some nerdie rules to live by to guarantee a stellar cleanse, every gosh darn day.  

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