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Be squeaky clean

If you want your skin to look younger and fresher – and who doesn’t? – then first and foremost it needs to be clean. And that means one thing. Well, two actually: double cleansing. Or as we might have called it in the old days, cleaning your face twice.

If you’re not already double cleansing at night, it is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most important favours you can do your skin. Even if you stay out all night drinking, smoking, doing drugs and dancing with younger men – and if you have the energy, good luck to you – at least do your skin the courtesy of double cleansing before you collapse (or it’ll be your skin that eventually collapses).

If you’re over 50, you’ll remember the era BDC (Before Double Cleansing). To be honest, there were so few cleansers to choose from, it’s not surprising most people only cleansed once. Remember the tiny selection of skincare products in your typical 70s Boots? Oil of Ulay (before it globally transmuted into Olay), Aqua Manda, Ann French, Ponds Cold Cream … It was in 1994 that Dickins and Jones started selling Eve Lom and double cleansing started to take off.

How to do it?

Always use a muslin cloth. Before Kleenex invented tissues in the 1920s, women used ‘cold cream cloths’ which were similar to the muslin cloths we use now. There are lots of different cloths to choose from, but I still like Eve Lom’s. When your cloths get grey and misshapen and become a bit of a bathroom embarrassment (which they all do eventually) they make excellent dusters.

The first cleanse gets rid of dirt and make up. Massage cleanser lightly but thoroughly into your face, neck and décolleté then rinse it off with the cloth soaked in hot water. Eve Lom recommends water as hot as you can bear. I once had a facial with her. She was wonderful, and incredibly glamorous. She told me a hilarious story about how one of her friends always wore rubber gloves to cleanse her face, as she could bear the hot water on her face but not on her hands.

With the second cleanse, spend a few minutes massaging your face. Massage stimulates your circulation and helps keep your skin younger looking. If I’ve got time, I do it for five minutes. Yes, really. I don’t always stay in the bathroom, I wander around semi-doing things and talking to people (don’t use your phone though – you’ll only smear the screen).

When you’ve finished your massage, rinse several times with the cloth and hot water. For the final rinse, switch to cold, soaking the cloth and pressing it firmly into the skin several times, especially round the ears and throat as this is good for your lymph glands.