You might give yourself a pat on the back for taking your make-up off every night, but if you don't use the proper cleansing techniques you could be at risk of breakouts and even premature ageing.  

And according to celebrity anti-ageing doctor and molecular biologist, Dr Rozina Ali, from Liverpool, the effect of not cleansing properly gets worse as you get older. 

'It is even worse than not removing make-up in younger skin,' she told Femail. 'You get the same effects as in youth – clogged pores, breakouts, sensitive skin, dry looking skin. 

But even worse, the make-up settles in deep creases and enhances every wrinkle. It is better to not wear make-up than to not remove it.'

Dr Ali, who is working with Nivea on its new NIVEA Q10 range, reveals the essential steps to making sure your face is squeaky clean, and avoiding those unnecessary wrinkles.  

No rubbing, no scrubbing 

There’s an entire older generation that have been taught to use water, whilst there’s a younger generation who over sensitize their skin with harsh products and harsh methods.

For such a pleasurable and essential part of skin care it's surprising how much confusion there is around cleansing.

The golden rule is to be gentle and kind with your flesh, as cleansing should be a ritual.

When cleansing the watchwords are no rubbing, no scrubbing – be gentle and not abrasive, although there should be no make-up stains left on the face towel when you pat dry.

After cleansing, always wait a few minutes and see how your skin feels – it should be soft and supple. 

But if it quickly feels dry the cleanser is too harsh and is stripping natural oils from the face. 

Take your time, be gentle and focus on how the cleanser makes YOUR skin feel.  We are all different so concentrate on how your skin responds. 

Make exfoliation part of your cleansing routine 

Skin cells take two weeks to transit from the deeper layers to the surface and during that time become flattened, waterproof and lose their nuclei.

These dead, flat cells stay on the skin surface for another two weeks and form the protective outer waterproof layer of the skin that has a store of HA, lipids and sebum. 

As we grow older skin turnover slows down and dead cells may lie on the surface and not be shed for an additional few weeks, which makes the skin look dull and uneven, and prevents skincare products being optimally absorbed through the skin into the deeper layers. This is when exfoliation is useful.

Exfoliating makes the skin look plump and hydrated and acts to protect from most external stressors such as UV radiation, microbes and chemicals.

People should exfoliate at least two to three times per week, mainly in the evenings so the newly exfoliated skin can be protected from sun damage and environmental stress.

A thorough nighttime routine is a great opportunity to use active ingredients on the skin, because that is when it is most receptive.

However, overuse of exfoliation can result in dry, sensitive, skin with breakouts, so again, always be gentle. 

Top 8 Cleansing Mistakes 

 1. I wash my face using just water: Water on its own doesn’t have the ability to remove oil-soluble dirt like makeup and excess sebum and actually washing with warm or even hot water could dry out the skin.

2. I exfoliate my face every day: This likely does more harm than good; it’s unnecessary and can leave skin sensitized, irritated and suffering from breakouts

3. I use regular soap to wash my face: Soap can strip the face of its natural oils, leaving skin feeling tight and drier than before. Moreover, soaps disturb the natural pH of your skin.

4. I only wash my face in the evening: In the morning germs from your pillows can move to your face as well as oils from your hair and saliva, make sure to wash your face….

5. I only wash my face in the morning: We've established morning face washing is important but washing your face in the evening is a must. Make-up, oils, residue, dirt and pollution build up on your face throughout the day, evening face care is essential.

6. I wash my face with hot water: Overly hot water dries the face out and breaks delicate tissue and skin on the face. Use lukewarm water during your face care routine.

7. I use any cleanser for my face: Make sure to use a cleanser that suits your skin type - combination, dry, normal and oily skin all have different needs.

8. I wash my face more than four times a day: It seems like a good idea but over washing can lead to an overproduction of oil to compensate from the drying effect that over washing produces.