The Secret founder: These are the mistakes you’re making when you wash your face – and the skincare routine I swear by daily

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An Australian skin professional has revealed the huge mistakes men and women are making with their daily cleansing – and the method to follow for incredible results.

Dr Clara Hurst, a Perth skin clinic owner and co-founder of hugely successful skincare brand, The Secret, urges everyone to wash their face twice a day and double-cleanse at night time. 

‘I love to use an oil cleanser in the morning. I massage this into dry skin for about 60 seconds and then add water to emulsify and break down the oils, and rinse,’ the radiant medical professional told FEMAIL.

‘At night I remove makeup with a cleansing balm for a deeper cleanse, again adding water to emulsify before rinsing. I then follow with an oil cleanser or gentle cream-based cleanser.’

Dr Clara Hurst (right) and GP Dr Deb Cohen-Jones, are the founders of The Secret, which  provides ‘highly effective solutions’ for skin. They also have a base range of cleansers and sunscreen

So what else should we be doing to ensure a radiant complexion and what happens to our skin if we miss a cleanse?  

What are the biggest mistakes people make when cleansing? 

1. Not using the correct cleanser with your skincare regime.

2. Not cleansing thoroughly enough. People should be cleansing a minimum once a day (double cleanse at night). Take your time when cleansing to ensure all dirt, makeup and sunscreen is correctly removed before you start your skincare regime.

3. Not emulsifying oil cleansers before rinsing off.

4. Using stripping, physical or exfoliating cleansers that can damage your lipid barrier.

Dr Hurst previously told FEMAIL she keeps it 'super simple' with her routine

Dr Hurst previously told FEMAIL she keeps it ‘super simple’ with her routine

What happens if you don’t cleanse morning and night? 

Generally, if you’re not cleansing your skin enough, or correctly, your pores will get clogged, leading to inflammation, breakouts and textured skin. 

‘One of the first questions I ask clients when they are struggling with their skin is cleanser are they using,’ Dr Hurst said.

What is the best kind of cleanser?  

‘This depends on the skincare you are using and can be different for everyone’s needs. However, I like to suggest a very gentle, oil or cream-based cleanser to ensure you are not over-stripping your skin,’ Dr Hurst said.

‘Look for emollients (moisturising ingredients), and olive squalene (this is a hydrating ingredient that also works to reduce water loss while cleansing).

‘This also allows you to focus on skincare ingredients like retinoids and Vitamin C without having to worry about whether your cleanser is safe to use.’

What age should you start cleansing?  

‘I would suggest starting from the age of 15, as this is when your hormones can start changing, which impact your skin,’ Dr Hurst said.

‘A build-up of sunscreen and dirt is very often the cause of teenage breakouts, and is easily manageable with a good cleanser.’

How does Dr Clara Hurst look after her skin? 

Skincare Routine:  

– The Secret Oil Cleanser

– The Essentials Set from The Secret Skincare ($500): A day cream, night cream and eye treatment based on your own needs 

– Tinted Mesoestetic sunscreen ($89)

Extra tips: 

– I let my skin breathe throughout the week and leave makeup for special occasions

– I am big on supporting the skin from the inside out, so I incorporate the By Beth Collagen ($150) into a smoothie most mornings 

Don’t forget to remember your plane routine

‘This is probably the most important time to focus on keeping your skin as clean as possible,’ Dr Hurst said.

‘Travelling can wreak absolute havoc on your skin due to changing environments, temperatures, humidity and more. It tends to dehydrate your skin, leading to inflammation and sometimes an over-compensation of oil – causing breakouts!

‘Keeping your skin well cleansed and hydrated with ingredients like B5, Hyaluronic Acid, Camellia Oil while travelling is probably my biggest tip.’

Try Dr Hurst’s cleansing hack  

‘Our Cleansing Balm can be doubled as a hydrating mask,’ Dr Hurst said.

‘I apply this to already cleansed skin (using my Oil Cleanser). After 10-15 minutes I add warm water and emulsify into the skin for 60 seconds, rinse and pat dry.

‘This has ingredients like Camellia Oil which is super calming and soothing for the skin, so leaving it on for longer periods of time is always a good tip.’ 

How is The Secret Cleansing Balm different? 

‘It was designed to perfectly complement our prescription range and is packed with lipid-loving ingredients to nurture and support your skin, while also doubling as a makeup remover,’ Dr Hurst said.

‘Our Cleansing Balm takes your cleansing routine to the next level, not only working to effectively remove dirt, impurities, and makeup, but improve barrier function and enhance product absorption.

‘This is of course non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin.’

What makes The Secret Cleansing Balm outstanding among others? 

The Secret Skincare’s new Cleansing Balm (RRP $65) is a buttery soft cleansing balm for all skin types; the daily essential you won’t want to go without.

This luxurious balm-to-oil cleanser effortlessly melts away makeup, sunscreen and impurities, revealing a soft, calm and hydrated complexion.

Expertly formulated, combining Camellia Oil, Emollients, and Olive Squalene to hydrate, protect, and soothe the skin – improving skin barrier function and enhancing product absorption.


• Hydrates skin — hydrating ingredients work to moisturise and lock-in moisture 

• Soothes and softens skin — emollients and oils work to soothe and soften the complexion 

• Strengthens skin’s lipid barrier — antioxidants work to strengthen and protect the skin’s lipid barrier from external aggressors 

• Non-comedogenic Hero Ingredients: • Camellia Oil — Soothes, softens and protects 

• Olive Squalene — Hydrates, moisturises and boosts barrier function

• Vitamin E — Protects, hydrates and strengthens lipid barrier • Emollients — Moisturises, protects and enhances product absorption