Is Cleansing making your skin dirtier?
I’ve enjoyed being a healthy skin therapist for over 20 years. During this time I’ve seen many of my wonderful clients led astray by misleading promises of clear, breakout-free skin. As a beauty therapy professional, I believe in empowering my clients with information regarding the skin and how certain ingredients and products function. I believe cleansing is the most important step in any skincare regime. If you get it wrong, your skin will ultimately be playing catchup.
Many of us are led to believe our skin must be left feeling squeaky clean after cleansing, achieved by using soaps, or foaming cleansers. However this result is actually your skin crying out for moisture, and as a consequence of this, many skin imbalances such as blocked pores, oiliness, irritation, redness, dryness and dehydration can occur.
Our skin’s natural barrier function (or the skin’s first line of defence) protects our skin from bacteria, environmental impurities, irritation and to a degree, UV damage. It safeguards the skin from losing water and becoming dehydrated, while regulating the internal cellular functions responsible for keeping our skin healthy and young. This protective barrier contains precious oils that are vital for its preservation.
What happens when you get cleansing wrong?
1. You become oilier.
Soaps and foaming cleansers require a type of surfactant for that ‘not so awesome’, suds-up effect. These surfactants are also found in dishwashing liquid. Squirting dishwashing liquid onto an oily plate will cut through grease and grime, which is fine as it’s a dinner plate (not your face). Cleansing our face the same way strips the skin’s preserving oils. Removing these oils triggers your skin to produce more oil to compensate for the loss.
2. Your skin will become dehydrated and congested.
Stripping the skin’s natural oils will result in water evaporating from the skin. Water is needed for a variety of skin functions, such as the skin’s natural exfoliating process.
The outer layer of the skin is comprised of flattened cells that create a barrier against physical trauma. As time goes on, new cells bump their way up to the surface, allowing for natural shedding of these excess skin cells. These cells are held together by a type of intercellular cement or bonding . When the skin has the right amount of water, an enzyme is activated to help dissolve the bonding to allow the skin cell to be shed, keeping the skin refined and smooth.
Lack of water in the skin can cause an increased accumulation of dead cells on the skin’s surface. These cells fall into and onto the pores, blocking the natural oil flow, resulting in blockages and congestion.
3. You may start experiencing breakouts.
The skin’s acid mantle is a layer of oil and water and is more acidic. It’s role is to protect the skin against irritation and from bacteria entering the skin.
Many cleansers, especially foaming cleansers are more alkaline in nature, meaning they have a higher pH and will break the skin’s protective acid mantle, leaving the skin vulnerable to bacteria which can infect the skins oils and cause inflamed breakouts.
Not feeling so squeaky clean now?
Irritation and skin dehydration are other not so healthy side effects that the skin is exposed to from stripping the skin during cleansing.
Its easy to stop infecting your skin with harsh detergents, instead try balancing your skin with cleansing oils, creams or pastes, free from synthetic surfactants.
This healthy cleansing choices can be found at your Skin Juice stockist or here at the Skin Juice online shop.