How Do You Cleanse?
Do You Buy Into The Myth…
Through my conversations with women about their skin, my interest was piqued when I started hearing how many don’t cleanse their skin at night. ( You’re in a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE here !) we’ve all done it. Many women have grown up believing that cleansing in the evening was only for women who wore heavy make-up, not true. Experts now know that cleansing is the KEY to a vibrant , healthy complexion.
The Real Facts…..
Dirt and grime that we come in contact with on a daily basis inflames the skin and can lead to collagen damage and premature aging. Women spend money on the latest and greatest serums, anti-aging products and moisturizers but they aren’t as effective if you don’t cleanse properly says Mona Gohara MD, an associate professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.
Cleansing the skin is a delicate balancing act, you need to remove all the dirt without disrupting the skins natural balance. What makes cleansing so” tricky” is that we need to keep the skins natural barrier intact, says, Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos MD. This natural barrier or “biofilm” on the surface of the skin needs to stay in balance. Inside the biofilm are antimicrobial peptides and good bacteria, which are meant to protect your skin and body.” Dr. Draelos goes on to say, “If you wash your face too much, too hard or with harsh soap , you disrupt the biofilm and remove the lipids that are underneath it, making your skin dry, flaky and itchy.”
Thinking you’ll skip washing is also a bad idea because oil builds up and fuels the bacteria living on the biofilm leading to acne!
Acne isn’t just for teens and “20 somethings”, diet , hormonal changes and medications all play a part in causing fluctuations in the skin.
Here are 4 key points for cleansing your way to beautiful skin…….
- Don’t use water that is too hot because it can leach moisture from the skin and ice- cold water can damage the skin leading to undo inflammation. Always use lukewarm water to cleanse your face and bod, it maintains the moisture balance of the skin.
- Don’t use bar soap. Bar soaps can disrupt the ph levels of the skin on the face. Most bar soaps are made with ingredients that are too harsh for the surface of the skin and may cause irritation, or they leave a residue build up over time that can dry skin out. Even oil prone skin needs hydration and benefits from gentle cleansing products.
- Don’t use abrasive puffs and washcloths, they remove ceramides and fatty acids that keep the skin hydrated.
- Don’t exfoliate your face into a blotchy mess. Over exfoliation breaks down the skin barrier, never allowing new skin to rebuild . The skin becomes sensitive and inflamed, often making skin look dry and dull. If you do exfoliate, oily, acne- prone skin, you should exfoliate no more than twice a week, while once a week for normal skin is sufficient. Always follow any exfoliation with a moisturizer .
Simply using your hands with lukewarm water and massaging the skin in a circular motion will stimulate the blood flow and cleanse skin gently.
Your Perfect Routine…..
Don’t forget to cleanse your skin in the morning to remove accumulated overnight residue from night cremes. If your skin is sensitive simply rinse with lukewarm water and gently massage.
If you have an especially intense workout, remember to rinse the sweat, if you don’t, the sweat and oil can mix with bacteria and cause breakouts, rashes and infections.
Dr. Gohara suggests what she calls ” a double cleanse”. Wash your face with two mild cleansers the first to gently dissolve makeup and grime and the second to sweep away dead surface cells and microscopic debris. This ensures that you remove particles of all sizes from the pores.
Vibrant healthy skin, even as you age is easy. Getting into the habit of cleansing your skin is something so simple yet can make your skin look youthful and radiant for a lifetime!
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Written By: Alice Wilcox
July 9, 2016
Resources:Women’s Health Magazine April 2016