Washing your face. Seems like a no-brainer. It’s a given that we should all be performing this most basic of personal hygiene rituals and that it’s almost impossible to do it ineffectively, right? Wrong. Since this routine act is so basic and fundamental to a good skin care regimen, we’re going to take a closer look at cleansing over the next few posts and clean up any confusion on this simple act.
Why do we cleanse at all??
- To remove dirt, sweat and the toxins it carries as well as excess sebum (oil). All of this clogs your pores and creates a nice place for unfriendly bacteria to live and breed.
- To gently exfoliate dead skin cells which also clog pores and again, more food for bad bacteria.
- To stimulate blood flow and encourage healing and regeneration.
- To introduce corrective ingredients for acne control, hydration, pigment control, etc.
When should we cleanse?
- In the PM (I know, it’s easy to just want to fall into bed) to remove makeup, environmental toxins, dirt and all of the above listed goodies that have accumulated through the day. Since your skin/body repairs and heals itself at night, this is the perfect time to thoroughly cleanse and apply corrective, healing skincare and feed your skin.
- In the AM to remove your PM products and any excess sebum your skin has produced and to create a clean, even palate for your makeup.
How often should we cleanse?
- Twice daily is usually enough. We all like to be squeaky clean, but cleansing too often can actually make the skin acidic, strip beneficial oil, drying it and impairing its barrier function. If you’re washing more because your skin feels oily, remember, too much cleansing can actually cause you to over-produce oil!
- If you’re participating in activities that leave you sweaty and dirty, it is a good idea to cleanse or at least rinse your skin afterward until you can cleanse. Facial “wipes” or sprays can be helpful and are easy to keep in your gym bag or locker.
Getting consistent with such a simple step can really help take your skin care regimen to a whole new level. If you’re a visual learner, stay tuned!