Are you over cleansing your skin?

By Jessica Lomas, LME

Over cleansing the skin seems to be a common skin-care blunder I’ve encountered with many of my patients. Not only by the ones with oily or acne-prone skin, but those with dry skin as well. It got me thinking that there are probably millions of people out there remembering what their mom used to tell them as a child. They were told to make sure they scrub every part of their skin making it squeaky clean. Use a lot of soap and a washcloth and scrub until all the dirt is gone.

I’m here to tell you that squeaky-clean may not be what your skin needs to stay healthy, vibrant, and balanced. We’ve all heard the term “a little is good, so more must be better”. While it may be true for some things, it is not true when it comes to caring for your skin. When you over cleanse, you can strip your skin of the oils that keep skin healthy and balanced. People with oily skin tend to over cleanse in the effort to get rid of the shiny, oily look of their skin. This can cause oily skin to actually become more oily, because it can trigger a panic response and send the oil glands into overdrive to compensate for the “over stripping” that over cleansing may cause. In turn, oily skin becomes shinier and can experience more breakouts. People who have dry skin may experience more breakouts due to over stimulation as well. Over cleansing dry skin may become flaky and appear irritated.

Listed below are the top 5 cleansing errors and how to correct them.

  • Cleansing too often – No matter what your skin type, cleanse no more than twice a day with a cleanser appropriate for your skin type. Exceptions may be after working out to remove sweat to prevent post-workout breakouts.
  • Using too much cleanser – Dilute a small amount of cleanser with water and lather it up in the palm of your hand before applying to your face.
  • Using products that are too harsh for your skin type – If your skin feels dry and tight on a regular basis then your products may be too harsh and not the appropriate formula for your skin type. Switch to milder ingredients and consult with your skin care specialist.
  • Using products too harshly – Abrasive scrubs, over scrubbing, and products with exfoliating acids such as glycolic or salicylic acid should be used 1-2 times per week. Daily use may cause blotchy, red, flaky skin. Abrasive scrubs and over scrubbing may result in broken capillaries on the face as well.
  • Not enough rinsing – Make sure your cleanser is thoroughly removed by rinsing your skin a little longer. When you think you’re done rinsing, rinse two more times.
    Correcting these 5 simple mistakes can make a big difference in how your skin looks and feels. Healthy skin is happy skin.

We are here for all of your skin care questions and needs! Book an appointment with Jessica today!

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