Cleansing Your Skin – Should You?
Passed a mirror recently and thought you looked dull, a bit lacklustre and not at all how your feel? - Gaye Barlow explains how and why cleansing your face is as important should not be the forgotten sister in your skin care regime. It is the base to keep your skin looking as clear, as glowing and energised as your feel.
But – where to start? You start with the right cleanser for your age now and the condition of your skin today. It is highly likely that if you are over 40, and definitely if you are post-menopausal that your skin is drying and your night cream is your best friend.
If this is the case, and you think cleansers will dry your skin even more, think again……
If you are oily, your skin may still be dehydrated and the right cleanser can help to fix that.
Let me explain cleansers…………
A cleanser is a skin care product that is used to remove daily make-up, dirt, oil, dead skin cells and other types of pollutants that have accumulated on the skin throughout the day. Remember that the skin is an excretory organ; it expels toxins from the body so these need to be cleaned away too and if you don’t do this then you open yourself up to clogged and enlarged pores on top of the dull lacklustre look you’d noticed in the mirror.
Usually cleansers come in the form of either gel, oil or cream based. Ideally, a cleanser should be pH balanced. This means that it helps to maintain the natural pH of the epidermis or top layer of the skin. Our skin is naturally acidic in pH which prevents the overgrowth of bacteria and protects the skin from harmful pathogens. Using a cleanser that is not pH balanced can strip the skin, leaving it open to trans-epidermal water loss (dryness and dehydration), potential overgrowth of harmful pathogens and in time causing it to become reactive, sensitive and/or flakey.
It is pointless applying serums to your skin if it is not clean as your cleanser is also a crucial step for allowing other ingredients to penetrate more deeply into the skin so that they can do their job. Of course if your ingredients have “delivery” systems attached they’ll certainly want to travel deeply into the skin.
One of the better cleansing agents is Lactic acid as in lower % it repairs cell walls, so water can be more efficiently held inside the cell. This hydrates your skin and also gives it a plumping effect – YAY, that’s something we all want.
How should you cleanse your skin?
Whether you cleanse once or twice a day is up to you, or rather your skin. If your skin is on the dry side, or is sensitive, you may only need to do it once – at night. Your skin needs to breathe at night, to restore itself and allow the penetration of your serums and creams so choose the evening for your once a day cleanse.
Keep in mind that your skin changes according to seasons, how dehydrated your body is and how stressed you are. Sometimes it’s wise to have two cleansers – a gentler one and one for more oily skins. When you travel it is best to take a gentler one such as a Micellar water.
Lastly if you feel you need a little more exfoliation and stimulation adding a nourishing enzyme mask to your routine 1-2 per week is definitely the way to go. These tend to work differently because your skin is already clean, they contain a % of active ingredients and you leave it on your skin for longer.
Honestly, where would we be without our weekly mask!