Why Do We Cleanse Our Skin?
To cleanse or not to cleanse, double cleanse? Oil or cream, suds or not? Exfoliate or not? Why do we cleanse, and what is the best cleanser for your skin? First, we need to set the scene. Let’s get to know the skin barrier. The skin barrier is more of a function than a thing; it helps protect your skin from water loss, resulting in dehydration and dryness that could lead to inflammation and irritation. It’s all connected.
The skin barrier provides internal support by limiting water loss and helps maintain homeostasis. It provides physical outer support by protecting against environmental stressors and chemicals. The key to keeping this important function happy and healthy is gentle loving.
Understanding Your Skin
So, let’s get into it. In order to figure out what cleanser is best for you, we need to first assess what you’re cleansing. Do you wear makeup? If so, how much and how often? Makeup is designed to sit on the surface of the skin, so we don’t need harsh cleansers to remove it. Then, we need to assess your skin's condition. I use the term 'skin season' to guide my product choices based on my skin's current state. Have I been sleeping regularly? How's my stress level? Am I eating my veggies, drinking enough fluids, and exercising? Your skin's appearance and feel can help you decide what to do. The key to it all is being gentle—gentle, gentle.
Choosing the Right Cleanser
You may have heard it over and over again, but avoid anything that contains a detergent or bar soap. These types of cleansers can lead to pH imbalance and disrupt the lipid barrier/acid mantle. Oil cleansing is a great way to remove makeup and keep everything in balance(try our NEW everything oil). Here's a hot tip though: don’t use hot water to cleanse—ever. Use tepid water to avoid melting your precious lipids that are meant to protect. We have been brainwashed by the industry to over-cleanse, perpetuating existing issues and causing others. The best advice I have for cleansing is 'less is more.' A light, milky cleanser is a good option for heavier makeup days, or try a gentle exfoliating product no more than twice a week(try our NEW power wash cleanser).
Best Practices When Exfoliating
What is the best way to make my skin unhappy, you ask? Over exfoliation! Your skin has so many dead skin cells that it is impossible to remove them all—literally impossible. The best type of exfoliation is gentle and mindful. Aim for exfoliating no more than twice a week, using a mild exfoliator that suits your skin type. Avoid harsh scrubs or overuse of exfoliating acids, as they can cause irritation and strip your skin of its natural oils. Remember, the key is to pamper your skin, not punish it. Always consider the source of the exfoliating ingredient, is it round, sharp, will it soften when hydrated? Poppy seeds, fruit acids, colloidal oats(try our renew or sunshine mask). If using a clay mask, it’s important to remove it before the clay dries, clay is pulling debris and can be over drying disrupting that sweet skin balance we were talking about if left on too long.
Last but not least, to avoid stressing your skin, make sure to keep your makeup brushes and hands clean mitigating additional bacteria and stressors that can lead to unhappy skin. Use hot water and a mild soap to clean brushes once a week. Try to get enough sleep, antioxidant rich foods, leafy greens and minimal sugars for that happy glowing complexion.
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