Cleansing may seem like a simple part of your daily ritual, but there are a few important factors to consider. The right product, the number of times you cleanse and even the cleansing technique plays a huge part in keeping your skin clean and healthy. Keep reading to find out if you are cleansing properly!
What happens when you over-cleanse your skin?
Over-cleansing can impair your skin barrier as it excessively removes natural oils that keep our skin barrier healthy.
Our skin barrier is the “shield” that protects our skin from external aggressors in order to keep it healthy and hydrated. A weakened skin barrier would mean lesser protection against irritants that may cause skin damage.
Two common causes of over-cleansed skin:
- Using cleansers that are too harsh for your skin
- Cleansing more often than your skin can take
Not sure if you’re cleansing too often? Here are 4 signs to look out for.
4 signs you are over-cleansing your skin
1. Your skin feels tight after cleansing
Does your skin feel tight and taut after you’ve towelled off? A common misconception is that your skin should feel “squeaky clean” after every cleanse, but that is often a sign that your cleanser may be too harsh.
The tight and dry sensation you feel is also an indication that your skin’s natural oils have been stripped off and skin barrier has been compromised during cleansing.
Instead of feeling tight, your skin should feel normal or a little hydrated after cleansing. Choosing the cleanser that suits you is more important than you think. One that is gentle, hydrating and suits most skin types should be your go-to choice!
2. You are spotting rashes on your skin
Rashes are a warning sign that your skin barrier may be damaged, and overwashing could be a cause. When your skin barrier is compromised, your skin becomes more susceptible to irritation.
A damaged skin barrier is just like a broken shield. Products that ordinarily sit on top of your skin, such as sunscreen, may permeate the skin past the top layer and possibly cause rashes and allergic reactions for some.
3. You are breaking out more often than usual
Pimples and breakouts happen more often when your skin barrier is damaged. If you’re noticing more of them than usual, there’s a chance that you’re over-cleansing and your skin barrier is impaired. Dirt and bacteria can penetrate more easily into the deeper skin layers, causing breakouts to happen.
4. Your skin gets oily more easily
As your skin’s natural oils are frequently removed, it may be tougher for your skin to balance its oil and sebum levels. For those with oily skin, washing your face multiple times a day may seem like a good idea, but it could be counterproductive.
When done too often, your skin tends to produce even more oil to compensate for the essential oils and moisture that were removed. This is also why many people may have misunderstood their dehydrated skin for being oily.
How often should you cleanse?
We recommend giving your skin a good cleanse twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. You may be wondering – why do I have to cleanse my skin in the morning if I’m not out?
Even when we sleep, our skin is still exposed to environmental pollutants and irritants. Cleansing in the morning helps to remove these impurities and any excess oil that were produced in the night. It also gives us a fresh palette to apply our morning skin care on. Besides, a refreshing cleanse sounds like a great way to start off the day!
Those with dry sensitive skin may consider skipping facial cleansing in the morning depending on how your skin feels.
At night, make sure to double cleanse if you’ve worn makeup in the day or applied sunscreen so that your pores get to breathe free.