Over-Cleansing Over-Cleansing Did you know…..? Over-cleansing your skin can lead to problematic skin. There is such a thing as over-cleansing! We may be under the illusion that we need to have that ‘squeaky-clean’ feel after we have cleansed our face, but we are most probably causing unnecessary damage. Over-cleansing and using harsh, alkaline (drying) products causes damage to your skins lipid barrier stripping away its natural oils and moisture. It strips away the Acid Mantle. It imbalances the pH level of the skin leaving it raw, dehydrated and sensitised, resulting in an over-production of sebum (oil) which can then cause breakouts. The Acid Mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of human skin. It acts as a barrier and is the skin’s way to protect itself from bacteria, environmental pollutants, and moisture loss. The Acid Mantle is made up of natural oils, sweat, and dead skin cells, and is slightly more acidic in nature to prevent these harmful (naturally alkaline) contaminants from penetrating and damaging the skin. Your acid mantle can be washed or scrubbed away and it can also be neutralized by alkaline soaps and body washes that raise the pH of your skin. If you get that tight squeaky clean feeling after washing, you’ve probably just stripped away your acid mantle which increases your chances of skin damage and infection. How do you know if you’re Over-Cleansing? Common signs that you may be Over-cleansing are… Finding dry patches on the skin Redness or being inflamed Skin feeling tight – this could be an indication that your cleanser is to harsh for your skin or you are washing too many times in a day Oily skin or suffering with breakouts – if the skin is being stripped of its natural moisture, it will compensate by over producing sebum which will then cause more breakouts How do you correct Over-Cleansing? Over-cleansing can be easily fixed and addressed. Knowing what signs to look out for and how to tackle them is key. Using the correct skincare to suit your skin is extremely important as is knowing what ingredients to look out for when choosing your skincare. Products containing Ceramides will help to rebuild the skin. Hyaluronic Acid will hydrate the skin and give skin a glow and help to plump the skin. Niacinamide will support skin cell production and is also important for those suffering with breakouts as it helps to regulate oil flow or sebum production. How often should you be cleansing the skin? This isn’t the easiest question to answer. There is a debate between experts as to how many times you should be washing your face in a day. We would always recommend doing a double cleanse in the evening. The first cleanse would be to remove any superficial dirt, grime, make up etc and the second cleanse to ensure a deeper cleanse to removes excess oil and dirt. This should always be done with a gentle cleanser that suits your skin type. Depending on what other products you are using in your daily routine, splashing the face with warm water in the morning would be enough to ensure you are not over-cleansing. Advice from your skin specialist is important. If you exfoliate, this should be kept to a maximum of once or twice per week, depending on your skins condition. It is important to speak to a skin specialist before using any medical-grade skincare. At The Laser & Aesthetics Clinic we offer a complimentary skin consultation. We offer a range of Medical Grade skincare including ZO products and Heliocare. Our Aestheticians are trained to use, advise and prescribe these products to ensure you are on the right skincare regime to suit your skins needs. Contact us at the clinic to book for a consultation on 01474 249 957, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kentlaser.co.uk.