Your mom was right: regular skin cleansing is critical to maintaining healthy looking and feeling skin! Let’s take a look at why facial cleansing is so important.
Removing Build Up
A common benefit of facial cleansing is the removal of dirt, oil, and other unwanted debris. Throughout the day the skin on your face is continually covered with bacteria, pollutants, viruses, dirt, and old (dead) skin cells. Daily facial washing removes these impurities to give the skin a fresh look. Without washing, your skin would be covered with a thick layer of dirt and grime which make it difficult for other products to penetrate the skin properly.
Regular facial cleansing (along with the use of a good moisturizer) is also an important factor in helping the skin maintain a proper level of hydration. Dehydrated skin looks and feels rough, wrinkled and aged. Cleansing helps manage pH levels of the skin which enable sufficient water and product retention.
Maintaining Clear Skin
Tiny glands under the skin produce oil called sebum to protect the skin from the dangers of the outside world. These glands use hair follicles within the skin as a pathway, allowing the oil to reach the skin's surface (outer layer) to form a barrier that prevents the penetration of bacteria or other harmful agents.
Excessive dirt build up on the surface can cause blockages of the follicle, trapping sebum, sweat, and dead skin cells. The lack of sebum on the skin's surface allows bacteria to penetrate the follicle causing inflammation. The final result is acne. Proper skin cleansing clears pores of debris to prevent dirt buildup, allowing the sebum oil to reach the skin surface unimpeded, decreasing the chances of a breakout.
But now… how to choose the right facial cleanser? With literally hundreds of cleansing products to choose from here are some simple tips for selecting a great skin cleanser:
- Know your skin type and choose a cleanser that’s a good match. If you have dry skin you’ll want to avoid cleansers with high alcohol content. People with oily skin need a cleanser with a lower PH level. For sensitive skin you’ll want a basic cleanser free from heavy fragrance and additives.
- The delivery type of the cleanser matters. Cream based cleansers are great for dry skin while gel or foamy cleansers are better for oily skin types.
- If you wear a lot of makeup you’ll want a cleanser targeted toward removal.
- If you tend to sweat a lot from working out look for a product targeting clogged pores.
- If you have concerns with allergies look for “natural” cleansers free of synthetic ingredients.
- Most cleansers marketed as “gentle” are great at removing dirt without over drying and irritating the skin.
- Selecting a cleanser with a balanced PH will help maintain your skin's natural balance.
- Make sure to take your time comparing products and looking at reviews.
Credits: Lankerani, Lela (2014) Skin Cleansing 101