Next to protecting your skin, Cleansing is of utmost importance in our daily and nightly routines.
Firstly, cleansing is preparing your skin for the next step. Secondly another important reason for cleansing is to remove oils, dirt and debris from the skin. 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. 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 skins 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 skins surface allows bacteria to penetrate the follicle causing inflammation.
Proper skin cleansing clears pores of debris to prevent dirt build-up, allowing the sebum oil to reach the skin surface unimpeded; decreasing the chances of a breakout. First, consider that excess sebum (oil), dead skin cells, and pollution are sitting on your face. Not to mention makeup (and just because you don’t wear foundation is no excuse). A cleanser will emulsify all of these and remove them from the surface of your skin. According to Dr. Dennis Gross, M.D., when makeup is left on it can seep deep down, clogging pores. He also says that once your collagen levels start to decline (due to aging), the pores do not snap back as easily once they become enlarged. And, leaving makeup on can lead to inflammation that can generate free radicals and collagen breakdown.
Stay tuned until next time when we will discuss the qualities of a good cleanser…