There are very few people I meet in clinic that genuinely don't know they need to cleanse their skin, in fact in my 11 yrs as a skin specialist I've only met a few.
Whether you got your skin-education from your mum, a magazine or your skin therapist, most of us know that cleansing your skin at night is a must, but what about our morning cleanse?
Although the beauty industry has always advocated cleansing twice a day is best, there is now a trend supported by beauty influencers and beauty bloggers to skip the morning cleanser and use water only. In the last few months, a lot more of my first-time clients say they don't cleanse in the morning, because that's what they have read online.
So do we really need to cleanse twice a day? Or is this potentially damaging our skin barrier and leading to more skin issues?
My short answer is: "if cleansing twice a day is damaging your skin barrier then you are using the wrong cleanser!" If your cleanser is formulated to respect your skin barrier then cleansing twice will not harm it.
As skin specialists working with acne, breakouts, eczema and inflammatory skin disorders I have seen a lot of impaired skin barriers and yes, sometimes this is caused by over-cleansing...but I have also seen a lot of very inflamed and congested skin on people that follow the advice of "less is more" when it comes to cleansing.
So here's my for healthy cleansing:
> Cleanse twice a day with a skin barrier friendly cleanser to remove sweat, impurities, bacteria and makeup morning and night.
> Do not use active cleansers with AHA/BHA at all if your skin barrier is impaired. These should be used as a "treatment cleanser" once your skin barrier is restored and ONLY if your therapist thinks you need it.
> No need for a morning cleanse if you are going to exercise, cleanse when you come back.
> No need for a morning cleanse if your skin is balanced, happy, healthy and you didn't sweat, tied back long hair during sleep and had a clean pillowcase. You can use water and a soft cleansing cloth.
Finally something else to keep in mind, tap water in Western Australia is highly chlorinated, have you ever noticed a swimming pool smell in your hot shower? So, washing with water only may not be as "skin-barrier friendly" and natural as you think. In fact using a cleanser may help mitigate the drying effects of chlorinated water on the skin.
Check out our Clinic's top selling, skin barrier loving cleansers:
Medik8 Lipid-Balance Cleansing Oil
Medik8 Calmwise Soothing Cleanser
Dermaviduals Cleansing Milk with DMS (available at Mi:skn by prescription only)