The Importance of Cleansing Your Skin
How Clean is Your Skin?
It may come as a surprise for some of you out there to hear that many people are still not cleansing their skin correctly. The purpose of this post is not to patronise but simply to make you aware of the importance of cleansing your skin correctly and give those who need it some helpful tips as well as a basic knowledge of the structure of your skin.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and comprises of three layers.
The Epidermis which is split up into a further five layers and consists of active growing cells known as the basal layer where the production of melanin is formed and dead flat cells known as the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is what makes up the outer part of the skin and is the part we can visibly see. It offers protection and is constantly being shed off to make way for newer fresher cells being pushed up from the basal layer below.
The Dermis which is the middle part of the skin consists of blood vessels, subcutaneous glands (oil glands where sebum is produced), nerves, collagen and elastin fibres.
The Subcutaneous layer which also contains blood vessels, hair follicles and adipose tissue (fat cells).
The skin is an easy dumping ground for dust, dirt and other air pollutants which all cause free radical damage. When mixed with sebum (oil that the skin naturally produces for protection) and sweat plus an overload of makeup it is no wonder so many of us suffer from blocked pores, skin irritations and break-outs.
So after ten years of working in the spa and beauty industry I am still shocked to find out during a facial consultation that many clients are not cleansing their skin, but strangely not forgetting to apply moisturiser.
Is this something you do? Or do you know a friend who has fallen into this bad habit? If so please read on and don’t forget to pass on this important message.
Every day or night we have a shower/bath and never forget to wash our bodies. So why on earth would you forget to wash your face?
Surely looking after your skin should be an important part of your daily routine. After all the skin on the face is the most visible part of the human body and the part most likely to age the quickest due to the prolonged exposure to our harsh environment. The skin on our bodies is well protected especially during the British winter months when we are truly wrapped up however the skin on our face always has to battle the elements of wind, rain, sun, central heating and air pollution.
Many clients I talk to genuinely think they are doing well by using expensive moisturisers serums ect but when it comes down to the fundamental basics of cleansing the skin, many have got it so wrong. So here is a quick list of what NOT to do.
- There is no point placing expensive creams on a dirty face that has not been cleansed properly as it will not penetrate and can lead to blocking the pores.
- Ditch quick skin wipes as they only push dirt and grime further into the pores, plus the alcohol contained within a number of ranges will only dry out your skin.
- Stop wiping of your cleanser with pieces of dry cotton wool as this will only drag the skin, ageing you quicker and will not remove it properly anyway.
- Never use soap no matter how gentle a company claims it to be. The PH levels are usually too high drying out the skin which will only stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to compensate, therefore making the skin unbalanced and giving it a patchy appearance.
- If you suffer from acne do NOT use superstore products marketed towards teenage problematic skin as these contain a high dose of alcohol which will dry the skin out, stimulating the sebaceous glands and causing even more unbalance.
- Never use a daily exfoliator to clean your skin. Exfoliation gently removes top layers of the Stratum Corneum (flat dead skin cells on the surface of the epidermis), this should only be done a maximum of three times a week depending on your skin type and only after cleansing to ensure makeup is removed.
Ok so what should you do?
- Visit your local beauty salon to find out what your skin type and more importantly your skin condition is and get professional recommendations from a qualified Beauty Therapist only.
- Perfect your cleansing routine before investing in advanced skin care products. You have to get the basics right first!
- Always wash off your cleanser with warm water or use a clean face cloth or muslin cloth. Ditch the cotton wool.
- Teenagers or young problematic skin types may benefit more from facial washes
- Sensitive, normal or dehydrated skin types may benefit more from cleansing milks.
- Mature, dry or those who wear heavy make-up may benefit more from cleansing balms
A good basic skin care routine consists of Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturise.
MEN take note! This post also applies to you!
Get those basics right before investing in advanced serums, masks, peels ect
For more information on what is best for your skin type, pay me a visit at Good Vibes Yoga Studios in Covent Garden and treat yourself to a beautiful relaxing facial using the natural product brand from Neal’s Yard Remedies.