Skipping your morning cleanse has become a huge trend (especially amongst the “green” beauty community). Time and again, I have clients come in with problematic skin and believe they’re doing their skin a favor by not cleansing in the morning. There is a lot of confusion that led to the start of this new trend. Here are some common misconceptions: Imagine feather stuck to oil.
That’s what our skin really looks like when we wake up. Our skin accumulates environmental debris while we sleep. Dead skin cells and allergens collect on our pillow case while we sleep. Circulated air (AC or heater) kicks up dust, mold, and other skin irritants that collect on our skin overnight. The excess oil combined with dead skin cells and other debris can become trapped in pores and lead to breakouts. Removing oils and debris allows for better product penetration, and it clears the way for a fresh Canvas for sunscreen and makeup application. There is a small skin mite that grows within our pores called Demodex. Properly cleansing our skin reduces the dirt and debris that this critter lives off of and decreases the number of them living on our skin. This little critter is especially irritating to those with sensitive skin and rosacea.
While too much of your natural oils contributes to acne, OVER cleansing and STRIPPING your skin of its oils actually makes matters worse because it dehydrates your skin. Your skin is SMART! If your skin is oily but dehydrated, it will try to overcompensate by producing even more oil. Your skin’s natural oil locks the water inside your skin, keeping it hydrated. While many cleansers contain sulfates, bad alcohol, fragrance, a high pH, and other irritants that throw your skin barrier off balance, there are plenty of cleansers that are gentle and safe to use morning and night.
Choosing the correct cleanser for your skin is KEY as it sets the tone for the rest of your skincare to be well received by your skin. It IS possible to cleanse your skin while adding hydration. Cleansing your skin with a gentle cleanser also allows a clear canvas for your skin care ingredients to penetrate. Can the molecule of your serums penetrate past your oil? Obviously, this is heavily dependant on how big their molecular mass is. Usually, anything bigger than 500Da has a hard time passing through. Here’s the argument: Some will argue while enhancing product penetration, you’re also making your skin more susceptible to other harmful substances and bad bacteria.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to decide what good ingredients penetrate, and the bad ones stay away… OR DO WE…? ENTER ANTIOXIDANT PROTECTION AND MOISTURIZING BARRIERS (applause!) Many don’t realize the importance of moisturizing skin day and night. Skin, especially facial skin, is exposed to harsh factors such as pollution, damaging UV rays, and chemicals in makeup. Moisturizers work as a BARRIER against these factors. Not moisturizing can result in premature wrinkles, other signs of skin damage, and breakouts. When ski. The excess oil combined with dead skin cells and other debris can become trapped in pores and lead to breakouts.
Moisturizers also fill in the tiny cracks left in our skin after cleansing and work to protect skin from foreign bodies while keeping skin hydrated and healthy. While cleansing your skin with the wrong cleanser in the morning can lead to a disruption with barrier function, cleansing in the morning is important. Use a gentle cleanser for your skin type. Use antioxidant serums to protect against environmental toxins. Use a moisturizer formulated with beneficial ingredients to help protect your skin and act as a barrier.