Do I Really Need a Cleanser?

Washing your skin with water alone might seem strange, but it really can work for some skin types.

Everyone wants to save a little money, so if you can stash away some cash by ignoring commercial cleansers, why not?

For most people, cleansing the face—at least a couple of times a week, if not more—is vital for skin's health, but not everyone needs a daily cleanser. Here's how to tell if you really need a cleanser or if you can get away with just water.


Do I Really Need a Cleanser?


The Case for Giving Up Cleansing

You might think that the right cleanser is the magic key to perfect skin. But excessive cleansing is a major cause of skin irritation and dryness. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Ginnifer Goodwin, who claim not to wash their face, have raised interest in a less abrasive method to cleaning the skin.

Excessive cleansing can sap your skin of sebum, the oil that lubricates and protects it, triggering both dryness and breakouts. Overzealous cleansing can also inadvertently introduce bacteria into your skin, particularly if you reuse the same flannel or face brush. So if you start cleansing less frequently, you really might notice an improvement.

Can Plain Water Really Clean Your Skin?

Of course, no one is arguing that you should give up washing your face entirely. Sleeping in your makeup, allowing sweat to seep into your pores, and ignoring the debris and environmental pollutants your skin must face every day are all recipes for skin problems.

If your skin is sensitive to detergents, or if you have no history of acne or excessive oiliness, washing with water alone may actually keep your skin healthier. To try it, follow these tips:

  • Don't use long-wearing cosmetics, which can clog your pores, necessitating more than just water for removal.
  • If you do wear heavy makeup, try removing it with micellar water instead of soap or cleanser.
  • Consider washing with water on a seasonal basis—perhaps only during the winter, when your skin is dry and irritable.
  • Add sea salt, a natural cleanser, to the water to remove debris gently.
  • Consider using sugar as a substitute for harsher exfoliants once or twice per week. Just make sure you thoroughly rinse the sugar from your skin.


Do I Really Need a Cleanser?


When You Need a Cleanser—and When You Don't

Some complexions may thrive on a water-only cleansing routine, while others may experience a significant increase in oiliness and breakouts. Some signs you need to use a cleanser include:

  • Your skin begins breaking out more when you switch to only water.
  • Your skin is very oily or acne-prone, and tends to get greasy as the day goes on.
  • You use oil-based, waterproof, or long-wearing makeup.
  • You have allergies, necessitating a thorough removal of any irritants that come into contact with your skin.

Want to merge the best of both worlds? Wash your skin with a gentle, oil-based cleanser. These products restore your skin's natural moisture balance, gently remove impurities, and are unlikely to irritate your skin. Give L'Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil a try.

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