Signs you could be over cleansing skin
Here are three telltale signs of over cleansing your skin:
Your complexion looks super-oily.
New breakouts are popping up.
Your skin looks and feels super-dry.
Can washing your face too much cause oily skin?
The first thing we really wanted to know was, ‘Can washing your face too much cause oily skin?’ The bad news is that yes, washing your face too much can actually make the surface oilier.
‘It’s counterintuitive but [over cleansing skin] and over-exfoliating seem to send feedback to your oil glands to overproduce sebum as your epidermis has been stripped of its natural oils,’ explains Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan, founding dermatologist of ODE Dermatology.
Can cleansing your face too much cause acne?
Naturally, our next question is, ‘Can you get acne from washing your face too much?’ In a roundabout way, the answer is also yes: over cleansing skin can aggravate it.
Dr Gunatheesan delves into the topic further: ‘Sebum overproduction clogs the pores, resulting in acne.
The acid mantle of the skin also can be disrupted with over-cleansing and resultant inflammation.’ Yikes! That’ll serve us right for trying to keep our skin as clean as possible.
Can washing your face too much cause dry skin?
At the other end of the spectrum, can washing your face too much cause dry skin? It seems as though over cleansing skin can do damage too.
‘Yes, [overwashing your face] can certainly strip off the skin’s natural moisturising factor and deplete the ceramides and lipids in the epidermis [or top layer of skin], thereby resulting in dryness and flakiness.’
How to cleanse properly
So, how often should we actually be washing our face? ‘Ideally, we would need to only cleanse our skin once a day at night,’ suggests Dr Gunatheesan.
‘I would suggest a double cleanse technique with a micellar water to remove makeup and debris. Then, [use] a lipid- or ceramide-rich cleanser to remove the sweat, pollutants, and makeup residue whilst replenishing the skin barrier.’
The types of cleansers you should use
For the first cleanse, you can start with an oil-based cleanser, balm, or micellar water on dry skin.
If you opt for an oil-based cleanser or balm, ‘Pat it on with your fingers and rub [it] into the face gently to melt away the makeup and debris, and wipe it off with a warm, wet towel,’ says Dr Gunatheesan.
The doctor advises that when using micellar water, gently wipe a saturated cotton pad over your face in a concentric pattern. Repeat with new pads until the makeup pad is clean.
Maybe a water-based cleanser is more your jam. Dr Gunatheesan instructs, ‘Rub [it] onto wet [skin], covering the forehead, cheeks, and neck. Wash off with tepid water or wipe off with a damp, soft cloth.’