Just like your well being, your skin needs some good TLC. Cleansing thoroughly does not mean scrubbing your face with soap until it’s squeaky clean, it’s important to remember to be kind to your skin. Your skin has a natural lipid layer and a pH level that is slightly acidic (5.5 to be exact.) This acid mantle protects your skin against bacteria, viruses and other contaminants from penetrating your skin. So, contrary to what popular advertising would have you believe, sebum is not all bad. What’s important is a balanced amount.
Most face washes are soap based, which have a basic pH (the other end of the pH scale.) And this destroys your skin’s acid mantle, causing sensitivity, dryness, and itchiness. What’s more is that this messes up your skin’s natural sebum production regulation, so your skin will produce more oil to overcompensate, which can then lead to clogged pores and pimples. So if your skin is squeaky clean after you wash, your cleanser is likely too harsh. Choose a mild cleanser that is designed for sensitive skin, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and pH balanced – never use bar soap. My personal favorites are Aveeno ultra-gentle foaming cleanser (which various dermatologists have recommended,) or any of the gentle foaming cleansers from a natural line I love called 100% Pure.
Use this gentle cleanser following makeup removal with an oil cleanser if needed, once at night. Only wash your face with water in the morning or after a workout, because it’s crucial to not strip your skin of its natural oils too much. The exceptions to this are of course at times like sweating through your SPF on a hot day, or if you’ve sweated through makeup; then in which case, remove everything and cleanse as soon as you can, because you don’t want the sweat and dirt to clog your heat-enlarged pores.