10 Big Skin Cleansing Mistakes You Could Be Making
Most of us wash our faces at least once a day and don’t really think much about it. We grab a cleanser, lather up, rinse and carry on. But, what if we told you there is more to washing your face than meets the eye? Well, there is, and we learned all about the art of cleansing your skin by speaking to Kristen Ma, the author of Beauty, Pure and Simple and co-owner of Pure + Simple skincare. Here are 10 skin-cleansing mistakes you could be making.
Not Removing Makeup Before You CleanseAccording to Ma, not removing makeup, particularly eye makeup, before you cleanse your face, can really dry out and age the eye area. She says, “Most eye makeup is made of talc, which is a drying agent.” So, make sure you use an eye makeup remover and cotton pads to gently remove all eye makeup before washing your face.
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Using Water That Is Too Hot Or Too ColdYou may think it’s all hogwash, but lukewarm water is really the best temperature for cleansing your skin. Kristen told us, “In beauty speak, we use the term ‘tepid’. Too hot water will dilate your capillaries, while too cold water will constrict them.” So, in order to prevent broken capillaries, redness and spider veins, make sure the temperature is just right.
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ParabensThese easily absorbed preservatives are so common in our beauty products and yet they can have negative effects on our pregnancies and unborn children, such as miscarriages and impaired fetal growth. Parabens have also been linked with breast cancer. While pregnant, it’s best to use paraben-free products.
Other Names: Methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben.
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Washing Your Face Too Much or Too LittleHow often you wash your face depends on what type of skin you have, but at the very least, everyone should, “…wash their face at least once a day at night to remove pollution residues and impurities.” says Ma. Kristen suggests that those with sensitive or dehydrated skin types should wash once per day and simply swab the skin with a hydrosol in the morning, instead of cleansing. “Healing Immortelle Skin Tonic is especially good for sensitive skin. No alcohol or irritating preservatives!”
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Scrubbing Too AggressivelyWhen cleansing your skin, you want to be gentle, yet effective. The outer layer of our skin acts as a protective barrier. Ma says, “We want to gently remove dead skin cells.” Anything too aggressive, “…can cause hypersensitivity, as well as leave skin vulnerable to pigmentation, dehydration and skin marks.” Gentle circular motions, using the pads of your fingers is the way to go.
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Using Dirty Cloths Or SpongesMicrobes can easily and quickly cultivate on cleansing cloths and sponges. “Hygiene is the name of the game!” says Ma, so to avoid infections, chuck out dirty cloths and sponges, especially if you have any open cuts or sores.
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Not Rinsing CompletelyDetergent ingredients in cleansers can irritate skin when left on, so make sure to rinse really well. Kristen told us, “Rinsing is so important. I rinse multiple times until I feel that soapy residue is gone.”
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Exfoliating Too MuchIt’s healthy to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Doing so preps the skin for moisturiser and can help foundation look smoother and more natural. But, remember mistake number 5? Well, that protective barrier comes into play here as well. “If you remove it too often or too vigorously, you can damage your skin.” Kristen warns.
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Not Exfoliating EnoughJust as it’s possible to exfoliate too much, you can also exfoliate too little. Ma revealed, “If your skin is dehydrated and prone to dead skin cell build up, exfoliating will help keep pores clear and skin smooth.” Kristen explained that exfoliated skin can absorb moisturizer much better without a layer of dead skin cells as a barrier.
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Using a Cleanser With Irritating IngredientsThere are often so many ingredients in our beauty products, it’s hard to know what they all do and whether we really need them in order to make a difference. Chemical fragrances are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to irritating ingredients. Ma explains, “Sensitive skin and rosacea-prone types can react to chemical fragrances. They can cause a range of reactions from redness, burning sensation and sometimes inflamed lesions.”
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