As seasons change and warm weather rolls in, now is an excellent time to perfect our skin cleansing. Heat can cause many changes in our skin’s health, especially if we are cleansing with the wrong products, practices, and tools. Fortunately, there are ways to maintain healthy skin cleansing for a clear and clean complexion all season long!
On The Skin Report podcast, Dr. Simran Sethi, an Internal Medicine doctor and Founder of RenewMD medical spas and Skin by Dr. Sethi, discusses skin cleansing habits, products, and misinformation to consider as you curate your summer skincare routine. In addition, she covers trends like double cleansing, oil cleansers, and facial cleansing tools.
Why Skin Cleansing is So Important
You probably know that cleansing the skin is helpful for reducing acne and clogged pores. However, there are a lot of additional factors that contribute to the importance of keeping your skin clean.
Dr. Sethi explains on the podcast that everyone should clean their skin twice daily, regardless of whether they have acne-prone skin. This is because people make new skin every day, which means that dead skin cells can accumulate on our skin’s surface. Cleaning our skin removes dirt, debris, and dead skin cells from its surface and will help to rid it of pollutants, microbes, and old skin cells.
Maintaining clean skin can also help our skincare products be more effective. If our skin collects too much debris and dead cells on its surface, this can interfere with our skincare’s active ingredients reaching the skin’s deeper layers where they are needed.
Therefore, cleaning twice daily can keep your skin free from harmful debris and will increase the effectiveness of your products!
Skin Cleansing Trends
There are plenty of skin cleansing trends out there, especially on Instagram, Tiktok, and Youtube. But are they actually worth the effort? We broke down some popular skin cleansing trends below, so you can see whether they are worth incorporating into your routine!
This is the trend of washing your face twice, either with the same product or with two separate ones. According to Dr. Sethi, double cleansing is not needed unless you are washing off makeup or have very oily skin. Otherwise, double cleansing may over-dry your skin!
Although you can prevent drying by using an oil cleanser after a foaming cleanser, Dr. Sethi feels that this is a wasted step. Instead of double cleansing, she recommends using a deep pore cleanser with additional hydrating ingredients. For example, her line’s Resurfacing Face and Body Cleanser is a salicylic acid cleanser that effectively deep cleans pores but also contains extra virgin coconut oil to prevent it from drying the skin out.
Cleansing with oil is another cleansing trend that has gained momentum online. However, this practice may not work for all skin types.
Oil molecules are larger in size, which makes it more difficult for them to completely clean pores out. While someone with dry or mature skin may appreciate how oil cleansing makes their skin feel, this method may not provide the appropriate amount of exfoliation that all skin needs.
Skin must have some level of exfoliation daily or a few times a week to properly clean off the dead keratinized layer of our skin, as we are constantly making new skin cells. Exfoliating prevents dirt and debris from mixing with oils and clogging our pores and allows for the proper absorption of skin care products.
Therefore, Dr. Sethi advises listeners to choose a formulation that has extracts of beneficial skin oils rather than cleaning with oil. This way, you can enjoy hydration without compromising proper exfoliation and pore cleansing.
Facial Cleansing Tools
Speaking of exfoliation, tools like facial brushes, washcloths, and silicone pads are all mechanical exfoliants. While these products are trendy among influencers online, Dr. Sethi had mixed feelings about their usefulness in skin care.
If used once or twice daily, these exfoliant tools can break the skin barrier. In darker skin tones, this will result in uneven tone, hyperpigmentation, and skin dullness. And while these tools can help slough off our dead keratinized skin layer, they do little for deep cleansing pores.
Skin exfoliant devices like brushes are unable to deep clean pores to present breakouts. In fact, brushes and loofahs can strip the skin barrier of natural oils and moisture – leading to more issues down the line.
Additionally, these devices have the potential for bacterial overgrowth. Washcloths, pads, and tools retain moisture for a long time after their use, making them breeding grounds for bacteria that you don’t want on your face.
Due to the potentially damaging nature of these devices, Dr. Sethi recommends that people instead avoid the risk and choose a skin cleanser. You can choose a mechanical exfoliant or scrub that you gently massage over your skin and wash off, like her line’s Skin Renewal Polish and Mask. This product uses a fine powder to polish off dead skin cells and debris, pomegranate extract for deep cleansing, and niacinamide to replenish moisture and fortify the skin barrier.
For added exfoliation, you can use a chemical exfoliant in addition to your cleansing step rather than a mechanical exfoliant. Dr. Dethi recommends skin cycling with an exfoliant every other day or every few days to keep your skin clean and clear without disrupting your skin barrier.
To learn more about skin cleansing trends and how additional lifestyle factors can affect your skin’s cleanliness, tune into Season 2, Episode 7 of The Skin Report podcast!