Caring for our skin is an essential part of any skincare regimen. Cleansing our skin should be part of this regimen for many reasons. Do you ever skip cleansing before you go to bed? Here are 6 reasons not to!
1. Removal of Pollutants
The skin, being the largest organ and the first line of defense for our body, is continuously exposed to a variety of environmental pollutants. As we go about our daily lives, the skin is exposed to free radicals from pollutants such as:
- Particulate matter like dust, dirt, smog, soot, and smoke can penetrate the skin, leading to inflammation, oxidative stress, and premature aging.
- Volatile organic compounds are emitted by chemicals in car exhaust, cleaning products, and paint. VOCs can cause skin irritation and inflammation.
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are released during the burning of fossil fuels, wood, and tobacco. PAHs can bind to the skin causing oxidative stress and damage to the DNA.
- Ozone reacts with skin lipids and proteins.
- Trace amounts of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, can be found in air, water, and soil. They can accumulate in the skin, leading to inflammation, irritation, and oxidative stress.
- Pesticides and chemicals used in agriculture and industrial processes can come into contact with the skin, causing irritation, allergies, or other skin issues.
- Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can be present in the environment and can cause skin infections or exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions.
Washing the face helps remove these impurities that can cause damage to the protective barrier of our skin.
2. Supporting The Skin's Natural Barrier Function
Barely more than a millimeter thick, the stratum corneum plays a crucial role in protecting the skin from environmental pollutants, allergens, and pathogens. It also helps retain moisture, keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.
Cleansing helps remove excess sebum, dirt, makeup, and pollutants that accumulate on the skin throughout the day. If not removed, these substances can clog pores, cause inflammation, and impair the skin's barrier function.
The skin's surface is home to a diverse community of microorganisms, known as the skin microbiome. A healthy skin microbiome plays a vital role in supporting the skin's natural barrier. Gentle facial cleansing helps maintain the balance of these microorganisms, promoting overall skin health.
3. Maintaining The Skin's Natural Balance
Cleansing with a gentle, hydrating formula helps maintain the skin's natural moisture balance. This is crucial for preventing over-drying and dehydration, which can lead to various skin issues, including irritation and a compromised skin barrier.
Proper facial cleansing is also important for the preservation of pH. The skin's natural barrier has an acidic pH, ranging from about 4.5 to 5.5. This acidity helps protect against harmful bacteria and other pathogens. Using a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser helps to support the skin's natural pH and contributes to a balanced and healthy skin environment.
4. Enhancing Absorption of Skincare Products
Daily facial cleansing plays a crucial role in enhancing the efficacy of other skincare products. A clean and well-prepared canvas allows for better absorption and performance of the products that follow in your skincare routine.
By eliminating excess sebum, makeup, and pollutants from the skin's surface, cleansing ensures that these substances do not obstruct the absorption and effectiveness of the skincare products applied afterward.
A well-formulated skincare routine with compatible products is designed to work synergistically. Cleansing prepares the skin for the next steps in the system, ensuring that each product can function optimally and contribute to the overall effectiveness of your skincare regimen.
5. Promoting Healthy Cell Turnover
Regular facial cleansing promotes healthy cell turnover by providing a clean and optimal environment for the skin's natural renewal process. Cell turnover is the process where new skin cells are generated and replace older, dead skin cells.
Some facial cleansers contain mild exfoliating ingredients, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or gentle physical exfoliants. These ingredients remove dead skin cells, allowing fresh, healthy cells to replace them. This process of shedding dead skin cells and stimulating fresh cell production contributes to healthy cell turnover and a more radiant complexion.
The massaging action involved in facial cleansing can help stimulate blood circulation in the skin. Increased blood flow brings essential nutrients and oxygen to skin cells, supporting their growth and overall skin health.
6. Preventing Breakouts and Irritation
Many breakouts are caused or aggravated by bacteria, particularly Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Regular cleansing helps reduce the buildup of bacteria on the skin, lowering the risk of acne and inflammation.
In Conclusion ...
Overall, regular facial cleansing is essential to maintain healthy skin. Taking the time each day to give your face the attention it deserves can help prevent future breakouts and correct existing complexion issues. It's an inexpensive yet valuable part of any skincare routine that should be prioritized for maximum results!
With continuous practice and commitment to your well-deserved skincare regime, you'll start seeing results sooner than expected. Remember, although it may seem like a tedious task at first, taking just a few minutes a day out of your day to care for your skin will provide benefits in the long run!