Cleansing our faces with soap-based cleansers twice a day is a normal occurrence for the vast majority of us, but it can be damaging to the skin, even more so in extreme weather conditions. Cleansing with oil two nights a week maintains a good moisture level in the skin whilst still removing dirt and make-up. How do some soap-based cleansers damage the skin? Why does that matter in extreme weather conditions and how do you oil cleanse? Read on.

Damage To The Skin’s Barrier

The stratum corneum is made up of a fatty acid lipid bilayer, proteins and an assortment of dead skin cells called corneocytes. This layer protects the skin from external damage, whilst letting in nutrients and preventing extreme moisture loss. Harsh weather conditions, external stress factors on the skin, and cleansers, toners and exfoliants all damage this layer by removing the lipids and corneocytes that form the skin protection mechanism. This results in skin that is unable to retain moisture and feels dry and tight. As we age, we are less able to retain moisture in our skin and it becomes vitally important to ensure the integrity of this skin layer is not lost whilst the bilayer is being rebuilt. It is also necessary to ensure your skincare regime has all the nutrients necessary to promote a healthy functioning of this layer – being full of fatty acids and proteins.

Scientific studies have also shown that the pH of a cleanser can damage the skin’s barrier layer. Because soap-based cleansers are highly alkaline, whilst the skin is naturally slightly acidic, the difference in pH can account for the swelling and damage of this layer. So a slightly acidic or neutral pH cleanser is better for this layer of the skin in helping to maintain its protective function and prevent major moisture loss.

Daily Use Of A Gentle Cleanser

Well-formulated cleansers should not interact too much with the lipid bilayer and proteins within the stratum corneum, and should have a relatively neutral pH. If you are concerned about your daily cleanser of choice and would like some advice, feel free to e-mail us! The key is to use a good surfactant which gently dislodges dead skin cells, build up of sebum, dirt and oils from the skin without disrupting or overly damaging the lipids and proteins or lowering their numbers in any way.

Oil Cleanse Twice Per Week

Especially in the winter when the winds are harsher! Almond Oil works really well for an oil cleanse. Take a tablespoon of oil in the palm of your hands and massage gently onto your face removing make-up and dirt. Make sure you spend plenty of time on this process. Massage is great for circulation and general skin health any way so be sure to treat yourself! Then, take a soft face towel and soak it in warm water. Wring out the water and place the towel over your face and gently wipe clean. Follow with a light moisturiser: a perfect complementary moisturiser is our Deep Nourishing Cream.

BOE Magazine