In the life of a Naval Officer (Aaron’s past life) there’s one part of the day that gets everyone rolling their eyes – Cleaning Stations (or “Cleanos” if you wanna get down with the navy lingo).
It happens every day after breakfast and before the day’s work begins. Everyone does it and everyone hates it which of course is why cheeky sailors cut corners. The general rule was “if it smells clean it is clean”.
It probably lead to a nationwide shortage of eucalyptus due the amount that was sprayed around.
It goes to show that what we think is clean might not be entirely so.
The Big Meanie - Your cleanser could actually be causing your skin problems
OK, prepare yourself. We’re going to hit you with a big truth straight-up.
You know that “squeaky clean” feeling you get after you’ve washed your face? That feeling of tightness? (well, if you use Happy Skincare you might have forgotten, but that’s a good thing!).
That tight feeling that you get from so many soaps and cleansers is NOT a sign of clean skin. It is a sign of irritation.
Conventional cleansers actually “over-cleanse” your skin. They‘re incredibly harsh because they remove everything - the bad stuff (dirt, grime pollution) AND the good (proteins and lipids/natural oils). They also mess up your skin’s pH.
Apart from falling over and scraping your skin off, over-cleansing is one of the harshest things you can do to your delicate facial skin.
Over-cleansing leads to inflammation and inflammation is bad. It can be a trigger for many skin issues like dry skin, irritation, redness, rosacea, and yes even pimples!
Unfortunately cleansing is absolutely necessary otherwise we would be walking around looking we’d just pulled a 12 hr shift in a coal mine.
So what do we do? Be Gentle Petal.
Gentle cleansing has become the standard advice from every corner of the skincare world. This could mean (sadly) that you need to break up with your long-time favourite high-foaming, squeaky clean cleanser.
The best way to be gentle whilst cleansing is to choose a cleanser that is gentle. Too easy, right? Not quite. It’s very hard to tell if a cleanser is gentle from the label but here are few tips:
- Opt for natural, plant-based cleansers. You don’t want to be cleaning away grime and replacing it something that increases your toxic load.
- Stay well clear of anything with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
- Choose a cleanser with a pH under 7. This is important because your skin is slightly acidic and you don't want to disrupt your skin's pH (or acid mantle for the skincare boffins). This is a hard one as most cleansers don’t tell you this. Soaps are straight off the list because they have a pH above 9.5. But for everything else you might need to test it yourself or ask the brand. Acidic cleansers are very gentle and are the best choice for people with any type of skin concern especially acne.
- All of Happy Skincare’s cleansers have pH under 6.8. They are all acidic!
- Try surfactant free cleansing – Aka the Oil Cleansing Method. The Cloud 9 Deep Cleansing Balm is based on the oil cleansing method and it has a pH of 5-5.5. No wonder it is such a favourite :)
- Use less cleanser. The less you can use, the less that gets on your skin to cause any problems
- Use a cleansing aid. Konjac sponges are great at making your cleanser more effective which means you use less cleanser.
- Always wash off your cleanser, yep even wipe off ones like micellar waters. The longer a surfactant is in contact with your skin the greater the chance of irritation. Surfactants bond with proteins in your skin which causes them to swell and change shape which leads to irritation town.
What all this boils down to is that in your quest for “clean skin”, make sure you’re not over-doing it and stripping all of the goodness out of your delicate skin. It will make your skin freak out and opens the door for all sorts of skin problems.
You want a cleanser that will remove dirt, grime, makeup and sunscreen but still leave your skin feeling moist (and we’ve definitely got you covered there).
If you want to take the Happy Skincare cleansers for a spin, you can try them out in our Super-Sized Sample Pack :)