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We want to help you understand your skin, so that you know what’s going on with it, what to put on it, and how to care for it. Sciency stuff that answers so many of your skin questions, written in a clear and simple way. Penned by our founder, Ee Ting Ng.

Are you deep-cleaning or over-cleaning?

21 August, 2018

Are you deep-cleaning or over-cleaning?

If getting rid of blackheads, pimples and oiliness are at the top of your skin list, I'm certain you’ll have a regular deep cleansing ritual to pull the oils and gunk out from the murky depths of your pores.

There is, however, some danger in such cleansing sessions if made too extreme. Instead of deep-cleaning, many end up over-cleaning. This throws the skin off its happy balance and start a viscous bad skin cycle.

When cleansing becomes stripping

Surfactants in cleansers remove excess oil residue from our skin surface, which would also contain the ‘good’ oils needed to maintain a heathly barrier. As surfactants do not discriminate between ‘wanted’ or ‘unwanted’ oils, they have the potential to strip our skin if the surfactants' cleansing action is too strong. When that happens, we are left feeling dry with a tightness sensation.

The same applies to clays with strong oil-absorbing properties such as bentonite, kaolin, rhassoul, especially so if the product (usually mask or cleanser) does not contain enough protective oils or humectants to counteract the powerfully drying effect of the clay.

The viscous cycle

What happens when we excessively remove skin oil? Our physical skin barrier weakens, making us less protected against infection from acne-causing microbes which leads to breakouts and less capable of retaining water, causing a whole array of skin problems.

Eventually, your skin produces sebum again, but is then faced with the whole stripping process over again without getting the change of repairing its own barrier. If grainy scrubs are also involved in this routine, this damage is easily amplified.

How to deep clean without over-cleaning

You can of course hunt for various deep cleansing masks/cleansers that do not over-clean. But if you rather have a sure fire method, here’s a simple but effective way to deep clean without over-cleaning. Suitable for all skins even the very dry/sensitive, it can be done once to three times a week, depending on how your skin is feeling.

1. Start with dry skin that is free of waterproof makeup.

2. Wet 2 cotton pads with warm water. Squeeze as much water out as possible.

3. Apply a regular amount of your daily cleanser (that is right for your skin type/condition) to the cotton pads, rubbing them together to distribute the cleanser evenly across both pads.

4. Rub cotton pads on skin in gentle, circular motion for 1 minute. Go over every area of your face, focusing on oily/congested areas.

5. Flip the cotton pads to the other side, repeat for another minute.

6. Rinse cleanser off completely with plenty of warm water.

7. Finish cleansing with a few splashes of cold water.

8. Follow up with an appropriate chemical exfoliant and moisturiser.

Rethinking daily cleansing

While deep cleansing is all good and important, let's not neglect proper daily cleansing. This is just like a home being maintained with daily cleaning instead of leaving it until layers of dirt accumulates. Thorough daily cleansing maintains skin clarity better than the occasional deep clean. You also won't risk disturbing your barrier balance.

Looking for a cleanser you can count on for both your daily and deep clean? We can custom formulate your Foam Party to do the job for you. Our chemists will make sure it has just the right amount of cleansing power for you, to give an immaculate clean without over-stripping every time.