Could over-cleansing be causing your acne?

We were all raised on the dirty skin theory of acne, thinking that impurities on the skin like dirt and oil pushed into pores causing blemishes to arise. In actual fact acne is a far more complex condition than this, involving upto four distinct processes:

  • A sticky outer skin layer that does not turnover easily and leads to clogged pores

  • Excess production of sebum (oily substance that coats skin) that then compounds that condition of clogged pores and provides a delicious substrate in which bacteria thrive

  • Population of pores with bacteria that feast on a concoction of stick cells and sebum

  • Resultant activation of the immune system and inflammation

So naturally when our skin gets oily we feel the need to scrub at it, and remove the oil right? Well studies actually show that washing in excess of twice a day actually worsens acne…..gah!

This is thought to be the result of an increase in skin pH caused by dilution and loss of the ‘acid mantle’ or oil layer of the skin which causes excessive dehydration of skin and micro-injury. These factors combined can contribute to that sticky outer cell layer, as well as create more opportunities for excess sebum and bacteria to harbour.

So what can you do?

  • Avoid cleansing your skin more than twice a day

  • If you do need to cleanse skin from being in a oily, sweaty or dirty environment, use only water and a pH neutral cleanser which is gentle on the skin like our @medik8_australia lipid-balance cleansing oil

  • Try to follow up with products that help to rebalance skin pH like our @medik8_australia daily refresh toner which also supports the skin microbiome with prebiotics

  • Ensure you are adding hydration back into the skin to discourage those sticky cells from hardening, this is both through ensuring a good water intake and through topical application of a nourishing moisturiser such as our @medik8_australia balance moisturiser, Hydr8 B serum or Ultimate Recovery Cream

  • Finally, if you are not already, add some Vitamin A into your regime. Vitamin A encourages the sticky cells to be purged from the skin. Our @medik8_australia Night Ritual Vitamin A is an easy additive into your nightly routine, combining vitamin A in a hydrating vitamin E base.

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