Washing Your Face, Episode 205

 Welcome to the 7 Day Glow Podcast! I’m so glad you have joined me!

In this episode we are going to get personal - I’m asking the BIG question - be honest with yourself - are you ready?

The question for the day is “Do You Wash Your Face?” Now be honest - do you wash your face religiously every single day? Twice a day? Once a week? or Never?

In this 7 Day Glow Podcast episode we are getting up close and personal with the do’s and don’ts of washing your face.

Do you wash your face?

To some of us, washing your face is right up there with brushing your teeth. It’s a non-negotiable must-do. For others, not so much. 

When I first started out in the skincare business I was surprised by how many customers I spoke with at our stores told me they never wash their face. They just rinse it while showering or they take off makeup with a disposable wipe and leave it as is. And some even told me they used the same soap for washing their body and their face.

Cleansing is one of the most important steps in your skin care regimen.

Besides removing pollution, make-up, excess oil and build-up, cleansing clears the skin palette so the treatments that follow can sink in deeply and do their job.

Skin cleansers are formulated with three main components: surfactant, oil, and water. Anything beyond that is a bonus. The surfactant works as a wetting agent that reduces tension on the surface of the skin; oil helps dissolve grease (yes – it dissolves oil and grease on the skin – oil will not add to oil, it will actually help break down other oils so they can be more easily dissolved), and water rinses away debris.

If you are interested in learning more about what oil based products do for your skin be sure to check out the 7 Day Glow podcasts and blogs that discuss oil based skincare in detail.

Choosing a Cleanser:

For a cleanser to properly clean skin it must work with the hydrolipid barrier of the skin. The hydrolipid barrier is the delicate top layer of skin, made of oils and water. This barrier can be considered the micro-biome of your skin. It is home to millions of organisms including healthy, beneficial bacteria.

When purchasing cleanser, avoid those loaded with antimicrobial ingredients, alcohol, or harsh sulfates and surfactants that strip beneficial bacteria from skin and alter skin’s natural acidity level. Skin’s natural acidity works to limit bacterial overgrowth.

Avoid using any type of regular soap on your face as its alkalinity may upset your skin’s pH balance. Look for cleansers that do not leave your skin feeling taut and dry.

Look for sulfate free cleansers. Sulfates are ingredients that create a foam when you use them. While large lather may seem desirable, and we often see ads for cleansers that highlight how lovely and foamy they are, you want to avoid the foam. Sulfates are very harsh on your skin’s micro-biome. Low foaming, sulfate free cleansers will not lather much, if at all. Most sulfate free cleansers work to gently sweep impurities and debris from skin with oil and water. This is much more desirable and healthier for your skin than drying sulfates.

Choose cleansers with natural, plant-based preservative systems such as Leuconostoc, which is a fermented radish root filtrate. Avoid microcidal preservatives including parabens, PEGS, 1,4-Dioxane, and polysorbate. These ingredients can strip the skin of its good bacteria.

Cleanse deeply, not often.

Protect your skin’s natural oil layer by resisting the urge to over-cleanse. Only cleanse as needed. 

At a bare minimum, always wash your face at night, even if you do not wear make-up. The reason you need to always wash your face at night is because during the day our skin is exposed to dirt, pollution, and sweat. You may also wear make-up. Dirt and pollution can build up on your skin. Not removing all of this dirt, pollution, make-up and excess natural oil from your skin can cause irritation, inflammation, acne, and can make skin conditions worse.

If your skin is dry you may find you only need to cleanse to remove debris and make-up at the end of the day, opting instead for a cool water rinse in the morning. If your skin is oily you will need to cleanse twice per day.

If nothing else, always give your face a minimal rinse in the morning because saliva and oils from your hair can be transferred to your face as you sleep. I also recommend always sleeping on the clean side of a pillowcase. Using a clean pillowcase is especially important if you suffer from acne. 

If you use products like moisturizers, serums, or face oils you will need to cleanse in the morning to clear off the remains of those products and to create a fresh face so you can reapply your skin treatments in the morning.

If your cleanser is strong, you may want to save that for your evening wash and opt for a gentler cleanser or a micellar water in the morning.

You should wash your face after sweating heavily. So if you go to the gym you will want to tote your cleanser along with you. Perspiration, especially if you wear a hat or helmet, is irritating to your skin. Wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.

The key to effectively cleansing your face is in the product you use and the protocol you follow. There is nothing like the natural glow of clean, healthy skin and this glow starts with good cleansing (along with eating the right foods, exercise, and healthy personal habits).

Washing Protocol:

While choosing a good cleanser may seem a bit overwhelming, washing your face is actually very straightforward.

First, wet your face with lukewarm water. Be careful not to use hot water as hot water can strip natural oils from your skin. This would in turn cause your skin to dry out faster and could even become flaky and itchy over time. Hot water also dilates blood vessels and can damage delicate skin.

Use clean fingertips to apply your cleanser according to the product instructions. 

Resist the temptation to scrub your skin and just use your fingertips as scrubbing and using abrasive applicators can irritate your skin.

Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel. If you are using 7 Day Glow’s BHA Hydrating Cleanser then you can just rinse and air dry as this oil based cleanser is loaded with skin loving oils that will help hydrate your skin.

Make sure any towels or washcloths you are using are super soft and very clean. Reusing the same washcloth all week can bring acne causing bacteria to your face. To keep the laundry manageable purchase small baby washcloths or purchase soft cheap washcloths and cut them in half. You could also opt for washcloths specifically for washing your face. Amazon has a huge selection if you search “facial cloths”.

Thank you so much for listening in today. This week, promise me you are going to wash your face every night and rinse or cleanse in the morning. Taking time out for something as simple as washing your face will reward you not only with a beautiful, luminous complexion - it will also give you just a few minutes to yourself each day. 

Now that you know the basics to washing your face, in the next 7 Day Glow Podcast episode (#206) we are going to expand on this topic with an episode all about a cleansing technique called “double cleansing” that will have you glowing in no time!


I'm Alyssa Van Doorn.

I am the natural skincare formulator, biologist, certified clinical aromatherapist, and obsessed self-care advocate who founded 7 Day Glow's holistic, simple skincare approach. I'm on a mission to empower women with the tools they need to find and maintain their Glow simply and with confidence.

Notice: These statements and blog content have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in our articles and podcasts are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice. The content of these blogs, podcasts and associated products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using products or following blog/podcast advice.

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