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How Not To Wash Your Face

It's a common thought that when you wash your face you must scrub and clean to get every last bit of oil, dirt and makeup off and you must wash regularly to keep the skin looking healthy. I've seen it many times, people using multiple products in one face washing session or using a powerful wash, and really scrubbing it into the skin daily. My sister is ever the good example of bad skin care practices and it frustrates me to see her using a harsh face brush to lather and scratch her tea tree facial wash into her acne prone and blemished skin - daily.

For those with blemished prone skin - or even those without - it's easy to fall into a habit of washing and washing in order to clear up the skin. Using strong products thinking "more is more, the more I use the quicker my skin will clear up." Unfortunately, this is actually the wrong way to think about it and is the reason why your skin is never quite clear. Washing daily with strong products or even multiple times a day and scrubbing, working and massaging too hard on the skin, can result in the product not working the way it was intended. And the skin reacts negatively. 

What over washing is... When you're using a facial wash multiple times a day, massaging for too long, foaming it up too much, using brushes, gloves or tools and/or scrubbing roughly to try and work the product right into the skin. If the product is strong and you're using it too often (or daily). 

Overwashing using facial scrubs and exfoliators regularly can irritate the skin, drying it out, causing the sebum glands to overreact to compensate. Your sebum glands are those tiny pouches underneath the skin that hold and secrete the natural oils in your skin to provide moisture and protection from damage. As you scrub and massage your washes into your face too much, you're actually encouraging (and stimulating) the sebum glands into producing more oils. If your skin is too dry it will secrete even more to try and fix that problem. This causes more blemishes and can mess up your natural moisture balance.

Doing what my sister does (using a face brush to scrub products in and make it foam up) risks permanent damage to the skin, especially if used daily. Most brushes out there are great to really get in there and remove dead skin, stubborn dirt, and makeup, but can also weaken your skin and damage its elasticity. The constant scrubbing of the brush tears at the skin, and while it doesn't seem to be doing anything too bad now, it can cause damage further on down the line. 

What you can do for better face washing...

Although constant washing with a powerful blemish clearing wash isn't good for your skin, you don't have to completely ditch that wash if it works. For face washes like the tea tree wash by The Body Shop, try limiting your use. This wash is amazing for clearing up the skin and is a natural disinfectant. However, despite it saying it's good for everyday use, it can still be drying. For similar products, limit it to once a day or even alternate by using it every second day, giving your skin a breather in between and just washing with warm water. 
- don't use a face brush or any other tool, simply use your fingers to work it in but be gentle. Try not to massage too much or for too long. 

Or, use a gentle wash that doesn't foam too much and doesn't have any harsh chemicals. As we know organic is my best friend and any natural product will always be good for your skin. A product that doesn't foam too much is a good way to go as foaming can actually dry out the skin further. The more a product foams, the more sulfates and soaps it has in it, which overworks the sebum glands and dries out the skin.

Exfoliators and scrubs are great to have in the beauty cabinet as they remove excess skin, clean out the pores, remove blackheads and can be that extra kick when fighting blemishes. But only use these once a week instead of a regular face wash, to avoid all the bad things mentioned earlier. 

And a final tip; 
Use face masks and/or cleansing oils in between face washing sessions to rejuvenate the skin, fight blemishes gently and moisturize. If you're going down the road of washing the face every second day, with a day in between to let the skin breathe, this is the perfect opportunity to use a gentle mask. The same goes for a cleansing oil.
- when using an oil, however, limit how often you use it in a week (as they can cause excessive oiliness) and don't use an oil when you mask. - one or the other. 

I, for one, am (naturally) intrigued by the new Glossier face masks. Une for cleansing and one for moisture. 

Photo's by Sheree Grace

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All photos are taken by ©Sheree Grace for Kindly, Sheree unless stated otherwise. Posts will always have an indication at the bottom verifying photo credits if sourced elsewhere. Photos by Sheree Grace are not to be taken or used without permission and must be credited with a link if given.