How important is it that I cleanse my skin before bed?
The short answer is, Very!
But for arguments sake, let’s look at some of the most common reasons people either don’t cleanse or some of the alternative methods people use to cleanse before bed.
1. I cant be bothered
While you sleep, your skin repairs damage that has occurred during the day, and to do this the skin needs oxygen, which is much more easily absorbed when clean.
Skin recovery includes repairing internal factors like stress, or even external skin offenders like pollution and sun exposure which can penetrate the skin and break down collagen, which over time can cause premature aging, fine lines and wrinkles; so ensuring proper skin repair nightly is extremely important!
Overnight, while your skin recovers, dead skin cells fall off, toxins are removed, plus you will wake up with smoother, softer, clearer skin! Also, by not removing daily debris build up you will prevent your nightly skincare products from working their magic by inhibiting their penetration and efficacy. (and they can be too expensive to waste!)
2. I just wash my face with water
Water and oil do not mix, so simply using water will not remove all the dirty, oil and grime your skin has acquired during the day. For those who don’t have oily skin, this does not mean your exempt, as most moisturizers and also liquid foundations have oil in them! Most oil-based makeup can be comedogenic (pore-clogging) and migrate into the pores of your skin too, so sleeping in this can potentially cause Acne Cosmetica (acne caused by cosmetic products).
3. I use makeup wipes instead
One of my fellow therapists once used the most perfect analogy; If you picked up a damp cloth and wiped over an oily fry pan, would you clean it? or just push the gunk around? (clever, huh?)
Depending on what wipe you are using this can definitely be the case, however alcohol based makeup wipes can also be very detrimental to your skin. Our skin has a pH of 4.5-5.5, at which our protective layer or acid mantle is kept happy and healthy.
Alcohol based products can disrupt this acid mantle and compromise the skin, which can then lead to dehydration, sensitivities, broken capillaries and breakouts.
When removing makeup, always make sure to cleanse once to remove the makeup, and then a second time to cleanse your actual skin. This will also ensure you get all of the makeup off you skin (especially if its long wearing!)
4. I don’t like to get wet
Yes! Believe it or not this as a common reason for people not wanting to wash their face at night-time. Whether its they don’t want to get cleanser in their hair, or they don’t want to risk getting their clothes wet or even making a mess around their basin; I do have a solution for you.
A specialized face cloth! (also a big headband won’t hurt either)
A professional face cloth can be a life savor for those that have an aversion to getting wet, or someone like me who has eyelash extensions I don’t wish to wet too often. Simply lather up your face with your cleanser as you normally would, and remove with the wet face cloth rather than splashing your face. We recommend a professional face cloth with soft and bacteria resistant fabric, as a normal towel/face washer can be too harsh on the skin, and as it is not quick drying, can accumulate bacteria.
5. My skin gets worse when I cleanse more
Some people feel like their skin worsens when they begin to cleanse twice a day (morning and night).When debris such as dead skin and dirt are removed from the top of the skin, either by cleansing or exfoliation, it is common for what is underneath to appear on the surface. This is what we call purging, and while you might think cleansing is making you break out, it can actually be a good thing!
All of this has been suppressed under your skin, and just think, once your skin is done purging you will be left with nothing but healthier and clearer skin. After all, sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
6. I just use coconut oil
Although coconut oil is a fantastic and gentle way to remove makeup, oil and debris, it should still always be followed up with a cleanse. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal and it can penetrate hair better than other oils, however coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which means it can clog pores. Oil sticks to oil, so if you must use coconut oil we recommend using it as either your makeup removing cleanse, followed by a standard cleanse to remove excess oils, or alternatively for those drier skins, as a mask once a week which is again removed with cleanser.
So what should you look for in a cleanser?
We recommend a cosmeceutical cleanser that contains no chemicals, no harsh alcohols and is pH balanced. Depending on your skin type, you may also like your cleanser to include some AHA’s to ensure thorough removal of skin build up and oil.
Use a professional face cloth if needed, and remember, double cleanse on the days you wear makeup