in life seem so simpleon the surface: Brushing your teeth, brushing
your hair, washing your face
trouble is, there always seems to
be someone, somewhere trying to tell us a different way to do it.
to be that brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and
flossing regularly were all you needed for a bright, healthy smile.
Now the powers that be tell you that your teeth need to be even whitermultiple
shades whiter. So, in addition to brushing and flossing, youre
supposed to put some strange gel on your teethor apply sticky
paper to your teeth to make them whiter. Go figure.
comes to brushing your hair, you cant simply brush it anymore.
In fact, in some cases, brushing, they say, might break or otherwise
damage your hair. Ah, its all so complicated.
throw yet another monkey wrench into the mix, were going to tell
you that, contrary to what you may believe, you are probably washing
your face the wrong way, too.
Dry I Am
face feel tight and dry after you wash it? We mean right after you wash
itnot after applying any number of available moisturizers. Once
you lather up, rinse and pat dry, if your face feels like youve
just tied that ponytail too tight, chances are youre doing something
to what many of the high-priced beauty companies say, an expensive product
does not guarantee that your face will feel smooth and supple after
washing. In fact, youd probably be surprised to know that sometimes
less can be more.
reason why skin and soap sometimes clash at the sink can be found in
some simple chemistry. We all have some degree of oil on our skin. When
you wash your face, many times you are stripping it of its pH balance.
Skin can best be classified as an acid. Soap, on the other hand, is
a base (remember those chemistry class experiments with the pH paper?)
By combining the acidity of the skin with the alkaline properties of
the soap, you are creating a reaction that can dry the skin.
you fix this imbalance? Non-soap products tend to work best, dermatologists
say. Gentle cleansers tend to be closer to the natural pH of the skin
(which by the way is between 4.5 and 5.5). If youve been saving
time in the shower by washing your face with your regular body soap,
youre making a mistake. Sure, youll save a few minutes,
but youll likely end up spending all of that saved time trying
to find a moisturizer to fix the dryness.
body soaps are way too drying for the average face. In fact, some of
these bars even may be too dry for the rest of your body. So if youre
a big fan of those deodorant bars, it might be time to change your allegiance.
away from fragrance. Those pretty-smelling soaps and products may seem
like attractive cleansing options, but beware: added fragrance can mean
added annoyance when you wash your face. Another word to the wise: Just
because a product indicates that it is unscented does not mean it is
free from fragrance. Be sure your product of choice says fragrance-free
on the label.
say that the more gentle the cleanser, the better. Some good, old-fashioned
beauty bars are an inexpensive bet to keep your skin clean while banishing
the tightness. Tone and Dove (be sure you buy the fragrance-free versions)
are good options; however, some people with exceptionally sensitive
skin still may find their skin is dry after washing with these old stand-bys.
Keep in mind, though, that most of these bars are not designed to remove
makeup; youll need to use a makeup remover before you cleanse.
wear waterproof makeup, your standard, run-of-the-mill beauty bar wont
cut through the war paint. Keep it simple if you have dry skin or skin
thats affected by washing. Stay way from the waterproof makeup.
like a good, strong lather to clean your face, right? Not necessarily.
In many cases, lather is just window dressing, designed to make you
think youre getting your skin clean. Truth is, some of the best
cleansers produce little if any lather. One of the best, recommended
by dermatologists everywhere, is good old Cetaphil
Gentle Skin Cleanser. This basic formula will get your skin clean,
but its so gentle that it can even be used on a newborns
skin. You can use it dry or with waterbut it wont remove
makeup. Following up with a good, basic moisturizer, such as Cetaphil
Moisturizing Lotion or Cetaphil
Moisturizing Cream (a little heavier than the lotion, but still
light enough for the face) will leave your skin in great shape. If you
just cant steal yourself away from a bar-type soap, try Cetaphil
Gentle Cleansing Bar Soapsame great, gentle ingredients in
a bar form.
skin suffers from eczema or allergies to every day life, Vanicream
products are made just for you. These products, including Vanicream
Cleansing Bar are free of the most common allergens that create
havoc with the skin. Atopic dermatitis patients (that´s a hereditary
form of eczema), may want to top off with Triceram
to help normalize the protective ceramide barrier typically lacking
with this condition.
skin needs a little more help in the cleansing department, Aveeno
Balancing Bar For Combination Skin is another great option. The
natural oatmeal is soothing and super gentle to the skin. If adding
a bit more oil back to the skin is your preference, then try Oilatum
Cleansing Bar, Unscented.
none of these products product a superb lather when you washbut
youll know your face is clean, and it wont feel stripped
of its natural oils.
of your skins natural oils
there is a barrage of information
out there from cosmetics and beauty companies touting the effectiveness
of toners (usually the second step, after basic cleansing, in a regimen).
That ahhhhh feeling you get after using the toner probably
makes you feel as if the toner is getting rid of every last drop of
oil on your skin. Chances are, thats exactly what youre
doing. Remember: Some oil is good. Too much oil is bad. And no oil at
all is REALLY bad.
is, leading dermatologists say that toner is a waste of time. One prominent
dermatologist-to-the-rich-and-famous told me, point blank, that toners
are just a rinse agent for soaps that dont rinse completely off
the skin. Couple that with the fact that most toners are primarily made
of alcohol, and you can see why youd just be stripping your skin
of its needed moisture each time you apply that toner to your
about those breakouts, you say? You NEED your toner to keep your skin
clear, right? Wrong. What you really need is a good, gentle cleanser
with alphahydroxy acids. A good one to try: M.D. Forte Facial Cleanser
I. This formulation is great for those with sensitive skin, yet still
offers excellent cleansing and exfoliation properties.
extreme is when your acne medications have left your skin parched and
painful. Too much flaking from your Vitamin A treatment des jour? M.D.
Forte Replenish Hydrating Cleanser and M.D.
Forte Replenish Hydrating Cream were specifically made to counteract
this situation. Spare your skin the nightly Vitamin A assault and try
every other night use instead. These changes can make or break your
decision to stick with a proven acne treatment.
idea of using a makeup remover AND a gentle cleanser is just more than
you can handle, there are a variety of great products available that
can do both jobs in the same amount of timeeven for those with
really dry skin. Neova
Soothing Milk Cleanser attacks the dirt, makeup and daily grime
that builds up on your face, while helping your skin retain its natural
changed your routine, switching from a harsh cleansing regimen to one
that offers gentle cleansing and moisturizing, and youre still
feeling that tight, dry feeling after you wash, chances are there may
be something more complicated at work. Consult with a professional esthetician
or dermatologistthey can help you make the best choices to keep
your skin happy and healthy.
Contributing writer to DERMAdoctor.com.
discussed in the this newsletter is not intended as medical advice.
If you have a medical concern, please check with your doctor.)
posted January 28, 2003.
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