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While many of us might think that a “more is better” mentality applies to skincare, that’s not always the best approach, particularly when it comes to cleansing. If you find yourself washing your face more than twice a day and noticing redness, dryness, or irritation, you could be experiencing the effects of over-cleansing. 

In the following article, we’ve enlisted the facts that you can delve into to understand if you are over-cleansing or not! Also, exploring its causes and offering solutions for treatment.

What is Over Cleansing?

Over-cleansing can occur due to various factors, such as washing your face frequently or using harsh skincare products. While the general guideline suggests limiting face washing to twice daily, individual tolerance varies. For instance, individuals with oily skin may find they can cleanse more frequently without issue.

Furthermore, the choice of cleansing products plays a crucial role. Products that lather excessively or contain harsh surfactants can strip away essential layers of the skin, especially when combined with hot water. Even if used only once daily, these products can lead to over-cleansing and irritation. The key lies in avoiding skin irritation while cleansing to preserve the skin’s natural protective barrier.

Signs you are Over Cleansing:

As per experts, several signs and symptoms that suggest you might be over cleansing your face are as follows:

  • Small clusters of red bumps around the eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Skin itching
  • Redness
  • Skin flakiness
  • Feeling of tightness and dryness
  • Occurrence of eczema patches on the face or exacerbation of other inflammatory skin conditions
  • Skin stinging and burning upon skincare application

The Effects of Over-Cleansing

It can have detrimental effects on the skin, leading to a breakdown of its protective barrier. This breakdown may reflect in various symptoms such as redness, inflammation, stinging, burning sensations, tightness, flaking, and exacerbation of inflammatory skin conditions.

Furthermore, excessive cleansing can disrupt the skin’s natural oil production and pH level, resulting in dryness and irritation. It’s important to cleanse the skin effectively without stripping it of its essential moisture and oils. Depriving the skin of moisture can trigger inflammation, which should be avoided at all cost. Remember, over-cleansing makes the skin more vulnerable to inflammation and irritation, which are key factors in various skin issues.

How to Prevent & Treat Over Cleansed Skin

To prevent over-cleansing, ensure you cleanse your skin once or twice daily using lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser. In some cases, double cleansing is acceptable, especially when removing makeup. Begin with a pre-cleanser like micellar water to eliminate makeup and dirt, then follow with a gentle, hydrating cleanser for your bare skin.

After cleansing, limit the use of exfoliants as they can exacerbate over-cleansed skin. Instead, opt for hydrating skincare products to replenish moisture levels. Use soothing serums, moisturizers, and masks into your routine for optimal skin health.

The Final Takeaway

Ideally, cleansing your skin once or twice daily is perfectly sufficient. However, if you notice any signs of irritation, it may be necessary to reduce the frequency of washing and reconsider the products you’re using. Excessive cleansing can disrupt your skin’s pH balance and natural oil levels, leading to dryness, inflammation, or discomfort. Therefore, it’s advisable to avoid overdoing it. If you’re having difficulty with over-cleansing, seeking advice from a dermatologist would be beneficial. We at AAYNA, have a team of board certified derms, who can help you guide and prepare a proper skincare regimen.

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