What 2 Months of Not Washing my Face has Done for my Skin

In 3 Steps of Skincare by Cheryl Wooodman1 Comment

I have recently found a ‘happy place’ with my skin, times like these are not often come by for me!

My secret is simple, I have STOPPED washing my face!… (with facewash!)

I think for most, or shall I go as far as to say every women we will pick up the face wash at least once a day, that’s along with a toner and moisturiser, all in all it’s a lot of added ingredients for our faces.

Why washing your face can damage your skin!

WHAT IS FACE WASH?

And don’t worry, I am not having a ditzy moment and asking you what you actually do with it – haha! The main function of a face wash is to remove dirt & grime. These are either oil or water soluble. For the purposes of my little analogy here, let’s say Mr.Dirt only dissolves in water and Ms.Grime only dissolves in oil (as its greasy like).

The purpose of face wash is to dissolve and therefore remove both kinds. There is a ‘family’ of chemicals called surfactants which work really well to do this.

The most commonly used which you will probably find high up on the ingredients list of your face wash is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

HOW DOES FACE WASH WORK?

So these things called surfactants are special because they are soluble in both oil and water. That means they will dissolve away both dirt and grime. One of the recent trends to hit our beauty shelves in the UK is Micellar cleansing water. This is one of those science word claims, which does actually mean something – Horray! It is what surfactants do to remove grime, think of a surfactant like a tadpole, the head is soluble in oil and the tail only in water. Lots of these tadpoles will surround a piece of grease until it is fully surrounded and peeled away from your skin.

THE CATCH

Your skin has a natural protective layer made of sebum – you have probably heard of this, but in relation to too much causing spots. What isn’t widely shared is that you need sebum, it’s what protects your skin from drying out. If you interrupt your natural protective layer, say by using face wash, your skin is exposed, loosing moisture and making it susceptible to picking up bacteria.

Surfactants cannot differentiate between your own sebum and any grime of the day, so guess what, it washes both away.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU OVER-USE FACE WASH?

I can relate to this from first-hand experience, I had an unusual ‘episode’ when I had NO spots! So you would assume my skin should be looking its best, eagerly looking forward to a foundation-less day! Even with no spots, I still felt like my skin looked horrible, dull, patchy and most importantly definitely not ready to see the light of day without at least a little BB cream.

My problem… over face washing had removed my skins natural glow also known as its protective sebum layer!

HOW CAN YOU WASH WITHOUT FACE WASH?

I mentioned my new routine a while back in a post about ‘How to have a relationship with oily skin’, well I am still following this new routine and my skin is loving it.

It’s about taking it back to basics, I wash with water first, then use a cotton pad to wipe away makeup etc. Next I use a blend of oils I made for my skin type (you could use almond oil, which is a good all-rounder, you can find this in the world foods section of any ‘reputable’ supermarket – haha, other brands are available and all the jazz!). With a small amount of the oil on a cotton pad just wipe away. This gets rid of dirt and grime and most importantly leaves my skin with its natural protective barrier. Happiness all around!


Are you a face wash junkie? Tempted to join the oil revolution?