Keeping your skin clean doesn’t mean that you need to scrub it until it’s rubbed raw or starts peeling. Unfortunately, that’s just what happens when certain cleansers or routines are used. Over-cleaning can strip your body of its natural oils, which dries out your skin and promotes rashes, extra oil production, and acne. There are more natural ways that you can maintain your hygiene without destroying your skin’s natural pH balance. Here are the steps that you need to take in order to clean your skin but keep your natural oils.
Use Warm Water
There has to be balance in the temperature of the water that you use to clean your skin. Cold water causes your pores to shrink and to retain the dirt that’s embedded in them. Hot water will strip away your natural oils and leave your skin dry and flaky. Lukewarm water is the best temperature to use because it allows your pores to release the dirt without stripping your natural oils. Once you’ve washed with warm water, finish your cleansing with cold water to close your pores and keep them clean. Hot water can be usefed to relax you and get some deep cleaning done, but it should always be accompanied by moisturizing and not be a part of your regular routine.
Soaps that contain sulfates are harsher than necessary to help get your skin clean. They erode the natural oils that exist on your skin and could be causing your skin to become dehydrated. While this cleans you, it also strips you of your natural protective oils. The pH of these types of soaps also tends to be higher than is required. What this means for you is that you may feel clean, but you have to use a lot of moisturizer to make up for your lost natural oils. So avoid sulfate soaps - your skin will thank you.
Use Natural Alternatives
Natural cleansers that are less harsh, like those that are in plant-based bar soap, are better for your skin. This is because natural soap gets you clean without the addition of the harsh chemicals that other types of soaps contain. Some of the other alternatives that you can use are homemade scrubs and cleansers. Oatmeal scrubs are very popular because they can also work to exfoliate your skin. Scrubbing for at least a minute will remove any dirt that may be in your pores. Be careful of scrubs with lots of texture if you are prone to acne, as they can irritate your skin. You could also opt for a refreshing homemade cream or foaming wash that uses coconut oil and shea butter.
There are lots of options when it comes to moisturizers that can be applied to your skin. Some people choose to use lotions that don’t contain fragrances because they won’t upset the pH balance of your skin. Your age will dictate the type of moisturizer that will work best for you. Whether you have dry or oily skin, moisturizer is necessary. Look into types that fit your oil production and age. Apply your moisturizer of choice within the first few minutes after cleaning your skin. This will lock in the level of hydration and keep your skin healthy.
Protecting the natural oils in your skin helps to maintain the delicate ecosystem that exists in your body. Use these tips to maintain your hygiene without compromising the pH level of your skin. Not only will you feel better, you’ll look better as well.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan