101 Guide On The Benefits of Cleansing Your Face

101 Guide On The Benefits of Cleansing Your Face

Reference Lab

JUNE 10, 2022

What’s the one thing that almost every skincare ritual has in common? Cleansing. Across eras, disparate cultures and shifting internet trends, cleansing remains the constant in almost every skincare regimen. So what makes cleansing so important? And how can we all make the most of this essential step? Let’s take a look at how cleansers work, what they do for your skin, and why the right daily face cleanser, combined with other topical skin care products can help promote skin health and longevity.

Why does cleansing matter?

The skin on our face is one of the most environmentally challenged areas of the body. Unlike the skin below the neck, which is thicker and usually protected by clothing, facial skin is almostly constantly exposed to shifting climates, air pollution and UV rays that accelerate aging. (1) Plus, this skin is thinner and more delicate than the skin on our bodies–making it extra susceptible to damage from environmental factors.

Throughout the day, the skin on our face accumulates dirt and pollutants that sit on its surface, disrupting oil balance, hydration, and barrier function.2 By regularly and correctly following the proper face cleansing steps, we wash away these pollutants and help maintain many aspects of healthy skin, including:
  • skin firmness and texture
  • epithelial elasticity
  • oil and moisture control
  • skin pH levels
  • removal of dead skin cells
  • a healthy skin microbiome

How often should I cleanse my face?

As with all healthy habits, being consistent with your cleansing routine is essential–especially if you regularly wear sunscreen or makeup on your face.

It is, however, possible to over-cleanse your skin, which can lead to a weakened barrier, inflammation, and hypersensitivity 4 So, how often should you cleanse? Most skin pros recommend cleansing at least once daily in the evenings to remove makeup, sunscreen and any pollutants your skin has accumulated throughout the day. If you have very oily skin or acne-prone skin, you may also want to cleanse in the mornings to start the day feeling fresh. But if you tend to have dry or sensitive skin, simply splashing your face with water in the morning is more than enough.
Where skin health meets longevity science. Learn more!

What’s the right way to cleanse?

Using warm water, wash your face with a
gentle gel cleanser, massaging it into the skin for about 30-60 seconds–longer than you think! This deep cleansing will help break up any tough pollutants and emulsify excess oil on the skin. Rinse very thoroughly, then pat skin dry with a clean cloth, leaving a little bit of moisture on the skin. Follow up with a peptide moisturizer to restore any moisture your skin may have lost during the cleansing process.

How does cleansing affect skin firmness,texture, elasticity, and long-term health?

Our skin cells are in a constant cycle of dying, shedding and being replaced by fresh, new cells. Without consistent and effective cleansing, dead cells can build up on the skin surface– leading to clogged pores, a dull complexion, and rough skin texture. Over time, this dead skin build-up can actually prevent your other skincare products from working their hardest, which means you won’t see the same efficacy from the products you love.

Using an exfoliating cleanser powered by enzymes or gentle acids can help dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells so they shed more effectively. This not only primes your skin for the rest of your skincare regimen, but can also help speed cellular turnover and promote skin firmness, a smooth texture, and elasticity. 5

How does cleansing help control oil production?

Sebum, the natural oil that our skin creates, is essential to maintaining hydration, regulating skin pH and preventing infection by harmful bacteria. This oil also keeps our skin firm and elastic and helps feed the healthy microbial flora that live on the skin surface. Sebum production can significantly decrease as we age, leading to increased dryness and sensitivity.

If you’ve ever struggled with breakouts or blackheads, you know that too much oil can also be a problem for your skin. Excess sebum can trap dirt and pollutants in your pores and promote the growth of acne-causing bacteria.

Regular facial cleansing helps ensure proper sebum levels and rinses away any impurities that may have attached to the sticky layer of oil on the surface of the skin. Just be sure to look for a product made with gentle cleansing ingredients. Harsh cleansing agents like sulfates can actually strip too much oil from your skin; dry skin reacts with irritation while oily skin responds by actually producing more oil to compensate, creating an imbalance that can be difficult to correct.

How does cleansing help support a healthy skin microbiome?

The human microbiome contains millions of microorganisms–so many that they actually outnumber our own cells8. The presence of beneficial bacteria and fungi on our skin helps our body fight infection, preserve epithelial health, and maintain homeostasis. Harsh facial products can destroy these healthy bacteria while too much sebum can alter our bacterial communities, giving harmful bacteria the chance to grow out of control. A good cleanser helps remove facial impurities to restore balance to the microbiome without killing off the healthy bacteria that help our skin thrive9.

How can I find the right cleanser?

While most cleansers remove surface-level dirt and impurities, the right cleanser can also improve the penetration of whatever products you apply next–giving you better results from the products you already use. That’s why OneSkin developed PREP: a gentle daily cleanser for all skin types that’s scientifically proven to maximize the effectiveness of OS-01 FACE. Studies have shown that using PREP before OS-01 FACE doubles the penetration of our OS-01 peptide and improves the activity of AQP3–a key gene associated with skin hydration–by 40%, versus using OS-01 FACE alone.* It’s the perfect way to maximize your routine from the very first step.

*Shown in lab-grown ex vivo human skin models

Main Takeaways

  • Facial cleansing is an essential step in every skincare routine.
  • Without a proper facial cleanser, dirt, pollutants, and dead skin can accumulate, leading to accelerated skin damage and aging.
  • Regular cleansing promotes moisture and product retention while helping the skin exfoliate dead cells.
  • Cleansing also helps control oil levels and maintain healthy skin hydration for all skin types.
  • The right cleanser can improve the efficacy of the products you use next. That’s why we created PREP, a gentle daily cleanser for all skin types that’s scientifically proven to maximize the effectiveness of OS-01 FACE.
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6851972/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16910029/
  3. https://www.oneskin.co/blogs/reference-lab/skin-care-is-health-care-why-extending-your-skinspan-is-key-to-longevity
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32594335
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31741359/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32585060/
  7. https://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X(15)45553-8/pdf
  8. https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002533
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6534434/
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