Is cleansing ageing your skin?

| Oct 3, 2016

There is more to a cleanser than cleaning your skin

Here is a scary thought: your choice of skin cleanser could be ageing your skin. The truth is not many homeware ranges would have you believe this, so here is the SAI rundown on skin cleansing & ageing. Hold onto your hats, what we discuss here could be disturbing.

The benchmark

In 99% of products available on the market today the success of a daily facial cleanser is based on two elements:

  1. Ingredients
  2. How your skin feels after the cleanse

Tough to argue on these points isn’t it? But we at SAI would like to add a third criteria. How does daily cleansing affect the cellular structure of your skin?

Ingredients combine to cleanse, clear pores & penetrate into the deeper layers and the promise is always to offer a clear skin & glowing complexion… but then why do some cleansers give you breakouts, how come when using others your skin feels tight & dry. A cleanser yes should cleanse the skin using active ingredients but it also should do no harm to your skin in the process. So here are some key factors to consider when purchasing your next cleanser, as you will see cleansers are not all created equal and that is why we at SAI have three cleansers in our range.

Ph & your skin

To keep the science easy, pH is the measure of acidy or alkalinity. In this case we are interested in your skin. The average human skin hovers at approximately 5 pH (Neutral pH is 7, with 0 being most acidic & 14 most alkaline).

So, our skin is ever so slightly acidic and this environment supports natural bacteria that is essential for barrier function & healthy cellular function i.e. creating hydrobalance within the skin, combating dehydration & promoting the exfoliation of old, dull & dead skin cells. Further to this an acidic pH aids in protecting the skin from UV damage & free radicals, which are absolutely essential functions in your anti-ageing regime.

Now it is incredibly difficult to create an environment of increased pH, simply due to the danger of the ingredients so we can skip over over the counter products that could cause this unlikely scenario. On the other hand it is exceptionally easy to go the other way & create a skin environment that is too alkaline. This is where you start looking at the pH of your current cleanser.

What does an alkaline skin mean to you?

Being alkaline halts cellular function. This essentially strips the skin of its protective capabilities and opens the door to moisture loss, dryness and obviously skin irritation. The main culprit within any homeware skin regime: you guessed it, cleansers.

Incorrect use of cleansers strips the skin of its protective barrier. This in itself is a scary result but added to this is that most of these same cleansers do so by introducing extreme alkalinity to cut through the natural oils on the skin. Your skin is an incredible organ and throughout the day it will correct itself back to a pH 5 but the few hours it takes to do so will open the skin the ageing cells, more visible wrinkles, sun damage and free radicals.

Change your cleanser thinking

The ideal cleanser for you skin will not always be constant. Your skin will change, environments change & so to should your cleanser. The ideal cleanser at any given time will rid your skin of unwanted dirt & oils but maintain the pH and natural acidity. Too high a pH will dry your skin at best, it will corrode your skin at worst. Similarly too low a pH will protect the skin barrier but not remove enough impurities. As a baseline for healthy skin, we at SAI recommend to look for cleansers that offer pH below 9, with specific cases deviating from this advice.

If you have a healthy skin barrier and your skin is being supported with natural homeware products & ingredients then it will have a greater ability to absorb ingredients, convert your efforts into anti-ageing results and a glowing completion is a natural follow-on. Simply by using an incorrect cleanser in the morning will almost negate the absorption of your day creams & serums you use to halt visible ageing. Who knew that your cleanser could play such a massive role in your visible age. Makes you think doesn’t it?

SAI Homecare Product Range

It is easy as completing the SAI Online Skin Assessment to discover your ideal cleanser & homeware regime, alternatively book your appointment with Dr Clark or Dr Marks at SAI by calling SAI Sandton on 011 883 3116 or SAI Waterkloof on 012 460 7047 today and let them help you make the best pH skin decisions.

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