Article provided by Christal Petrak, owner of the Skin Spa Institute in Signal Hill, Ca.
The short answer is absolutely not. Squeaky or tight skin after cleansing equals dry or dehydrated skin. This will lead to fine lines, wrinkles and pre-mature aging. Something we all definitely want to avoid.
If the skin feels tight after washing, it is a sign that the skin has been stripped of its precious water and oil, the natural barrier components your skin needs to stay youthful and healthy. Consequently the skin will struggle to balance its water/oil protective structure by stimulating the oil glands to produce excess oil, which will clog the pores causing congestion and acne breakouts. Ever wonder why your skin feels dry and oily at the same time? It’s because the skin is being stripped from cleansing with harsh chemicals and drying ingredients. Then you rush to put your moisturize on to replenish the moisture that you just took out – which makes absolutely no sense!
Historically most facial cleansers were in the form of a bar soap or thick cold cream. People had become accustomed to a tight or squeaky clean feeling after washing, writing it off as a “normal feeling.” In the past 20 years with advancements in skin care ingredients, sophisticated or smart cleansers have evolved in the form of gels and lotions to gently clean and replenish the skin, thus eliminating stripping and the tight feeling afterwards.
So what should you look for in a cleanser? Toss the bar soap, and the exfoliating cleansers – even if it says it’s moisturizing or gentle. The fillers and binders that hold a bar soap and most over the counter cleansers together have a high pH, so they will naturally be drying and dehydrating. Instead, choose cleansing gels or lotions that avoid the ingredients Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate –or look for those listed as “sulfate-free”. Sulfates are found in many gel and foaming cleansers and can be equally drying as bar soaps. Also, avoid exfoliating ingredients in your daily cleanser, such as benzyl peroxide or glycolic and salicylic acids. These ingredients will also add to dehydration and should only be using sparingly 2-3 times per week, depending on the condition of the skin.
Tip: If you like that squeaky clean feeling after cleansing your face, use a gently wash cloth and cold water when you are rinsing your cleanser. This will help make the skin feel squeaky clean without depleting its water level.
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