In Korean skin care, we hear a lot about squeaky-clean skin. We talk about the importance of keeping skin clean before applying cosmetics. However, a valid question has been raised whether there is a chance you will start over-cleansing your face and how to recognise you are at this stage?

What is over-cleansing?

Cleansing your face is the first and one of the most important steps of not only Korean but every skin routine. We repeat it over and over again, cleansing eliminates impurities, dirt and excessive sebum. It is a first step in the process of creating a radiant skin. However, there can be a dark side to everything if you overdo it or use …

When your skin is being over-cleansed, it means it is being stripped of all the natural oils that keep your skin healthy.

Especially all of us with a combination and oily skin had at least one episode in our lives of using harsher cleansers and using them more frequently during the day in a hope we will get rid off the sebum and make our skin pimple free.

As a teenager, I was convinced that this feeling of a tight skin is actually helping me. I could not be more wrong.

How much is too much?

Over-cleansing appears when you wash your face too frequently and or using wrong products. Depending on your skin type and skincare products you use, it is usually more than two-three times a day. Over-cleansing can damage your skin’s lipid barrier by eliminating natural oils.

What are the symptoms of over-cleansing?

Over-cleansing can have different faces including:

  • Feeling of tight skin- tight feeling after cleansing means the products are too harsh for your skin. Your skin is naturally acidic. It means that your cleansers should be slightly alkaloid to ensure they remove the impurities. However, if the ingredients list too harsh and you will use cleansers too often, you expose yourself to ever-cleansing.
  • Dry skin patches appearing on your face.
  • Redness.
  • Over-cleansed skin is weakened and has a tendency to be inflamed in a form of rashes.
  • Acne- over cleansing strips the skin from natural oils forcing it to produce even more sebum and create more breakouts.
woman washing face
K-beauty Cleansers

What’s the best way to tackle over-cleansed condition?

The over-cleansed skin has compromised skin barrier. It needs skincare which will balance i.

Think of cosmetics, such as Real Barrier that mimic the healthy skin barrier.

If you want to make sure your products are suitable, look at the ingredients list. Check if your cosmetics contain ceramides which will help to rebuild the skin, hyaluronic acid which will hydrate skin making it glowing and plump, and any ingredients having strong calming properties such as Centella Asiatica and niacinamide to support skin cell production.

What to do?

To prevent over-cleansing you are looking for a balanced skincare:

  • Use double cleansing.
  • If you use masks or scrubs they should only be used once per week.
  • Always hydrate your skin after cleansing. Especially acne-prone skin needs hydration. Good hydration will bring balance to the skin and may also reduce if not eliminate the breakouts.
  • Always use products suitable for your specific skin type.
  • Look at ingredients your cleansers and skin care products use. Switch to cosmetics that repair, maintain and protect skin barrier through natural ingredients and unique technology.
Blossom Jeju oil and water based cleansers
K-Beauty: Blossom Jeju Cleansers

How should I wash my face to reduce the risk of over-cleansing?

We recommend using a water-based cleanser in the morning and double cleansing ( oil-based cleanser and water-based cleanser) in the evening routine. Of course, you want to wash your face after workouts and any activities that made you and your skin sweat.

Massage your face instead of scrubbing.

Personally, I am not a fan of washcloths, sponges or special electric facial cleansers as they are abrasive and can collect and spread bacteria if they are not maintained properly.

Rinse and follow up with the rest of your routine.

Over-cleansing is a skin syndrome that can be easily addressed and eliminated. Understanding and knowing the signs of it important in keeping your skin healthy and safe.

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