Has your skin ever felt tight after cleansing? From the moment we’re old enough to hold a bar of soap, we’re taught that squeaky clean skin is the only way to remove dirt and grime while we bathe. This has been ingrained in most of us for generations. What many people don’t realize is that “squeaky clean skin” is not desirable and can actually damage skin.
Many people also believe that if the skin is still slippery after cleansing, soap or cleanser has been left behind. This isn’t entirely true. You might be surprised to learn your skin should have a little bit of a slippery feeling to it after cleansing! Here’s why.
The Key Is pH-Balance
The skin has a delicate pH balance and a community of bacteria that are crucial for its health. Our skin has its own microbiome that helps keep it clear of blemishes and breakouts and prevents premature aging. Harsh cleansers can disturb our skin’s delicate pH balance – and our skin microbiome is affected.
Many commercial face foams and soaps are formulated to leave that “squeaky clean” feeling behind. This leads people to believe they are thoroughly cleansing their skin. Instead, they are actually disturbing the pH balance and microbiome with drying ingredients that strip the skin of its natural oils, or sebum.
Sebum plays a crucial role in maintaining skin health by acting as a protective barrier, helping to lock in moisture and defend against external pollutants and pathogens.
When your skin is stripped of this protective barrier, it is exposed to everything it comes across. So if you have squeaky clean skin, your skin is exposed to the elements! This leaves it vulnerable to damage from pollution, wind, sun, dirt, sweat, and more.
Finding a pH-Balanced Cleanser
So how do we find skincare products with the right pH that aren’t drying or stripping? There are several characteristics to consider. Here’s a simple chemistry lesson – pH is a measure of how concentrated hydrogen ions are. This can tell us how acidic or alkaline a solution is.
The surface of human skin has a natural pH level of about 4.0 to 4.5, making it mildly acidic. This keeps the skin’s microbiota in balance. A more alkaline pH – anything over 7.0 – kills or disrupts that balance. Even water’s pH of 7.0 is too high for the skin.
After rinsing with water, rebalancing pH to a mildly acidic level is important.
Unfortunately, many common skincare products, including cleansers, serums, and moisturizers have a pH of 5.5 and higher.
This can dry out the skin and make it more prone to premature aging, and these products also often contain hormone-disrupting skin care. Ideally, our skin would always maintain the target pH.
When I dug into the research to create The Spa Dr. skincare line, I insisted on using natural ingredients to create products with an ideal pH between 4.6 and 5.4. The ingredients that go into the product determine this value. Not all skincare products are made with mild acidity in mind; however, you also don’t want the skin care products to be too acidic, which is below 4.5.
Cleansing with a high-pH cleanser is one of the biggest mistakes people make in their skincare routines. Most cleansers have a pH that is too high (over 5.5) and contain damaging ingredients that strip the skin of its beneficial oils.
Your skin should not feel “squeaky clean” after cleansing.
Plus, conventional cleansers often contain DEA, MEA, and TEA – ethanolamine compounds used to make products creamy and foamy. Plus, these ingredients can react with other chemicals to form carcinogens. Some studies have shown that repeated use of these ingredients can lead to organ toxicity and skin issues. While these ingredients are banned in Europe and Canada, they are still legal in the United States.
So take note that finding products with the proper pH is key – like the 4-Step Age-Defying Clean Skincare System.
The Spa Dr. Clear & Refresh Facial Cleanser
Foaming face wash is notorious for stripping skin and leaving it feeling dry to the touch.
Step 1: Clear & Refresh Facial Cleanser is different. This is a mildly acidic plant-oil-based cleanser made without non-toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals and it won’t dry out your skin.
While using The Spa Dr. cleanser, you’ll notice something different during your skincare routine. Rather than getting that overly squeaky clean sensation, you’ll experience a “slip ‘n slide” feeling. This feeling is indicative of a cleanser that maintains your skin’s natural balance while effectively removing impurities.
To determine if your cleanser is removed from your skin while cleansing, pay attention to how it rinses off.
After cleansing, when you rinse your face, observe the water coming off your skin. If it’s clear, you’re done cleansing. If it’s milky, this suggests the cleanser is still present on your skin.
Thanks to advances in science and research, we know more than we ever have about why squeaky clean skin isn’t the ultimate goal while cleansing.
Squeaky clean skin is not only undesirable but also potentially harmful to your skin’s health.
Instead of pursuing squeaky clean skin, opt for a gentler, pH-friendly cleanser like The Spa Dr.’s Step 1: Clear & Refresh Facial Cleanser. By maintaining your skin’s natural pH balance and respecting its microbiome, you can achieve a clean, nourished, and balanced complexion.
The Spa Dr.® Approach
At The Spa Dr.®, our approach is to help shine the light on the skin and health care information and offer our guidance to support you on your journey.
Dr. Trevor Cates’ book, Natural Beauty Reset, provides an in-depth look at how you can nourish your body and support your health and hormones through the seasons.
The Spa Dr.® offers natural skin care products that are safe and free from chemicals and toxins that can harm your skin and health. Our products are formulated to contain key nutrients in their pure and active form to provide optimal results. In addition, our products are pH balanced towards mild acidity to promote and protect a healthy skin microbiome.
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