I'm a skin doctor – here's how you're washing your face WRONG

A SKIN doctor has revealed the mistake most people are making when they wash their face.

It's something you'll probably do without realising, just while in the shower or at the end of the day.

Apparently, it is bad for your skin to wash your face every day.

It can actually cause more harm than good, especially if you battle acne or greasy skin.

Dermatologist Dr Eva Melegh has revealed the five reasons why it can hinder instead of help.

It doesn't help with grease

People with acne produce higher levels of sebum.

This is an oily, waxy substance that coats and moisturises your skin, and is actually very important to keep skin healthy.

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Dr Melegh said: "Washing your face more often with detergents and solvents often present in facial washes and cleansers for greasy skin removes the natural oils from the skin’s surface, leaving it drier and so will often cause the body to produce even MORE sebum to compensate.

"Facial cleansing with a non-comedogenic facial cleansing oil followed by gentle exfoliation once every 1-2 days is better than washing daily with facial washes aimed at dissolving grease." 

It doesn't stop spots

Excess sebum is not what causes acne, so washing your face every day isn't going to tackle the root cause.

What is the actual problem is the oxidisation of sebum when it's near the skin's surface.

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It mixes with air and bacteria, which causes it to go "rancid" and leads to blockages and inflammation that in turn sparks spots.

So you actually need to stop the sebum from oxidising, rather than washing it away every day.

Dr Melegh said: "If sebum is left to flow freely and not being constantly washed away, the end result will be that gradually the body will regulate itself and start producing less sebum.

"The paradox is often that people with greasy skin and acne immediately start off by washing their skin more, which in turn actually increases sebum production.

"Cleaning skin using a gentle exfoliant once a day and follow it with a sebum purifying serum is a better way to control sebum production and help prevent pimples and acne forming – try Clarol Sebopure."

It can make red skin worse

If you suffer from rosacea and sensitivity, washing your face with water can actually make the condition worse.

Water contains chlorine and if you have very sensitive skin prone to rosacea this can trigger skin flares.

Dr Melegh added: "But equally importantly it’s the temperature difference of using either warm or cold water to wash your face that can also trigger a rosacea skin flare due to the vascular dilation of the blood cells below the skin’s surface.

"Water-free cleansing with a moisturising cream-cleanser for very sensitive skin is much more beneficial for skin prone to redness and rosacea than daily facial washing."

It removes good bacteria

Washing your face every day can remove good bacteria and then make dry skin even dryer.

The good bacteria that protects and maintains the skin barrier, which is what keeps bad bacteria out and also locks in moisture and prevents dryness.

Dr Melegh said: "The skin barrier is crucial for keeping skin moisturised and supple. People who are prone to eczema often have a genetically compromised skin barrier function.

"So killing off the good skin bacteria that helps to repair a damaged or compromised skin barrier will only make matters worse.

"If you suffer from dry skin, washing your face daily can lead to even more dryness."

It can make open pores worse

Dr Melegh explained: "Open skin pores and blackheads can be caused both by genetics but also by a lack of elasticity and collagen production in the skin itself.

"Stripping away essential skin oils through daily facial washing can make the skin less elastic and so leave pores more open."

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She said it's better to gently exfoliate once every two to three days if you have normal skin, or every one to two days if you have greasy skin.

This clears out the pores but leaves the skin moisturised.

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