Are You Over-Cleansing Your Skin? – 100% PURE

Are You Over-Cleansing Your Skin? – 100% PURE


Regarding skincare, could cleansing our faces become too much of a good thing? We know that scrubby-dubbing our complexions with exfoliants seems fine in the meantime – until our dermis turns on us – but washing our faces seems straightforward and skin-ocent… or is it?

We often forget that our skin is a fragile, living tissue that needs to be treated with TLC. But we may overcompensate on the ‘T’ or ‘C’ by over-cleansing. Now, your ‘too much of a good thing’ is stripped, unhappy skin.

Using a natural cleanser is only the first step in maintaining a clean and healthy skin cleansing routine. Let’s discuss the most important dos and don’ts of face cleansing, and tackle the basics of washing your face the right way – according to dermatologists – plus the best cleansers to maintain skin balance for a fresh, radiant, happy complexion.

Understanding Over-Cleansing

Sunscreen, sweat, excess oil, dirt, dust, pollution, and makeup (oh, my!) can accumulate on your face throughout the day. Without a thorough cleanse later, we run the risk of clogged pores, which could lead to unsightly blackheads and blemishes. So, it’s understandable we may be eager beavers to rub and tug suds feverishly on our faces to get that squeaky-clean feel.

However, you should stop, do not pass go, or collect. This is over-cleansing your dermis and will cause your skin a great dis-monopoly. Here are some of the common signs that indicate your skin might be suffering from over-cleansing:


When the skin barrier becomes weakened due to over-cleansing, dryness is more likely to occur since it’s less able to prevent trans-epidermal water loss. There’s a feeling of tightness, discomfort, and a lack of moisture or hydration on and within the skin. In addition to this feeling of tightness, dry skin can be more prone to cracking, splitting, rashes, burns, and reactivity. Often with dryness, the acid mantle on the skin needs a bit of maintenance due to over-cleansing and stripping of the protective barrier.


Over-cleansing your skin weakens its protective barrier, which works to keep our skin healthy and lubricated while acting as a shield from pathogens and impurities. The skin may feel tight after every cleanse, and may even become flaky and irritated. The skin barrier will also have a harder time defending against invading microbes, which can lead to clogged pores and blemishes. On top of that, premature aging becomes more of a risk for a frequently parched or irritated skin barrier.

Increased Sensitivity:

Over-cleansing can strip natural oil levels from your skin and create unwarranted sensitivity. When you have gone overboard with skin cleansing, your dermis can feel sensitive or show signs of sensitivity with reddish, dry patches, as well as irritation – and even peeling. This can be especially true if you use harsh cleansers or hot water, which can further strip the skin of its natural oils damage the skin barrier, and increase skin sensitivities.

As we have pointed out, over-cleansing your skin will throw your dermis and its pH out of balance, especially if you’re not using a natural cleanser. Many on the market use harsh and drying surfactants, petrochemicals as preservatives, and other unsavory ingredients, which can lead to breakouts, dry skin, and generally worsened skin symptoms.

Most importantly, over-cleansing can strip your complexion of its natural oils, leading to a compromised skin barrier. As we briefly covered, going overboard with washing can damage your skin’s protective barrier, leading to dryness, irritation, and even breakouts. When your skin is stripped of its natural oils, it can cause your skin to overcompensate by producing more oil, which can lead to oily skin and clogged pores.

Since the skin has a natural microbiome of healthy bacteria that helps protect against harmful bacteria and maintain healthy skin, over-cleansing your face can disrupt this balance, which can lead to an imbalance in your skin’s microbiome and potentially cause issues such as dryness, irritation, or sensitivity, as well as affect the health of our skin overall.


Dermatologist Insights on Skin Cleansing

You wouldn’t polish your nails after a good file or tips before washing your hands, would you? It’s the same concept with your skin: an effective skincare routine starts with a cleansed dermis. Before you try to reap the full benefits from all your skincare products, you’ll want to focus on removing every impurity from your skin without stripping its precious barrier.

The key is ‘without’, and that means how to skin-cleanse the right way! We weighed in on the basics of washing your face the right way – according to dermatologists – based on different skin types, and here are some recommendations to help guide you.

When it comes to skin cleansing, fingertips are the best tool you can use – provided they’re clean! The American Academy of Dermatology warns against scrubbing your skin with harsh surfaces like washcloths and mesh sponges (or your fingernails), which can irritate and damage your skin.

According to dermatologists, very hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils, weakening its defensive barrier. This is bad news for skin health because the defensive barrier plays an important role in preventing skin damage from UV rays and other environmental aggressors. It also helps to defend your skin against irritants that could cause inflammation.

Try rinsing your face with lukewarm water before cleansing, as this will help to open your pores, and gently massage a natural cleanser on your face. Washing your face once with a conventional cleanser is unlikely to remove all the makeup or impurities on your skin. Thoroughly removing makeup with a natural cleanser is important for avoiding breakouts and harsh ingredients that can affect the health of your skin.

Follow up skin cleansing with a splash of cold water to seal your skin’s cuticle, and finish with a curated skincare routine for your skin type, which includes moisture and sun protection!

As we have covered over-cleansing your skin can lead to dryness, inflammation, and a weakened defensive barrier, on the other hand, under-washing can cause dullness as well as clogged pores from impurities, which can lead to acne. This could further increase your risk of getting a skin infection.

According to the American Association of Dermatologists, most skin types should try to wash their face once in the morning once in the evening, and after sweating profusely. Sweat can irritate your skin, clog pores, and cause breakouts. Therefore, it’s important to cleanse your face as soon as possible after sweat-inducing activities, like intense exercise. But for oily skin types during hot or humid months, you may need a mid-day cleanse after sweating, exercising, or time outdoors.

If you’re shopping for a natural cleanser, the first step is knowing what your skin type needs to succeed. Choosing the wrong cleanser can lead to breakouts, dry skin, and generally worsened skin symptoms. Here’s what you should be looking for on selecting the appropriate natural cleanser to avoid over-cleansing, based on your skin type:

DRY SKIN Cleanser Needs:
Ingredients that inject rich moisture, such as rosehip, coconut oil, or argan oil, and refreshing hydration into the skin – skip the foaming cleansers.

Ingredients such as neem, green clay, or degreasing blood orange to seriously balance sebum surplus, calm redness, soothe inflammation, and purify pores.

COMBO SKIN Cleanser Needs:
Ingredients that both regulate oil and reinforce moisture, such as green clay and colloidal oatmeal, while providing the right balance for skin, with ingredients such as lavender, geranium, or coneflower.

SENSITIVE SKIN Cleanser Needs:
Ingredients that will cleanse and replenish without stripping or irritating skin, such as calming calendula, and skin-soothing ingredients like chamomile and aloe.

NORMAL SKIN Cleanser Needs:
Ingredients that keep skin in balance while reinforcing tone, texture, and hydration, such as hyaluronic acid, aloe, cactus, and coconut oil.

DULL SKIN Cleanser Needs:
Ingredients that regulate melanin production, slough away layers of dead skin, improve skin texture, and brighten skin tone, such as niacinamide.

AGING SKIN Cleanser Needs:
Gentle, non-stripping ingredients that encourage brightness, elasticity, moisture retention, and skin suppleness like coconut, argan, or olive oil, as well as avocado butter, are all nourishing. They also contain important vitamins like A and E, which help to repair and nourish skin while lessening aging concerns.

Correcting Over-Cleansing Effects

When your skin barrier becomes damaged, it’s all too easy to (quite literally) feel uncomfortable in your skin. Luckily, the skin barrier can repair itself over time, and some steps and products can help restore skin health after over-cleansing.

It’s all about balance by hydrating, nourishing, and keeping things gentle for the skin – plus how to adjust your skincare routine to prevent over-cleansing now and in the future!

#1: Use Skin Barrier Repair Products
There are products on the market that can help repair the skin barrier, and they can be identified by the ingredients they contain.

When shopping for a barrier repair product, check for ingredients that can help restore the skin barrier like niacinamide, ceramides, and fatty acids. Soothing ingredients like aloe vera, rose hydrosol, and calendula can also help ease redness and inflammation that may occur with a damaged skin barrier.

Our Restorative Sea Culture Replenishing Serum contains sea kelp, algae extract, and chia seed to help restore the skin barrier for a healthier microbiome and a restored glow. There’s also our Rose Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which can soothe irritated skin and replenish moisture.

#2: Switch Up Your Cleansing Tactics
Over-cleansing is one of the most common causes of a damaged skin barrier, especially when using harsh ingredients like alcohol and artificial fragrances.

Instead, cleanse with products that hydrate and nourish your skin while cleansing it. If you’re using makeup wipes or harsh makeup removers, opt instead for cleansing oils and cleansing balms. Our Blood Orange Cleansing Balm, for instance, moisturizes the skin while melting off makeup and dirt with the help of avocado, coconut, and olive leaf extract.

And cleansing balms work best when paired with a non-stripping gel, like our Rose Water Gel Cleanser, or for even more hydration, cleansing milk, like our Calendula Flower Cleansing Milk.

#3: Up Your Moisture Game
Perhaps above all, hydrating products are going to be especially helpful. Those with a thick, occlusive consistency are especially beneficial for preventing trans-epidermal water loss as your skin barrier heals.

While a daily moisturizer is still essential, try finishing off your nighttime with a rich, balmy moisturizer that will lock in water while you sleep. Our Intensive Nourishing Balm and our Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Ultra Riché PM Treatment are excellent options!

#4: Re-Examine Your SPF Strategy
When the skin goes unprotected, the sun is going to cause damage, both short-term and long-term. No matter what season, time of day, clouds, or rain, make SPF a priority.

If you haven’t already, start making an SPF a part of your daily skincare regimen, ideally a physical sunscreen that uses minerals to shield your skin from the sun.

Our Green Tea SPF 30 protects the skin from harmful UV rays while rehydrating with green tea and aloe.

A daily hydrating skincare routine is your secret weapon for radiant, healthy skin. With active ingredients that work their magic to moisturize and balance your complexion – without over-cleansing your skin – you’ll rock your day with refreshed, glowing skin. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse for some well-deserved me-time!

#1: Wash Your Face
Every great skincare routine starts with a clean canvas. Melt away makeup and impurities with our Blood Orange Cleansing Balm. Just scoop out a small amount, gently massage onto your face, and rinse with lukewarm water. For a lighter option, try our Rose Water Gel Cleanser – it’s gentle, yet effective.

#2: Tone Your Skin
Keep your skin hydrated and balanced with our Restorative Sea Culture Hydrating Toner. Simply apply with a cotton pad to remove any leftover debris and give your skin that extra boost of hydration.

#3: Time For Serum
Say hello to long-lasting hydration with our Rose Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This soothing formula restores your skin’s youthful bounce and elasticity while calming redness. Massage a few drops onto your face and neck for the ultimate skin treat.

#4: Moisturize Your Skin
Seal the deal with our Rose Water Hydrating Milk. This lightweight moisturizer, featuring rose hydrosol and hyaluronic acid, hydrates and calms redness caused by dehydration. Pat a small amount onto your face and neck for a silky-smooth finish.

For an extra hydration boost, add a few drops of our Super Fruit Facial Oil. Gently massage it into your skin and let it absorb, then drift off to your wonderful day that lay ahead, knowing you’re going to rock gorgeous, glowing skin!

#5. Protect Your Skin
Don’t let the sun rain on your parade. Shield your skin from sun damage with sunscreen, and go the extra mile with an umbrella or stylish shades for added protection. Our recommendation: Yerba Mate Mist SPF 30.


Preventive Measures and Best Practicess

We know properly cleansing and hydrating our complexion helps with overall skin balance and health, and avoiding skin minefields like over-cleansing. Staying hydrated inside and out is key for maintaining overall health – but getting that internal hydration is especially crucial. We’re talking about drinking plenty of water and following up cleansing with adequate hydration to maintain skin balance.

When you’re getting those daily eight glasses, you’re not just keeping your skin beautiful, you’re supporting your entire body. Water is crucial to several functions in the human body. This includes transporting essential nutrients to the cells, regulating internal temperature, lubricating your joints and digestive system, and keeping the organs in shape.

For these reasons, we all must try our best to get the right amount of water for our bodies’ needs, as hydration and skin health go hand-in-hand. Skin hydration can keep your complexion looking smooth and youthful. When the skin is constantly dry, there’s a higher chance of fine lines and wrinkles looking more pronounced.

That being said, none of us are perfect every day. There can be times when we’re overwhelmed with a busy schedule or even days when we simply forget about adequate hydration or paying attention to our skin’s needs. It’s important to pay attention to your skin’s responses to skincare products. Otherwise, you could stumble into skin sensitivities, adverse reactions, or over-washing and sensitizing your skin, where you would need “rest days” to try to get your skin back in balance and check.

Listen to your skin, and if its response is unhappy or irritated, adjust your skincare routine accordingly, which could include rest days. Allowing rest days during the week is so that your skin can repair itself after using certain products. This can help prevent irritation and inflammation.

FAQ Section: Expert Answers to Your Over-Cleansing Concerns

How Can I Tell if My Skin is Dry or Over-Cleansed?

Over-cleansing strips your skin of its natural essential oils, causing your oil production to go into overdrive thereby giving you acne. If you’re getting a ton of breakouts and you don’t know where they’re coming from, there’s a chance that it’s from over-cleansing. If your skin is also over-cleansed, you’ll have a general tight feeling and may experience uncomfortable dryness, irritation, redness, or sensitivities.

Can Over-Cleansing Cause Acne or Breakouts?

Choosing the right type of natural cleansers, especially ones that are hydrating and suitable for your skin type, is crucial. Over-cleansing can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness, irritation, and sensitivity. In addition, when skin is stripped, it may overcompensate by producing more oils, which can cause acne and breakouts.

Are There Specific Ingredients in Cleansers That Are More Likely to Cause Over-Cleansing?

Yes, many conventional cleansers on the market use harsh and drying surfactants, petrochemicals as preservatives, and other unsavory ingredients, which can lead to breakouts, dry skin, and generally worsened skin symptoms. These harsh ingredients can likely cause over-cleansing.

How Do I Balance Cleansing with Using Active Ingredients Like Retinols or Acids?

One way to combine hydroxy acids and retinol into your skincare routine is to start by using the products on alternate nights. Find a routine that works for your skin to reduce any irritation, and remember to give your skin a night off when you use just a moisturizer.

Is Double Cleansing Good or Bad for My Skin Type?

Double cleansing can be beneficial for those who wear heavy makeup, live in high-pollution areas, or have oily or acne-prone skin. It’s an effective way to ensure all impurities are removed from the skin, which can prevent acne and give a more radiant look. However, it might be excessive for those with very dry, sensitive, or reactive skin.

It’s important to be gentle with your skin by selecting a natural face cleanser that works for your skin type and properly washing your face. By incorporating a natural face cleanser into your skincare routine and finding the right frequency for your skin type, you can achieve a glowing, healthy complexion.

It’s especially important, even as dermatologists have pointed out, to have a healthy skin-cleansing routine. That means gently using your fingers to cleanse, avoiding hot water and harsh traditional cleansers that contain skin culprits, and establishing a curated skincare routine for your skin type to avoid over-cleansing your skin.

And, remember, our skin is a fragile, living tissue that needs to be treated with TLC. That means equal parts of tender, loving, care (TLC) and proper skin cleansing to maintain optimal balance and health. Is that ‘too much of a good thing’? We think not!

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