top of page

Back to basic. What do you know about your own skin?

Your skin's natural barrier is everything

By Josh Sim, Aesthetic and Better Ageing Specialist


Our skin produces natural oils that help keep it healthy and hydrated, and when we wash our face too frequently, we can strip away these oils and compromise our skin's natural barrier. So, while it's important to remove dirt, oil, and makeup from our skin, we don't need to do it multiple times a day.

If you're someone who wears makeup or gets particularly oily during the day, you may find it helpful to do a double cleanse at night. This involves using an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and sunscreen, followed by a water-based cleanser to cleanse the skin. However, for most people, a single cleanse with a gentle, non-stripping cleanser at night is sufficient. In the morning, you can simply rinse your face with water and apply your skincare products as usual. This allows your skin to maintain its natural balance and repair itself overnight, without the added stress of frequent washing.

Our skin's natural barrier is made up of a combination of lipids (fats) and proteins that help keep moisture in and environmental stressors out. When we over-wash or use harsh, stripping products, we can compromise this barrier and leave our skin vulnerable to irritation, inflammation, and infection. By only washing your face at night and using gentle, non-stripping products, you can help protect your skin's natural barrier and keep it healthy and hydrated. This can lead to smoother, more radiant skin over time, as well as reduce the signs of redness and improve skin texture.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, over-washing can be particularly problematic. This is because dry skin already lacks the natural oils that keep it hydrated, and over-washing can further deplete these oils and exacerbate dryness and flakiness. Instead of washing your face multiple times a day, focus on using a gentle, non-stripping cleanser at night and rinsing with water in the morning. You can also try incorporating a hydrating toner or essence into your routine to help replenish moisture and soothe dry, irritated skin without stripping those essential oils.

Our skin goes through a lot during the day, from exposure to environmental stressors to the normal wear and tear of daily life. By washing your face at night and allowing your skin to repair itself overnight, you give it a chance to heal and recover from these stressors. Our skin cells also regenerate more quickly at night, which means that any products you apply at bedtime are more likely to be absorbed and have a greater impact on your skin. This is why having a full skincare routine at night is far more important, as you want to take advantage of the skin's natural regeneration process.

While rinsing with water alone may not remove all the dirt, oil, and makeup from your skin, it can be a gentler alternative to using a cleanser in the morning, especially if you have already deep cleansed the night before. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to dryness, you may find that rinsing with water is sufficient to refresh your skin and prepare it for the day ahead.

However, if you do choose to use a cleanser in the morning, make sure to use a gentle, non-stripping formula and avoid scrubbing or rubbing your skin too vigorously.

Pillowcases can indeed harbour bacteria, dirt, and oil from your skin and hair, which can lead to breakouts and other skin issues. To minimise the risk of bacteria build-up, it's important to wash your pillowcase regularly, ideally at least once a week, or place a towel or even a t-shirt on top of the pillow that you can replace every night. If you're prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin, you may also want to consider using a silk or satin pillowcase, which is much gentler on the skin compared to cotton and may reduce inflammation.


bottom of page