Do you ACTUALLY need to cleanse in the morning?

For decades, skincare experts have recommended cleansing twice a day. A habit we have happily built up in efforts to keep our skin looking and feeling beautiful, clean and refreshed... But is the morning cleanse really a necessity?
Experts are emerging with research that indicates we could be doing our skin's microbiome a disservice by continuing with the morning cleanse!


What is the microbiome?

Situated within our epidermis, is our microbiome/acid mantle. This protective layer consists of a diverse community of microorganisms living on the skin, playing a crucial role in maintaining skin health and protecting against pathogens. It forms a barrier that prevents water from exiting the skin, and stops harmful toxins and free radicals from entering.

This microbiome is most intact and functional in the morning, after having recovered and repaired itself overnight. If we use a cleanser in the mornings, what will happen to this amazing and protective barrier our skin has produced?
Cleansers can be super effective at maintaining good skin hygiene and a healthy biofilm. However, they also contain surfactants which break down the bonds between water and oil to aid in thorough cleansing. Unfortunately, surfactants cannot distinguish a difference between skin debris and lipids that need to be removed, and the intercellular lipids that are required for a healthy microbiome. This means that when we are cleansing, we're not just removing dirt and debris, but also some of the intercellular oils that keep our skin healthy and protected.

What does this mean?

When we disrupt our healthy microbiome, we cause dysbiosis. This can lead to skin health issues and an increase in bacteria on the skin. This bacteria is associated with many skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and sensitivities. 

Is cleansing at night time still recommended?

Definitely. At the end of the day it is important to cleanse away the day's remnants. Whether it be a full face of makeup or just your sunscreen, it is important to perform a thorough double cleanse before applying your night time products. By the end of the day your microbiome has worked hard to protect your skin, it's okay to cleanse deeply as it will rebuild and rebalance overnight to be ready to go by the next day.

So if you dont cleanse.. what do you do?

It is recommended to still wash your face with only warm water, and to spend a good minute massaging your face with the water to get your blood flowing and encourage healthy oil flow. Your skin is then ready for you to go in with the rest of your skincare regime.

It is also important to note that if you are only cleansing with water in the morning, that it is recommended to ensure you are regularly cleaning your pillow cases to reduce cross contamination of bacteria from your mouth or debris. At least twice weekly is ideal.

Benefits of skipping the AM cleanse

  • Preserving the skin's natural oils and microbiome balance helps maintain the skin's barrier function and overall health.
  • Prevents unnecessary disruption that could lead to dryness, irritation, or imbalance.
  • Prevents against trans-epidermal water loss.
  • Better protection against free radical damage, UV damage and pollutants.
  • Skin is more hydrated, and oil levels are not jeopardised which will lead to preventing premature signs of ageing.

Should you still cleanse in the morning if you have a very oily skin type or severe acne?

In the case of true oily skins and severe acne, keeping the morning wash is likely to be more beneficial for your skin. High oil flow is a gift when it comes to the skin's microbiome. It takes a lot more to disrupt the microbiome of an oily skin type than it does for combination, normal or dry skin types. Continuing to cleanse in the mornings will be beneficial for balancing high oil flow and reducing severe inflamed acne.
What's your take? Are you loyal to your morning cleanse or are you happy to ditch!
As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to reach out!
Holly & Fulvia x


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