Dermatologist-in-training and all around cool girl blogger Aegean Chan is the savvy mind behind super-skincare blog, Aegmora. Chan educates and enlightens readers with particularly informative posts that tie together her science background and her extensive experience with beauty products. We love that she demystifies everything from familiar active ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide to the newest trends like coconut oil. This week, Chan teaches us how to fight acne better, keep our skin hydrated, and protect it from the sun.
Many don’t realize that cleansing is a delicate balancing act, and also the foundation of great skin. Your skin is tough enough to withstand blistering heat, pelting sleet, and withering looks from haters, but it’s actually a microcosm of cells and structural elements that require a very specific environment to thrive. Just think of it as layers upon layers of the finest cashmere that form a protective barrier. It wouldn’t make sense to try to restore the beauty and softness of that cashmere with a rinse of pure acid or a few passes with a sand blaster, would it?
Although it’s easy to use the same reasoning to clean your face as you would to clean your kitchen counter, they are completely different endeavors. Using harsh cleansers (à la 409 or Proactiv) and exfoliants can dry out your skin and disrupt the delicate, slightly acidic pH balance that allows cells to function so well as a barrier. Large grainy exfoliants can actually cause tiny abrasions and do more harm than good. Less is more!
A good cleanser contains a mild cleansing agent, called syndet, that effectively removes dirt and oil from your face without disturbing the zen or lowering the pH of your skin. Dove was the first product to contain syndet, making it great for sensitive skin, and now it’s present in many gentle cleansers, including my personal favorite, boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel. I swear, using it will make you feel like you’re washing your face in a refreshing Swiss mountain stream.
Non-foaming cleansers, like Cetaphil, are great for the even more sensitive skin types, especially those with eczema or psoriasis. They do not foam very much, but can remove that grime without too much irritation.
Remember, this is all a balancing act. I know I need a little fire power to squash those occasional blemishes: a regimen using a face wash containing anti-bacterial benzoyl peroxide in the evenings, and then giving my face the gentle treatment in the AM, puts my skin in a very happy place. Everyone is different though, so play around, and you will find that sweet spot to achieve a fabulous glow.
To find out more about skincare, stay tuned all week for Aegean’s guest posts—or check out her blog, Aegmora.