Why it's Important to Use a Gentle Cleanser for Breakouts
Picture the scene… you’re a few days away from that big night out... or that all important first date… or that important presentation at work. You wake up… look in the mirror… and there it is - the start of a breakout.
Now a breakout can mean different things to different people. Maybe to your skin it's a patch of spots on your chin… or blackheads on your nose… or acne type spots on your cheeks. Breakouts can be all kinds of spots, depending on your skin type and unique skin concerns.
What is the same for all of us is that feeling - ugh - once again, we have go looking for that miracle cure, that concealer that covers it up without looking like you’re caked in makeup. Maybe you reach for the steamer, grab a face mask or the pore strips… how do you effectively deal with breakouts?
The answer is… you have to play the long game. Breakouts don’t disappear overnight - you need a regular skin care routine that starts with a gentle skin cleanser, with effective active ingredients to stop the causes of breakouts.
What should you look for in a cleanser for treating breakouts?
A good place to start is to look at why we cleanse breakouts. Your skin naturally produces sebum (oil) from the sebaceous glands. This is important to keep the skin moisturised and healthy. When your sebaceous glands produce more oil than you need - normally due to changing hormone levels - the excess oil produced sits on top of your skin. This oil can block up your pores, trapping in dead skin cells and dirt. This is the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow in the pores which leads to inflammation and breakouts.
So we need to cleanse breakouts to both get rid of the excess oil on top of the skin - which can capture dirt, dead skin cells and makeup residue, and also to clean clogged pores. Finally, cleansing can also help to regulate oil production.
What do we mean by a gentle cleanser?
It can be really easy, when faced with breakout prone skin, to choose a cleanser with harsh ingredients. Products that contain higher levels of salicylic acid, for example, as well as cleansing the skin of excess oil can actually strip the skin of the oil it needs. This can leave you with dry skin, which can make the sebaceous glands work overtime to produce even more oil. Using a gentle cleanser, that combines salicylic acid and active ingredients to soothe the skin can be a better option for skin prone to breakouts.
How double cleansing can help treat breakouts
At Jersey Beauty, we love the concept of the double cleanse. When you cleanse your skin the first time, you are removing surface dirt, grime and excess oil. Then the second cleanse can get deep into the pores and really leave skin clean, addressing your unique skin concerns.
You can double cleanse with a gentle cleanser that is just as effective as using cleansers with harsher ingredients.
Two gentle cleansers for double cleansing breakout prone skin
For a gentle first cleanse, Dermalogica Precleanse is a great choice. Precleanse is an oil based cleanser… now you may be thinking, if I have oily skin surely the last thing I need is an oil based cleanser? Actually, oil attracts oil. So this Olive and Apricot Kernel-based cleansing oil starts to attract surface oil as soon as it hits your skin. You gently apply it onto dry skin, where the oil catches dirt and grime and excess makeup too. Then when you add water, the cleanser emulsifies, gently but effectively rinsing away all that excess oil and grime, leaving your skin feeling soft and refreshed.
For a gentle second cleanse that addresses oily skin concerns and breakouts, try Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash. This soap free foaming cleanser has salicylic acid to clean deep into pores. Why is that a great active ingredient for breakouts? Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid - its formula means that the particles in this acid are small enough to penetrate deep into the pores and dissolve oil and bacteria. It has a purifying effect that helps to clear out pores that are prone to breakouts. Salicylic acid can also help to regulate oil production. But hang on… didn’t we say earlier that gentle cleansers were those that didn’t contain harsh ingredients like salicylic acid? Well, no, not exactly. One of the great things about Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash is that is combines this active ingredient with eight botanicals, including lavender and tea tree which work to soothe and protect your skin.
Do I need to cleanse during a breakout? Will it hurt?
It can be tempting to avoid cleansing at all during breakouts. Your skin can feel sensitive, red and sore. But cleansing your skin of dirt, bacteria and the excess oil causing those breakouts is really important - it’s just about choosing the right cleansers. A gentle cleanser will also help to repair and rebuild the lipid barrier, the layer on top of the skin designed to protect the deeper layers from irritation.
Using a cleansing balm for the first step of cleansing can help sensitive and sore skin. Dermalogica Precleanse balm is great for sensitive skin. It has a natural biolipid complex that works to repair the skin’s lipid barrier whilst the oil based cleansing balm attracts and lifts surface dirt and grime gently from the skin. There’s no need for scrubbing or harsh cleansing, making it suitable for use during breakouts.
You could also try Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt a natural cleansing balm that has organic baobab oil, an active ingredient high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A which act as antioxidants deeply cleansing skin of pollutants and dirt but gently forming a cleansing milk formula to wash away dirt without the need for scrubbing.
For a foaming cleanser that is gentle on sensitive skin with breakouts, try Evolve Daily Detox Facial Wash. This is a delicately foaming facial wash that won’t dry out your skin, but will get deep into the pores to cleanse and treat the causes of breakouts. That’s because it has Moringa Peptides, an active ingredient that has antibacterial and antioxidant properties - dealing with bacteria and pollutants both on the surface level and deeper into the pores. But at the same time it has Organic Goji, which has natural moisturising and soothing properties and is super nourishing for the skin.
Will a gentle cleanser really tackle the cause of breakouts?
When it comes to breakouts, there can be any number of reasons why bacteria comes into contact with your face. Just touching your face after touching door handles can spread bacteria, as can using your mobile phone. While you can’t stop bacteria entirely from coming into contact with your skin, you can use a gentle but effective face wash to control the spread of spot-causing bacteria on your skin and in your pores. Try Guinot Microbiotic Mousse for a gentle cleanser that has unique Sebocidine Complex - a complex of active ingredients that are antimicrobial and also work to regulate oil production. The mousse formula of this cleanser allows the ingredients to get deep into pores to purify the skin.
What else can I do to treat breakouts?
A gentle cleanser is just one part of the picture when it comes to treating breakouts. It should be a part of a skincare routine that helps to regulate oil production and to repair and nourish your skin. After cleansing, you could also try using a facial steamer once a week to help de-clog pores. Be careful not to overuse steamers as this can actually cause excess oil to be produced.