Why Your Cleanser Matters
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
I never thought much about cleanser. I knew it was good to use one, but didn't really pay much attention to it, and certainly didn't think it was a very important part of my routine. But, over years working in the industry of skin care, I've realised that using the wrong cleanser can have serious consequences for your skin.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, AKA your skin's worst nightmare
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate - SLS crops up under a few different names, but in all of its forms, it's bad news for your skin. It also happens to be commonly used in facial cleansers. Why? Because it's cheap to formulate with.
To understand the effect SLS has on your skin, you first need to know that your skin's pH is very important. When it's out of whack, your skin can present with breakouts, sensitivity, redness, dryness AND oiliness, congestion - the list goes on. Your skin is supposed to be slightly acidic (usually at a pH of around 5.5). This acidity protects your skin from "bad" bacteria that could cause problems. SLS breaks down your skin's pH, causing it to become more alkaline, and leaving your skin vulnerable and exposed to bacteria.
This is where the supermarket vs professional product argument comes in. Now I'm not saying ALL supermarket products are terrible for your skin - in fact they have really improved over the years. But avoiding SLS is a lot harder when you're picking up your cleanser from a supermarket aisle. It's almost non-existent in the world of professional skincare. An exception to this however, is Cetaphil. SLS is found in most Cetaphil cleansers (even the Gentle Skin Cleanser), and despite this, it is still recommended by doctors and dermatologists.
The Bottom Line
Your cleanser has the power to wreak havoc on your skin if you use the wrong one. So, here's my advice to you: know your ingredients. Educate yourself on the good and bad, so that you can make better informed decisions for your skin and your body. If possible, choose professional grade products, but if that's out of your budget, always check the ingredients list before buying. Look out for irritants like SLS, fragrances, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol 40, and ethyl alcohol.
Unsure what you should be using to cleanse? We offer free consultations, so you can sit down with one of our experienced practitioners and discuss your skin's individual needs.
Contact us to book your complimentary consultation today