Saturday, January 26, 2008

DOUBLE CLEANSE: How Dirty Do You Think My Face Is Anyway!

Dear Friend:

Of the hundreds of facials I’ve given, less than a dozen clients were aware that the most effective cleansing procedure includes washing your face twice (one right after another with warm NOT HOT water) then blotting your face dry with a clean towel. This routine should be done in the morning and again in the evening.

The two separate cleansings are not done simply to remove environmental dirt that has accumulated on your face (unless you work in a coal mine).

The first cleanse removes makeup, oils and dirt as well as lowering the number of bacteria on the surface of your face. NOTE: All your makeup should be gone after this cleanse. If there’s makeup remaining on your face, your using a product that’s clogging your pores and creating blackheads and pimples. But that’s a discussion for another day!

Here’s the Secret! The 2nd cleanse weakens the chemical bond our body manufactures to hold the protective layer of dead skin cells on the surface of your face. This chemical bond, called the ‘acid mantel’, is comprised of perspiration, hormones and the residue of everything we eat or drink. It is slightly acidic, like our skin.

While we need some of these dead cells to protect our skin from the environment, we tend to accumulate too many as we age. Over retention of these dead cells is the major cause of the dull dryness in mature clients and clogged pores in acne clients.

Babies replace the dead skin layer every 17 days. This process slows to 28 days by the time we reach our 20’s. Thereafter, the replacement rate keeps pace with our age in decades so that when you reach your 60’s, as I have, that layer would remain in place for 60 days if nothing was done to slough off the build up.

Since moisture depleted cells are continuously pushing up from the lower layers of our skin, this entire dead cell layer can thicken to a depth of 25 cells which is a little like wearing a microscopic layer of plastic wrap.

As proof of this, closely examine a piece of dead skin that peels off after a sunburn. You’ll see that this dead skin is slightly grey and grainy. Dead skin looks the same way while on the surface of your face. Thinning the dead cell layer, called the ‘horny’ layer, also sends a message to the deepest layer of our skin to generate new cells and start them on their way to the surface. Accelerating this process leads to moister, younger looking skin as well as better behaving skin, on a daily basis.

The key to speeding up this cell turnover process is exfoliation.

Next time, I’ll discuss exfoliation methods.


Carolyn Johnson