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How The Wrong Cleanser Can Ruin Your Skin

how to cleanse for acne-prone skin, cetaphil is bad, protect your acid mantle, how to heal the acid mantle

Did you know that cleansing is the MOST damaging step in your skin care routine? That means you have to do it right, otherwise, you can cause a lot of unnecessary damage resulting in dry, flaky skin – or worse, pimples!!!

What Makes Cleansing So Damaging?

A cleanser has the power to cut through sebum, your skin’s natural protector TOO easily. This means that it can strip your skin of all your sebum.

You might be thinking that no sebum means that your skin is clean, but there’s such a thing as TOO clean…

When your face feels tight, dry, and squeaky-clean after cleansing, that means your cleanser is too harsh and you need to throw it out ASAP.

Stripping your skin of sebum is a sure fire way to disrupt your acid mantle, the skin’s protective barrier made up of SEBUM. That’s right, sebum is actually super important in fighting off bacteria, in moisturizing your skin and even waterproofing it…

And you know what else?

Sebum is acidic! It’s about a 4.5-6.2 on the PH scale. An important thing to note is that p.acnes, acne-causing bacteria, can’t survive on a healthy skin. It loves an alkaline environment.

When you use an actual bar of soap, or baking soda, or even a cleanser like Cetaphil that has a ph of 6.8, you are in fact alkalizing your skin.

This effect isn’t temporary. With increased use of an alkaline product on your face, you actually raise your skin’s alkalinity and make it susceptible to bacteria growth.

Researchers actually tested this and found that acne bacteria GREW over time when participants used alkaline soap to wash their faces twice a day.


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Avoid alkaline products at all costs – especially any cleanser with Sodium Laureth Sulfate in it. Make it a rule to always read ingredients before buying a product that you either use on your face or eat.

My Solution

I stopped vilifying sebum and began embracing it as a natural protector. I started washing my face with plain water in the morning to leave some sebum on my face, and cleansing with a 5.5 PH cleanser at night to thoroughly remove makeup, impurities, and pollution.

This has effectively calmed my skin and healed my acid mantle! The results? My skin is softer, smoother, more hydrated, and clear.

Try it and let me know what you think!


P.S. If you need help on your skin-clearing journey, sign up to get 28 of my BEST hacks for clear skin here!

Products to try:
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution (make sure to rinse it off!) – 5.5 PH
Bioderma Sebium Purifying Foaming Gel – 5.5 PH