Can cleansing, toning and moisturising thin the skin?


An interesting question from NavT who does the Beauty Blogging Away blog.

Does regular cleansing, toning, moisturising thin the skin? :/ it feels like it does, and a lot more sensitive, thanku

Well it certainly can.

The topmost layer of the skin is called the stratum corneum.  This is incredibly thin – half the thickness of photocopier paper – while at the same time being an amazingly good barrier to nearly everything.

But it isn’t completely indestructible.  The barrier properties are very dependent on a particular structure of the oils in the skin and these can be disrupted by too much of some of the ingredients of cleansers, toners and moisturisers.  This can and does leave the skin dried out and sensitive.  I have done this to myself quite often when working on particular projects – particularly when I was starting out and didn’t fully understand what I was doing.

One strategy is to read blogs like this one and find out which ones are the worse and carefully seek out the fomulations that are mildest.  But it is probably easier just to not tone, cleanse and moisturise so much.  I imagine beauty bloggers might be some of  the people who are most prone to overdoing it given the numbers of products they seem to try.  I love the enthusiasm but don’t forget that you can have too much of a good thing.

1 thought on “Can cleansing, toning and moisturising thin the skin?”

  1. Doing too much of anything to your skin can leave it sensitive and parched. My boss *literally* does three-four masks a week and is continually putting different serums, and straight glycolic acid on his face – and wonders why he has sensitivity issues with his skin. A mild cleanser and moisturizer with SPF or Vitamin C is as complicated as I get!

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