Is It Possible To Be Too Clean?
Mohammad Diab MD , a dermatologist at Group Health , discusses the potential health consequences that can go along with over-cleansing your skin.
Over-Cleansing Your Skin: What's the Harm?
"A lot of us, we are obsessed with being clean, which is a good thing," says Dr. Diab. "The bad thing, especially for the younger generation, [is that] they like to use really hot showers and shower gels. Both of them are drying to dead skin." In turn, dry skin may lead to patchy skin and rashes.
- Related: 5 Tips for Young and Healthy Skin
During the hot summer months, many people tend to shower more often - sometimes several times a day to clean off what feels like a gross film from sweat. And it's true, on the most humid days in Cincinnati your skin might feel pretty dirty just halfway in to the day. But, in this case, over-cleansing is problematic because it washes away the skin moisture your body naturally creates when you work up a good sweat. This isn't to say that we shouldn't shower at the end of a sweaty day, just try to keep it to once a day and stray from using scalding hot water to cleanse the skin.
"We have our own bacteria in our own skin that provides defense for our body that teaches our immune system to be good and healthy, so we don't want to wash and kill those." he points out.
What Type of Cleanser Should I Use?
Dr. Diab cautions against using harsher anti-bacterial soaps to cleanse the skin. He says using anti-bacterial soaps throughout the day while your washing your hands - especially if you work in a particular job environment - is okay. But, when it comes to the rest of your skin, for example, your face, "you may be better off using something a little more mild," he explains.