A recent study shows Australian women aren’t effectively washing their faces, to the detriment of their skin

Australian women are spending only three seconds cleansing their face, which is bad news according to The International Dermal Institute (IDI).

Emma Hobson,educational manager for the IDI and Dermologica says this information is particularly concerning in light of the development of long-wearing sunscreens and long-lasting cosmetics.

“Cleansing is a hugely important step in your skin’s health so dedicating a minute or two on your cleansing routine will be of great benefit.

“Cleansing removes the dirt, grime, dead skin cells and importantly any sun screen off the surface of the skin, preventing congestion, breakouts, dull, rough textured skin and even in the long term, premature ageing,” she says.

Hobson encourages a double cleansing routine, including the use of pre-cleansing products to ensure you have a ‘clean palette’ to apply the rest of your skincare and make-up.

“Pre-cleansing oils work on the principle that attracts the oil in the product attracts and ‘grabs’ the oil on the skins surface as well as the dirt, make-up and debris.

“Using a cleansing oil ensures your second cleanse can work to its full potential leaving the skin ‘squeaky clean’,” Hobson says.

Hobson suggests it’s important to cleanse in the morning to remove dirt, debris and grime (especially off our pillows) accumulated during our sleep, as well as removing last night’s residue of moisturiser.

Cleansing in the evening removes the dirt and grime collected throughout the day, the residue of dead skin cells, and to remove sun screen and any make-up you applied that morning.

Dermologica has released pre-cleanse wipes to provide a super-fast, effective cleansing option for those on the go, but Hobson also suggests picking an appropriate second cleanser specifically for your skin type.

“If you have oily skin you need a cleanser with a stronger surfactant in the form of a clay based cleanser or gel facial, an oil dry skin need a milder cleanser in the form of a milky, creamer cleanser and for a combination skin the cleanser sits in the middle of the cleansing spectrum and can be a light milky cleanser or a gel facial wash,” she says.

Dr Shobhan Manoharan, the director of Westside Dermatology Brisbane says his major concern with three-second washes is that make-up is not being appropriately removed, and remaining contaminants may irritate the skin.

“It is not actually the duration of time that matters, but indeed what people use to wash their face with, whether or not they use the appropriate cleanser for their skin type, and whether or not they remove their make-up,” he says.

Dr Manoharan wants to warn that excessive face washing may also be detrimental, causing irritation.

“You need the right regime for your skin type…In general if you stick to tepid water, relatively short, a soap free cleanser and follow up with a moisturiser appropriate for your skin type – you are on the right track,” he explains.

He also adds that claims of premature ageing caused by improper facial cleansing is inaccurate, however in predisposed individuals, it may result in acne, irritation, or rosaceal flares.

Here are Dr Manoharan’s signs that you may not be cleansing your face properly:

  • Residual make-up/sunscreen
  • Redness in the mornings
  • New onset acne break-outs
  • Late signs even include clumps of scale that accumulate

Are you guilty of having a short facial cleansing routine?