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Are You Over-Cleansing Your Skin?

The secret to proper cleansing is to get rid of airborne particles such as soot, smoke, dust and dried sweat, residue from makeup and sunscreens, and to clear out clogged pores without also stripping away the skin’s natural oils and water. Many cleansing products including soaps and scrubs, dry the skin and alter its pH balance, causing it to become more alkaline.

If you’ve reached that squeaky clean sensation on your skin, you’ve probably just over cleansed. In principle this result sounds good, especially if you have oily skin. But, in fact, the body is always seeking to balance and regulate its processes, so when we remove the skin’s natural oil content, it responds by producing more oil to compensate for the loss. Of course, if you already have dry skin, you do not want to make it drier. And if you have sensitive skin, you don’t want to irritate it with harsh chemicals and soaps.

Do we need a heavy duty cleanser to ensure our skin is truly and deeply clean? Not at all. We just need to get rid of the dirt that accumulates during the day. Our faces are the most exposed, yet fragile, part of our bodies. If weather is harsh we can cover up with gloves and a scarf around our neck, but we don’t generally hide our faces under a mask.  The solution is to eliminate the dirt without over-cleansing and potentially causing skin irritation.

Not long ago, I asked a twenty-nine year old customer what she liked about using our night cream. To be honest, I was a little surprised that someone her age would be in the market for a night cream. She told me that after she washes her skin every night, it then feels dry and so she likes applying the night cream to compensate for the dryness. My first reaction to hearing this was, “Oh no! Which of our cleansers is making your skin feel dry?”

It turned out that, despite using many of our products for her skincare routine, she had hung on to using a beloved cleanser that she’d been using for years. The brand of the cleanser was a household name, whose products are synonymous with calming dry, itchy skin. Nothing too ominous here I thought until I looked at the ingredient list and discovered a surprising number of ingredients that have been flagged by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as “toxic, causes skin rashes and allergic reactions.”

The point is, this supposedly soothing cleanser was in fact drying out her skin and setting up a cycle requiring moisturizing beyond what someone her age would normally need. Ideally, an effective facial cleanser washes the daily dirt, oxidized sebum, and dead skin cells off your face while leaving behind enough of the skin's own oil to naturally moisturize.

If a cleanser, used alone or in a double-cleansing ritual, leaves your skin feeling dry, it is removing too much of this natural moisturizer. If it leaves you feeling greasy and sticky, either it isn’t removing enough oil or it contains emollient and film-forming ingredients that are clogging pores.

At Botanic Organic we’ve formulated our cleansers to clean without stripping away the necessary moisture or leaving an oily residue on the skin. At the same time, they are balancing, nutritive, healing and totally free of toxic ingredients. To keep skin in glowing health, we recommend a double-cleanse method of cleansing several times per week.

For morning and light cleansing that doesn’t involve makeup or sunscreen removal, our infinitely gentle and refreshing Chamomile & Lavender Facial Cleansing Spray will leave your face feeling refreshed and soft. This facial mist cleanser is made from plant distillates and aloe vera to cleanse, balance pH, calm inflammation and help to repair damaged or fragile skin. It can do double duty as a hydrating mist to be sprayed on the face throughout the day to add extra moisture or as a facial toner. If you need to baby sensitive skin or just like the idea of using soothing plant-distillates to clean your skin, this is the cleanser for you.

The Chamomile and Lavender Facial Cleansing Spray has become my little savior in a bottle! Between traveling and enduring the hottest ever summer in Southern California, this spray has been put to the test. During the day, I use it as a light mist to calm and refresh. When getting ready for bed, I use it after cleansing my skin by spraying a small amount on a cotton square and gently patting over my face and neck. It can also be used alone, as a cleanser, but I preferred to use it as a follow up to the grains.

— Roxanne, Los Angeles, CA

For night-time cleansing when you need to remove all of the daily residues, a wise choice is the Tangerine & Lemon Facial Cleansing Oil. This is an extremely effective, non-drying oil cleanser that rids skin of makeup, mascara, and the pollution that collects on the face over the day.  For those of you who have never used an oil cleanser, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Even our customers who have oily skin and who’s first reaction is to shun an oil cleanser, have been surprised by how well it works for their skin.

This cleansing oil has really been a game changer for me. It’s a fantastic makeup remover, but it also feels deeply nourishing when I massage it into my skin. When I’ve oil cleansed in the past with coconut oil or even olive oil, I’ve always felt a little grimy afterwards, but this rinses off cleanly while leaving enough moisture behind to still feel soft and hydrated. I love it.

— Toni, Cultivated Well Being, Alameda, CA

Oats & Goat's Milk Cleansing Grains is a non-irritating, preservative-free daily cleanser, effective for all skin types. This uber gentle cleanser can be used as a one-step cleanser and also as a second-step for double-cleansing. Oatmeal gently exfoliates, drawing impurities from your skin and unclogging pores, while the lactic acid in goat’s milk works as a gentle exfoliant allowing new healthy skin cells to emerge, revealing vibrant, glowing skin.

I absolutely love this product! It smells fantastic, has a great texture, and is a gentle yet effective exfoliator for my very sensitive skin. After use my skin is soft and hydrated and my pores are noticeably smaller. This is definitely the best facial cleanser I have ever tried! So happy to have discovered Botanic Organic!

— Emily, North Haven CT

Honey & Licorice Root Daily Cleansing Grains is another of our cleansing grains made with 100% organic, nourishing, food-grade ingredients. It makes a wonderful second-step, deep cleanser perfect for practicing the double cleanse method. It is a nutritive, preservative free, all natural cleanser that will repair, brighten and gently polish your complexion while leaving your skin feeling incredibly soft, moisturized and protected.

I love the feeling of the Organic Botanic products on my skin. The products also make my skin look amazing. All the products have a very refreshing, soothing, natural smell, and nothing chemical. I use the Honey & Licorice Root Daily Cleansing Grains a few times a week. Although it exfoliates, it leaves my skin feeling moisturized, not dry and stripped. I have never found a facial cleaning product that makes my skin feel this healthy.

— Courtney, Menlo Park CA

August 29, 2015

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Posted in acne, hydrosol, plant distillate, witch hazel


It's plant hydrosol season and our witch hazel has arrived!

Witch hazel

Every spring I begin receiving notifications from my artisan distillers reminding me that it’s time to pre-order my hydrosols for the year. This involves carefully calculating how much of each plant distillate we'll need for the upcoming year. Artisan distillers produce mostly according to their wholesale buyers' pre-orders and, while they might have a little left over for retail sale, you can't rely on it being there for you later in the year.

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