There was a student in one of my classes who was from China. She looked like a mature student, possibly in her late 30s. She immigrated here with her husband. She came to this school because she wanted to learn more about beauty and how to take care of her skin. She has a lot of wrinkles and fine lines, and her skin is very dry and dehydrated.
Sometime during her course of study, she revealed her age to all of us. She was only 23. I have never been so shocked in my life. This woman, not young lady (and I don’t mean to compare her with myself) was even older than me, and her face looked like she was hitting on forty. Curious, I asked her what she uses for her face.
She told me that back in China and where she came from, a lot of women do not know anything about skincare, nor even anything about their skin. Back in China, she felt that her skin was very oily and she hated it. So one day, she saw a washing soap for clothing and used it to wash her face everyday. After she first used it, her face felt dry and tight, and that made her feel so much better and more confident. She continued to use it for three years.
I nearly had a heart attack. I told her that those three years she had been using soap to wash her face, had most likely ruined her life.
Our skin has a normal balanced pH level of 5.0-5.6, which sits on between acidic and close to Neutral. So for this student, who belonged to oily skin, her pH level would of been on 5.7-6.8 (therefore easier for the growth of bacteria).
A hand soap, and especially that of a clothes washing liquid detergent, pH level would be approximately 8-10.0, a strong alkaline. Washing soap is a detergent, therefore it will remove grease and dirt, making clothes and dishes clean. If you try to wash your hands with a washing detergent, you will find that your hands end up feeling very dry, which is the result of the detergent.
Put it this way: washing your face with a washing liquid is murder. It will drain all the oil from your skin, even moisture, leaving your skin pretty much with nothing left. So for a person with oily skin, this may make you feel better for a few hours, but you will realize that the more you use it, the more your skin will turn from oily to dry. And this is where the nightmare starts.
If you’ve read my previous article about “Why Women Will Always Look Older than Men,” I talked about how oily skin benefits better than any other skin type because their face is actually constantly moisturized and nourished with the skin’s natural produced sebum and moisture balance. So if you wash your face with a soap detergent, you take that all away and even the acidity that the skin needs to kill bacteria will be removed. With less and less oil produced on your skin, and moisture balance, your skin becomes thinner, dry, and dehydrated, producing many fine lines.
Fine lines turn into wrinkles. Dry skin will turn to mature skin. Once you have mature skin, there is no turning back.
And so for this lovely student, who is so beautiful, there is nothing she can do now because it is too late (unless she does surgery for collagen, light therapy, or micro-needling).
The only thing she can do now is to maintain and treat her skin as a mature skin would – to continue nourishing and moisturizing her skin as often as possible, and to use skincare treatments like massage, peeling, masks and machines like ultrasound and galvanic.
Please do not mistake this article with the soaps that were made specially for cleansing the face, as they are made much more mild and therefore very good in helping to cleanse, and moisturize the face at the same time.
I’ll talk about which types of cleansers work for different skins, but that will be for another article to come.
Have you ever used soap to clean your face? What products do you use to wash your face?