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Everything you need to know about “skin stripping”

Makeup & Skin Stripping - Copyright (Jessica Quirk)

Skin stripping is a common expression used to describe unintentionally harming and damaging your skin by using the wrong beauty or health products. If you use the wrong product (or too much of it!), you could strip away all the natural oils that protect your skin and keep it healthy.

For many years plenty of us have wrongly believed that oily skin is something to be avoided at all costs and can lead to things like acne and blemishes. However, it is these natural oils that actually keep the safe in good condition and protect the all-important skin cells beneath. It is one of the reasons that medical professionals always advise against new parents from using anything other than water to wash their new-borns skin. Removing the natural oils could permanently damage their baby’s skin in the long term. Whilst we all get older and our skin is exposed to more elements, the advice remains the same.

How do I recognise skin stripping?

If you’ve just used a product and feel like that your skin is tight, the chances are that you’ve stripped your face entirely of all those precious oils. Whilst you might mistake the tightness for suppleness, this is likely to be caused by simply drying your skin entirely.

What caused skin stripping?

In most cases, skin stripping is caused by either using wrong products for your skin or over-use of the right products. Items such as face wipes, cleansing products and skincare foam washes not only remove the natural oils found on your skin, but also potentially do some damage to the skin below. Whilst the short-term effect may be exactly what you wanted (dryer, smoother and the appearance of cleaner skin), the long term effects could be a lot worse.

Make-up wet wipes are by far the worst example of skin stripping. Harsher chemicals may be added to help remove all of the make-up content from your face. So, whilst you may be happy with the results of a strong make-up remover, it could also be removing important elements of your skin. However, sleeping in make-up can also be damaging to your skin as it can block the pore that help produce that much needed natural oils.

Another potential cause of skin stripping could be by showering too much! Assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA, Dr. Carolyn Goh, has said that “staying in [the shower] too long washes the oils away from your skin”. So next time you have an acne breakout, you might want to think twice about doing to many face washes!

What are the effects of skin stripping?

Above all else, skin stripping removes your natural oils. These oils form a protective barrier against bacteria and other harmful elements that could not only damage your skin, but harm other body parts.

Removal of these essential oils can also cause dryness and potentially redness of the skin. If your skin isn’t properly hydrated, this can lead to cell degradation and even potentially peeling if the skin area and cells are dying. Dry, flaky and dead skin rarely feature in your beauty regime! However, it’s not just the appearance that can be harmed. Every time you lose those skin cells, you’re also losing valuable protection against the sun. Your skin acts as a natural barrier for the rest of your body and helps reduce the amount of UV rays that are absorbed.

What are the alternatives?

Something like IPL Skin Rejuvenation can be a better option than using the wrong or too much skincare product. IPL uses “Intense Pulsed Light” to target damaged skin areas and helps regenerate collagen, tighten and firm the skin and diffuses redness. It can also be used for dispelling broken veins, reducing fine lines, improving Rosacea and reducing the impact of sun/age spots and birthmarks.

You’re always welcome to speak to our team, either in one of our London clinics or over the phone, to find out more about how it works and whether it would be suitable for you.


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