Have you heard of “Cleansing Reduction”? That means “washing less”, in England and the USA this has been a real movement for some time. Stars such as Ashton Kutcher or Mila Kunis are also publicly committed to the trend – but how useful is that really? STYLEBOOK asked an expert about the pros and cons of “Cleansing Reduction” for skin and hair.
What does “Cleansing Reduction” mean?
“Cleansing Reduction” means as much as “Reduced Washing” and finds many followers in Great Britain and the USA, including the actor couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. Excessive hygiene, according to the “Cleansing Reduction” followers, destroys the skin’s natural protective coat and dries out the hair unnecessarily. In addition, small bacteria that are good against pathogens should not be rinsed off. We asked the Munich dermatologist Dr. med. Sabine Zenker on how unhealthy water, shower gel, shampoo & Co actually are for skin and hair.
How often should you take a shower?
At most twice a week – anything else would affect the skin too much, claim supporters of “Cleansing Reduction.” Dr. Zenker sees it differently. “Especially when it comes to health, hygiene is at the top of the list,” she says. Basically, every person is allowed to shower as often and for as long as he would like. If he feels like his skin is tightening afterwards, the water may have been too hot, “or too much soap has been used,” says Dr. Zenker. The dermatologist therefore only advises people with dry skin to use cleansing products sparingly. In those places where it is really necessary – under the armpits, on the feet, etc. – shower oils are more suitable because, unlike soap, they also grease in addition to cleaning. If this is not enough for you, you can then use a suitable care.
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Is washing hair harmful?
“If you go daily with core soap on it, definitely,” says Dr. Zenker. Every person has to find out the ideal washing rhythm for themselves. But: “As long as you pay attention to hair type-appropriate care, there is nothing to say against the daily hair wash.” Speaking of care: Don’t be afraid of shampoos from the supermarket! They are not necessarily worse than the expensive ones from the specialist trade, confirms the expert. Basically, everyone can first try it with a drugstore product that is excellent for their needs. And if you have the feeling after half a day that your crest is extremely greasy again, you should not change the hair care, but change it – and definitely visit a dermatologist once.
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In pathological cases, sometimes only medical tinctures or tablets help. However, such a problem has nothing to do with too frequent hair washes. Dr. Zenker thinks little of the recently so popular dry shampoo: “It only lies on the hair shaft, sweat or sebum residues are probably not removed from the scalp.” It is therefore not suitable as a hygiene replacement, but rather as a quick refresher for in between.
Clean your face – yes or no?
We know that the top layer of the skin, which is directly exposed to external influences, contains protein and fat. The two substances form a kind of protective layer for the epidermis to prevent it from losing moisture. When it comes into contact with water, the skin swells up and moisture evaporates. But is that why you can no longer wash yourself?
Dr. Zenker gives the all-clear: “Cleaning is very important, especially in the evening” to remove the traces of the day, i.e. make-up, sweat and sebum residues. “It’s up to everyone whether they prefer to use a tonic or washing gel.” Rinsing the products with water afterwards is perfectly okay, even twice a day. The only decisive factor is the choice of the right product so that the skin is not either dried out or over-cared for.
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