Is Washing ‘Too Much’ Bad For Our Skin?

It’s NOT washing regularly that’s the problem, it’s the synthetic chemicals that you’re putting on your skin when you wash…

A very hot topic in the media surrounding skin care is whether ‘washing too much’ is bad for our skin. An article in ‘Publico’, one of Portugal’s biggest newspapers, was recently published talking about this topic, and mentioned my research (you will need to press translate on the page because, understandably, it is in Portugese). Therefore, I thought it was a good time to myth-bust this idea!

Firstly, the vast majority of the media attention over ‘washing too much’, forgets the crucial point: it is what we are washing with that is damaging our skin. Synthetic chemicals in everyday cosmetics such as shower gels, soaps and face washes, can damage the skin’s natural environment, the microbiome. ‘Washing less’ for most people means a decrease in the amount of chemicals smeared on their skin on a daily basis, allowing the skin to partially heal.

Secondly, washing itself is not the problem! The use of just water to wash with is non-damaging to the microbiome, and is FAR better than using everyday cosmetics containing synthetic chemicals. Humans have walked our planet for 6 million years. As Homo Sapiens, we have existed for 300,000 years. For 99.9% of this time, our ancestors have washed using just water and the skin has grown accustomed to coming in contact with purely natural substances. It is no surprise, therefore, that our ancestors’ skin was far healthier than our own.

Only since the industrial revolution and the start of the cosmetics industry has our skin come into contact with synthetic chemicals. A 500% increase in skin problems since the cosmetics industry began has been labelled a ‘skin allergy epidemic’ in the western world, leading to many wondering whether synthetic chemicals in modern cosmetics are one of the main contributors. We as humans have not evolved to cope with the vast amounts we are smearing on our skin, and the dangers of harmful synthetic ingredients in everyday cosmetics is the subject of a huge amount of press coverage. For example, just last month a story broke about cancer-causing chemicals in cosmetics.

So next time you’re debating taking a shower, consider throwing out all your wash products instead! 

Kit Wallen Russell – 1/2 of the #JooMoTwins


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