“Cleansing Reduction”: Is washing less good for our skin?

“Cleansing Reduction”: Is washing less good for our skin? +2023

Cleansing Reduction Does washing less do more for our skin?

Vanity in the bathroom

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How often should you really wash your skin and hair? According to supporters of “Cleansing Reduction” as rarely as possible. What’s up with the trend? We asked a skin expert.

Less is more – at least that’s what the followers of the so-called Cleansing Reduction believe. They assume that it is better for the skin and hair to wash them less frequently or only with water. This should protect the natural protective layer of the skin, hair should produce less sebum and not become greasy as quickly.

“Cleansing Reduction” has long been a topic in the USA and Great Britain, and in the meantime there is an increasing number of discussions in this country as to how often one should actually wash oneself. Our editor has already dared to try it on herself with her hair and our survey also aroused great interest in the community and presented interesting results: around 34 percent of the almost 6000 participants only wash their hair every other day. Daily hair washing and two to three times a week are equal at 28 percent each. After all, 300 of those surveyed stated that they only wash their hair a few times a month.

We have at dermatologist Dr. medical Corinna Peter asked what “Cleansing Reduction” is all about.

BRIGITTE: Does it really make sense to wash less to protect the skin flora?

dr medical Corinna Peter: In principle yes. In our practice we see many problems caused by washing or applying lotion too much. Healthy skin is basically able to protect itself from external influences.

From a dermatologist’s point of view, is there a recommendation as to how often one should shower?

You can’t say that in general, because it depends on a lot of factors – the condition of your skin, how much you sweat, etc. I wouldn’t radicalize a trend as a way of life either. You should simply treat your skin sensibly: too much is not good, but neither is too little.

What do you think about washing only with water or only rarely with soap?

Again, external circumstances matter. Basically, it is good to avoid shower gel because it degreases the skin. However, grease or make-up cannot be removed with water alone. In these cases, soap is necessary and good too.

Are there parts of the body that should be washed every day?

Hands can transmit germs. You have to wash them often to keep them hygienic. But one should not overdo it.

“Cleansing reduction” is a big topic, especially for people with a tendency to pimples. Can less washing or skipping products really lead to clearer skin?

The most common cause of skin blemishes is the excessive use of creams. And the more you wash your skin and thus degrease it, the more it tries to counteract it in the form of sebum production. In the case of impure skin, doing without or reducing products can make sense.

Hair should not become greasy so quickly by not using shampoo. Is that correct?

Every shampoo contains surfactants that dissolve fat. The fat is not only removed from the hair, but also from the scalp. If you wash your hair every day, you get used to it because the sebaceous glands have to produce new oil every day. If you switch to not washing your hair every day, you will notice after a few weeks that your hair is no longer as greasy.

Can dry shampoo be a substitute for daily hair washing?

It’s definitely useful for in between. But since a lot of residues remain in the hair, it cannot be a substitute for a proper hair wash in the long run.


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