Foaming cleansers are bad news for teenagers

By: Shelley Foster

When I think back to my own teen years, it’s a reminder to me that all too often teens make mistakes with their skin because they don’t know any better!

One of the worst things teenagers can do for their skin is to use a foaming cleanser. Our sebaceous glands produce a very fine, oily film on the surface of the skin, locking in hydration and protecting the skin from environmental threats, which can cause skin irritation and ageing.

The active ingredient in many foaming cleansers is sodium laurel sulphate. This nasty chemical strips all that lovely protection away, leaving your skin compromised, vulnerable and feeling dry and tight.  

I learnt this lesson the hard way as a teenager. I had fairly normal skin, but had a few hormonally induced spots, which I tried to combat with a foaming cleanser. Twice-day cleansing combined with an alcohol-based toner was a disaster on my normal/combination skin. My skin became highly sensitized; red, dry and even started to peel in places.

Thankfully a lovely girl I had known all my school days worked in the local pharmacy and she got me back on track with a gentle creamy cleanser, rose toner and moisturiser. My skin calmed right down and I learned a valuable lesson.

So girls, don’t be fooled by that squeaky clean feeling, or by clever advertising. Foaming cleansers are not your friends.

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