• Cleansing a Dry and/or Sensitive Skin

Cleansing a Dry and/or Sensitive Skin

I cannot help but write again about the cleansing of your face. Good cleansing is an essential step in your skincare regime and, sadly, I see countless problems in people who either cleanse too often or use the wrong products. A properly cleansed skin glows, is well hydrated with minimal risk of blocked pores and spots. Skin which isn’t well cleansed (or over cleansed) will look dull, dry or just very greasy and irritated. Over- zealous cleansing not only disrupts the skin’s barrier function, but it also wipes out all sorts of bacteria which maintain your skins healthy condition. The balance between too much and too little cleansing is very fine and, to complicate things further, differs from person to person.

To compare it with washing clothes, even though one item of clothing may come out of the washing machine as looking good as new, after a 40 degree wash, another item of clothing may be heading straight for the bin. The trick is to determine whether your skin is like that silk blouse or has more in common with a pair of jeans. If you can then determine the cause of the spots then you will have a good chance that your daily washing routine will make your skin more attractive and healthy.

In order to know how to cleanse your skin, it is important that you firstly answer the questions below. This is best carried out after 2 to 3 days of washing your face with water alone instead of with a cleansing product…

1. During the course of the day does your skin become greasy, does it feel dry or is it just normal?
2. Do you have spots?
3. Do you have sensitive skin?
4. Do you have Rosacea?

This week I am going to concentrate on normal to dry and/ or sensitive skin. Next week I will cover the normal to oily skin.

Dry and/or sensitive skin
If your skin is dry and/or sensitive, then I advise cleansing with mild products as little as possible. So preferably, at night time only, use a mild non-foaming Cleanser which can be rinsed off with water. The most suitable type of product for your skin is one which is milky with added oil. Rinsing your face with water in the mornings is adequate. If your skin remains very dry and sensitive after using such a product then you can cleanse your face with a vegetable oil. It sounds strange, but the oil removes the dirt and bacteria without drying out your skin. You can massage the oil in your hands and remove the excess by rinsing with some water or a mild Cleanser. You could also add a little oil to your cleansing product. Rice bran, jojoba and camomile oil are very suitable for this because they are not too greasy. These oils are also perfect for removing your waterproof make-up!

Extremely dry and sensitive skin
If you have extremely dry and sensitive skin you often react poorly to washing. In this case cleanse with an oil. Massage this into your skin and remove the excess with a cotton pad and some oil instead of water.

Dry skin with spots
If you have dry skin with spots or pimples, you can also cleanse with an oil. In this case I would advise cleansing with a water soluble cleanser afterwards in order to remove stubborn bacteria as thoroughly as possible. Immediately after washing, and preferably while your skin is still damp, apply a good Moisturizer which contains soothing and barrier repairing substances.

Your skin is, by definition, sensitive if you suffer from Rosacea. If, along with this, you have spots or bumps then it becomes more challenging. Those spots are often caused by the demodex mite which lives on your skin. This is easy to find out with the help of a microscope, but unfortunately very few Doctors carry out this check. It is essential, if you suffer with Rosacea, that you cleanse your skin properly. On the other hand, cleansing too thoroughly will quickly damage the delicate barrier function of the skin, exacerbating the inflammation and irritation. Each Rosacea skin reacts differently so I would advise you to experiment. Therefore, trial and error… Demodex mites cannot tolerate tea tree oil, but sadly sometimes neither can your skin. Firstly cleanse your skin twice a day with oil with a drop of tee tree oil added, then rinse this off with a mild Cleanser. If this doesn’t cause any reactions then try mixing half tea tree oil and half oil together. If this is too much for your skin, then just cleanse twice a day with a mild water soluble Cleanser. Directly after cleansing apply a Moisturizer. If your skin remains dry put some oil on a cotton pad and apply onto your skin before cleansing or add a little extra oil to your Moisturizer.


Chi – Tea Tree Oil





Het Blauwe Huis – Jojoba Olie





Dr. Jetske Ultee – Cleanser for normal to dry skin

Aqua, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Sucrose Polystearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Dimethicone, Sodium Polyacrylate, p-Anisic Acid, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Lecithin, Phenethyl Alcohol, Citric Acid.

Last updated January 2016

Decubal – clinic cream
Aqua, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Bytrospermum Parkii Butter, Brassica Campestris Seed Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Bisabolol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.

Last updated January 2016


Clinique – Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk
Water, Isohexadecane, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Triethylhexanoin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sucrose Cocoate, PEG-100 Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), PEG-5 Soy Sterol, Panthenol, Jojoba Wax PEG-120 Esters, Caffeine, Sucrose, Cholesterol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-150 Distearate, Carbomer, Potassium Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide

Last updated January 2016

The Body Shop – Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser
Aqua (water), Aloe barbadensis (aloë-veragel), Pentylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Elaeis guineensis (palmolie), Butylene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin (glycerine), Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Glyceryl Stearate, Orbignya oleifera (babassu-olie), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Phosphate

Last updated January 2016


Estee Lauder – Verite Light lotion Cleanser
Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Sucrose Stearate, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cholesterol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Ceramide 3, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Tromethamine, PPG-20 Methyl Glucose Ether, Isostearic Acid, Carbomer, Sodium Citrate.

Last updated January 2016

Kind regards,


Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology