Is Your Face Too Clean? Bacteria is the Key to Healthy Skin (Really)

Is Your Skin Too Clean?

We are currently experiencing a multi-step skincare craze. There are undeniable benefits to multi-stepping and skincare cocktailing. Korean beauty is testament to that. But it’s important to note that bacteria isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to healthy skin.

While facial cleansing was once considered a suds and forget about it skincare step, facial cleansers are seeing a definite surge in popularity. We’ve been taught that bacteria causes clogged pores and breakouts, and work to eradicate it from our complexion. So we double-cleanse, tone, mist, and scrub our faces into a state of uber-cleanliness. Are we overdoing it?

Those well-advertised skincare systems lead people looking to eradicate acne to believe cleaner is better. Sure, keeping skin free from dirt and debris is essential to healthy skin, but a twice daily cleanse, slough, and tone may be causing more damage (and acne flare-ups) than good.

The Human Microbiome Project, a U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative that began in 2007, has discovered some interesting facts having to do with how our microbial makeup affects the skin. Research shows that while certain types of bacteria appear to cause acne, other types may actually keep skin healthy.

You know how taking a course of antibiotics can send your digestive system into a state of upheaval? This is because the medication, which is designed to remove the bacteria that is causing your illness, also removes the “good bacteria” that is there to keep your system balanced and operating smoothly. Now scientists believe an imbalanced skin microbiome can lead to skin issues, like dryness, irritation, redness, and acne.

How Clean Should Your Skin Be?

So, what is the perfect amount of skin bacteria? And how do you get it? As we’ve said, keeping the complexion clean is essential to healthy skin. Contrary to popular belief, over-cleansing by means of too many skincare products, abrasive scrubs and pads, and skincare antibiotic use may do more harm than good. Follow these tips to balanced skin cleansing.

Use nontoxic skincare: Harsh surfactants, artificial fragrance, and synthetic preservatives strip the skin of necessary oils and cause imbalance. Use nontoxic skincare that is free from harmful cosmetic ingredients to maintain healthy skin.

Cleanse when necessary: Here’s the deal. You really only need to cleanse your face when it is actually dirty or to remove makeup. Use a facial wash if you have especially oily skin, just worked out, or otherwise got dirty, or need to cleanse before bed. You may be fine with a simple splash of warm water in the morning. And exfoliating should be done no more than one to two times weekly to avoid irritation, inflammation, and breakouts.

Use a cleanser suited to your skin type: Always take the gentlest approach to skincare. If you need a foaming face wash, fine. Those with sensitive or dry skin may do better with a milk or cream cleanser. And the best way to remove makeup from skin is with an oil or balm cleanser.

Utilize probiotic skincare: Probiotics are helpful in balancing gut flora and are good for the skin, too. Use a plain yogurt facial mask to exfoliate, brighten, and calm the skin. Probiotic skincare products are also available. Check out Aurelia Skincare made with probiotic ingredients.

Bacteria Balancing Face Cleansers

One Love Organics Easy Does It Cleanser

For Normal/Combination

One Love Organics Easy Does It Cleanser is a gentle cleanser that removes makeup and leaves skin feeling fresh and clean without stripping.

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

For Oily/Acne Prone

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser gently exfoliates while it cleanses and protects skin’s natural balance.

Shiva Rose Pearl Milk Cleanser

For Dry/Mature

Shiva Rose Pearl Milk Cleanser rehydrates skin with natural oils as it cleanses, leaving the complexion plumped and glowing.

MV Skincare Gentle Cream Cleanser

For Sensitive Skin

MV Skincare Gentle Cream Cleanser leaves skin soft, smooth, and clean with no irritation, redness, or inflammation.

Kypris Cleanser Concentrate


Kypris Cleanser Concentrate dissolves dirt, makeup, and debris and leaves skin clean, hydrated, and balanced.

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Liz Thompson

Liz Thompson is an organic beauty expert who has been researching and writing on the subjects of natural beauty, health, and wellness for over 10 years. She specializes in sharing safe beauty products and her knowledge on healthy ingredients with her readers, and helping organic beauty brands and shop owners share their message and products with the world through her writing services.