As a dermatologist, I wanted to share with you why I removed some common items from my patient's dressing table.
As a dermatologist, I'm going to talk about the item that I removed from my vanity early on. Hello, this is Doctor Base, who is dedicated to maintaining your skin health.
The item I'm talking about is a cotton pad. If you're someone who uses it to wipe your face with toner after cleansing in the morning and evening, you might be surprised to hear that I removed it from my vanity.
I'll explain why I got rid of cotton pads from my vanity now. As many of you may know, our skin is divided into the epidermis and the dermis.
The epidermis is further divided into several layers, starting with the stratum corneum, the stratum lucidum, the stratum granulosum, the stratum spinosum, and the stratum basale. While other layers may be unfamiliar to you, I'm sure you're familiar with the stratum corneum, which is the topmost layer of the epidermis.
Yes, that's right. The stratum corneum is often disliked by many people because it can sometimes look unsightly when it becomes rough and flaky. However, as research on the stratum corneum has deepened, it has been revealed that it plays a very important role in our skin, and that it is not something we should hate.
The stratum corneum performs the primary function of our skin barrier, which protects our skin from various external stimuli. Many of you may already know that the "skin barrier" is important, and the stratum corneum is where this function is primarily performed.
Do any of you still use makeup remover towels to rub your face? A long time ago, many people used to rub their faces with towels in bathhouses, causing their skin to become rough and flaky. However, it has been known for a while now that rubbing your face with towels like this is not good for your skin. Nowadays, no one rubs their face with towels anymore.
However, going to the bathhouse and rubbing your face with a makeup remover towel, or using a cotton pad to rub your face every morning and evening, is just as bad. No matter how soft the cotton pad is, if you rub your skin twice a day, the stratum corneum will gradually be physically removed.
As I mentioned earlier, the stratum corneum is the primary barrier of our skin. So, constantly removing this layer is like breaking down the skin barrier. Furthermore, when the stratum corneum is continuously lost, our skin produces new layers of dead skin cells to rebuild the barrier. Starting from a single cell in the basal layer of the epidermis, it takes around 28 days for a cell to migrate upwards and become a part of the stratum corneum. This is commonly referred to as the skin turnover period. Our body has a certain cycle, around 28 days, in which cells differentiate from the basal layer to the stratum corneum. However, if we keep removing the dead skin cells, the skin recognizes that the barrier is gone and produces new cells more quickly. This can lead to improperly formed and flaky dead skin cells, which cannot serve as an effective skin barrier.
Moreover, if our skin is overworked due to sudden and excessive removal of dead skin cells, it can become tired and exhausted. Over time, repeated disruption of the skin turnover cycle can lead to premature aging.
Personally, I have not used cotton pads for over 15 years, and my skin actually feels healthier. If I need to remove heavy eye or lip makeup, I use a point remover with a generous amount of the product on a cotton pad and leave it on the area for a certain period of time. After the makeup has been dissolved, I gently press and wipe it off, rather than rubbing or scrubbing. Especially around the eyes and lips, where the skin is thin, rubbing too hard can cause premature aging.
As a dermatologist, I have recommended removing cotton pads as the first item to eliminate from your makeup routine, and in the future, I will discuss the second item.