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"Overcleaning" has little face value.

Spending a lot on facial cleansers and moisturizers to prevent acne and wrinkles may be a waste of money, according to Dennis Weigand, a dermatologist at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. "I think that far more mischief is done by overcleaning the face than by undercleaning it. We'd see less acne on women's faces if they didn't try to keep them so clean.

"Madison Avenue has done a fantastic job of convincing women that there are all sorts of things they have to do to clean out pores, remove dead skin cells, and so on. All of that is really unnecessary to the health of the skin of your face. Women - and men - can clean their faces with the cheapest soap they can find and as long as it doesn't leave their faces feeling dry, they can continue to use that and it won't cause wrinkling, in spite of what advertisers might say."

Weigand concedes that moisturizers and creams do keep skin from feeling dry and are important to some individuals in terms of "cosmetic considerations," such as bolstering one's sense of well-being. However, such products - no matter how expensive - don't prevent wrinkles or slow the aging process. "Fine wrinkles, irregularities in color or blotchiness, rough texture, and the development of pre-cancerous spots on the face are principally - if not entirely - related to sun exposure. On the other hand, when you get old and your skin sags, that's age."

Abrasive cleansers and creams should be avoided since they can aggravate acne, which can continue to be a problem in adulthood. "As far as |cleaning' your face is concerned, that neither causes nor treats acne since you're cleaning only the surface. The oil glands below the surface are the site of origin of acne."

Weigand suggests that hormone fluctuations may be a cause of acne, especially for women in their 20s and 30s. "Acne often develops in women after the discontinuation of birth control pills or between the time of ovulation and the menstrual period, times during which the production of progesterone fluctuates." It can not be scrubbed away by soap or deep cleansing creams, but can be treated with oral antibiotics or topical retinoic acid.
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Title Annotation:skin care
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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