Updated: Aug 1, 2021
Why is cleansing vital to healthy skin?
If you want to put your best face forward, you must begin with the right facial cleanser. Investing in the right facial cleanser can transform your skin. An effective cleanser is the foundation of healthy skin, and if you want clearer and brighter skin, you need the right one. With a facial cleanser that addresses your skin's needs, you will start your journey to a healthy glowing complexion. Cleansing is the first step in your skincare routine, and you should give it the same importance as other products.
The primary function of a facial cleanser is to remove dirt, makeup, and excess oil from the skin. However, the best facial cleansers do more than cleanse.
There are different types of facial cleansers and because skincare products are not a one size fits all approach, your choice of cleanser is determinable by your skin type and skin conditions.
The Different Types of Facial Cleansers
Gel Cleansers are foaming facial cleansers with a lot of bubbles and lather. These are made from cleansing agents known as surfactants. Shampoos, body washes, and other detergents are created from surfactants.
There are different categories of surfactants, and each serves a unique purpose in a formulation. Some surfactants can be drying to the skin as they do not wash off easily, while others are milder and gentler. Some surfactants can destroy the skin's protein and disrupt the oils in our skin. This disruption will cause Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) which is the evaporation of water from the skin's surface.
As such, surfactants in a cleanser for oily skin would not be suitable for dry or sensitive skin as they will remove too much of the skin's natural oil. Excessive dryness will make the skin tight, itchy and irritated.
However, the types of surfactants in a facial cleanser for dry and sensitive skin are less harsh with low irritation levels. Surfactant-based facial cleansers for dry skin are formulated to include ingredients that increase the mildness factor and re-fatten the skin. The goal is not to overdry the skin.
Adequate moisture and hydration are necessary to relieve dry skin. Therefore, if you have excessively dry or dehydrated skin, a cleansing lotion is a more suitable option than a foaming gel cleanser.
Cleansing lotions contain a combination of oil and water-soluble ingredients, and the consistency is quite similar to that of a cream. The oils and emulsifiers in the cleansing lotion provide the skin with moisturization.
You can also combine a foaming cleanser and a cleansing lotion using the double cleansing method. With this method, you will first cleanse the face with a cleansing lotion and then do a second cleanse with a gel cleanser. Double cleansing is an excellent makeup removal method. Another way to combine both cleansers is by cleansing with a cleansing lotion in the mornings and a gel cleanser at night. The skin does not require deep cleansing in the morning, so a cleansing lotion will gently remove any products you may have used the previous night.
The oil cleansing method is the use of one or a combination of oils as a facial cleanser. This formulation contains a blend of various lightweight carrier oils that have moisturizing and healing properties. Oils such as Jojoba, Almond, Sunflower, Evening Primrose, Rose Hip, Castor Oil, and others are frequently used as cleansing oils. Each oil has a unique beneficial quality. Oily and acne skin types have to be cautious about using the cleansing oil method. Most oils are pore-clogging to these skin types and can form blackheads and whiteheads.
The science behind a cleansing lotion and a cleansing oil is that like attracts like. The oils in the cleansers will attract, emulsify and remove the excess oil and dirt from the skin.
Cleansers that do more than cleanse contain ingredients that target specific skin conditions. These are called active ingredients, and they serve a functional purpose.
Active ingredients may include Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as mandelic, glycolic, lactic, malic acid, etc.
Glycolic acid has the smallest molecular structure of all the AHAs and can quickly reach the deeper layers of the skin. Glycolic acid can create irritation, so it is more suitable for thickened skin with an extensive build-up of dead cells.
Mandelic acid is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and pigment-fading ingredient. A product with Mandelic Acid targets acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Lactic Acid has hydrating properties and is also a pigment fader that promotes smoother, younger-looking skin by increasing the rate of cell renewal while improving skin texture and tone.
Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid that is anti-inflammatory and is effective at treating inflamed acne. It is also one of the few ingredients that can penetrate the pores and break down the build-up of dead skin cells and sebum (the natural oil that the skin produces).
When using products with Alpha Hydroxy Acids, always ensure that you use sunscreen with SPF 15 or more. You must also reapply your sunscreen every two hours. If your sunscreen is a chemical one, apply twenty to thirty minutes before intended sun exposure.
In a basic facial cleanser, you will also find botanical extracts. Botanical extracts derive from plant matter. Each botanical extract has a particular quality or property. There are many different types, and they all address specific skin functions.
One of my favorite extracts is fruit extracts or fruit acid mix. Fruit extracts have natural AHA properties. Using fruit extracts will result in a smooth and brighter complexion with a diminished appearance of unwanted wrinkles. It is milder and less irritable than AHAs, and it is perfect for addressing aging skin as it helps to stimulate skin cell renewal. You will feel and see an immediate difference in your skin after using a product with fruit acid mix.
Japanese Honeysuckle extract is good a powerful anti-oxidant that has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and detoxifying properties. These properties make it good at addressing acne and rashes.
Cucumber extract is known for its skin softening and soothing properties.
Green Tea extract is a powerful anti-oxidant to protect the skin from environmental damage.
Thyme extract provides anti-bacterial, astringent, cleansing, and anti-inflammatory benefits. It works well for acne and oily skin.
Lavender extract has astringent and natural skin-soothing properties.
Witch Hazel extract is a good wound healer. It is also an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant ingredient.
Chamomile extract is soothing and also has anti-inflammatory properties making it beneficial for sensitive and reactive skin.
Lemon Peel extract can balance and even the skin tone.
White Oak Bark will cool, soothe and cleanse the skin while loosening dead cell material. It has natural surfactant properties.
Yucca extract is a natural astringent and cleansing extract that helps the skin to expel cellular waste.
Cleaners may also contain hydrolyzed proteins such as oat, quinoa, soy, rice protein, and silk amino acids. Hydrolyzed proteins moisturize the skin and give it a soft, silky feel. Oat protein calms and soothes sensitivities, while silk amino acid is highly effective for dry skin. All hydrolyzed protein in skincare products is beneficial to all skin types. Proteins are the building blocks of nature that serve as the structural scaffolding in our cells, blood, muscle, skin, brain, and even tooth enamel.
dl-Panthenol or Pro-Vitamin B5 is a humectant that attracts and holds moisture in the skin. It is an excellent moisturizer that improves hydration reduces water loss while maintaining skin elasticity.
Vegetable glycerin is also a humectant that attracts moisture to the skin. It is a necessary component in a facial cleanser to reduce irritation and offer moisturization.
These ingredients are excellent in achieving the ultimate skin aesthetic: radiant, young, and healthy-looking skin.
Having radiant and healthy skin will let you look youthful and feel more confident in your own skin. If you want to change the look and feel of your skin and if you desire a healthy and naturally glowing complexion, choose your facial cleanser wisely because it can do much more than cleanse your face.
Remember that the very first step in a skincare routine that works is to cleanse your face. Cleansing will set the foundation or the canvas for everything that comes after.
Choosing the wrong facial cleanser can leave your skin dry and irritated, and one of the critical components of healthy skin is moisture. Every skin needs to retain moisture regardless of your skin type.
You are now equipped with the knowledge you need to choose a facial cleanser that gives you clearer, brighter, and healthier skin. Click here to visit our online store to find out more about the facial cleansers we have in stock. Or, if you would like a customized skincare routine, click here for free product recommendations based on your skin type and skin conditions.