Best Ingredients: Squalene, surfactantsAdjunctive Treatments: Addition of chemical exfoliants 
Worse Ingredients: Apricot seeds, fruit seeds, sulphatesTips: Twice a day cleansing, double cleanse in the evening

What is the science of cleansing?

Remember your mother telling you to wash your face? Well, there is scientific evidence backing up this essential task. Here are 3 main points as to the importance of washing your face correctly. 

  1. Face washing removes build up of sebum (oil), impurities such as dirt, environmental oils (think cooking), make up &, sunscreen.
  2. Washing your face can improve skin clarity, skin turnover & allow skin care actives including vitamins, skin care acids, pigment correctors & antioxidants work harder. 
  3. The cleansing process primes the skin so that it’s natural regenerative processes can be optimised. This removes dead compressed skin cells known as keratinocytes.

Additionally the action of putting your hands on your skin and massaging increases blood flow, which immediately plumps up the skin and makes it look more rejuvenated.

How To Choose The Right Cleanser?

There are many types of facial cleansers to choose from, depending on your skin type. As a guide-

Oil cleansers

Skin Type: Most skin types

An oil cleanser is a gentle way of removing pore-clogging debris,including waterproof makeup-without drying your skin. Ideal as the first step in double cleansing. 

Foam Cleansers

Skin Type: Oily & combination skin

Foam cleansers are lightweight cleansers. These cleansers are initially dispensed as a cream or gel, changing to a foamy lather when mixed. This type of cleanser removes excess oil as effectively as gel cleansers.

Gel cleansers

Skin type: Oily & combination skin

These cleansing gels are ideal for deep cleansing & decongesting pores. They remove excess oil, dirt, & impurities & provide mild exfoliation. 

Cream cleansers

Skin type: Dry to sensitive skin, rosacea prone skin

These cleansers are thick & creamy, & as the name suggests are ideal for sensitive skin. Ideal for people who suffer from rosacea or dermatitis. They provide cleansing without stripping the skin of it’s natural protective oils. 

Clay cleansers

Skin type: Oily & combination skin

Known for their absorbing power, clay cleansers purify your skin by drawing out excess oil and toxins from your pores.

Bar cleansers

Skin type: Oily & combination skin

New bar cleansers are very different from ‘soap’ and suds rich cleansers of the past. They are often pH balanced & some contain moisturizing ingredients including essential oils & glycerin. 

Micellar Water

Skin type: Sensitive & Dry skin, rosacea patients

Micellar water cleansers have a suspension of oil droplets in soft water. These oils attract oil, sebum, dirt, sunscreen, & makeup. Another great thing about them: You don’t need to rinse them off with water.

Powder Cleansers

Skin Type: Oily & sensitive skin

These cleansers—powdery soft when dry—dissolves into a creamy concoction upon contact with water, thoroughly cleansing your skin while providing gentle exfoliation.

Cleansing Cloths Or Sponges

Skin type: Oily & combination skin

There are cleansing wipes, mitts and sponges. These cleansers are made with special fibers and don’t typically require the use of any traditional cleansers—to thoroughly remove impurities while also sloughing off dead skin cells. A few examples are muslin cloths, kassa/kessa mitts & cleaning sponges.

What ingredients should I look for in a facial cleanser?

The best ingredients will depend on your skin type & skin care goals. 

For acne-prone or oily skin, look for an exfoliating cleanser with retinol or salicylic acid. For dry or sensitive skin, choose a cleanser rich in emollients. These compounds help to reduce the amount of moisture lost from the skin. Examples of emollient ingredients include petrolatum, lanolin, squalene, mineral oil and ceramides. Humectants are similar to emollients as they help reduce water loss, aiding in moisture retention. Examples of these include propylene glycol, glycerin & hyaluronic acid.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Facial Cleansers

Facial cleansing & sunscreens form the basis of skin care- hence why it is vital to get it right from the beginning. It can be perplexing with the amount of products out there, ranging from creams, gels, lotions, oil suspensions in water, through to mits & bars. Double cleansing, as ‘invented’ by the Koreans, is probably a sensible way of removing make up, sunscreen, sebum (natural oils) & impurities. With good facial cleaning it primes the skin, ready for skin care actives such as vitamins, hyaluronic acid, skin care acids & antioxidants to work harder to achieve your goal. 

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