Let's Talk about Facial Cleansers! What makes a good facial cleanser?

Cleansers pH Balance

Some Misconceptions about Cleansing...

There are so many misconceptions about facial cleansing, especially for those who have combination or oily skin types.  I was at a skincare gathering and talking to a very pretty young teen (14 years young) who said she used a well known drug store brand cleanser that is meant to help clear up breakouts.  She was perplexed, "I just don't understand that even after drying my face with that cleanser--I still break out!".  Hmmm... I don't even know where to start!

The purpose of facial cleansing is to gently remove the day's accumulated soil and makeup and to help shed dead skin cells.  All skin types benefit from what I call the "Clean Palette".  Properly cleansed skin is then ready to receive the wonderful benefits of your prescribed treatments, toners, serums, and moisturizers. A quality facial cleanser should never mean stripping, insulting, or depleting your skin of moisture!

Even oily skin should be treated gently.  When skin is stripped of its natural hydration, the sebaceous glands go into overdrive to produce oils from the stripped face--resulting in a "breakout rebound".

On the other side of the spectrum-many with dry skin don't cleanse their faces enough for fear of stripping their skin of what little amount of precious oils their skin contains.  Now, that's a different problem!  One of the functions of proper cleansing is to help shed dead skin cells. If all that dead skin just hangs around--skin looks lifeless, dull, wrinkled, and... dryer!

All skin types benefit from a quality cleanser to provide a "Fresh Palette".  Your skin care products like serums, prescribed treatments, and moisturizing lotions and creams will also work their magic better!

What should we look for in a Quality Cleanser?

So, all skin types from Oily, Combination, Normal, Sensitive, and Dry--should properly cleanse their faces!  Cleansers should respect the skin's healthy microbiome.  What should we look for in good quality cleansers?

  • Gentle Surfactants (known as the 'foamers')  Many new surfactants have been developed in the last 10 years. They're gentler and kinder to the skin but still provide deep cleansing properties. Why would any cleanser still be using SLS?? The only answer I can think of is that it's very cheap.  Some surfactants have very little foam (best for dry skin), and some more.  But the surfactant should be gentle and respect the skin's microbiome.
  • pH Balance.  We cannot stress this enough!  Our skin does not like chalky, high-pH cleansers (alkaline which is a pH of over 7).  Our skin favors cleansers in the skin-friendly 5 to 6 pH range.  This is crucial for healthy skin (and hair too)!  This is also why traditional "soap" should never be used.  To remain a "soap" the pH must be higher than an alkaline level of 7 or else it isn't "soap".  With all of the better and more natural cleansers available today, there is no reason to use alkaline "soap".
  • Many wonderful, effective ingredients can help the various skin types with their specific issues.  Plant-based extracts can help reduce the overproduction of oil (Willow Bark), have antioxidant properties (Green Tea), or have extracts providing soothing properties (Chamomile, Licorice, Aloe).  Plant-based oils can provide emollience (sunflower, sweet almond, apricot kernel).  Humectants such as the humble but hard-working Glycerin, Betaine (from Beets), or Sorbitol to name a few provide healthy hydration.  And, my favorite ingredients for gentle but thorough cleansing are Colloidal Oat powders and Oat extracts.  These provide amazing softening and soothing benefits for all skin types!

Char's Effectives Facial Cleansers are pH-balanced and respect the skin's microbiome.  Our choices for each skin type:

Soon we will also be adding a couple of other specialized cleansers with Glycolic and Lactic Acids to promote gentle exfoliation and an Oil to Milk Cleansing Balm for specially dry skin. Stay tuned for these new introductions!

    A quality cleanser is crucial for that healthy, well-exfoliated, hydrated, refreshed Clean Palette!



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