A facial cleanser can be described as a non-foaming substance that is wiped off the face and dissolves away excess oil, makeup, and grime from your facial skin surface. Facial cleansing is often confused with face wash. The face wash is a foaming cleanser that mainly gets rid of deeper embedded impurities. A facial wash also cleans pores due to its foaming properties.
Common ingredients of facial cleansers and their functions.
It is always to know the substances we expose our skin too. This helps us avoid substances that cause irritation and know those substances that are harmful to our skins. The following are some common facial cleansers ingredients and their functions.
Detergents and Soaps
A common ingredient you should look for is ingredients that mix with dirt and oils. This will allow the impurities to mix with the cleanser and allow them to be easily washed off the skin. Soaps are considered to be natural cleansers while detergents are more of synthetic cleaners. Most common detergent elements found in cleansers include myristic acid, ammonium lauryl, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid.
Natural cleansers soap is mainly made from vegetable oil and animal fats extracts. These substances are mixed with alkaline based substances to create salts. These two substances are mixed in a process known as saponification. The end product of this process (the salt) is what is known as soap. Other by products of the process are glycerin and moisturizer.
Example of commonly used oils: Coconut oil and olive oil.
Example of commonly used alkaline substances: sodium hydroxide
These substances work on the skin by soothing dry skin and replacing the oil content removed by cleansers. This is the main reason facial cleansers have moisturizers, to counteract the cleansing agents used in the cleansers formula. Some moisturizers are absorbed by the skin while others aren’t. Moisturizers are known to form a thin barrier on the skins surface to prevents and reduce moisture loss.
Antimicrobial ingredients in facial cleansers serve two purposes: they extend the shelf life of the cleanser in addition to facilitating the removal of potentially harmful and irritating organisms found on the skin surface. Facial cleansers designed to combat acne, dry skin or other skin disorders will contain antimicrobial ingredients that will aid in the treatment of these conditions.
These compounds are present in facial cleansers, and they help to reduce the amount of moisture lost from the skin.
Examples of emollient ingredients include petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil and ceramides.
Skin cleansers may include exfoliating products to act as skin brighteners. These ingredients help cleanse the skin and not leave your skin looking brighter, not dull and dry. Most cleansers contain citric acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that promotes skin exfoliation and leaves it with a brighter appearance.
Other cleansers may contain small beads or seeds to act as mediums of physical exfoliation. This process is not considered as an effective approach to exfoliation because it doesn’t deal with deeply embedded impurities and doesn’t loosen the bonds that bind dead skin cells to the pores.
These function in an almost similar way to emollients. They also help your skin retain moisture. A common example of the humectant that is found in many facial cleansers is glycerin. This ingredient is not known to cause any side effects as it is naturally found in the skin as well.
Best practices for Face Cleansing
A major best practice for facial cleaning is to use your cleanser the way that the directions on the label instruct. This is the best method to get the best results. Oil based cleansers work better when they are used on dry skin. Washing your face before using an oil based cleanser blocks the cleanser from having direct contact with the skin since water and oil are immiscible. When you use the cleanser on dry skin, the cleanser dissolves and lifts the impurities and oil on the skin for easier cleaning. Facial cleansing needs to be done before exfoliating.
Double-cleansing has been a popular cleansing method in recent years, and it is fine as long as the combination of cleansers that you are using isn’t stripping the skin. Most cleansers are formulated to be used on their own, assuming that you are using one that is appropriate for your skin type, one should do the trick. If you want to try this method I wouldn’t suggest pairing cleansers yourself, make sure the formulas that you use are meant to work together and are appropriate for your skin type and concerns.
The frequency of facial cleansing depends on your daily routine.