• Hannah Hanson

What's Inside: Facial Cleansers

Hello! You have landed yourself on our latest series What's Inside? We take a look inside common products found on your bathroom shelf and dig deeper to what's inside them.

You can gain an understanding on formulations, ingredients and, a few things to look out for - so you can buy and apply with confidence. There are tidbits where we dip into chemistry ideas - don't get too hung up on the technicals if it's not for you!

This week we are looking at cleansers, the first step in your skincare routine.

A facial cleansers focal job is to clean the skin by removing dirt, oil, sweat, makeup, skincare and other debris such as pollution particles. Cleansers walk on a tightrope - the ideal cleanser has high cleansing power yet doesn't compromise the skin barrier. Cleansing without stripping is the ideal outcome!

Today we cover double cleansing, types of cleansers, ingredients, and formulations. So, buckle up as we lather into this one!

The Double Cleanse

Double cleansing is the idea of using two facial cleansers to clean your face.

The first step is an oil cleanser (in oil, balm, or gel form). As strange as it may feel to use something oily to wipe your face clean, oil is the best at breaking down oily substances. Like dissolves like. This is why - though it may feel counterintuitive - oily skin types may benefit from using an oil cleanser. Excess sebum, makeup, sunscreen and daily build-up of pollutants/dirt/grime are removed with this step - all of which can cause congestion and inflammation if left to stew overnight.

There are two forms of oil cleansers: self emulsifying (SE) and non-self emulsifying (NSE) oils.

To emulsify simply means to combine two compounds that don't usually mix (e.g. water and oil) - to create an emulsification. Your kitchen is home to many emulsifications - salad dressings are a good (and tasty) example where oil emulsifies with vinegar.