Part 4: Alternative Facial Cleansing Options

Part 4: Alternative Facial Cleansing Options

The final installment of the Cleansing Series.

I touched on the acid mantle in the first article about cleansing frequency and wanted to elaborate a bit on how it ties into alternative cleansing options.

When thinking about the formulation process, I’m always evaluating the impact of the relationship between the lipid barrier (along with natural moisturizing factors), acid mantle and biome.

Where the emulsifiers and surfactants have more of a relationship with the lipid barrier, the acidity (pH) works more with the acid mantle. And having a balanced acid mantle supports a healthy biome since pH has an impact on what types of bacteria can thrive.

This is a super simplistic view as this function. It is deeply intertwined with our skin’s communication pathways but hopefully gives a high level concept.

Alternative cleansing options is an opportunity to reset or refresh the skin in between the act of a deeper cleanse:

  • pH balanced mists (Hydrosols) are in my humble opinion an important part of skin care. Being naturally acidic makes them a great alternative cleanser. I prefer to use hydrosols blended with some type of humectant since distillation doesn’t extract those types of compounds from plants.  See our Elixirs and Hydramists available for reference.
  • Honey - I sometimes refer to this as nature’s gel cleanser. It has a naturally low pH, tiny bit of exfoliating (PHAs), it's hydrating and is water soluble allowing you to mildly cleanse the skin without impacting lipid structures.
    • Our Tidal Moon Moisture Mask can be used similarly to a rich cleansing balm that balances hydration by increasing moisture or absorbing excess oil.
    • The Glowing Honey Mask is another favorite as it uses honey, glycerin, a little jojoba and rosehip seed oil. Helping to give just a touch deeper cleanse and the herbal infusions add a little extra love.
  • Lactic Acid - this is for the more experimental inclined. I would categorize this as how yogurt is sometimes mentioned for cleansing/exfoliating.
    • Our Illuminating Exfoliating Serum has a low pH and contains a tiny amount of lactic acid (2.5%) which is the lowest amount to use in order to trigger the process of desquamation while limiting UV sensitivity.
      A tiny nudge to help work through build up and with the addition of willow and meadowsweet it also dissolves sebum congestion.
      For reference yogurt is a tenth of a percent lactic acid, so it doesn’t really exfoliate but is nice for hydration and also a low pH option. Great for powder masks and scrubs.
  • Scrubs, these provide physical exfoliation to remove buildup. Powders can provide “surfactant” action since grains like oatmeal contain saponins which help cleanse the skin (sort of like soap).
    • I feel these have a place and occasionally recommend the Greenhouse Glow Mask given the texture and natural emulsifiers for an oil cleanse and physical exfoliation in one.
      My biggest caveat with this approach is I don’t recommend physical exfoliation or scrubs if you’re sensitive, especially people with rosacea.  It’s my same concern with the overuse of a washcloth with non-emulsified cleansing oils.  This friction can be damaging if your skin has a more difficult time rebalancing and repairing from possible micro-tears.  Though as a mask without scrubbing, powders are OK for sensitive skin.

Do you have more questions?

We hope you found this 4 part cleansing series informative and if you need help deciding what could work best for you please contact us anytime. We are always delighted to help people on their skincare journey.

~Carolyn, owner & maker

Tidal Moon Moisture Mask

Tidal Moon Moisture Mask

Drawing on the moon’s tidal force and its influence on Earth's rainfall, this rich mask replenishes moisture with hydrating raw honey, conditioning oils, and protective butters. Infused with a blend of nutrient-dense algae extracts and a unique may-apple ferment for a potent antioxidant boost while enhancing the skin's natural ability to retain moisture. Bringing you to temperate rainforests that flow into the Pacific Ocean. Trails lined with wildflowers, thistles, and berries amongst towering firs as cedars dance in the wind. Dense cloud cover and pockets of fog envelop the land with moisture. Symbolized by the cool blue color of the balm, connecting to the water element. Guiding the journey inward, marked by dark and quiet nights. Ideal to use anytime you want to call on the moon for additional nourishment. Scent: Sweet and warm with subtle hints of cedar and fir. Akin to forest bathing in a jar. Contains 0.5% of added essential oils.Skin Types: Suitable for dry skin that produces little natural oils with difficulty maintaining hydration. Texture: Smooth like a balm with a touch of honey, adding richness. Due to the nature of the ingredients used, texture and color can vary. This includes the crystallization of honey. If this occurs, we find adding a touch of water in your palm along with the mask will dissolve the crystals to create a smooth application. Selected as the customer favorite from our Solstice & Equinox Facial Ritual Collection. Initially released as a limited edition and is now part of our permanent line!

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Glowing Honey Mask

Glowing Honey Mask

Final Batch of our Beloved Glowing Honey Mask. Please note, the jars will come without cartons. Inspired by ancient beauty traditions of honey infusions and powdered herb massage. A deeply hydrating and cleansing mask made with whole herbs, botanical extracts, and fruit enzymes blended with raw honey. Together the botanicals help refine the skin while providing essential moisture leaving you with a bright and glowing complexion. Scent: A sweet cup of rose & chamomile tea. Contains 0.15% of added essential oils.Skin Types: Suitable for most skin types except those with rosacea due to the soft, yet physical herbal grains. Please see our Illuminating Exfoliating Serum (clarifying) or Tidal Moon Moisture Mask (dry skin focused) as an alternative. Texture: Sticky honey with a little slip for ease of application. Includes soft herbal powders from freshly ground rose, chamomile, roots and chia seed.

Regular price $46.00
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Illuminating Exfoliating Serum

Illuminating Exfoliating Serum

An oil-free, multi-layered serum to hydrate, calm, lessen scarring, and gently exfoliate. Effective yet sensitive-skin-friendly salicin and lactic acid not only refine and brighten but improve the skin's natural moisturizing factor, leveraging the other hydrating herbs to refresh the skin. A base of soothing, emollient-rich herbs of wild pansy, marshmallow, and aloe softens and smooths the skin. Working to improve hydration and retain water. This is a very low-dose exfoliating formula that works with a collection of botanicals that encourage cellular renewal where a small amount of lactic acid helps lift unproductive cells (aka "dead" cells) that can cause dryness, dullness, and irritation. Pairs well with our gentle enzymatic facial oil for additional support to create a complete evening moisturizer (Hydrating Layer + Oil Layer): Overnight Resurfacing Oil  Scent: The scent is neutral with hints of green tea. No added essential oils.Skin Types: Most skin types, including sensitive and congestion prone skin. Though caution should be taken if you have a compromised barrier.Texture: Light, clear gel with a rich humectant base.

Regular price $44.00
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Greenhouse Glow Antioxidant Mask

Greenhouse Glow Antioxidant Mask

A nutrient-dense smoothie for your skin. Activated by water to extract powerful phyto-compounds, this mask promotes circulation, oxygenation, and remineralization. Collectively encouraging a balanced tone, bringing the complexion back to life. When used over time, it can improve the skin's ability to maintain moisture and improve elasticity. Scent: Fresh and bright with aromas of Bergamot, Chamomile & Zdravetz. Contains less than 0.5% of added essential oils.Skin Types: Suitable for oily, dry, combo, and mildly sensitive skin types.Texture: Starts as a balm and turns into a smooth cream-like consistency accompanied by very soft herbal grains like colloidal oatmeal and pumpkin seed powder.

Regular price $52.00
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