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Part 2: When to use a gel cleanser

In the green/holistic side of beauty the idea of a gel cleanser can sometimes be frowned upon. I understand given the harsh versions out there. Where some lead to sensitivity or can be overly drying.

Though there are a host of surfactants that are super gentle especially with proper formulation.  Surfactants dissolve and emulsify oils, grabbing on to dirt, debris etc., and when water is added it can be easily rinsed away. As with everything in formulation, it’s all in the details.

Many surfactants give people that squeaky clean feeling. From my perspective, this is not the goal of cleansing. The skin should never feel tight, instead should be comfortable without too much residue.

When developing the Gentle Cleansing Gel I went with both oat and apple based surfactants that were created for the delicate skin of babies and highly sensitive individuals.  This is based on the formulation perspective that using multiple surfactants along with a humectant like glycerin will reduce surface tension, preventing barrier disruption.

Overall it’s balanced to not strip natural oils, impart hydration and deliver skin soothing properties from herbal infusions.

Scenarios where we tend to recommend a cleansing gel.

  • More active breakouts and has adequate or excess oil production. This helps maintain natural oils while adding hydration and limiting sebum buildup. We add meadowsweet in ours to calm inflammation and address buildup in the follicle to further clarify.

  • Eyelid and lash line cleansing to limit congestion around this delicate area. For some, using only oil based cleansers can cause things like milia. A couple times a week with a gel cleanser can help.

  • After working out. Water based cleansers do better with removing salt/sweat (which dehydrates the skin).

  • Part of a double cleanse. Tying into the last article about cleansing frequency: If you’re cleansing once a day, incorporating a double cleanse process 1-2 times a week is nice to remove excess residue on the skin that can inhibit cellular communication, leading to dehydration.  A double cleanse often starts with a cleansing oil followed by a cleansing gel. Giving you the best of both worlds for a deep clean.

In the third installment of the Cleansing Series, we will cover Cleansing Oils.

 ~Carolyn, owner & maker

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