Skin Cleansers
Because it can take anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks for a skin cell to mature and journey through the layers of epidermis to the surface of the skin, exfoliation is only necessary two or three times a month. Cleansing, however, should be a part of your daily routine, preferably in the morning before applying cosmetics with a light cleansing and moisturizing in the evening to remove the day's deposits of pollution and those morning cosmetics. And just as there are good and bad exfoliants, so it goes with cleansers. With exfoliants, we must worry about the crystalline composition of the substance and it's abrasive effect on our skin's cells. With cleansing, we must concern ourselves with the product's chemical structure and how its chemical composition affects the cellular structure of our skin. I mean, we've gone to alot of trouble to safely remove the dead skin cells and expose the new, fresh and healthy skin cells underneath, why hit then with caustic soaps and corrosive chemicals?


In addition to protecting us from the outside world, our skin participates in a number of other functions. It regulates our body temperature and is responsible for 10% of the waste our bodies excrete. And the excreting process is accomplished through two types of glands housed within the skin; oil glands and sweat glands. While the duct of each oil gland usually opens into one hair follicle, in some locations, there maybe more oil glands per follicle resulting in greater oil or "sebum" secretion in that area. Each sweat gland begins in the dermal tissue as a coiled end and continues as a single excretory tube or duct through the epidermis, and finally opens on the surface as a very tiny pore. Cleansing the skin, means eliminating impurities from these pores, considering that perspiration is not a cleanser, which have come from within the body via the liver and other organs. This is where the 10% waste factor comes into play. And you thought you were just dealing with dirt!?!?!? .

Cleansing of the skin is a complex interaction between the stratum corneum barrier which is the very outside layer of the skin, environmental dirt, body secretions, and a surfactant or the substance used to clean the surface of the skin. It's not pretty picture but the fact of the matter is that most cleansing is accomplished with simple soap which is obtained through the chemical reaction between a fat and an alkali resulting in a fatty acid salt with detergent properties. The basic composition hasn't really changed since it was invented in 2800 BC by Babylonians combining animal fat with an alkali and adding salt but it has been refined. Today's modern refinements have companies adding a whole host of fragrances and chemicals to make the soap less destructive to our skin and adjust the soap's pH or acidity to decrease skin irritation. They've also incorporated substances that prevent precipitation of calcium fatty acid salts in hard water known as soap scum but in the end, suffice to say that because modern soap is still basically a blend of tallow and nut oil, or the fatty acids derived from these products, in a ratio of 4:1, increasing this ratio results only in superfatted soaps designed to leave an oily film on the skin which passes for moisturizing but really isn't. Basically, what's OK for your feet isn't OK for your face...unless of course you're a foot model. If you're interested in the whole story on The History of Soap, here it is.

So what do we do if we want clean facial skin. Well, for cleansing the skin of the Hollywood elite, we need to first move away from the hundreds of chemicals found in both low-end and high-priced "cleansers" on the market today. Remember, fancy packaging doesn't mean anything because it's not the packaging that you rub on your skin; it's what's inside. And it's cheaper to embellish the wrapper with a fancy design that makes us think there's something special inside than it is to actually develop and put something special inside.While all cleansers working on filth by acting like a pair of handcuffs (one loop snags the oil while the other hangs on to the water and gets the grease off) this method plays out a little differently for different skin types. First figure out which type of skin you have and then select accordingly · Dry Skin: You'll need to pump a little moisture into your face with your cleanser. Look for brands of cleanser that contain either glycerine or a natural type of silicone. · Oily Skin: You're going to want to dry up some of that grease with your cleanser. Quell the dirt by using a soap that contains a natural form of salicylic acid. · Sensitive Skin: You're going to need something a little milder than the typical ingredients. Believe it or not, the leading contender here is something called propylene glycol which, when not gently easing you into a life of ivory cheeks, pulls double duty as the prime ingredient in antifreeze and the stuff they use to de-ice planes. But don't worry, in the minute amounts used in cosmetics, propylene glycol is not a concern in the least and people are not suffering from liver problems because of propylene glycol in cosmetics · Normal Skin: Count your blessings. Hunt for cleansers that use lanolin, a handy extract from the oil glands of sheep. .

After all that is said and done and now that you have a basic education on soap and why you need to avoid it like the plague around your face, to properly cleanse the facial skin, simply stay away from soaps. Choose instead natural cleansers, perhaps glycerine-based, that contain only natural oils found in fruits, berries, nuts and the like. Also, look for cleansers that contain vitamins like A, E and C. And look for products containing natural acids to balance the cleanser's pH to your skin level (which is typically 5.5 - 6.0) like Lactic and Acetic acids. Finally, make certain that there are no chemical preservatives or sulfates in the cleanser.

While there can certainly be an argument made for taking the catch phrase "All Natural" too far like, "Dude, I even had the dealer install the new Parnelli Farnsworth Racing All Natural Rubber tires on my new Carerra. Yeah, they cost me a bundle but hey, they're all natural, dude!", it certainly can't be stressed too much that, when it comes to the body, "all-natural" is all-important. As I've said before, why spend the time and money to properly exfoliate the skin being careful not to injure the new layer of cells you've exposed and then rub caustic soaps in and dump harsh chemicals on them. We're trying to preserve the natural state of our complexion from the very bottom layer of our skin up so please, please don't ruin it in mid-stream. Look at your cleanser's bottle and if you see words like Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Cationic surfactants Cetalkonium Chloride Chloromethylisothiazolinone, Isothiazolinone Cocoamidopropyl Betaine and Cocoyl Sarcosine Cyclomethicone...run screaming from the market! Again, all-natural products are showing up more and more in stores and you can find them if you 'll just take the time to read the label and avoid the ones that list caustic chemicals as ingredients. Or, you can also go where I go and that's Studio Direct. They've been supplying me with all I need for my headliners and my livelihood depends on making the right choice for multi-million dollar properties.