When it comes to ensuring your skincare routine is the most pure and therapeutic that it can be, the very first product to consider closely is your cleanser. Using the wrong cleanser can lead to skin dryness, irritation and accelerated ageing. Making a simple change to just this first step in your skincare regime can correct lingering skin problems and also improve the absorption of ingredients you are using after your cleanser.
Our “fearful four” ingredients when it comes to cleansers include:
- Sulfates. Sulfates are what make your cleanser foam and provide that “squeaky clean” feeling. Whilst they may create the illusion of cleaning your skin, sulfates are actually stripping it of its natural oils and are also known skin irritants. When stripped of its natural oils the skin can often over compensate by producing more oil which means that sulfates can contribute to both dry and oily skin issues. Look out for sulfates under the terms: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate.
- Fragrances. If you see the word “Fragrance” on your cleanser ingredient list, along with that fresh synthetic smell you may actually be absorbing over 300 chemicals which have been used to create the fragrance. Fragrances are stabilised with compounds known as phthalates which have been linked to fertility problems and birth defects. Fragrances can also irritate and dry the skin.
- Parabens. Parabens are commonly used to preserve skincare products and will often appear in cleansers given they contain a high water content which needs to be preserved. Parabens are known xenoestrogens which mean they mimic oestrogen in the body. They have been linked to hormone imbalance and reproductive issues and have even been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumours. Parabens will often appear as a suffix on ingredient listings so look out for terms such as: Methyl-Paraben, Ethyl-Paraben, Butyl-Paraben.
- Alcohol. Alcohol is often used in cleansers to allow other ingredients to penetrate. However it can strip the skin of its natural moisture balance and dry and irritate the skin. It can also alter the PH balance of the skin, which may lead to further dehydration, fine lines and skin cell death!
When looking for a natural and effective cleanser, search for a product which contains natural cleansing agents such as Coconut Oil, Citrus Oils and Soapwort. Look out for fruit extracts which are a natural source of AHAs. AHAs work to cleanse the skin gently whilst encouraging fresher, clearer, and smoother skin, reducing large pores. Oil-based cleansers naturally lift oil and grime whilst the skin’s sebum production. Edible Beauty Australia No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk gently but effectively removes makeup, refines fine lines and brightens the skin. It contains Strawberry Fruit, Melon and Apple Extracts which naturally brighten the skin and has a refreshing uplifting fragrance from natural citrus.