The most important ingredient for a cleanser to have is probably not what you think it is!
When we think of cleansers, the actions or buzz words we usually see around them are things like:
- removes dirt
- removes makeup
- removes oil
- deep cleansing
- pH balancing
But NONE of these words describe the most important action a cleanser should perform.
We’ve always heard it preached over and over again that washing our faces at the end of the day is super important. I can’t be the only one who feels super guilty and ashamed when I don’t.
But – especially for us acne-prone types – the reasoning behind washing the face was to clear away bacteria, oil and pore-clogging debris so we wouldn’t get acne.
(This is a very old-school way of thinking about acne and modern acne research reveals that washing the face (or not) does not play a significant role in whether or not you get acne – hormones, diet, and genetics all have a much more significant role. In fact, there is a holistic approach to treating acne called the “caveman regimen” that actively advocates NOT washing the face!
But we’re getting off topic…)
Or even more simply, it’s ingrained in us to wash our face because we as a culture are obsessed with hygiene and cleanliness and “clean is better than dirty” – obvious and no further explanation needed.
Yet the most important reason to wash the face is almost never discussed.
And that is:
Pollution, oxidized oils and oxidized skincare REMAIN ON THE SKIN unless we remove them!
…And these are major sources of free radicals.
…And free radical damage is the number one cause of gradual skin degradation and accelerated aging.
The number one cause of free radical damage is UV radiation, so that’s not something we can wash off our skin. But the NUMBER TWO cause is pollution and oxidized skincare/makeup – and that is very much something that we need to remove from the skin.
So: the most important reason to cleanse the skin is to remove free radical contributors. We wash the skin so it stays youthful, vibrant and elastic. We wash the skin because it actually actively reduces oxidation, damage and pre-mature aging.
We can wash off all the makeup and oil that is contributing the free radicals, but we can’t simply “wash off” free radicals. These are created at a molecular level. So, now we’ve removed the pollution that generates free radicals, but the free radicals themselves work by ripping electrons off of stable molecules, thereby making those previously stable molecules unstable and into free radicals in search of electrons themselves. It is a chain reaction that can cause a lot of damage until the free radicals are neutralized, and the chain reaction stopped.
Therefore, the most important ingredient in a cleanser (let’s just assume that this cleanser does satisfy the basic requirements of being thorough yet gentle at cleansing) is antioxidants!
While cleansing oils and surfactants remove dirt and oil, antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which is just as, if not more so, important. For example, Vitamin C is able to donate an electron WITHOUT becoming unstable and a free radical itself, effectively stopping the chain reaction.
It should come as no surprise that green beauty trumps conventional cosmetics in this important area. Most green beauty cleansers include plant extracts or oils which naturally contain antioxidants. (Although, it is very important that if oils are being used, that they themselves have not oxidized.)
At moss, we formulate our Revele oil cleanser to include two forms of Rosemary, one of Nature’s MOST potent antioxidants. We include a special Rosemary extract that is specially crafted to prevent lipid peroxidation in oils, ensuring that our Revele cleanser enjoys a long shelf life at full potentcy and vitality.
We also include Rosemary essential oil. We use a special chemotype that is gentlest for skin and in addition to proving powerful antioxidant benefits, it is remarkably effective at stimulating lymph detoxification and cellular renewal.
Lastly, the carrier oil blend of Perilla, Pumpkin and Safflower provides plenty of antioxidants as well, such as polyphenols and tocopherols.
Beurre Céleste, our cleansing balm, is also brimming with antioxidants, most notably from the unrefined Kokum butter we use, the Sea Buckthorn CO2 extract which contains astounding amounts of beta carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. We also include Vitamin E rich sunflower lecithin and sunflower oil.
AMBAR’s Micellar Cleansing Essence is last but not least. Yucca and Viola Tricolor both provide a wealth of antioxidants in this formulation.
If your cleanser doesn’t have antioxidants, then don’t despair. Just make sure that at least one of the skincare products in your evening skincare regimen is antioxidant rich.
Luckily all moss skincare products are brimming with antioxidants from the SAP (Vitamin C) in Illumina to the DPHP (Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline) in Aurum to the extremely robust antioxidant complex in Potentci of DPHP and DMMC (Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol).
If you use both Illumina and Potentci, then there is actually a synergy you achieve since SAP, DPHP and DMMC boost each other for heightened potency.
Circling back to Aurum, in addition to DPHP, it also contains a bounty of oils that are unrefined and cold-pressed so the antioxidants naturally present are vital and active, like Vitamin E from Sacha Inchi and Vitamin C from Maracuja.
(Aurum’s limited edition launch scent is sold out, but it has a NEW intentionally antioxidant rich essential oil blend that includes Rosewood and Rosemary (our antioxidant essential oil from Revele Oil-to-milk Cleanser).
With AMBAR, you can’t go wrong with using the Daily Antioxidant Primer in the pm in addition to the am. Like Potentci, it also contains our super antioxidant complex of DPHP and DMMC plus antioxidant-rich Buriti oil and bamboo isoflavones.
You can see that, even if your cleanser doesn’t contain antioxidants, you’ve got options!
But 2018 has been declared the year of skincare minimalism, and we are seeing a shift away from all the buzz words and trends and a shift back to
necessary and beneficial.
And those things are:
What trends do you forsee for skincare in 2018? Leave us your forecast in the comments!