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What is a Foaming Facial Cleanser?

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Have a little think to the last time you browsed the aisles (literally or virtually) for a new facial cleanser. It’s mind boggling isn’t it? With a seemingly never ending and overwhelming array of different types, brands and formulations, finding the right cleanser can be a minefield. 

There’scleansers, face washes, facial wipes, oily cleansers, creamy cleansers, water based and micellar water cleansers and gel cleansers. Even bars of facial soap still exist. Knowing which one will suit your skin’s needs is a near impossible task. 

Here at Sönd, we like to take the time to put different types and categories of skin care in the spotlight so that we can pick them apart for you. We hope this makes it easier for you to choose the right products for you and your beautifully unique skin. 

This time, it’s the turn of foaming facial cleansers. What are they, how do they work and are they good for the skin? 

So sit back, here goes!

How do foaming facial cleansers work?

A foaming cleanser, by virtue of its name, will foam up when you use it, usually after mixing it with water. Generally, a foaming cleanser will need to be mixed with water in your hands and applied to the face with a gentle massaging motion. It’ll then generally need to be rinsed away or wiped off with a damp face cloth. 

But how do they remove dirt and do they remove makeup? (Yes, they remove makeup!) 

Generally speaking, a foaming cleanser will contain soap or a type of surfactant. This is what gives them theirsatisfying sud like nature when mixed with water. And it’s also how they lift dirt and makeup away from the skin - a clever chemical attraction between soap and dirt.

Soaps and surfactants, chemically speaking, have two ends - a water loving one and an oil loving one. This means they can attract water based sweat and pollution and oil based dirt, grime and makeup and remove it all from the skin. Thus leaving our skin squeaky clean. But this is also the problem with a lot of foaming facial cleansers...

Do foaming facial cleansers strip the skin?

Sadly, this process of lifting away dirt and makeup with a foaming cleanser, also has a downside - dryness. Their very nature is such that they will remove oils, including the sebum (the wax like oily substance naturally secreted by the skin to help keep it hydrated). 

Remove too much sebum from the skin, and our face will feeltight, dry and parched. So we really wouldn’t recommend one if you have dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin. 

If you have very oily skin, you may benefit from the action of a foaming cleanser. But remember, stripping oil from the skin, even oily skin, will cause the skin to overcompensate and produce even more oil. 

So you could ultimately end up with an oily, shiny face within a few hours of using a foaming cleanser, somewhat defeating the object and sending you into a vicious cycle of oil stripping and oil production. 

In today's modern world, some foaming facial cleansers now contain hydrating ingredients. These include oils and emollients that can soften and smooth the skin. So if you’re in any doubt but love the feel of a foaming cleanser, then make sure it's one that contains hydrating and moisturising ingredients. 

But really, we’d always plump for a cream cleanser, that effectively lifts away dirt, grime and makeup, without leaving the skin feeling like it needs a really big drink of water. 

The Clean Slate Cream Cleanser from Sönd

At Sönd, we develop skin care products to suit all skin types. From the most ‘normal’ to the most stressed out, contrary, sensitive or acne prone skin types. We know they work, because we use them ourselves. In fact, we developed them for ourselves. 

Frustrated at not being able to find skin care products gentle nor understanding enough of our non conformist skin, we made our own. After years of living with acne breakouts, we finally found the right combination of ingredients to satisfy our skin. 

OurClean Slate Cream Cleanser contains nothing but natural, plant based ingredients. From our unique blend of alkalising silica salts to nourish the skin and tackle the root causes of stressed out skin. To our plant derived oils and botanicals that support and respect the health of the skin. Nothing gets past us if it doesn’t make the grade. 

We believe a cream cleanser is the best way to thoroughly cleanse the face. Ours also removes all traces of makeup, even the most stubborn oil based makeup, along with dirt, oil, pollution, toxins and daily grime. 

A cream cleanser won’t strip the skin of its natural oils, nor will ours cause the skin to feel oily or greasy. This also makes it perfect for both dry and oily skin types. In fact, if you have acne prone skin, psoriasis, eczema or rosacea, it’s also ideal for your skin. 

Simply massage a few pumps (or around afive pence piece sized blob) into dry skin using gentle circular motions and clean fingers. Do this for around 30 to 60 seconds, taking care to include your entire face and neck. 

Then, either rinse with warm water or use a clean damp cloth to wipe away our cream cleanser and all the makeup and grime it's lifted from your skin. Do this twice a day and follow with ourSidekick Day Cream in the morning and ourMidnight Feast Night Cream in the evening. 

Et voila! Clean, hydrated, calm and collected skin. And who can say fairer than that?


Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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