Many of us tend to choose a facial cleanser which has been labelled “natural” or “organic”. However, many a time, our skin still feels dehydrated and tight after using such products. So what have we missed when shopping for our facial cleansers?
The skin’s natural pH level stands at 4.5 to 5.5 on the pH scale, which ranges from 0 to 14. A pH level of 7 is neutral. Acidic substances measure below pH7, while alkaline substances measure above pH7.
There are facial cleansers which leave the skin with a residual alkalinity of 10. This is because these facial cleansers contain soap, making your skin feel clean but it becomes tight and dry afterwards because your natural lipids are stripped from your skin.
Therefore, choose a cleanser which not only suits your skin type (oily, dry or combination), choose one which removes the grime and sweat but keeps the integrity of your skin. Most facial cleansers do not state the pH range of the products, so you will need to rely on keywords to pick the right product. This is especially important when you look for facial cleansers for rosacea, or facial cleansers for dry skin.
Look out for words such as “soap-free” and “within the acid-balance range” or “respecting the skin’s pH balance”. Ingredients you do not want in your cleanser include fragance and colourants, which can cause skin reactions – mineral oil, a cheap solvent that can clog pores, and lanolin, a wax that many are allergic to. Pick products that are free of such components.
Also, do not be fooled by labels such as “organic” and “natural”. This is mostly marketing hype. Even if a formula contains some organic ingredients, the other ingredients might not be organic. Also, different countries have different guidelines for organic certification.
Therefore, do not buy a facial cleanser just because it has a label that states it contains a high percentage of organic or natural ingredents. The cleanser may not necessarily be gentle on your skin. Besides, not all synthetic ingredients are bad. Anti-ageing ingredients such as peptides and hyaluronic acid, are synthetic.