Primary purpose of cleansing has been to achieve cleanliness and freshness by removing oil, Dust, bacteria, and dirt from the face and body.

Effects of Cleansing on the skin

Skin hydration increases markedly during cleansing and the excess water evaporates off within 10 to 30 minutes after washing. As water evaporates at a rapid rate from the uppers layers, a stress is created in the skin and this is thought to be the origin of the after-wash-tightness perception. As the evaporation rate reduces to its normal level, the stress is relieved and the tightness disappears. These effects become even more acute under low-humidity and low-temperature conditions.

Three factors govern how Skin hydration changes during and immediately after washing:

  1. the amount of water that the Skin absorb during cleansing;
  2. the rate of water evaporation immediately after drying and;
  3. water content as determined by the humidity and temperature conditions immediately after washing.

All of these changes are influenced by the nature of the cleanser surfactant through its impact on the Skin proteins and lipids.

Effects on skin Proteins

The cleanser used, the Solution of pH and temperature can further affect the skin proteins. Harsh cleansers have been shown to also remove more moisture from skin.

Long Term Effects of Repeated Exposure to cleansers

Continued daily use of cleansers that cause short-term damage can lead to skin dryness, scaling, flaking, erythema, and pruritus.

Dryness, Scaling, and Flaking

Skin Dryness, or xerosis, is more than just a lack of water in the Skin. Visual effects of dryness are manifested by whitening of the skin and the development of visible scaling. Dry skin is also physically tighter, more brittle, and less soft that moisturized skin. Brittle Skin can easily crack, leading to chapping and significant barrier damage.A continued increase in dryness may, however, lead to scaling, cracking and chapping, barrier breakdown and, eventually, to irritation.

Erythema and Pruritus

Erythema and pruritus are essentially inflammatory responses of the skin when irritants, such as cleansers, penetrate into deeper layers of the Skin.

Technology of Mild, Moisturizing Cleansing

The first step towards mild cleansing is to minimize the deleterious potential of surfactants to proteins and lipids.

Commonly Used Cleanser

  • Harsh cleansers

    SLS (Sodium lauryl Sulfate) No Soap (Na Laurate/Cocoate) Alkyl Phosphate

  • Mild Surfactants

    SLES (Sodium lauryl ether sulfate) SCI (Sodium Cocoyl/lauroyl isethionate) CAPB (cocamido propyl betaine) Alkyl Sulfosuccinates Alkyl Sarcosinates

Compensating for Damage: Enhancing Moisturization

The main approach to minimizing visible signs of skin dryness and augmenting skin hydration has been to deposit lipids, emollient oils, and occlusive under cleansing conditions. Typical emollients and occlusive used in cleansing liquid formulations are vegetable oils (e.g., sunflower seed and soybean) and petroleum jelly. Washes containing a high level of emollient ingredients do deposit a significant amount of lipid and emollient material to the skin.

Role of Mild Cleansing in Management of Dermatologic Disorders

Several common skin disorders such as xerosis, dermatitis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, rosacea, and photodamage are linked to varying levels of barrier dysfunctions. Skin cleansing is an essential part of skin care.

Cleansers for Acne Patients

In cases of acne: cleansers should contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

Cleansers for Dry skin conditions

In cases of xerosis, dermatitis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis we should use cleansers that are mild avoid SLS containing cleansers. Cleansers should contain agents like colloid oatmeal, glycerin; ceramides that cleanse and help retain the body moisture at the same time.