Why I will never recommend foaming cleansers… to anyone!

There is a lot of marketing BS out there when it comes to skincare. There was a pioneering skincare company that in the early days of research discovered that foaming cleansers had a negative effect on the skin. This company went on to become to biggest manufacturer of foaming cleansers. Why? Profit margin of course!

Foaming cleansers, in fact anything that foams, removes the acid mantle of skin. The acid mantle is the protective layer of skin. If this is removed, skin is left exposed and vulnerable. Think of people who suffer from eczema. Often the worst area is their hands. This is due to the constant hand washing that strips and removes the acid mantle.

Foaming cleansers tend to be aimed at a younger, oily or acne prone skins. This is a skin where the acid mantle is most crucial! Without it the skin is vulnerable and open to external threat. It also leaves the skin alkaline; a breeding ground for bacteria. Skin needs to be kept slightly acidic at all times.

They also have a stripping effect on the skin. Pulling precious moisture and vital oils from the skin, which will ultimately result in the skin going into overdrive to produce more oils, to try and balance this. This is why a skin using a foaming cleanser will often have feelings of dry, tightness and discomfort but also be very oily. They are in fact not an oily skin, their skin is just producing excess oil to try and counter balance the stripping effect of their cleanser.

Most skin conditions begin with, and are aggravated by cleansing. Cleansing is important. But get it wrong, and it can cause you a world of (skin) pain. My advice? Opt for a gentle cream or oil-based cleanser. And only cleanse in the evening.

Photograph by Irving Penn for Vogue