S.W. FAQ: Our Cleanser
When we first released our three-ingredient, non-foaming Cleanser many moons ago, the skincare world was in a bit of a different place. Brands like Clearasil dominated the face wash category with their “blackhead-busting,” detergent-filled offerings; the idea that a good face wash can – and should – produce no foam was virtually unheard of. Now it’s 2017. Micellar face washes are en vogue (something we’ve discussed at length) and it’s no longer unthinkable to wash your face with something that doesn’t leave you feeling like you just assaulted it with hospital-grade disinfecting soap. In fact, more and more of you understand that a good cleanser should be as gentle as it is effective.
But old habits die hard – and we still get many, many inquiries about our beloved Cleanser. We’re tackling some of the most common ones below – read on!
Q: Your Cleanser doesn’t foam, so how does it clean my skin? Does it actually work?
A: Let’s start with how foaming cleansers work. They usually contain harsh detergents, which produce those satisfying frothy bubbles. What you probably don’t realize, however, is that those ingredients are pretty terrible for your skin. For one, your skin relies on its natural oil barrier to stay healthy and happy; detergents work to strip that away. That leaves your skin in a total panic, causing it to overproduce more oil to compensate for the loss. The result? Clogged pores, breakouts, and blackheads.
Secondly, detergent-based cleansers also mess with your skin’s pH. Our skin has something called an acid mantle – which includes those natural oils and has a pH of about 5.5 – that acts as a shield against bacteria, viruses, and other contaminates. Most detergent-based agents have a more basic pH (think somewhere in the range of 10). Because of this, applying them to our skin can disrupt our natural pH balance and create a more alkaline environment. This can cause extreme skin sensitivity, redness, and inflammation.
Our Cleanser doesn’t contain any harsh astringents or detergents, but rather three USDA organic ingredients – tea tree oil, rosewater, and vegetable glycerin – that work in tandem to gentle cleanse skin, remove impurities, reduce inflammation, and preserve your natural oil barrier.
Q: What do the ingredients do?
A: Rosewater is soothing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory; it works to eradicate problems without causing redness or irritation. In the right quantities (a la our Cleanser, obviously) vegetable glycerin is deeply hydrating and helps to naturally replenish your skin’s moisture. Tea tree essential oil is known as a “miracle antiseptic,” renowned for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties. In fact, studies have shown it is just as effective and less irritating than benzoyl peroxide in treating acne.
Q: I have super-sensitive skin. Will the tea tree oil irritate it?
A: We’ve found that even the most sensitive of skin types react well to our Cleanser. If you’re concerned, though, try it out on a patch of skin – we recommend your inner arm –before slathering it on your face.
Q: How do I use it?
A: As you would a normal face wash, although we do have some tricks. Because our Cleanser is so liquid-y, many people prefer to apply it with a cotton ball or one of our Eco Cotton Rounds (if using the Cotton Rounds, wet them a little bit beforehand). We also like to apply it without water onto dry skin, just so you have a good handle on how much coverage you’re getting. Lastly, S.Dubber Elana turned us onto this trick: Add a spray top onto our Mini Cleanser and spritz onto your face. (This is excellent for the shower!) Regardless of the method, you’ll want to rinse it off eventually, it can leave your skin a little sticky otherwise.
Q: How many times a day should I use it?
A: You can do morning and evening, or just one of the two. It’s also totally fine to skip a day and wash with water – it’s our founder Adina’s preferred method of cleansing! Our advice is to really listen to your skin: Does it need a good cleaning? Or is it okay with just some water today? Let that always be your guide. We’ve also heard that some people like leaving it on like a mask, wearing it during a workout then rinsing, or mixing it with our Exfoliant. You do you boo!
Q: Does your Cleanser work for treating rosacea?
A: Yes! In particular, tea tree essential oil can be an incredible tool for healing rosacea. As we mentioned earlier, there’s a study that shows TTO is as effective for treating acne as benzoyl peroxide but produces less negative side effects. This is really important, as irritating rosacea-prone skin can potentially make the symptoms worse.
Q: If it’s only three ingredients, why is it $22?
A: Because we’re using three high quality, USDA Organic Certified ingredients and nothing else. We’re not adding in fillers to cheapen the product, which is the dirty little secret of many skincare companies. What you see is what you get – and what you get it is the finest ingredients we can locate, period.
Q: What products should I use with it?
A: Whatever works for you! Personally, we prefer to follow up with a moisturizer or toner. Our Cream is great for when your skin feels super thirsty, Jojoba Oil is perfect for light hydration, and our Oil Serum is ideal for when you really want to pack an antioxidant punch.