Jun. 18, 2020

What is a good cleanser for your skin?

I regularly get the question 'what is a good facial cleanser?' There are different theories and every brand has its own philosophy. This is often very confusing. I therefore like to start with a description of the skin, and then explain the effect of good and less good cleaning products .


The skin is our largest organ and it is the only thing in direct contact with the outside world. It therefore has a very important protective function so that microbes, viruses and irritants cannot just penetrate the skin. Otherwise we would be sick all the time.

Naturally, nature has found a solution to this. The outer layer of the skin, also called the stratum corneum, is made up of cells that are held together in a very compact structure by fats or lipids. This is often presented, also in the scientific world, as a 'brick-cement' structure , where the cells (corneocytes) are the bricks and the fats (intercellular lipids) are the cement.

The compact structure has a 2-part function . On the one hand, it ensures that no external 'intruders' , such as allergens, irritants, microbes, can penetrate the skin. On the other hand, it also ensures that we do not dehydrate by stopping the evaporation of water from the body.

But what does this explanation have to do with a face cleanser?


A cleanser or cleaner is needed to effectively remove the dirt and make-up from your face . It will not work with water alone. Cleansed skin will contain fewer impurities, fewer coarse pores, show a less dull appearance and, moreover, the active substances of your night cream can be better absorbed.

If we clean our skin excessively and also choose the wrong products, the brick-cement structure can be affected. Foaming cleansers are a good example. A product that foams, just like Dreft, degreases and dissolves fats. If you know that the cement structure consists of fats, it is only a logical consequence that foaming facial cleansers affect the skin barrier. This allows water to evaporate faster, resulting in dry skin . On the other hand, irritating substances can also penetrate the skin more easily, resulting in sensitive and easily irritated skin.


A good cleanser is one that removes dirt, make-up and dead skin cells from the skin's surface, but does not affect the skin's structure.

Dr. Barbara Geusens


Make sure your product:

  • does not foam
  • contains no grain
  • does not contain alcohol

Preferably your cleaner has a milky or oily texture . Also clean only in the evening. Once a day is sufficient. If you have cleaned properly in the evening, your skin will no longer get dirty at night. In the morning, refresh your face with lukewarm water. You can read how best to clean your face, when and why in this blog post .


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Everything you need to know about your skin
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Everything you need to know about your skin