FACE CLEANSERS AND THEIR ROLE IN VARIOUS DERMATOLOGICAL DISORDERS

Face Cleansers

The art of cleansing has progressed immensely over several thousand years from simply scraping the skin to an exercise in relaxation and improvement in the skin’s health and appearance in the present day. Soaps – the basic cleansing agent has also undergone a sea change in its evolution with many variants and newer constituents being incorporated into it. In dermatological disorders like acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, photoaging, ‘sensitive skin’, occupational dermatosis cleansers may have a beneficial role along with other therapeutic measures. With the advent of aesthetic dermatology, the act of cleansing and the use of various cleansing agents prior to aesthetic procedures has also assumed significance.

With new facial cleansers promising mild formulas that won’t dry out the skin, experts say don’t over scrub, over-cleanse

Most people still assume that any skin problem—whether dull skin, acne or age spots—can be solved by scrubbing a bit harder. “They think, ‘All I need to do is clean it more thoroughly, more vigorously.’ That’s everyone’s answer,” says Susan Taylor, medical director at Society Hill Dermatology in Philadelphia, and a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, makers of Neutrogena and Clean & Clear skin-care lines.

Most cleansing products have a surfactant, a chemical or natural compound that helps break through the surface tension of the skin. The cleanser absorbs dirt and oil and removes them during rinsing, according to Menas Kizoulis, scientific engagement leader on Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos.’ R&D team.

While removing dirt and oil, the surfactant interacts with the stratum corneum, the skin’s outermost layer and protective barrier—and that is where problems begin. The surfactant can remove the good oils skin produces, resulting in over drying. And it also can remain in the stratum corneum, exacerbating irritation.

Face washing at night is most important, dermatologists say. It removes dirt, grime and pollutants that have gathered on the skin during the day, as well as makeup. Some doctors say people without a serious skin-care issue, such as acne, can skip the soap and just rinse in the morning.

Cleansing in acne 

The goal of cleansing for acne or acne-prone skin is to gently remove surface dirt, sweat, and excessive skin lipids without irritating or drying the skin. The ideal cleanser for acne skin should be:

 i.    non comedogenic,

 ii.  non acnegenic,

 iii.  non irritating, and

  iv.  non allergenic.

The myth associated with acne that vigorous scrubbing of the skin with soap and water several times a day will reduce the oiliness; however, only leads to an aggravation of acne and sometimes even may cause acne detergicans.

There is a wide spectrum of skin cleansing agents for acne prone patients ranging from lipid free cleansers, syndets, astringents, exfoliants, and abrasives. The major side effects of most anti acne therapies are dryness and irritation of the skin, so gentle cleansing is important in this group of patients. A non-ionic, fragrance-free dermatologic bar or liquid cleanser with good rinsability is the preferred cleanser in acne. The cleansing regimen should suit the needs of the individual patient.

Cleansers have evolved significantly from just serving as cleaning agents for removal of sebum, dirt, dead cells, and microorganisms from skin mainly because of the challenge of meeting the ever changing consumer expectations. With the advent of advanced technologies, newer cleansers are now being manufactured which are mild, provide moisturising benefits and can be easily washed off. In various dermatological disorders, all these properties of modern cleansers enable them to be used concomitantly with topical therapeutic measures thus influencing the outcome of treatment and progression of the disorders. Dermatologists can enhance the overall management of various skin disorders by advising their patients how to adjust their cleansing regimen to best suit their needs and achieve optimal results with therapy.

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