The Process of Cleansing

Have you ever wondered what cleansing is all about?

What is actually happening to your skin?

Dirt particles, oils, substances etc… are deposited or come in contact with your skin where they adhere via molecular link forces. This is how your skin becomes dirty and stained.

To remove them you can scrub them out manually with a brush or sponge, if they happen to be water soluble you can also use water or you can use chemicals for oils or oil soluble substances.

When you scrub, you exert a force greater than the ones creating the adhesion, and the dirt is physically removed. If the force is too weak, it will not remove the entire dirt, if it is too strong it will remove the underlying cells along with the dirt (this can be construed as a form of exfoliation if done properly or damaging to the skin if done too harshly).

This is most primitive form of cleaning.

When you use water (on water soluble substances) or chemicals (on oil soluble substances) they combine with the dirt by creating forces greater than the forces of adhesion. The dirt is removed chemically. The efficiency will depend on factors such as temperature, time of exposure etc…

When you use both at the same time (water and scrub or chemicals and scrub), you simply accelerate the cleaning process.

Using a cleanser will add another dimension to the cleaning process. The adhesion forces are part of what is called surface tension forces. These are the forces that allow substances to adhere to surfaces. Water is subjected to such forces on dry surfaces for instance, which is why you see a rounded top surface of water when you fill a glass all the way to the top.

A cleanser or what is called a detergent (from the latin “de” meaning away and “tergere” meaning “to remove”), is a chemical substance made up of surfactants. Surfactants are chemicals that reduce surface tensions hereby breaking down the forces that cause the adherence of the dirt particles on the skin. Contrarily to public information, detergents are not necessarily harsh chemicals (although most of them were since the mid twentieth century). A soap is a detergent, but biodegradable surfactants such as the ones we use in our products are nevertheless detergents, they just happen to be “safe” detergents.

In conclusion, when you use one of our facial cleansers, or shower gel or shampoo, you are chemically reducing the surface tension between dirt particles (or make-up) and your skin. Adding a little physical motion helps the process, but if has to be gentle and soft. You complexion doesn’t need harsh treatments anymore.

What proper scrubbing can do for you?

The cells making up our skin are naturally renewed by our body every 28 days. This is a normal biological process called mitosis. As we age this process slows down gradually, leaving us with a skin layer made up of more old cells responsible for a gloomy complexion. Gentle exfoliation compensates for this slow down of this regenerative process. Using the right protocol, you can assist the removal of old cells (exfoliation), activate the renewal of new cells (regeneration) and restrain the use of products containing chemicals such as corticoids that reduce mitosis (degeneration). Start removing dead cells and uncover fresh cells the natural way for a beautiful mature skin complexion. Aging can be beautiful.

 

Paul-Francois Petit