An Overview of Face Cleansers and Homemade Face Cleansers

Face cleansing is a key factor of a perfect skincare routine. Cleansing is essential for well being of oneself as well. We do use day care creams, lotions everyday and additionally a sunscreen for a great skin protection.

Although these products does it job to its perfection, due to pollution and an arenaceous environment our skin might inhale tiny dirt particles. These dirt particles in-turn causes blockage of skin pores which is a main cause of acne and blemishes.

A good skin care includes using cleanser, before sleep or before a face mask.

What is a Cleanser?

Face cleanser is a gel or cream or lotion like substance which when applied to skin along with water cleanses the skin.

The delicate film covering skin is called “hydrolipid film” which helps maintain only required moisture to keep skin flexible and safe. This film is also capable of attracting dirt from outside. Hence the hydrolipid film must be properly cleansed to remove dirt, skin residues and wastes and distinctive smell.

A good cleanser removes face make-up, excess oil, dead skin cells and tiny dirt particles without disturbing the natural moisture balance and the skin’s nature.

Effectiveness of Cleanser:

A cleanser’s ability to achieve a good result depends on various factors such as the following:

  • Its composition i.e. ingredients
  • Quality of the cleanser (whether tested for its effectiveness, presence of any harch substances, side effects, results after using)
  • How the cleanser is applied onto the face
  • When it is used

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Purpose of a Cleanser:

Although the main and basic purpose of a cleanser is cleansing the skin, there are also other skin care benefits of a standard cleanser.

  • Gentle cleansing leaving skin soft and moist
  • Removes pollutants and make up
  • Removes skim impurities and wastes
  • Cleans skin pores and unclog it.
  • Eliminates excess oil on skin
  • Protects skin from inflammation
  • Makes skin clean and clear
  • Restores and refreshes skin
  • Prevents acne and other common skin concerns

Removal of excess oil, skin wastes, dead cells and unclogging skin pores also protects skin from acne and blemishes.

Difference between cleansers and toners:

Although they both sounds different both cleanser and toner, they coincides in its basic functioning of “cleansing skin”.

Face toners are water based cleansers which are used to cleanse skin, reduce and compact pores. A large skin pore would attract dirt which in-turn causes acne and many other skin issues.

Toner lessens skin pores making it impossible for the dirt to get inhaled and helps skin to retain only required amount of moisture. Hence a toner cleanses skin making it look refreshed and clear. Toners are best suited for those with dry and sensitive skin.

Hence toners are used for specific purpose of cleansing, tightening enlarged skin pores. But cleansers are general purpose skincare products.

Things to consider of a standard cleanser:

We may always fell confused or understand nothing seeing an ingredient list of a product. It is always good to choose a skincare product after a deep analysis of its benefits, ingredients used and how to use instructions and cautions.

We may get to know more of whom the product is for, is there any exceptions for usage and etc.

These are few non-technical terms to remember while choosing a cleanser. We have listed only a very few important points, it is always well and good if your cleansers are of organic/natural based. Even if not, try avoiding a complete chemical based skincare product.

  • Surfactants – a substance that helps water to attract dirts and flushes it and examples of Surfactants include sodium lauryl sulfate, free fatty acid salts, Polygluconates
  • A organic/natural cleaning ingredients like Aloe Vera, coconut oil
  • Glycerin – improves moisture content
  • Natural ingredient for fragrances and color
  • Alcohol and paraben free
  • Should be a vegan product
  • USDA Organic Seal, or BIOGRO approved

When to use a cleanser:

A good cleanser does no harm to your face but frequent usage might cause skin dryness and loss of skin natural glow. Hence a cleanser must be used only during the suggested time within the recommended interval.

  • You can always use it on a daily basis at least once or twice a day (usage at night is a must)
  • You use after a workout or physical activity or at night before sleep
  • Those with oily skin can use it twice a day i.e. in the morning and at night.
  • Before a face mask, since cleansers removes all unwanted residues from face, applying face mask after that works very well.

How to use a cleanser:

A good cleansing involves the following steps:

  • Take a small quantity of your cleanser and apply onto your damped skin face and neck.
  • Massage the cleanser, using circular motion upwards
  • Rinse with thoroughly with water or use cotton to remove
  • A cleaner can be followed by a toner or a moisturizer or a face packs or a face mask.

What can be natural substitute of a cleanser?

Water is a natural cleanser but using only water for cleaning skin, has few limitations. Although using water on face brings a refreshment and freshness, it can neither dissolve and remove facial impurities nor remove excess oil.

Skin lipids consist of sebaceous and an epidermal cell layer producing keratin (outer layer of human skin) forms the covering on the skin. It was hypothesized that removal of skin surface lipids decreases skin’s natural ability of hold moisture content and thus leading to skin dryness. Studies show that using water alone for cleansing removes 25% of lipids and we can imagine how harsh usage of other chemicals can be.

Natural based/organic based skincare cleansers doesn’t cause harm to the skin and protects the skin’s originality.

Natural or homemade cleansers:

These are natural cleansers, since each of the below listed ingredient has a powerful cleansing properties these are 100% effective, easy to use and no side effects at all.

Yogurt: Fresh yogurt contains lactic acid, which removes the dead skin cells and compacts skin pores. Enhances skin and protects skin from acne, black heads and eczema. It also brightens and lightens the skin tone. Apply a small amount of yogurt on your wet face; alternatively you also include essential oils for a added fragrance and benefits.

Papaya: Papaya is a fruit that has vast skincare benefits.  Acts as a natural exfoliant and cleanses face from external and internal dirts. it also has a powerful anti-aging benefits. The enzyme “papain” of papaya removes dead cells, reducing wrinkles, unclogs pores and thus brightening the skin. Make a smooth paste of the pulp part of the fruit and apply it on your face.

Saffron milk can also be added to the papaya paste for a great glow to your face.

Aloe Vera:  Using aloevera gel on face dramatically removes acne, dark circles and face marks. It soothes and calms skin. Aloevera with honey can be used to achieve a deep cleansing effect on the skin. Take the gel part of the plant, discarding the outer layer. This gel substance can be ground with honey and used on face.

Lemon juice: Lemon juice is a nature’s effective exfoliant, and cleanser. Alpha hydroxy acid in the lemon exfoliates skin and stimulates collagen production for skin renewal. Because of its acidic nature, it’s slightly harmful to use lemon juice directly on skin.

A diluted lemon juice or a few drops of lemon in combination with other natural cleansers can be used to achieve the desired benefits.

Honey:  Honey is a natural cleanser and has anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial properties. Prevents acne and scars on face and provides hydration to the skin. Honey face mask provides a clear skin without disturbing the skin’s nature.

Cucumber: Cucumber juice and few drops of lemon juice can be used for a stunning glow. The cumber contains ascorbic acid which calms skin and reduces inflammation. The drops of lemon does the face cleansing job.


A good skincare regime should include Cleansers. Since the role of cleansers is very important and can’t be avoided. We have discussed a lot about cleansers and natural cleansers. You can also check out for a best standard and top-rated cleansers.

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