Cleanser Variants

Cleanser Variants: Cleanser technology has come a long way from merely cleansing to providing mildness and moisturizing benefits as well. Fig.1 gives details of the evolution of cleansing technologies. 


Cleanser Variants

Evolution of Cleansing Technologies 

It is known that harsh surfactants in cleansers can cause damage to skin proteins and lipids, leading to after-wash tightness, dryness, barrier damage, irritation, and even itch. For cleansers to provide skin-care benefits, they first must minimize surfactant damage to skin proteins and lipids. Secondly, they must deposit and deliver beneficial agents such as occlusives, skin lipids, and humectants under wash conditions to improve skin hydration, as well as mechanical and visual properties. Some of the advanced technologies are described below. 

Lipid free Cleansing Lotions 

These contain fatty alcohols and are suitable for people with sensitive or dry skin. They can be wiped off without water. The fatty alcohols in these lotions facilitate evaporation and so rinsability is high. When used on the face, there is less facial residue which is an advantage of these lipid-free-cleansing lotions. These agents also contain emollients (e.g., fatty alcohols)  and/or humectants (e.g., propylene glycol) which counter the irritancy or drying potential of the surfactant. 

Liquid body washes 

These offer a different sensation, are more convenient as well as more hygienic than the wash bar. They employ milder surfactants and incorporate more emollients, thus can improve skin over time. 

Cold creams 

They combine the effect of a lipid solvent, such as wax or mineral oil, with detergent action from borax. 


Cleansers have evolved significantly from just serving as cleaning agents for the 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 moisturizing 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 on how to adjust their cleansing regimen to best suit their needs and achieve optimal results with therapy.

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