Cleansing grains might be a new concept to most. They are an alternative to soap based facial cleansers. Formulated with grains, clays and sometimes essential oils. They completely take the soap out of your cleanser.
You might be thinking, Isn't the entire idea behind washing your face to use soap to cleanse and get your skin squeaky clean? Not necessarily.
We all have something on the top layer of our skin called the moisture barrier. It protects our skin from bacteria, environmental factors and keeps moisture in our skin, hence the name. It is so very important and often overlooked. The reason that soaps have gotten a bad rap lately is because they are harsh surfactants.
Ok, now nerdy science info coming at you....scroll down if this bores you. Surfactants are grouped into anything that lathers, for example soaps and detergents. In the chemical world, surfactants reduce surface tension of water. Imagine a fish for a second. The head of the fish loves water and bonds to it. The tail of the fish loves oils and fats and bonds to those. That in a very non-scientific way are surfactants. The huge problem with them is that they take all the healthy oils, bad oils and take some water with it when they are used. Thus, stripping your face. That's why your skin feels tight and squeaky.
When surfactants are used, and the healthy oils are removed, the ph of your skin is compromised. When the ph of your skin is not at the correct number (5) being slightly acidic, all hell breaks loose. Your skin cannot function with its ph out of whack. It is unable to repair, becomes dry, becomes irritated and can cause premature aging.
Back to cleansing grains. The grains can be used with water or oil. I personally like to mix my grains with our lavender body oil. Oil dissolves oil. My pores get cleaned, all makeup is removed and my moisture barrier and ph balance is all intact. Bonus: it gently exfoliates your skin, sloughing off the dead skin cells and keeps your skin refreshed. Just light pressure going in gentle circles all over your face and neck will do the trick. Sorry surfactants, your time is up. I mean, I'll still use you to wash my laundry, just not my face.