I don't understand skin cleansing

WickersWickers Member
Hi everyone, 

I was playing around a few minutes ago, thinking about my ideal cleanser — if I could formulate one myself — how would it clean the skin?

Surfactants emulsify the oil on our skin so it can be washed off, right? So what is that nonsense about "alternative" cleansing with saponins or gums/resins? Saponins are surfactants — are they less powerful? Is that why they are "gentler" than conventional surfactants? 

Mastic gum in particular is advertised to absorb "impurities" and not water or oil. They say that mastic gum can treat skin congestions . . . hmm . . 

Since clogged pores are obviously oil clogs, are they referring to toxins on the skin? I know that chlorella, some types of algae, and charcoal can absorb toxins (and some vitamins and minerals too). 

So is there a way to weakly emulsify sebum on the skin, but also absorb any "congestions"? Of course congestions are oil clogs. 

Haha I feel so ridiculous asking this because I know that I am trying to believe what I want to believe. 

Brings me to my second question . . . I don't want to use acids in my cleanser. Ideally I would love to, but I don't know if traces of acids remain on the skin after washing off. They can interfere with leave-on actives. Do they remain on the skin?

Also, can BHAs like salicylic acid treat oil build-up in pores in less than 30 seconds? Do BHA cleansers really provide that benefit?

Thank you in advance. 
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