Ingredients in Cleanser

The main function of cleanser is to cleanse the face or the body from dirty, oil and dead skin cell. 
So does active ingredients besides surfactant have any effect on the skin ? 
For example aloe vera extract, rose extract, retinol etc.
Or it will get rinsed away ? 

I recently posted something about baby wash and it is said that glycerin is very water soluble which might get rinsed off during the cleaning process. 

So my question is, does those extracts, vitamins or oils (tea tree oil etc) in face wash has any effect on the skin ? 
Or it doesnt stay long enough on the skin to have any effect ? 

Thank you for your guidance. 


  • I believe normally the chemical exfoliants like acids do work, since they would exfoliate even on short contact. For oil ingredients like tea tree oil, i used to use an face wash with tea tree oil, it seem also to work, though i did leave it on my pimple areas for a minute or two. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Extracts are what we in the business call "claims ingredients." They are put in a formula so marketing has something to talk about. They don't actually have any impact on the performance of the product, except sometimes they make the main functional ingredient less effective.

    Bottom line - extracts in cleansing products are simply washed down the drain.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    The average contact time on the skin of a cleanser is 20 seconds and then it is rinsed off.  While you may have some ingredients that some component of may deposit on the skin post-rinsing ... glycerin, refatting agents, these are few and far between, most everything else will wash down the drain.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details
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