The kindest way to cleanse your skin

Another helpful guide from Super Natural Organic Skincare

pink rose

Why cleansing milk is the best facial cleanser

Cleansing milk is a light and gentle cleanser designed for daily use to remove dirt, grime and make-up.

The thing that makes it different from a soap, cream or lotion is that milk is a natural emulsion of fats and water. No doubt you’re more used to seeing the word emulsion when choosing what colour to paint your bedroom walls, but it’s the proper term for a mixture of two or more unblendable liquids.

Imagine making a vinaigrette. When you first put vinegar and olive oil together, they don’t combine. You have to give them a good whisk or shake to mix them up. The result is an emulsion. You can read more about emulsions here.

We’ll see why this is important in cleansing your skin in a moment. But as water and oil repel one another, it follows that if you only ever use water to wash your face, any oily deposits from physical contact or airborne pollution or any grease from make-up will stay put. To cleanse more thoroughly, you need something that will tackle that grease.

Soaps and foaming cleansers

One option is to use a foaming cleanser or soap. But anything that foams contains detergent – great for shifting grease, but not so kind to skin.

Detergents tend to strip the skin’s outer layers of the very oil it needs to retain its elasticity and hold onto microscopic water droplets that help keep skin soft, smooth and supple.

Soap is better than cleansing lotions, as it’s generally milder and won’t have such a severe drying effect. Even so, most commercial manufacturers remove soap’s star component, glycerine, to sell to the food industry. Handmade soaps retain their glycerine, which is reflected in their higher price.

Cleansing creams

The next option is a cleansing cream. Creams are greasy and shouldn’t be left on the skin. They’re great for removing stubborn make-up, which is why they’re popular with actors whose faces are often caked in make-up for stage or the cameras.

jar of cleansing face cream

You usually wipe the cream onto your skin, then wipe it off with a cotton wool pad. You can see the dirt you’ve removed on the pad.

The best-known cleansing cream is Ponds Cold Cream, which is enjoying something of a revival as people look for simpler and inexpensive formulations.

There’s been a trend among skincare manufacturers to make cleansing creams more and more complex. Many boast skin-enhancing ingredients. But bearing in mind, you wipe the cream off almost straight after applying it, you have to wonder if there’s any point in paying for added ingredients that end up in the waste bin.

Cleansing milk

Option three is cleansing milk. This gives you the best of both worlds. Remember, cleansing milk is an oil-in-water emulsion. So when it comes into contact with the skin, something remarkable happens. Just as oil and water don’t mix, so oil attracts oil.

This makes cleansing milk super-efficient at zeroing in on any grease deposits and freeing them up ready for rinsing off. But where it really scores over detergents and soaps is that cleansing milk leaves your skin’s natural oils untouched. So the all-important protective properties of your skin are preserved, and your skin stays balanced.

Another big plus for cleansing milk is that it’s easy to use. No need to bother with cotton wool pads. Simply dampen your face with tepid water, massage a little cleansing milk into your skin, then rinse off. You can do this over a wash basin or in the bath or shower, as long as the water isn’t too hot. As cleansing milk is a water-in-oil emulsion, it rinses off really easily, taking all that grease and grime with it.

One thing to watch for is not to leave any dampness on your skin. Dry thoroughly with a soft towel. If you do leave water on the surface of your skin, you leave your face exposed to the drying effects of evaporation. Make a habit of this and you could interfere with the moisture-retaining properties of your skin’s outer layers. It’s the same process that causes chapped hands.

splashing milk
woman cleansing face
jar of face cream
Super Natural Organic Cleansing Milk