Educational Series: Is winter drying your skin or is it your cleanser?

by | 18 August 2022

Are the winter months making your skin dryer than normal? You are not alone! The cooler months can wreak havoc on the skin due to the low humidity exacerbated by artificial heating in our homes and workplaces. Inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis may flare due to the change in weather with facial flushing, scaly patches and skin tenderness some of the more common symptoms. But, is it just the change in weather that is contributing to these conditions…or could it be your cleanser?

With a focus on dermaviduals cleansers during the month of August, let’s recap on the importance of selecting the best option for your skin type and its condition.

The main role of your cleanser is to remove unwanted dirt, debris and pollution from the surface of the skin however, one of the main ingredients in many cleansers, surfactants, can wash away far more than just dirt and debris. Sodium lauryl sulphate is referred to as a surfactant and is one of the more commonly used agents in skincare formulations. Its action is to degrease and emulsify oils and fats from the skin, allowing them to be washed away. It’s not just the oils and fats they wash away though, did you know that surfactants in skincare formulations also wash away key defensive components of the skins protective barrier? That’s right, some cleansers are washing away important lipids and enzymes that are required for protection and maintaining a healthy and well functioning skin.
dermaviduals Bespoke Cleanser

The importance of a well functioning skin


The skin is the body’s largest organ. Not only does the skin hold everything in, it also plays a critical role in providing an airtight, watertight and flexible barrier between the outside world and your internal organs. It also controls thermoregulation, immune defence, vitamin production, and sensation. The first lines of skin barrier defence are created via the differentiation process whereby the keratinocyte undergoes a multitude of changes to form a cornified cell envelope, thus providing physical protection while lamellar lipids are created and secreted to form parts the permeability barrier of the epidermis. The permeability barrier of the skin is a combination of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids and in addition, the skin surface is coated by a lipid film produced by sebaceous glands in the dermis and secreted through the follicles – this of course makes up components of the Acid mantle.

The first lines of skin barrier defence are critical to skin health and when thrown out of balance due to external factors, including the use of non-corneotherapeutic skincare formulations containing surfactants, can lead to an increase in inflammation and uncomfortable skin.

So what do surfactants do to the skin?


Surfactants can be found in some skincare formulations however, surfactants can also be found in industrial solvents, household detergents and fabric softeners! Surfactants are designed to degrease and emulsify oils and fats allowing them to be washed away. In cosmetics, surfactants are used for cleansing, foaming, thickening, emulsifying, solubilising and penetration enhancement however, many surfactants elicit irritant reactions when applied to the skin, partially due to their ability to solubilise lipid membranes. Hence, surfactants have become important implements in skin irritation investigations. In recent studies, it has been shown that one of the most commonly used surfactants, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) induces TEWL and skin erythema within 1 hour of exposure. This may be the reason why many experience irritation and inflammation from using cleansing formulations.

The dermaviduals difference


dermaviduals cleanser formulations are created free from preservatives, conventional emulsifiers, colours, fragrances and of course skin damaging surfactants, which have been shown to increase sensitivity and exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Our cleansing formulations are created with a focus on skin health and incorporate ingredients to effectively remove dirt and debris whilst maintaining the skins first lines of barrier defence. dermaviduals cleansers are corneotherapeutic and provide a safe and effective option for a cleanse that leaves the skin soft, supple and replenished.
dermaviduals Cleansing Range

Let’s take a look at our cleanser options


Cleansing Gel


dermaviduals Cleansing Gel is the perfect option for those with a normal to oily skin type and can also be used on acneic skin. This refreshing, non-drying gel cleanser is free from sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and other harsh surfactants and instead uses gentle sugar tensides (sugar based surfactant – Coco Glucoside ) to create a rich foam to effectively remove impurities, leaving the skin smooth and clean. Used morning and night, the Cleansing Gel can also be customised to supercharge its efficacy!

*Our top tip – Try mixing a small amount of Individual Mask into your cleanser to boost purification with the inclusion of Kaolin clay. The mineral rich, clay-based mask can be customised for individual skin concerns and added to your cleanser to create a unique power cleanse!

Cleansing Milk with DMS


Our Cleansing Milk with DMS effectively removes dirt and debris including makeup residue without negatively affecting the skin. Created for a lipid dry skin type, the Cleansing Milk with DMS is a nourishing and softening cleanser option for those who require smoothing and softening of the skin.

*Our top tip – Incorporate a few drops of Tenfione Semisomal Bath into your cleanser to boost nourishment and softening with additional oils. Rich in Olive Oil, Avocado Oil and Vitamin E, the Tenfione Semisomal Bath will support the rebuilding and repair of dry and impaired skin.

Total Cleansing Cream


This multi functioning cleanser is perfect for those with all skin types and can be used in many different ways! The Total Cleansing Cream is a 50/50 blend of our Cleansing Gel and Cleansing Milk with DMS and is recommended for full body application! Yes, that’s right, our Total Cleansing Cream can be used as a facial cleanser, a shampoo to support the care of scalp conditions or a body wash making this cleanser the must have or those travelling or who might be time poor.

*Our top tip – Total Cleansing Cream is perfect as a makeup remover as it liquifies and removes even waterproof makeup from the skin!

Essential Cleansing Cloth


Don’t forget to boost your cleanse with our Essential Cleansing Cloth. Made from Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), this fast-drying facial cloth is a must have for everyone as it effectively removes makeup and debris when used in combination with your selected dermaviduals cleanser.

With so many options to choose from, be sure to book yourself in for a consultation with your local dermaviduals skin treatment therapist who will be in the best position to prescribe exactly what your skin needs right now!

For the month of August our clinics have specials across the cleansing range! To locate your closest dermaviduals clinic and learn what specials are available, check out the Clinic Finder!