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"Marianna's Age Defiance Purely Botanical Cleansing Gel is the only cleanser I can use on my extremely sensitive skin. During the 10 years I've had rosacea, I've tried so many products that were ...
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[She] was fantastic - I learned a lot about my skin and how better to maintain it. It was my first time getting a peel - my skin looks great - thank you!
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The Essential Steps of Skin Care-Step 1 Cleansers

Hey everyone! We are excited to introduce our first installment (Step 1 - Cleansers) of Marianna’s six-part blog series on 

The Essential Steps of Skin Care

1. Facial Cleansers

2. Exfoliates & Masks

3. Toners

4. Special Serums & Gels

5. Moisturizers

6. Sun protection.

Step 1- Facial Cleansers

Cleansing is a critical first step in your skin care routine. Throughout the day and night your face continually accumulates oil, dirt, and air particulates. Cleansing your face removes these extraneous elements and prevents your pores from becoming clogged and blocked. Additionally, cleansing aids in the removal of dead skin cells, and prepares your skin to be receptive to the skin care products that follow in your daily regimen.

Picking the right type of cleanser for your skin can seem daunting, but not to worry, we are here to help. Here are some tips and information about Cleansing Milk, Cleansing Gel, and Cleansing Cream, so that you can choose which is best for you.


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Cleansing milks (also known as cleansing lotions) are thin, usually runny, emulsions or suspensions that are more emollient (moisture rich) than gels, and thinner than creams. Cleansing milks may be suitable for dry, dehydrated, sensitive, mature, and even oily skin, depending on the active ingredients, pH, and concentration of detergents (ingredients that remove dirt and debris) and surfactants (ingredients that lift oils) the product contains.

Dry, dehydrated, and mature skin types require lower concentrations of surfactants, and a pH close to 5.5 — that of the human skin. Milks also seem to be gentler on sensitive skin than both gel and cream cleansers. Additionally, active ingredients that target sensitivity, redness, or rosacea, tend to be more stable in milky emulsions.

There are some very effective cleansing milks for oily, blemish-prone, and acnaeic skin, however, most people with these skin conditions tend to “feel” cleaner with gel facial cleansers. Meanwhile, key active ingredients, used to kill bacteria and control sebum, for oil and blemish control cosmetics (such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and the much harsher benzoyl peroxide) are stable in both gel and emulsion bases.

Many facial cleansing gels contain alcohols as stabilizers. Look for gel cleansers without alcohol, since alcohols can be drying, sensitizing, and irritating to any skin type. For example, Marianna’s own AD. Purely Botanical Cleansing Gel, a plant-based formulation that is more emollient and gentle than many milky cleansers, and is designed to thoroughly cleanse without stripping your skin.

Cleansing creams are dense, rich, thick emulsions that are typically used to remove heavy make-up, including theatrical mascara and pancake make-up. Cleansing creams are not recommended for oily, blemish-prone, acnaeic, or sensitive skin types. They are too heavy for pores that tend to clog, and require more friction to apply than milks or gels—which may irritate or redden sensitive skin. Often, cleansing creams (as well as some brands of cleansing milks) may not rinse off completely, thus leaving an undesirable film on the skin surface.

All in all, the texture of facial cleansing product you choose is a matter of personal preference, but quality ingredients without counter-productive chemicals or harsh ingredients is of paramount importance. Please consider the tips and guidelines I’ve provided to select the best performing cleanser for your skin’s needs, and don’t forget to contact me with any questions that you may have regarding your skin and skin care regimen. Remember, we can help you with your skin, but half the battle is what you do and use on a daily basis at home.

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