I have a love-hate relationship with double cleansing. I love how effective it is to wipe away makeup and grime with an oil-based cleanser before going in with a foaming face wash to get that fresh, clean feeling. But I don’t love having a two-step cleansing routine. That’s why I’m obsessed with the new Oil to Foam Total Cleanser from Dermalogica—it has consolidated my cleanse into one neat step.
Dermalogica Oil to Foam Total Cleanser ($56) has a silky, gel-oil texture that foams beautifully. When you squeeze it into your hands, it feels like a low-viscosity gel. Rub your hands together, and it immediately lathers. But unlike other foaming cleansers, you can feel the oil in the formula as you massage it over your skin. It’s slick and silky, working hard without leaving your face stripped, dry, or irritated.
This is all thanks to the formula, which fuses sodium cocoyl glutamate, a gentle surfactant derived from coconut oil and amino acids, with sea buckthorn oil, a soothing antioxidant-rich oil packed with vitamins C, B, and E. It also has glycerin, a humectant that gives products a butter-smooth texture.
By pairing an oil (that attracts oil-based products like makeup and SPF like a magnet) with a foaming surfactant, this cleanser allows me to wipe away the day’s grime in one simple step. On makeup-heavy days, I do two rounds of this cleanser to ensure I’m getting everything off, but one round does the trick on my usual SPF-concealer-blush days.
The key to getting the most out of the Dermaolgica Total Cleanser is ensuring it’s fully emulsified before putting it on your face.
“Emulsification is when you mix two different ingredients,” says Christina Huang, MD, chief dermatology resident at the University of Toronto. “With facial cleansers, you’re mixing a gel-based or an oil-based cleanser with water, making it have that foamy texture. And, of course, that emulsification process improves the cleaner’s effectiveness and enhances the distribution of active ingredients.”
I place a drop of the cleanser onto wet hands and rub them together for about 10 seconds until it builds a nice silky lather. “The emulsification process makes the product softer, so it’s more gentle on the skin, and it’s easier to spread so you can avoid harsh irritation and pulling on the skin, which of course, we want to avoid,” adds Dr. Huang.
Whether you’re a double-cleanse devotee looking to simplify, or a one-step cleanser looking for a more effective product, the Dermalogica Total Cleanser is a fabulous option.
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