If you are someone who is used to foamy textures as the first step of your skincare routine, it can take a little getting used to gels.
The texture of a gel cleanser is thicker, goopier, almost slippery on the skin. They glide on easily, provide a much more tactile ‘coating’ of the face, and produce little to no lather (and it’s this lack of lather that causes some people to think gel cleansers aren’t doing as much).
But just because you don’t see heaps of bubbles, and aren’t left with that tight and dry feeling post-cleanse, doesn’t mean gel cleansers are any less effective than foaming, mousse or balm cleansers.
How do gel cleansers work?
Gel formulas are made predominantly of water, sometimes up to 80%, and there’s a really good reason this ingredient is added at such high quantities. During the face washing process, the water content in the formula swells and penetrates the upper layer of the epidermis (skin) to provide an immediate hydrating effect, alleviating any dryness in the process.
Of course, this water also carries with it whatever mild surfactants, humectants, antioxidants, and essential oils are included in that specific formula. All of which will help to:
- Wash away impurities
- Reinforce the skin barrier
- Provide long-lasting moisturisation
- Give you a super soft face
Gel cleansers can remove dirt, grime, and excess sebum without stripping the skin of its natural oils which are needed to continue regenerating healthy cells.
If you’re a makeup minimalist, gel cleansers will effectively pick up and remove this too. Heavy makeup/SPF wearer-ers are always best to indulge in a double cleanse; an oil-based cleanser or balm, followed by a water-based cleanser (like a gel!) to give pores a real thorough clean-out.
Who should use gel cleansers?
There’s a reason this style of cleanser is so highly sought after by (and suited to) sensitive, dry, and mature faces. Because it can simultaneously clean and replenish the skin.
Gels tend to have greater soothing properties when compared to cleansing competitors. A lot of these formulas incorporate ingredients like cucumber extract for its cooling and moisturising effect, aloe vera which helps to calm irritation or redness, or jojoba esters which form a protective layer on the skin to keep it softer and smoother for longer.
Chasing an invigorating cleanse that is equal parts effective and gentle? Wanting to bring some bounce back to the skin? Just gel it.