Over a year ago, I created my very first facial skincare product.. a cleanser! This cleanser left my skin feeling squeaky clean. After some time, I learned that the “squeaky clean” feeling came with some unforeseen consequences.

This cleanser was “all natural” but it missed the mark on several other important aspects. After I removed the cleanser from my shop, which happened to be my best seller, I began a long journey to understand why a cleanser is so important and how it has a drastic effect on our skin.

Keep reading to find out how the story ends..

Cleansers 101

Harsh Surfactants

Surfactants break down the dirt and oil on your skin but they also break down the lipids that make up your skin barrier. A good way to know if your cleanser is too harsh is to take note if your skin is left feeling tight and dry after a wash. You can also check the ingredients listed on your cleanser using this website: https://www.skincarisma.com/ingredient-analyzer

PH Balanced

Cleansers with a high PH disrupt the acid mantle of our barrier by breaking down the ceramides that hold skin cells together leading to dry, itchy, and sometimes oily skin. Soap based cleansers have a high PH. This includes bar soap and cleansers made with castille soap.

At this point you may be a little flustered thinking that cleansers do more harm than good. I've been there! I was so frustrated when I found out that the cleanser I had been using was doing my skin a huge disservice.

Just keep this in mind.. Cleansing is essential to healthy skin, just as eating is essential to a healthy body. When it comes time to refuel our bodies we have the choice of filling it with junk food or we can be more mindful and choose something that will provide lasting nutrients.

Cleansing is necessary but we need to pick a cleanser that will do good for our skin vs. one that just gets the job done at the expense of our skin's health. Be mindful about what you are using on your skin and understand how you can create an optimal environment for it to glow.

High Oil Content

A high oil content is a great indicator that a cleanser will leave your skin feeling nourished vs stripped. I like to use botanical, cold pressed oils that are rich in fatty acids to help restore the skin barrier. One like our Berry Facial Oil.


I always try to treat my skin gently, so I avoid using abrasive wash cloths and spinning brushes. In the past I believed that the harder I scrubbed, the cleaner my skin would be, and the healthier it would look. That theory did not pan out. Gently lathering the cleanser in circles with your fingertips is sufficient to get the job done.


Although surfactants can break down the skin barrier, there are some simple ways to prevent lasting damage from occurring. Prevent the cleanser from absorbing into the skin by rinsing immediately after you have lathered. Next, ensure that it is completely removed. I like to flush my face several times and then pat it dry with a microfiber towel just to be sure.

A few months later after working back and forth with a chemist, completing endless sample recipes, and finding the best possible combination of gentle & effective ingredient combinations, the Honey Oat Milk Cleanser (now renamed the Clarifying Oat Cleanser) was complete.

There were so many times when I could have simplified this cleanser's formulating process or saved money by compromising on the ingredients, but after risking everything, removing my original cleanser from the shop, and dedicating hundreds of hours to this project, I wanted it to check every box.

What makes this cleanser truly unique is how it starts out as a creamy honey consistency that melts into the skin and immediately emulsifies into a thin, soothing milk when water is added.

Made with one of the most innovative surfactants on the market: Sodium Surfactin. This surfactant makes up less than 1% of the final formula (Simply unheard of!) and it is extremely gentle and non irritating. It is also reef friendly.

On top of that, it provides amazing skincare when pregnant and skincare when breastfeeding, as it is all natural, organic, and gentle on sensitive skin.

Check out the Clarifying Oat Cleanser NOW.

January 11, 2023 — Kyra Venable

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