Cleansing Lessons

Written by Nicole Flevaris

With so many cleansers on the market making various claims, it can seem hard to navigate and find the right choice for various skin types. Her are a few important lessons that all consumers should have to make an informed decision.

First, always start with reading the ingredient list. It is a must. The era of blindly trusting is over. The United States has some pretty strange rules with respect to chemicals, preservatives, and oils in products that most are aware of. For example, European products, for good reason, have a reputation for efficacy and general gentleness. The European Union has banned an enormous amount of chemicals in cosmetics in contrast to the almost miniscule amount banned in the number banned in the United States. Even more insightful, the number of banned chemicals overseas is growing, while the number banned in the United States is shrinking. The number of petrochemicals in cosmetics, mostly used as preservatives, is exorbitant.

The largest human organ is the skin and it is permeable. What many do not realize is that some of the harsh preservatives used create many reactions, dry patches, and blemishes. Typically, the preservatives are listed at the end of the ingredient list, and if people see many long, complicated scientific words that they do not understand, they should look them up. For those with blemishes and oily skin, this tip is vital! According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a cosmetic product, which cleansers fall under, can have up to 20 percent oil in them and still make the claim that they are oil-free. The separation marks the oils not mixing with the mostly water-based solution it is in. A great visual example is to hold up the bottle of the cleanser and check to see if there is any separation of the gel or liquid. As a comparison, imagine a bottle of salad dressing within which the oil separates out. This is undeniable chemistry; oil and water do not mix.

It is important for products and professionals to not overburden the client with “product overload.” In this lies the conundrum for so many skin care professionals. Educating the client on product labels is the best course of action. As a consumer, it is difficult to make an informed decision, but people must read the labels for added oils that they may not want or harsh preservatives that can dry out the skin.

Clients should not see a dermatologist as a first line of defense for understanding a skin’s problem. They often start the client on unnecessary prescription drugs and recommend highly aggressive treatments that dry out the skin or exacerbate the situation by changing and distorting the skin with lasers and peels. All services have their place, but often aggressive solutions are not needed most of the time and most, surely, should not be the first line of defense. This is where a great skin care professional comes in. An aesthetician can work with a client in a measured way to heal the skin over a few sessions and with the proper homecare recommendations, including proper cleansing, solve the issue, and restore the skin’s balance.

It is important to state the skin renews itself at night. Reinforce with all clients that they must cleanse every night. Too many people do not realize the importance of cleansing properly, even if they are not wearing makeup during the day. If it is a one-time client or a repeat client, it must be reinforced that cleansing at night is key to maintaining great skin and preventing aging.

Using a cleanser in a nightly routine is very important to remove everything that has sat on the skin all day. Choosing the right cleanser for specific skin needs is a bit of a journey.


Nicole Flevaris is the founder and president of The Lashe, an eyelash extension products company. Flevaris graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business and with a master’s in business administration with specialty in finance and entrepreneurship. She also has a background in biology, chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacognosy. Flevaris founded The Lashe in 2007 and completed the line in 2009. The cornerstone is the much-acclaimed adhesive she formulated especially for eyelash extensions. She later founded Salon Lashe in 2011, a premier salon for eyelash extensions.

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