Skin Sleuth: How Do Oil-to-Foam Cleansers Work?

March 24, 2020
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
Skin Sleuth: How Do Oil-to-Foam Cleansers Work?

Sometimes we come across skin-care products we deem simply magical. Either they have the ability to absorb into the skin in a matter of seconds, change color or — our favorite — are able to transform textures in front of our eyes. One such example are oil-to-foam face and body cleansers that begin as silky oils and change into thick, foamy cleansers once mixed with water. To fully understand how these products work (and to confirm if they’re as magical as they appear), we tapped Senior Scientist at L’Oréal USA Research & Innovation, Stephanie Morris. Here’s what you need to know about oil-to-foam cleansers

How Do Oil-to-Foam Cleansers Work?

According to Morris, the ingredients in oil-to-foam cleansers are oils, surfactants and water. The combination of the three is what dissolves dirt, pollution, makeup and other oils on the skin’s surface. “The oils solubilize sebum, makeup and excess oil on the skin, while the surfactants and water ease the removal of these oily materials from the surface of the skin and help carry them into the drain,” she says. The oily mixture changes to foam chemically by a phase change in solution (like adding water), or mechanically, when the formula hits air. The result is a deep-cleaning feel.

Why Use An Oil-to-Foam Cleanser? 

Choosing an oil-to-foam cleanser over other options (including oil cleansers) in your skin-care collection is purely a matter of choice. “While just oil is gentle and effective at cleansing, the oil-to-foaming mixture has all the same benefits, just with the experience of foaming,” says Morris. Oil-to-foam cleansers can also feel milder on the skin as compared to a water-based cleanser or bar of soap, which makes them a great option for dry, sensitive or oily-prone complexions.

How to Incorporate an Oil-to-Foam Cleanser Into Your Routine

Incorporating oil-to-foam cleansers into your routine is simple. There are options for both body and face. “While the basic formula of both can be the same, facial cleansers are often designed to be gentler on the skin and could include ingredients that are designed to address acne or anti-aging,” she says. If you have dry skin on the body, we recommend  the CeraVe Eczema Body Wash from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands.  This oil-to-foam body wash helps cleanse and calm extra dry, itchy skin. If you have oily skin and want to try oil-to-foam cleansing on the face, the Peach & Lily Oil to Foam Cleanser is formulated with aloe, camomile oil and geranium oil and according to the Brand helps deep clean pores and remove makeup. 

“Facial cleansing doesn’t have to be a chore,” Morris says. “Try an oil-to-foam cleanser format to mix it up!”

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