The science behind skin care: Cleansers
Two of the most important skin care categories with profound dermatologic implications are cleansers and moisturizers. Cleansers are composed of alkaline soaps or the less barrier-damaging synthetic detergents, known as syndets. The lower skin irritation and dryness found with syndets are related to their reduced tendency to cause protein denaturation due to the charge density of protein-bound micelle-like surfactant aggregates. Many cleansing formulations are available for purchase to meet hygiene needs varying by sex, age, ethnicity, occupation, environment, personal preferences, and the presence or absence of skin disease. This discussion covers the science of skin cleansing.