Saturday, September 4, 2010

Surfactants and those poufy things.

My friend Melissa once asked me why shampoos didn't seem as harsh or bubbly as they were when we were kids. It has to do with the surfactants we use and the ingredients we use to increase mildness. In the olden days, most - if not all - products used SLS, which is considered a harsher surfactant but a great bubbler, foamer, and latherer. Nowadays, we use far milder surfactants and we increase the mildness with emollients, esters, and conditioning agents, as well as lower concentrations of surfactants so we don't get that annoying tightness or feeling of dryness on your skin.

This is why we all have those scrubby pouffy things in our showers!  Because we don't get much lather from our body washes without using them. On my recent holiday, I forgot to bring my favourite lime green travelling pouffy with me, so I had to use a washcloth to try to get some exfoliation and lather. With the pouffy my body washes are very foamy and bubbly; without, not so much. We need them to increase the lather and foam from really mild cleansers!

As an aside, I love the manly pouffies. This one by AXE is called a body detailer and it looks very masculine and aggressive suitable only for serious exfoliation and cleansing! This is a pouffy that could remove mud acquired from a day of quadding or cramponing up a glacial mountain unlike my adorable lime green dollar store one, which is only appropriate for cleaning off dust from a day of crafting, shopping, or cleaning around the house!

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