Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Question from Patreon: How does a mud cleanser clean your skin without surfactants?

In September Q&A for Patreon, Jaime asked: How on does May Lindstrom's Honey Mud cleanse your skin without a surfactant? Ingredients: Raw Honey w/Bee Pollen & Propolis, White Clay, Macadamia Nut Oil, Witch Hazel, Collodial Silver, Cocoa Absolute Oil, Sweet Orange EO, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla Co2, Cedarwood, Frankincense, & Myrrh EO

I'm going off on a tangent for a minute, then I'll come back to your question, I promise!

You remember how surfactants work, right? (If not, please click here.) Surfactants are wetting agents that lower the surface tension of liquids and lower the interfacial tension between liquids - in other words, they emulsify. In a shampoo, foamy facial cleanser, body wash, and so on, we use anionic surfactants to create a lathery, bubbly creation. In lotions, we use non-ionic surfactants in the form of emulsifying waxes to create an emulsion. In conditioners, we use cationic surfactants to condition, but they also create emulsifications - ever use Incroquat BTMS-50 as an emulsifier or use a conditioner only to cleanse your hair - which will remove the dirt and soil from your hair.

So lotions, conditioners, and anything that contains a surfactant will cleanse your skin. (This is how cream cleansers work.)

What does it mean for our skin to be clean? It means we remove sebum, bits of skin, dust and pollution, make-up, Buffalo wing sauce, custard, and everything else that ends up on our face at the end of the day.

Someone with dry skin may have a different definition of what "clean" means than someone with normal or oily or acne prone skin.

Which leads me - finally - to the answer, which is...There are a few ingredients here that might make certain skin types feel cleaner.

Clay absorbs oil from our skin, while citrus essential oils help with degreasing. The macadamia nut oil might offer some cleansing as per the oil cleansing method, while the witch hazel might act as an astringent. I don't know what the honey brings to the mix - maybe it acts as a lovely humectant?- and I am concerned that I don't see a broad spectrum preservative here when it contains water-soluble ingredients. (You had a question about colloidal silver, which I'll be addressing soon, I promise! I think they're using it here as a preservative.)

As a note, honey only preserves itself. Once we dilute it with all kinds of liquids, it doesn't work that way any more. 

As someone with oily, acne and rosacea prone skin, I don't think my skin would feel clean - which is to say, the sebum is removed and all that other stuff is removed - using a product like this. Someone with less oily skin might find it a godsend.

If you're interested in learning more about what my Patreon subscription feed offers, please click here! This question came from the September Q&A for Patreon! 

1 comment:

Bear's Beauty Blog said...
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