Journal Articles


[2022] Cleansing methods and types recommended for dry skin.

[2022] Cleansing methods and types recommended for dry skin.

Winter is the season of lower temperatures and humidity. The elbows, heels, and other parts of the face that often come into contact with the air are especially prone to dryness. Some of you may be concerned about dryness even though you use expensive beauty products. What we would like to draw your attention to is the "face wash. In fact, it is more important to review the cleansing and washing process to remove dirt from the skin than to use beauty essence or milky lotion to give your skin good ingredients. No matter how wonderful the moisturizing ingredients in a serum may be, depending on the method of cleansing and washing the face before that, the foundation necessary for youthful skin filled with moisture will be destroyed, making it difficult to obtain the benefits of subsequent skin care. In this article, we will discuss the causes of dry skin, Causes of dry skin Why cleansing and washing your face are important for improving dry skin Types of cleansers recommended for dry skin Advantages of oil-based cleansers How to identify recommended cleansers Other must-know precautions for dry skin.


1. Is this the cause of dry skin? Excessive washing and scrubbing" by cleansing

 Dry skin is a condition in which the stratum corneum lacks moisture and hydration as well as sebum, which prevents moisture from evaporating. There are four major causes of this condition

  1. Aging
    Caused by a disturbance in turnover and a decrease in sebum secretion due to aging
  2. Nutritional (material) deficiency
    Nutritional deficiency caused by dieting, etc., resulting in insufficient materials for skin cells and sebum.
  3. Constitution
    caused by a constitution that is naturally prone to dryness, such as atopic dermatitis
  4. Skin care not suited to your skin type
    caused by cleansing and moisturizing methods that are not suited to your own sebum production and moisturizing ingredients.

Dry skin can be caused by a variety of factors.
In particular, focusing only on the fourth cause, cleansing and washing the face for the sake of "beautiful skin" may not be suitable for the skin, leading to dry skin.
This is true not only for those with dry skin, but also for those who suffer from partially oily (combination) skin around the nose and forehead. The cause of partial oily (combination) skin is often dryness. Because we unknowingly wash away too much sebum through daily cleansing and washing, the skin over-secretes sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture, even though what is essentially lacking is "moisture and moistness in the skin cells.

2. Why cleansing and washing are important for improving dry skin

Some may think that moisturizing skin care with milky lotions, serums, and creams is the most important step to improve dry skin. Indeed, moisturizing skincare after washing off sebum as well as dirt is an important step in protecting skin from drying out.

However, when considering dry skin countermeasures and anti-aging care, the cleansing and washing steps are actually more important than post-cleansing care. The reason for this is that cleansing and washing are the actions that are most likely to irritate the epidermis and remove sebum for the skin.
And the raw materials that compose the cleansing and face wash and their quality have a much greater impact on the condition and quality of your skin than we realize.

So what cleansing methods and cleansing agents should dry skin sufferers use?

3. Cleansing agents recommended for dry skin are oils and balms that moisturize and cause less friction.

Two important points for those who suffer from dry or aged skin when cleansing are "not to remove too much sebum and moisturizing ingredients with strong cleansing power" and "not to break down the skin barrier by rubbing the horny layer too much with hands or cotton wool.
Based on these two points, we recommend cleansing with oil or balm, especially for those with dry skin.

3-1. "Does cleansing oil dry out skin? Lie and Truth

Some people think that cleansing oil is not suitable for dry skin because of its strong cleansing power and drying effect, while others may have actually experienced dry skin. Is this correct?
This theory is half true and half false. The reason for this lies in the type of oil used in cleansing oil.

Skin tends to feel dry when the main ingredients of the oil are "hydrocarbon oils" such as mineral oil, isohexadecane, and hydrogenated polyisobutene, or "ester oils" such as cetyl ethylhexanoate and isopropyl palmitate.
The composition and quality of the cleansing oil can make the difference between whether oil cleansing causes skin dryness or a soft skin effect.

Although cleansing is often thought of as just a step to remove makeup and sebum, the effectiveness of cleansing depends entirely on the raw materials and quality of the products used.

To use an analogy, they are like margarine and butter. Although they may look similar at a glance and have similar uses, a careful check of the ingredients reveals differences between vegetable and animal products, and different types of fatty acids, the main constituent of fat. Naturally, the quality of the flavor, how it works in the body, and the price of the product will also differ. Cleansing oils also differ like margarine and butter, depending on the type of oil used as the main ingredient and the type and balance of surfactants blended together, and the effect on the skin and the price can vary greatly.

3-2. We recommend only products with oils and fats as the main ingredients for dry skin! The same oil has totally different effects!

Cleansing oils can be broadly classified according to the type of oil that is the main ingredient in the base: hydrocarbon oil base, ester oil, and fat.

As you can see from the table, the cleansing power, moisturizing power, and effects on the skin differ so much just by changing the type of oil used as the main ingredient.
Inexpensive cleansers available at drugstores usually list "hydrocarbon oils" made from petroleum, such as mineral oil, or "ester oils" such as "00-acid~l" as the first ingredient.
These hydrocarbon oils and ester oils are inexpensive and have strong cleansing power, making them very useful in the production of cleansing oils. However, their large molecular weight makes them less likely to penetrate the stratum corneum, and they are the least compatible with water of all oils.

Oils in cleansing agents require the power of "surfactants" to emulsify with water and wash away. Surfactants can cause skin irritation and rash. Hydrocarbon oils and ester oils, especially those based on mineral oils, inevitably require a strong "surfactant" force. As a result, in exchange for their powerful makeup-removing effects, they also remove necessary sebum, leading to dry skin.

Originally, mineral oil and squalane themselves are hypoallergenic, inexpensive, and very safe oils when used for the purpose of preventing dryness. However, when formulated in cleansing oils for the purpose of removing dirt, they were the cause of accelerated dry skin for this reason.

4. What kind of "fats" are used in cleansing oils recommended for dry skin?

Fats and oils, the main ingredient of cleansers recommended for dry skin, are oils extracted from animal or plant sources. Basically, fats and oils used for cleansing are vegetable-based, and most of them are called "00-oils," which are obtained from plants that we are familiar with in our daily lives, such as olive oil, rice-nut oil, and avocado oil, to name a few.

Examples of vegetable oils and fats used in cleansing oils and balms

  • macadamia nut oil
  • corn germ oil
  • olive fruit oil
  • almond oil
  • rice-nut oil
  • rice germ oil
  • olive oil

The following will unpack why these vegetable oils and fats are good for the skin when used as a base for cleansing agents.

4-1. Benefits for dry skin obtained from oil-based cleansing agents

The benefits gained from oil-based cleansers include the following

  • Does not remove too much sebum and does not scrub the skin too much, resulting in less damage to the skin
  • Highly effective in softening the stratum corneum due to the effect of unsaturated fatty acids contained in fats and oils
  • Compared to other oils, it is overwhelmingly similar in structure to sebum, so it blends well with the skin.
  • Protects the sebum film, making it easier to return the skin's pH value to a normal state (weakly acidic state)
  • Dissolves hardened sebum and eliminates coarse pores
  • Better penetration of serums and oils used after cleansing

Cleansing with oil- and fat-based products is a step in the process of removing dirt and grime, but it can also protect the skin from dryness, while covering skin softening effects and pore care.
Let's continue with a closer look at why oils and fats can provide so many benefits to the skin.

4-2. The composition of fatty acids in fats and sebum is similar.

The composition of our human sebum is a whopping 40% oils and fats. And if we look at the contents of "fatty acids," the major constituents of sebum, palmitoleic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid account for about 60% of the total fatty acids. These fatty acids, from what we have just seen, indicate that fats and oils are similar to sebum.
It is also precisely these fatty acids that have the effects of moisturizing, softening keratin, and preventing sebum from clogging.

The following graph shows the fatty acid composition of sebum and vegetable fats often found in cleansing agents. You can see how close the fatty acid composition of the two are and how well they blend with the skin.

4-3. Skin softening effect is due to unsaturated fatty acids

As mentioned above, we found that the skin moisturizing and softening effects found only in fats and oils, but not in hydrocarbon oils or ester oils, are due to the fatty acids contained in fats and oils.
Fatty acids are divided into saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which differ in their ability to blend with the skin* and soften it. Unsaturated fatty acids are considered to have a smoother texture and are more effective in softening the skin*.

*The horny layer.

Incidentally, the above fatty acids can be classified as follows

  • Saturated fatty acids: stearic acid, palmitic acid
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids: palmitoleic acid, oleic acid (most abundant in sebum)
  • Diunsaturated fatty acid: linoleic acid
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid: linolenic acid (not found in sebum)

Sebum contains more unsaturated fatty acids than saturated fatty acids, with the largest proportion of monovalent fatty acids.

5. Don't make the mistake anymore! Key Points for Choosing Cleansing for Dry Skin

We have told you that oil and fat based cleansers are recommended for dry skin. Now, we will give you some tips on how to recognize a cleansing agent that is based on good quality oils and fats, rather than hydrocarbon oils or ester oils, when actually choosing a product!

5-1. Vegetable fats and oils, not mineral oil or ester oil, are listed first in the ingredients list.

Ingredients on the packaging of skin care products are listed in descending order of the amount contained in the product. If you want to choose a product in which oils and fats are the main ingredients, choose one that contains the following ingredients.
There are also oils and fats rich in "unsaturated fatty acids" that are not easily used as a base for reasons of texture and cost, but are great to have as blending ingredients. Depending on your budget and beauty benefits, we recommend choosing products that contain more than one oil or fat in the ingredients.
Incidentally, at this stage, most cleansers that contain oils and fats are oil types. There are also a very few balm types, but basically, look into oil types.

Oils and fats that are commonly used as a base

  • rice-nut oil
  • olive fruit oil
  • hybrid safflower oil
  • corn germ oil

Oils and fats that are not base but would be nice to have in the formulation

  • Macadamia nut oil (rich in palmitoleic acid and has the highest skin penetration)
  • Argan oil (rich in linoleic acid)
  • Camellia oil (rich in oleic acid)
  • Avocado oil (rich in oleic acid, contains palmitic acid)
  • Almond oil (rich in oleic acid)
  • Jojoba seed oil (made of wax esters that act as a sebum film)

Palmitoleic acid" supplements necessary sebum and leads to elastic skin. In addition, linoleic acid helps to retain moisture in the skin, oleic acid prevents roughness and softens the skin, and palmitic acid acts as an antioxidant and suppresses wrinkles.

Please check not only the main ingredients, but also the supporting ingredients that flank them.

5-2. Instructions for use include a phrase that instructs "Always use with dry hands.

If even a small amount of moisture enters a fat- or oil-based cleanser, emulsification will occur first and makeup and sebum will not be removed. Therefore, oil- and fat-based cleansers must always be used with dry hands. Some cleansers can be used with wet hands, but such products are based on hydrocarbon oils or ester oils, which have strong cleansing power even when moist. Always choose a cleanser that "must be used with dry hands and must be emulsified".

Oils easily used as base for cleansers that can be used even with wet hands

[Hydrocarbon oil

  • mineral oil
  • hydrogenated polyisobutene
  • isododecane

Ester oil

  • Ethylhexyl palmitate
  • cetyl ethylhexylate
  • triethylhexanoin

The main ingredients listed above can easily cause dryness and should be avoided, especially if you are concerned about dry skin.

6. The key to preventing dry skin is to wash your face after cleansing and in the morning!

Even if oil-based cleansing gently removes dirt and grime without rubbing the skin, it will be ruined if too much sebum is removed by washing the face afterwards. In order to prevent dry skin, there are some points to keep in mind when double cleansing your face after cleansing and when washing your face the next morning. Let's look at them in detail in the next section.

6-1. Use a mildly acidic cleanser derived from amino acids! Rinse off in a short time without scrubbing!

When dry skin cleanses and then double cleanses with a facial cleanser, it is recommended to choose an amino acid-based cleanser that is mildly acidic.
Skin is naturally maintained in a mildly acidic state, but tends to become slightly alkaline when dry skin is in a state where the barrier function is broken down. Washing your face with an alkaline cleanser when the skin's ability to return to a mildly acidic state is weakened may further impede skin recovery and accelerate skin problems. To maintain a healthy pH value for the skin, choose a mildly acidic cleanser.

Even if the cleanser is mildly acidic, it is important to lather well and rinse off within a short time to avoid removing too much sebum as much as possible.
Recently, gel and milk-type cleansers that do not require foaming and are gentler on the skin have become available. Choose the product according to your preference for washing up and washing method, and try to wash your face without removing too much sebum and without scrubbing your skin.


The same applies not only to washing the face at night after cleansing, but also to washing the face in the morning.
If makeup and sebum have been thoroughly removed from the skin the night before with a fat-based cleansing agent, a "lukewarm water face wash without a facial cleanser" can be used to keep the skin clean. For those with dry skin or in winter, when skin secretion is relatively low, it is recommended to wash your face with warm water to protect the sebum film that is naturally secreted at night.

6-3. Inner care other than cleansing is also important! Take in unsaturated fatty acids from food as well!

In addition to removing dirt while protecting sebum, inner care from inside the body is also important to promote improvement of dry skin.

As we mentioned at the beginning, dry skin is not only caused by incorrect skin care. Our skin is renewed by metabolism, with all cells being renewed little by little every day. In order to maintain this normal turnover of the skin and to create younger looking skin that is always less prone to dryness, it is very important to pay attention to the quality of nutrition we get from our diet as well as our daily cleansing and skin care. The cell membranes that make up our skin are made from oil. Therefore, the quality of the skin sebum and the softness of the cells depend on what kind of oil we usually consume. If you want to improve dry skin, you should choose and consume oils that are high in unsaturated fatty acids as much as possible, as well as oils that you take into your body.

7. summary

We have told you that the causes of dry and age-related skin actually include over-washing and over-abrasion of the skin, and that oil-based cleansing oils are recommended for such skin.
Unsaturated fatty acids, which have skin softening properties, can be obtained from food and also used in cleansing.
In order to keep the skin from becoming dry in winter and age, and to keep the skin with adequate sebum moisture, we should carefully identify the raw materials of cleansers and facial cleansers and gently cleanse the skin.

Category List

Related Articles