Every skin care brand offers their own variety of “deep cleaning” facial cleansers. This sounds appealing, but what exactly does “deep cleaning” mean? How deep do all these different cleansers really go?
Clogged Pores Probably Aren’t Your Biggest Problem
When a facial cleanser talks about going deep, it usually is referring to your pores. These wells within your skin are where oil, or sebum, is secreted from. Pores are prone to getting clogged with dirt, dead skin cells, makeup, congealed lipids from sebum production, and other environmental materials. Blocked pores can turn into acne, or can cause skin conditions like redness or irritation.
Most of the facial cleansers that claim to be deep cleaning use detergents or other cleaning agents to remove dirt and other substances from your pores to keep them clear. This is fine if your goal is simply to wash any clogging particles from your skin, to remove any basic blockages, or to clear up mild breakouts. Clogged pores aren’t the entire story when it comes to skin disorders, however.1
A lot of facial skin problems are a little trickier to deal with. More severe cases of acne often involve established bacterial infections that require something stronger than a gentle detergent to fully get rid of them. Even more problematic are demodex mites, more commonly known as eyelash mites. These microscopic bugs spend most of their lives hidden far down inside your pores and eyelash follicles. There, they are safe from most of the weapons in your antimicrobial arsenal. While Demodex infestations are very common and usually aren’t problematic, if they get out of hand they can contribute to a whole array of skin issues like inflammation, flaking, rosacea, and irritation, including itching, dryness, swelling, and redness.2
Is There A Natural Solution?
You can find many natural, oil-based skin products that contain antimicrobial compounds that might be effective for shallow bacterial infections. However, most molecules in essential oils are unable to penetrate deep enough to reach bacteria, viruses, and mites well within your pores and follicles. Some cleansers do contain herbal blends that can reach the depths of your pores; however, they tend to be too strong for long term use on your delicate facial skin and may cause further irritations of their own.3 Many customer reviews of these types of cleansers describe them as being harsh and stinging, and resulting in redness or swelling with use.
On the other hand, the most important compound in Cliradex is able to penetrate far enough to kill mites within your pores, and is gentle enough for long-term use. Cliradex is formulated with an optimal concentration of 4-terpineol, the component in tea tree oil which best eradicates demodex mites, but without any of the other, potentially irritating, elements that also are in tea tree oil. Cliradex towelettes are safe enough to use for however long it takes to fully clear your bacterial or mite infestations without causing unwanted side effects. The lower-dose Cliradex Light foaming cleanser is mild enough that it can be used as a part of your daily facial hygiene routine for the long-term. This way your pores stay clear from irritants and clogging particles, as well as tough critters like mites.
1. Draelos ZD. The effect of a daily facial cleanser for normal to oily skin on the skin barrier of subjects with acne. Cutis. 2006;78(1 Suppl):34-40.
2. Liu J, Sheha H, Tseng SC. Pathogenic role of Demodex mites in blepharitis. Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology. 2010;10(5):505-510.3. Kuehl BL, Fyfe KS, Shear NH. Cutaneous cleansers. Skin therapy letter. 2003;8(3):1-4.