The fabled powder, a long-time makeup staple, has served many purposes in beauty lore. (Check out the alabaster skin that geishas achieved with rice flour, the powdered ringlets men in the late 1500s rocked using the scented dust to mask the funk of rough-worn wigs, and the flawless finishes that HD powders give our complexions today.) The stuff, which is used on everything from babies' butts to queens’ faces, is once again reinventing itself. This time, it's in the incarnation of face cleansers.
But, this latest turn isn’t just about aesthetic ideals. When it comes to the quest for a gentle and more natural product, many of these pulverized, new-school cleansers happen to leave the gel and liquid formulations you're used to in the dust.
“Powder cleansers don't require many of the preservatives and alcohol, as well as detergents,” explains Dr. Jeannette Graf, a New York-based dermatologist and author of Stop Aging, Start Living. And, though a granular texture might seem too abrasive for the face, Graf adds that these types of cleansers “tend to be gentle and moisturizing and work for all skin types, especially normal and acne-prone skin.”
Best of all, because the user can create her own consistency of paste or light foam by adding droplets of water to powdered cleansers, she can also intensify or dial back the degree of exfoliation with each face wash — a great control for those sensitive skin days.
This spring, cult skin-care line Rodin will come out with a signature-smelling powdered facial cleanser, but for those who don’t want to wait to get into the powdered cleanser game, there is a literal bounty of new and old favorites to choose from.