The concept of a powder wash may be foreign to some people, especially those who have been using gel or foaming face cleansers all their lives. And despite resembling your washing machine detergent, a powder wash is nothing like it. As the name suggests, a facial powder wash is meant to be used in place of your regular cleanser. Pour a small amount of product onto damp hands, mix it with water and lather, then apply it onto a damp face.
The good thing about a facial powder wash is that it’s “customisable”. Mix it with more water for a gentler wash, or use less water for a stronger scrub. If you have dry skin, try mixing the powder wash with an oil cleanser for a nourishing scrub.
But that’s not all. Here are the benefits of a powder wash, which explains why its popularity.
It’s suitable for sensitive skin
Anyone with sensitive skin can understand the pain of looking for new cleansers—you need something that won’t leave you looking like you scrubbed your skin off after a simple wash. The good news is, powder cleansers foam up to a creamy texture, which cleanses sensitive skin gently without irritating it.
It’s great for travelling
It’s always a chore to pack liquids when you travel, especially when you have to transfer them into travel-sized bottles and run the risk of a leakage. A powder wash, however, is easy to pack, whether you’re bringing it in your check-in luggage or on the flight. You don’t even have to put it in a Ziploc since it’s not a liquid item!
It’s also an exfoliator
The great thing about a powder wash is that it doubles up as an exfoliator to slough away dead skin cells. Some of them contain enzymes that help to break down dead skin cells to leave your skin smooth. Depending on your skin type, it’s best to use a powder wash one to four times a week to keep your skin clear and smooth.
It doesn’t dry out your skin
Most powder washes contain moisturising ingredients that leave your skin moisturised after cleansing, so you won’t get that “tight”, overly dry feeling post-cleanse. For example, ORBIS Powder Wash + purportedly injects moisture into the skin with its moisturising ingredients, which include collagen, hyaluronic acid and royal jelly extract.
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Here are some other powder washes to consider adding to your skincare routine.
Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, $27 for 32 capsules or $14 for 15 capsules
You can’t talk about facial powder washes without mentioning Suisai at least once. This viral beauty product contains two types of enzymes—protease and lipase—to break down impurities and sebum. It can unclog pores, remove blackheads and help with smoothing skin texture. Each capsule is meant for one use, but people have been known to split it into two uses.
Orbis Powder Wash +, $25 for 50g
Free from oil, fragrance and artificial colours, this enzyme cleanser helps remove keratin plugs and sebum without being overly harsh on the skin. The Orbis Powder Wash has two types of enzymes, protease and lipase, to dissolve and get rid of stubborn blackheads and keratin plugs. It also contains collagen, hyaluronic acid and royal jelly extract to moisturise the skin.
Tatcha The Rice Polish Deep Foaming Enzyme Powder, $95 for 60g
Tatcha’s quartet of enzyme cleansing powders have gained cult status, and for good reason. The best-selling Deep Foaming version is the most popular by far. It contains rice bran powder, algae, green tea, rice and Japanese wild rose to clarify skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines, even out skin tone and reduce breakouts.
Clinique Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C, $39 for 28 sachets
This multi-tasker from Clinique contains 10 per cent vitamin C to clarify and brighten the skin. Salicylic acid helps fight breakouts, while kaolin absorbs excess sebum. The cleansing powder is packaged in individual sachets, making it perfect for gym bunnies who hate having to lug full-sized cleansers for their post-session showers. Of course, it’s great for travellers too.
DHC Face Wash Powder, $19.90 for 50g
DHC is best known for its cleansing oil and moisturising lip cream, but did you know that the Japanese skincare brand offers a facial wash powder as well? It contains protease enzymes to sweep away dead skin cells and exfoliate, as well as sodium hyaluronate to hydrate the skin, licorice root extract and lavender to soothe, as well as honey to nourish and moisturise.
Fancl Facial Washing Powder, $26 for 50g
Fancl’s iconic “Washing Powder” was launched all the way back in 1982, pretty much making it the OG of modern day cleansing powders. It’s preservative-free, so make sure to use it up within 60 days after opening. The cleanser contains agar and rice starch to exfoliate and wash away impurities, leaving your skin soft and smooth. For best results, use a foaming net to create a thick lather, then apply it to a damp face.
Sekkisei White Powder Wash, $44 for 100g
This powder wash contains a blend of botanical extracts, including angelica root, peony root, perilla leaf and coix seed. It also contains highly-moisturising phospholipid polymers that form a protective veil of hydration over the skin.
Kanebo Refreshing Powder Wash, $45 for 32 capsules
This powder wash from Kanebo contains protease, amino acids and apricot extract to break down grease, get rid of dead skin cells and unclog pores without leaving skin feeling tight or dry. It’s packaged in little hexagonal capsules that’s perfect for travel or gym sessions, since it’s lightweight and won’t spill or leave a gloopy mess in your bag.
Text: Hidayah Idris, Engracia Ang
Images: 123RF.com, ORBIS