It started when Stephanie Valentine, known to her over 1.5 million and counting fans as Glamzilla, filmed herself doing what she calls “weird makeup science” by using a manual frother to transform her Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Enzyme Foam Cleanser, which has a creamy consistency and thick lather, into a foam.
In the video, which she shared on July 26, she pulls out the plastic frother and adds water, a squirt of cleanser, and a dash of Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator, a powder. After a few pumps, the cloudy liquid concoction turns into a white foam that she works into a rich lather on her face. “Oh my gosh, am I going to start frothing my skin care?” she asks while cleansing her face.
Though the experiment ended up working well, Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara doesn’t recommend trying it with every skin-care product. “I would not do it with active ingredients; it may destabilize them and make them completely ineffective,” she explains. Active ingredients could include alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, retinol, niacinamide… that scratches out basically any product that’s not a makeup remover or gentle facial cleanser.
Gohara doubts that the frothing is necessary, as foaming cleansers already exist, but she says that it does look fun and creative. However, she warns against using this concoction on dry or combination skin because it will suck the moisture out of the product. In general, she recommends foaming cleansers for oily skin types because those facial washes are on the dryer side (they contain something called surfactants, which do have the potential to dry out skin). The addition of the exfoliator would also dry out the skin.
What’s more: cosmetic chemist Ginger King shares that frothing your face cleanser is just like lathering soap in your hands, just a bit faster and more elaborate. The pumping action from the frother helps create more foam because of those surfactants in the cleanser. It’s nice to do if you’re a fan of sudsy cleansers for the sensorial experience (and if your skin can handle it, of course).