For quite a few people, it is still the epitome of a good cleansing product: creamy lather. However, the lather does not necessarily mean that the product is effective. Surfactants – that’s the professional term for these detergent substances – can form small or large amounts of lather. They can be of natural origin or be produced chemically. What do you think: do they all have a clean slate?

It’s not possible to imagine most cleansing products without surfactants. They are so-called foaming agents and furthermore ensure cleanliness of skin and hair, just like detergents and cleaning products. They dissolve what water alone cannot dissolve: sebum and dirt. Two different molecule ends are responsible for this. The one side likes water, the other side binds fat.

Surfactants connect the one side with the dirt on the skin and the other side with water until the whole dirt particle is packed into a small ball, the so-called micelle. Now, the insoluble dirt on the skin can be combined with the water and the cleansing motions remove the dirt from the skin. All surfactants have this talent – but there are major differences regarding the intensity.

In the cosmetics industry, many conventional products contain problematic surfactants such as polyethylene glycols (PEGs) and their relatives, such as sodium laureth sulfate. They form lots of lather and clean particularly well – however, they have such a powerful effect that they make the outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum) swell up and remove more sebum than necessary.

“This is the so-called leaching effect“, explains Dr. Julia Mader, cosmetics scientist at BIRKENSTOCK NATURAL SKIN CARE. “In this process, our skin loses its natural barriers, dries out and becomes more permeable for pollutants and the like.“

Definitely too much of a good thing…

Special FOAMulations

Fortunately, there are alternatives:

Natural surfactants, on the other hand, are particularly gentle and nurturing for the skin. Natural cosmetics shower gels and cleansing products contain cleansing substances which are produced on the basis of sugar or coconut. In the products of BNSC you can for example find sodium coco sulfates and coco glucosides in the INCI“, says Julia Mader.

Surfactants based on sugar and coconut are not only gentle to the skin, they also don’t contaminate our water. Sounds great! But are there any disadvantages?

“They don’t form as much lather as their chemical relatives. However, their cleansing effect is excellent“, explains Julia Mader.

Experience gentle cleansing with BNSC


Why not try it yourself: our refreshing REVITALIZING SHOWER GEL cleanses gently and leaves a refreshing and nourishing feeling on your skin. In addition to our cork oak extract*, our shower gel contains a vitalizing argan extract which strengthens your skin and stimulates cell renewal. An exhilarating freshness boost to start your day.

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES: 80% “skin feels refreshed after the shower”, 100% “product cleanses thoroughly”, 90% “product cleanses gently”, 86% “does not dry out the skin” *

BIRKENSTOCK NATURAL SKIN CARE Fresh Cleansing GelFor your facial cleansing, we recommend our FRESH CLEANSING GEL: the gentle cleansing gel maintains the natural balance and leaves the skin clean and cared for. Our all-rounder, the cork oak extract, also comes into play here together with white tea which stimulates micro-circulation and provides a long-term refreshment for the skin. Wheat protein strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and protects against moisture loss.

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES: 90% “skin feels refreshed after application”, 86% “product cleanses gently”, 100% “product cleanses thoroughly”, 80% “does not dry out the skin” *

Have fun trying our products! 🙂


*Our products contain cork oak extract in varying concentrations. Its effectiveness was proven in scientific and clinical studies. For further information, please visit


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