My first thought upon opening this bottle of cleanser: Smells good! :)
My second: Nooo, too much alcohol! :(
Since that like-dislike moment, I’ve been using this on and off, with the conclusion that you really have to stay away from it, if you’re sensitive to alcohol-based products or are leery of its supposedly negative effects. You see, no matter how I tested it, that ingredient remained prominent and so overwhelming were its fumes at times that I almost couldn’t breathe. The last usually happens when my face is slightly damp; I reckon the alcohol evaporation speeds up with moisture on the face, exacerbating its smell and cooling effect. The brand recommends that it be used on dry, clean skin but even then, the alcoholic presence is keenly felt. You’ve been warned!
The brand claims that it’s mildly acidic like healthy skin, with the milk-like texture giving it a cushioning effect (which I do feel – it isn’t very runny, though it has a light consistency). It is also formulated with plant-derived fibres, deep-cleansing abyssal clay and skin-softening agents such as trehalose (a disaccharide with a high water retention property) and peony extract. In addition, it has a soft citrus scent that reminds me of lime and grapefruit.
I believe the so-called eraser effect that it promises – with debris bits appearing after circular application on the face – is a chemical one that occurs as a result of the reaction of the ingredients to friction and exposure to the air. What you see isn’t your dead skin cells miraculously being sloughed away, though this action does remove some dirt and possibly exfoliates. I’ve also decided that this is true for the popular Cure Aqua Natural Gel, which seems gentler and creates less clustered bits, compared to this product.
In my experience, it does impart some measure of skin clarity but despite its supposed deep-cleansing properties, I still have whiteheads/trapped sebum on my nose even after using it. Its strong alcohol content doesn’t strip my skin, yet I sometimes have to follow up with a foaming facial wash (often a moisturising one) when my face feels especially oily. Clearly, this is not the most effective of cleansers for me.
In Singapore, it retails at S$26 for 125 ml. According to Iris, a new version with charcoal powder will be introduced later this year.