Cleaning the skin is a very important part of your skincare, in fact one could argue that it is the most important one. If your skin is not cleaned well then it doesn’t matter how many goodies you put on it after, it won’t be healthy, it will likely look dull and breakout, not to mention the incoming blackheads and all other longer term effects. Plus, you would have wasted the rest of your skincare on skin that is not ready for it.
So, picking a good cleanser that cleans well but at the same time doesn’t strip out all the natural oils and flora of the skin is very important. It is important to note though that there is such a thing as overdoing it as well. Cleansers have become a little too fancy these days, containing a cocktail of amazing ingredients, but it’s worth remembering that rinse-off products end up in your drain and don’t have much time to be absorbed by your skin.
One such fancy cleanser is the Elemis Superfood Fascial Wash. But is it worth your money or does it all end up in the drain? Let’s find out.
The Elemis Superfood Fascial Wash comes in green plastic packaging of good quality. It’s worth noting that the pictures in this post show the travel size, 30mL packaging, but the full size one doesn’t differ too much, other than it comes with a cap that you can open and close rather than unscrew and screw.
A full size, 150mL, tube retails for £25.
It’s not the cheapest cleanser out there but it does contain a lot of ingredients goodies. However, the couple of seconds or maybe even a minute or two that you spend washing your face are likely not enough time for your skin to absorb a considerable amount of those ingredient goodies and most of them likely end up in the drain. It’s up to you then if you feel that the price is worth it.
Texture and Colour
This cleanser has a pale green, transparent gel texture. The colour mainly comes from an added dye.
The Elemis Superfood Fascial Wash has a strong abstract smell, like an intense perfume. This product unfortunately contains added fragrance.
Fragrance makes cosmetics more expensive, adds no benefit skincare-wise and can potentially damage the skin through irritation. It’s not worth it and it’s unfortunate that this product contains some.
This product can be used by all skin types. Elemis doesn’t specify one and there are no ingredients that would be specific or better for some skin types. Like any cosmetic however, it contains ingredients that can cause irritation so if you have sensitive skin, always try products at the back of your hand first.
If you are concerned or notice any reaction discontinue usage immediately and contact a medical doctor.
This cleanser lasts for 6M which is more than enough time to use it up.
Here’s what Elemis says about this product:
“Superfood Facial Wash
A nourishing, nutrient-dense gel cleanser
BENEFITS: Cleanses, Nourishes, Revitalises
Nourish skin with this gel cleanser, packed with nutrient-dense Supergreens and an active prebiotic, leaving skin looking radiant, with an outdoor-fresh glow.
Voted the “Best Cleanser” – Women’s Health Beauty Awards 2018
This nourishing facial wash revives and refreshes whilst deeply cleansing the skin.
Formulated with nutrient-dense Superfoods offering a balanced diet of active ingredients for an outdoor-fresh glow. Avocado, Broccoli and Pumpkin Seed oils are combined with a natural prebiotic to help balance the skin’s precious microbiome. Wheatgrass, Kale, and Nettle are combined to leave the complexion looking luminous, bright and radiant.
97%of users agreed that they liked how the product felt when applied to the skin
97%of users agreed that the product left their skin feeling cleansed
92%of users agreed that the product is gentle on skin
90%of users agreed that the product left their skin feeling refreshed
89%of users agreed that the product was amazing at gently removing makeup
*Independent user trials results based on 118 people over 2 weeks. 2017”
Practicality of use – use experience
This cleanser is very easy to use. The product comes out by squeezing the tube and it is nice and slippery on the skin. It cleans well, although you will need to go over the skin twice if you started with a full face of makeup, but that’s true for most cleansers anyways.
The strong scent can be annoying if you are in a relaxing, before bed, mood because it tends to wake you up a little.
This product cleaned the skin well and I thoroughly enjoyed using it, with the exception of the strong scent which annoyed me at times. I didn’t think that there was any benefit to my skin though or that it did a superior job to other good cleansers out there. It is a good cleanser but all the ingredient goodies feel a little wasteful.
This cleanser contains 49 ingredients of which 36 will offer your some benefit (some on skincare and others in cleansing ability etc), 5 potential negatives and 17 irritants.
It definitely contains a lot of ingredients goodies, many more than most cleansers out there but before you get too hyped up it is worth bearing three things in mind.
(a) Ingredient quantity. Most ingredients are listed after the Phenoxyethanol which is found in cosmetics in quantities of 1% or less. This means that there isn’t much of these ingredient goodies in this product.
(b) Superfood marketing hook. Just because some foods are good to eat it doesn’t mean that they are beneficial or as important when applied topically.
(c) Rinse-off product. Most of these ingredients likely end up in the drain. The couple of seconds or minute that it takes you to wash your face is likely not enough for your skin to absorb and benefit, on a deeper level, from these ingredients. This combined with the low concentration of them probably means that you are washing your money down the drain.
If this was a leave-on product like a face cream then we would be having a very different conversation about the ingredients contained but it’s worth keeping in mind that all a cleanser needs and can do, in the timeframe and way of application, is clean. If this is not the case and a significant amount of ingredients gets absorbed in that minute or so that we wash our skin, while also getting mixed with makeup and dirt, then I’d really like to see some scientific data! That would be interesting indeed.
To keep this article short, I am only listing the ingredients that make this product a cleanser and any skin nourishing or skin positive/negative ingredients, while ignoring the ones that only play formulation purposes. For the full list of ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.
- Water based formulation.
- Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate – Hair and skin conditioner as well as cleanser.
- Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine – A hair and skin conditioner.
- Polysorbate 20 – Can lubricate and sooth the skin.
- Sodium Lactate – Skin conditioner and humectant.
- Coco-Glucoside – A cleansing, foaming agent and conditioner. So mild that can be used in baby products.
- Glyceryl Oleate – Skin conditioner and perfume.
- Dicaprylyl Ether – Skin conditioner, emollient and solvent. Can create a smooth and soft skin appearance.
- Lauryl Alcohol – Can act as a skin conditioner.
- Xanthan gum– Skin conditioner. Holds water and improves the shelf life of the product.
- Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil– A yellow-green oil high in vitamin A,C, D, E and might also contain omega 9 fatty acids which aid skin healing and regeneration. It also contains lecithin and it has antibacterial and anti-wrinkle properties. It can protect against UV light and pollution (not as good as a sunscreen) and even has anti-ageing effects. It is a skin conditioning agent and while it is suitable for all skin types it is particularly good for the dry types. It can also moisturise, soothe and soften the skin. It penetrates the skin to a higher degree than a lot of other oils.
- Citric Acid– A natural preservative, can be used to even out skin tone.
- Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide – Skin conditioner.
- Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil – Hair and skin conditioner.
- Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil – Skin conditioner.
- Galactoarabinan – Can improve moisturisation. Film former.
- Disodium EDTA – Very similar to tetrasodium EDTA, can counteract the effect of hard water by binding with metal ions and therefore, stopping them from interacting with our skin and hair.
- Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil – Skin conditioner and moisturiser. Rich in fatty acids and anti-oxidants.
- Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil – Skin conditioner and fragrance.
- Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil – A fragrance.
- Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Juice – A hair and skin conditioner. Anti-oxidant, tonic, astringent and skin soother. Can also be used against dandruff.
- Cymbopogon Martini Oil – Skin conditioner, tonic and fragrance. Has anti-microbial activity and can be effective against acne and pimples.
- Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil – Skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and fragrance.
- Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil – Skin conditioner and fragrance.
- Brassica Oleracea Acephala (Kale) Leaf Extract – Skin conditioner and humectant (=locks water in).
- Triticum Aestivum (Wheatgrass) Leaf Extract – Anti-oxidant and fragrance.
- Magnesium Aspartate – Skin conditioner. Can help transport minerals to skin cells, although it is unclear whether this happens when found in cosmetic formulations.
- Zinc Gluconate – An antiviral agent or cosmetic biocide often used in acne treatments. Can accelerate wound healing.
- Maltodextrin – A film former. Some studies suggest it might enhance the anti-ageing activity of weak acids.
- Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate – Skin conditioner good for sensitive skin.
- Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex – Deodorant agent, adds a green colour to the product. Can help heal wounds and has anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties.
- Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate – Skin conditioner.
- Tocopherol – Refers to a class of compounds with similar activities to vitamin E. A skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and fragrance agent. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
- Copper Gluconate – A skin conditioner and biocide with potential anti-ageing properties.
- Ascorbic Acid – This is the natural form of vitamin C, a hero anti-oxidant molecule that can sooth the skin (although it can irritate some) and improve the appearance of the signs of ageing. It can brighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation and age spots. It can boost the immune system, help and protect cells and aid in the skin’s collagen production. Science supports the wonders of applying vitamin C to the skin and therefore is a must have in your skincare. For more information check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
- Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate – A penetration enhancer, although this is not always a bad thing.
- Parfum (Fragrance)– This ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skin care benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can damage the skin.
- Zinc Gluconate – A cosmetic biocide considered as a moderate hazard by the Cosmetic Database and considered to be potentially toxic.
- Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex – Controversial reports. Some studies show limited evidence of toxicity, but others praise its safety.
- Copper Gluconate – Some studies show limited evidence of toxicity.
Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:
This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.
If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.
The following compounds present in this cleanser have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acrylates Copolymer, Glyceryl Oleate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Geraniol, Linalool, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Zinc Gluconate, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex, Copper Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid.
Full list of ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acrylates Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Lactate, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Lauryl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Galactoarabinan, Disodium EDTA, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil, Limonene, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caramel, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Juice, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Geraniol, Linalool, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Acephala (Kale) Leaf Extract, Triticum Aestivum (Wheatgrass) Leaf Extract, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Maltodextrin, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Tocopherol, Copper Gluconate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbic Acid.
This is a good cleanser that contains a lot of ingredient goodies. However, most ingredients in rinse-off products are just wasted, as the time it takes to clean our skin is not enough for them to be absorbed in a significant amount. If you have the cash and like this cleanser then by all means go for it, it is good, but don’t pick it because you think it will transform your skincare with its ingredients. For actual skincare results beyond cleaning, invest your money in leave-on products like creams and serums.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!
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