I stray farther from Innisfree products than I should. It is a great brand that makes lovely cosmetics, but Innisfree tends to be heavy-handed with the artificial fragrance & I have given away many of their well-formulated cosmetics due to the scent. As soon as I heard about this product though, I knew I had to tango with Innisfree once again.
Innisfree is a South Korean company that launched in 2000. Their products focus on natural ingredients & they are one of the only Korean cosmetic companies that is ECOCERT certified, an organic & free trade certification.
The company promotes local socially conscious efforts that can be done by everyone, such as promoting recycling cosmetic containers & selling handkerchiefs as an alternative to disposable tissues. I do prefer to see more global efforts & corporate transparency from such a big brand, but Innisfree’s parent company is AmorePacific & I have rambled many times about their great efforts to make the world a better place.
This is described as a soft foaming cleanser that rebalances your skin to the proper pH of 5.5. Innisfree considers this cleanser is for universal skin types & filled with antioxidants that will help prevent loss of skin elasticity.
Disclaimer: I will rave about this cleanser later, but all the promised benefits are doubtful at best.
The is a water-based cleanser that could be used in AM & PM skincare routine. This cleanser does have a light foam lather that I find slightly stripping on my dry skin if used twice a day, but perfectly fine to use at the end of the day to get off all my makeup & daily grime. This would be the first step of any skincare routine, unless you double cleanse then this cleanser would come after the oil cleanser.
The formula is incredibly dense that it is almost difficult to squeeze out of the packaging. However, it lightly lathers into a thin & watery consistency. Innisfree seems to categorize this as a foaming cleanser, but I personally would consider this a cream cleanser. It does very lightly foam for people who prefer that “squeaky clean” sensation, but it is so gentle that it does not feel stripping.
It smells like artificial lemon & blueberries, it is almost like a perfume though I think it smells more like chemicals. The smell can be a bit strong, but it does not ordinarily bother me unless I am having a particularly sensitive day.
As always, tube packaging is not my favorite when it comes to cleansers. I would much rather have the ease of pump packaging than playing hot potato while trying to squeeze out the product with my wet hands.
The package is very sturdy & thick so I would not worry about leakage while traveling, the hinge topper seals exceedingly well in comparison to other similar products I have tried. I like that the packaging is a translucent white so you easily can see how much of the product is left. I do find the simplicity & high quality of the tube to be a nice touch, the translucent silicon packaging almost looks like frosted glass.
The packaging is not fully to blame for a very small & picky qualm I have with this product. The dispensing hole is extremely small while the formula of this cleanser is exceptionally thick.
This has been my favorite “AB” [Eastern cosmetic brand] 2nd cleanser I have ever used, but there are a few catches.
This product is excellent at removing makeup, an oil cleanser is not required to remove even my most stubborn mascara. It is really difficult to achieve an effective & pH balanced cleanser unless you use surfactants, which are a slightly less irritating sulfate & the entire first half of the ingredient list contains some form of surfactants.
Surfactants are not inherently bad, but they are potential irritants & may dry out your skin. Many of these components in the product are naturally derived from common emollients so they are not quite as stripping as others, but it is something to be aware of when considering the purchase if you have dry or dehydrated skin.
I have moderately dry & dehydrated skin, but I am in a location with humid summers & high UV ratings so my face regularly feels greasy throughout the day from sweat. I find this cleanser does not dry or strip my skin while washing away the built up sebum. This is a cleanser I would only use regularly during humid seasons, though I would not use it more than once a day.
It also contains a couple different botanical extracts & oils that are common. So basically…
MYBUSTERS: Product is not for universal skin types as it claims! I am sure most of us could have guessed as much since many skincare product claims tend to be far-reaching anyway.
This is definitely an impressive cleanser though! There are only ruminants of my liquid lipstick left, even my waterproof eye makeup is completely gone. I would definitely trust this to remove all my sunscreen or light makeup on days I do not put on a full face.
There are 1 low acne trigger & 1 high-rated irritant according to CosDNA.
|water, sodium cocoyl isethionate, glycerin, diglycerin, diethylhexyl sodium sulfosuccinate, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, benzyl glycol, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, potassium cocoyl glycinate, potassium cocoate, citric acid, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, sodium chloride, ethylhexylglycerin, butylene glycol, allantoin, disodium EDTA, raspberry ketone, 1,2-hexanediol, vaaccinium angustifolium (blueberry) fruit extract, poly C10-30 alkyl acrylate, polyquaternium-67, sodium acetate, isopropyl alcohol|
Sulfates & Surfactants
This product is sulfate-free, but it does contain surfactants. While neither are proven to be carcinogens or toxic, they are both potential irritants. The main differences between both ingredients is surfactants have much larger molecules so they are less likely to penetrate the skin & lower irritability potential.
This is really where you have to know your skin & decide if this ingredient type will work on your skin. I do not condemn people who use sulfates, but they often leave my dry skin feeling stripped & tight. I try not to use surfactants for similar reasoning, but they are unavoidable in this product.
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate: The first surfactant in this product is considered less irritating since it is derived from coconut & rich in fatty acids, though you may want to be aware if you have any coconut oil sensitivities.
Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate: This is the most controversial surfactant in the product because it has a similar molecular structure to the most controversial sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate [SLS]. It is commonly used in products to degrease engines or car washes so this is a powerful de-greaser, if you find this product irritating to your skin then this ingredient may be the culprit.
Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate: This one is naturally derived from sugar cane, it is generally used as a formula thickener & considered less potentially irritating to the skin.
Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate: Another surfactant derived from coconut, it contains fatty acids & also known as a foaming agent.
Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate: Coconut-based surfactant that is considered a very gentle cleanser
Potassium Cocoate: This product apparently needs all the coconut surfactants ever produced so why not add another! This particular ingredient is not well researched, but it is rich in fatty acids so it should have less irritability potential & proven to be less irritating that SLS.
It can be derived from lipids or synthetically product, but it is a naturally occurring substance that helps repair the outer skin barrier. This ingredients works to soften skin so other hydrating ingredients can more easily penetrate the skin.
Now we finally get to this antioxidant business! However, you will notice the product’s namesake, Blueberries, is in the bottom 5 ingredients of the list. Raspberry extract is another anti-inflammatory & antioxidant that is listed slightly higher, but still in the bottom half of the list.
Citrus extracts are in the middle of the list so this is may be an irritant if you have sensitive skin, it finally makes complete sense why the product smells more like lemons than blueberries as well. This product also contains lavender oil, which is another potential skin irritant.
This is considered an anti-bacterial, but it is rated as a very high irritant.
Misc. Ingredients Notes
I think this product exemplifies the importance of needing a basic understanding of ingredient lists. If a consumer were to only read the product name & look at the advertising, this cleanser would seem like a hydrating cleanser packed with antioxidants. The ingredient list shows a very different story. It is packed with alcohol, citrus, coconut extracts & surfactants. None of these ingredients are inherently bad, but a consumer might feel deceived if they hadn’t read the ingredient list.
I completely understand that ingredient lists can get complicated, especially when it comes to different rules for different countries. I think all the average user only needs to know are the popular names ingredients can be listed as, what ingredients do or maybe more importantly do not work with your skin & the higher the ingredient is on a list generally equates there is more of that ingredient in the product.
Yes, we can get bogged down by percentages or other details that may affect list order that I will put link here by a blogger that explains the ingredient list differences better than I ever could. I find ingredient lists vary only slightly because no matter what, it will be illegal to blatantly lie about ingredients contained in a product or list an ingredient in the 1st spot when it actually should be last. So just keep this in mind if you ever feel overwhelmed by ingredients.
Product Price: $10.48 USD / 3.4oz = $3.08 USD per Ounce
I actually expected there to be more product in this because the packaging is bulky, but it still meets TSA guidelines. Not a huge issue, but this was my first impression when I began looking into the economics of this product.
While the cleanser may not be ideal for carry-on luggage, it is a great cleanser. The initial purchase price is quite low, $10 – $12 USD including shipping depending on the site you use. It is quite accessible online in North America & Europe so the only issue might be is whether or not it is sold out since this appears to be quite the popular item lately.
There are definitely some issues I could pick apart with this cleanser, but it is a great product for an incredibly low price once you begin considering all the attributes that tends to drive up product prices: Organic & free trade certification, proper pH balance & incredibly effective makeup remover without using a first oil cleanser.
Rating: 4 / 5
This is an effective & cheap cleanser, Innisfree & AmorePacific are also great companies to support. The ingredient list is slightly deceiving with the name ingredient towards the bottom of the list, also contains many acne & sensitivity triggers so I would not consider this a universal skin type cleanser as the product claims. I would change the scent & packaging if the decision was solely up to me, but this is my favorite AB 2nd cleanser I have ever used!