As a reintroduction to my blog after a long hiatus, it seems only fitting to go back to my basics: Playing with Korean cosmetics.
A few months ago I visited my homeland of Chicago & indulged in more than a few consumerism splurges I cannot get abroad: Bath & Body Works, Walgreens, Ulta, etc. A newfound cosmetic from the aisles of Target turned out to be one of my favorite purchases from the trip, it is the beloved & popularized Sonia Kashuk Facial Cleanser Dissolving Gel to Oil Makeup Remover. It was a dark day in the French Riviera when I finally used the entirety of that cleanser.
Western & Eastern cosmetic trends are not typically aligned so I was surprised to find an all-in-one product from a country that popularized the multi-step skincare routine. I have to try it, obviously!
Nature Republic is a South Korean cosmetic company created in 2009. The brand’s tagline is A Sense of the Beginning with an emphasis on utilizing natural ingredients in their products. A controversy occurred when the company began opening stores in the USA around 2015. The CEO & founder, Jung Woon-ho, was imprisoned for embezzlement & allegedly lobbied billions of won to reduce his prison term.
This is a non-traditional cleanser because it is a hybrid makeup remover. It may be overly skin stripping if used twice a day so this cleanser should be used in a PM skincare routine to remove any waterproof substances, such as sunscreen or makeup.
A new aspect I want to include in my cosmetic reviews is comparing the product effectiveness against the advertised claims. I believe it is important as consumers to hold brands accountable for how they market to us, I see so many brands go wayward with inaccurate claims particularly in the beauty industry .
So here are the advertisement cleanser claims from Nature Republic’s USA site:
- Oil-to-foam type cleanser that gently dissolves makeup with oil to form a rich lather with water for a double cleansing effect.
- Shorten your cleansing steps with this 2-in-1 cleansing oil and foam.
- The soft creamy textured formula contains deep-sea minerals with rich Hawaii sea water and 33 kinds of sea ingredients to make your skin clean and pure.
This looks promising, no outlandish or unrealistic claims! The product is full of algae & other sea minerals that should make this cleanser soothing for dry skin types. It promises to shorten cleansing & make-up removal steps so by all appearances this product should be everything you need for a clean face in a single bottle.
This cleanser is thick, like second glance type of thickness. I have never felt a consistency quite like it, even the similar Sonia Kashuk cleanser is quite a bit thinner than this. The consistency does thin out significantly & emulsifies well once water is added, but I find it difficult to disperse this product on my face without adding water.
It smells strong. Oh, so strong.
The product does not even smell like a specific fragrance, it is an odd aftershave-sunscreen-coconut combination. It is not the strongest or foulest cosmetic I have ever stumbled upon, but there have been evenings that I have second guessed this cleanser & used an alternative in my skincare stash after my sinuses felt overwhelmed after a whiff of the Nature Republic cleanser.
The cleanser comes in an opaque plastic bottle with a pump for dispensing the product. I can testify this bottle is durable considering the numerous occasions I have dropped this on the bathroom tile already. The product has not leaked at all, the pump is easy to control so you never dispense excessive product.
Double Cleansing traditionally begins with an oil cleanser applied with dry hands onto a dry face. Water dilutes oil so it interferes with removing waterproof makeup. This cleanser by Nature Republic is advertised as a double cleansing method in a single product so I figured the traditional method would apply because the directions are not overtly clear, it only states the product should be applied with dry hands.
Anecdotally, this product just did not work for me when I applied it with dry hands on dry skin. Again, this cleanser is thick. I could not easily spread it around my face without tugging at my skin to get any mobility with this cleanser. I had use at least triple the amount of product when I used this on dry skin versus damp skin.
This does not comply with the product direction, but I recommend splashing your face with water before applying this cleanser. Trust me, it will just make your life simpler.
I do thoroughly enjoy the Sonia Kashuk oil to foam cleanser & this product by Nature Republic just did not live up to expectations.
While this cleanser removes most of my make-up & daily grime, I still have to use micellar water to remove a significant amount of makeup. Nature Republic is more successful at making me look like a racoon than giving me a clean face with this cleanser.
The main qualm is this cleanser is one of very limited cosmetics that has had an adverse effect on my non acne-prone skin. The cleanser does thin significantly with added water & I felt this cleanser washed off my face cleanly, almost to the point where my face felt slightly stripped on occasion. However, I began having whitehead breakouts & texture issues after I introduced this cleanser into my routine. Once I realized it was wrecking havoc on my face, I tried using it on my chest to wash-off my daily sunscreen & I even began experiencing clogged pores on that area of my body as well.
A lesser problem in the grand scheme of issues I experienced with this cleanser, but I have gone through cleanser very quickly. A cleanser of this size will usually get me through 6 – 8 months, but I could easily go through this particular cleanser in two months. The Nature Republic cleanser is supposed to condense two skincare steps into one so it does make sense that this product would be used more quickly than a traditional cleanser, but I was shocked to see how much product I had already gone through after two weeks.
*Unlisted on Cosdna
|Water, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Potassium Laureth Phosphate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Acrylates Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Sucrose, Sea Water, Hypnea Musciformis Extract, Ulva Lactuca Extract, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Agarum Cribrosum Extract, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Laminaria Macrocystis Pyrifera [Kelp] Extract, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Laminaria Cloustoni Extract, Hizikia Fusiforme Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Hydrolyzed Algae Extract, Hydrolyzed Ulva Lactuca Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Ecklonia Cava Extract, Sargassum Fulvellum Extract, Porphyra Yezoensis Extract, Spirulina Platensis Extract, Chlorella Ferment, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Codium Fragile Extract, Pikea Robusta Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Sargassum Muticum Extract, Algae Extract, Chlorella Minutissima Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Protein, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Cocamide Mea 1-2 Hexanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Algae Oligosaccharides, Disodium EDTA, Phenoyethanol, Parfum|
Coconut Oil Derivatives
There are a few coconut oil surfactants that sandwich the sea-based ingredients of the list, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on your skin type. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids & considered soothing to sensitive skin types, it is commonly used as a thickening agent in cosmetics. However, coconut oil can be comedogenic & clog pores as well.
It it is a naturally occurring substance that helps repair the outer skin barrier. This ingredients works to soften skin so other ingredients can more easily penetrate the skin.
Algae & Kelp
Algae is commonly used a thickening agent & emollient in cosmetics. The bulk of the sea-based ingredients for this product are algae extract based; which offers antioxidant benefits. However, blue-green algae has been specifically linked to possible irritation in skin patch tests & algae effectiveness breaks down with air exposure so the effectiveness of it’s use in cosmetics is debatable.
Kelp has similar moisturizing benefits as algae, it acts as a water binding agent as well.
This is an emollient derivative from vegetable oil, it enhances the absorption of other ingredients though it can be an irritant.
Misc. Ingredient Notes
I was surprised by the lack of oils listed among the ingredients. Oils can be comedogenic, but oils are the basis of the Double Cleansing Method. This ingredient list reads more like a water-based cleanser so it made more sense why I struggled to remove makeup after analyzing this.
There are coconut oil derivatives near the beginning of the list, but they behave more similarly to surfactants than oils. Surfactants are common ingredients in water-based cleansers, but they do not break down waterproof makeup like oils can. We do not really see an actual oil in this product until the bottom 10 ingredients, which is likely not a high enough concentration to remove a strong sunscreen or mascara.
Price: $12.48 / 130ml, $2.84 per Ounce
However, it is fairly obvious by my less than glowing review of the cleanser that I just do not like it. It is well-priced, it is moderately effective & fulfills most of the advertised claims. I would never repurchase this though so this product will always feel overpriced to me.
This cleanser is easily accessible online in North America & Europe through a variety of retailers, including Amazon. It is only up to the consumer to decide if this is a product they actually want to try.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
I love the theory of this cleanser & I enjoy many products by Nature Republic, but this is not one of them. The ingredient list is very attractive, but seemingly odd for a cleanser product. Otherwise this is an average cleanser that does no harm, but it is definitely not a replacement for the Double Cleansing Method or makeup remover as advertised.