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A quality cleanser is the base of any good skincare regimen. A cleanser’s job is to remove makeup, environmental toxins, and dirt without stripping the skin of its natural acid mantle – the slightly acidic thin layer of sebum and perspiration that keeps bacteria out and moisture in. Healthy skin should be acidic, with a pH between 4.5 and 6 (as you might remember from science class, a pH of 7 is neutral and anything over 7 is alkaline). Soaps are often very alkaline, with a pH of 9 to 11, and as a result can strip the skin of its protective layer, causing dryness and allowing in bacteria that can cause acne. If you’re cleansing with something that is making your face “squeaky” clean, there’s a good chance it’s stripping that protective acid mantle away.
A good cleanser should keep your skin slightly acidic and moisturized. Arcona White Tea Purifying Cleanser hits the mark with both. Moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and glycerin are combined with aloe saponins and decyl glucoside, which deliver soap-free foaming action as well as antiseptic properties. Like other Arcona products, the cleanser is packed with antioxidants from yucca, white tea, raspberry, and cranberry. The acidity in grapefruit, lemon, lime, and pineapple extracts help keep skin’s pH balance and provide a dose of vitamin C as well. The ingredients are natural and low-toxicity, which made me quite happy! However, being persnickety as I am, I would love it if the ingredient list included all or even some organic ingredients. However, unless you insist on 100% organic products, it’s a very minor critique.
The Arcona cleanser is a relatively simple list of natural ingredients, and they work. A pea-sized dollop of the cleanser is all you need to cleanse face and neck. The first time I used it I noticed how much softer my skin felt, and even through the cold and windy winter, my face has never felt tight or dry. The description on the bottle promises to leave the face “poreless and refreshed.” While I can’t really say my visible pores are gone, they are looking better. And it does cleanse quite well – I use coconut oil to remove my mascara, and the Arcona cleanser did cut through the oil’s residue without drying, and it removed makeup (except for waterproof mascara) well. It does just the right amount of cleansing; effective, but not harsh.
Will it work miracles? Most likely not by itself – but can anyone really expect a cleanser to solve every skin issue? My problem skin still had occasional breakouts despite the overall tone of my skin being better. In the case of Arcona’s White Tea Purifying Cleanser, the real value lies in having a quality non-drying cleanser to create a healthy skin base for any serums and products you might be using. All the pricey potions in the world won’t do their work well if you’re counteracting them by stripping your skin with harsh detergents.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau (Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (10% Shea Butter), Aloe Saponins, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Yucca (Yucca Schidigera) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (White Tea), Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract (Raspberry), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Extract (Cranberry), Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil (Raspberry), D Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Chloride, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Peel Oil (Grapefruit), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil (Lemon), Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil (Lime), Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract (Pineapple), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Oil (Mango)