CSI stands for Cosmeceutical Sciences Institute, a somewhat pretentious brand name for what turns out to be a sensible and serious line of products at prices that are more than down to earth. I have been trying out the CSI Rose Hip Facial Cleanser, which has such a pared down list of ingredients that I keep thinking I have blinked and missed the phenoxyethanol. But no, there only good things.

A good way to test a cleanser is to leave the face bare for an hour or so after using it. So many of them leave you with tight, dry skin that cries out for an immediate swathe of moisturizer. Not CSI's. Two hours later, my skin is soft to the touch and perfectly comfortable and this has been achieved without it being a creamy cleanser (of which I am not especially fond), or being greasy (it passed the toner and cotton ball test).

The cleansing agent is olive oil based and it makes a fairly substantial foam. Olive oil castile is supposed to have been first created as a soap in Spain, hence the name, using olive oil and lard. I am pleased to note that here it is mixed with vegetable glycerin. Rose hip seed oil, which is about 70% fatty acids, the main one being linoleic acid. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition assessed the effects of a combination of linoleic acid and vitamin C on over 30,000 people and saw a marked improvement in senile dryness (as a result of aging) and skin atrophy (thinness).

Rose hip is given a strong helping hand by seaweed extracts, with their antioxidant properties. For just over $17, CSI's cleanser is a great buy and Vitacost is practically giving it away for just over $8. This has every chance of making it into the next update of our Five Best cleansers.


Purified water, olive oil castile, vegetable glycerin, rose hip seed oil, oil of kumquat and seaweed extracts.