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Cleansing my face has become more problematic as I mature (code for getting older). At 67, I want my face to feel clean, but I don’t want that tight feeling that results from it being stripped of moisture. What a conundrum! So it was with cautious optimism that I approached using and reviewing Elena Rubin Solace Mild Cleanser ($39). Would my dry, sensitive and newly diagnosed rosacea-prone skin like this product? I was a bit anxious, but the word “mild” gave me hope that I would be pleased.
Solace has no discernible fragrance. It is clear and slightly viscous. The cleanser comes in a 4-ounce black glass bottle and has a pump with a removable cap cover. The pump is not the airless type and works perfectly. The ingredient list contains only one preservative, sodium benzoate, and it is the last on the list. The remainders are for cleansing, retaining moisture, conditioning the skin and to boost foaming and viscosity. None of them are classified as problematic by EWG. I’d give a call out to shea butter, which while helping to retain moisture is also a natural moisturizer due to the fact that its lipid content is very similar to that of the skin. This also makes it helpful in keeping bacteria at bay and preventing skin irritation. Additionally, shea butter has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
I used this cleanser every evening. The directions state that it should be used once or twice daily. I do not (and haven’t for many years) wash my face in the morning. Rather, I splash water on my face and use a toner before applying a serum, moisturizer, eye cream and sunblock. If I have applied any makeup, I apply cold cream to my moistened face and tissue it off before using any cleanser. I pump a small amount of the cleanser into my hands and rub them together, or on to my wet Clarisonic brush. Using my fingers or the Clarisonic, I massage it in for about one to two minutes, then rinse with slightly warm water, using my hands or a wet wash cloth. Next, I apply a toner, serum, night treatment(s) and eye cream.
After a week or so, my skin felt a little tight. However, I wasn’t sure whether this was due to the new cleanser or the fact that the hot, humid weather was gone and the temps were becoming cooler with little humidity. So I decided to change my testing protocol and used Solace on one side of my face and the hyaluronic acid cleanser that I have been using for a while on the other. After another four weeks, I have decided that it was the change of season, not the product, that caused my skin to feel a little tighter. My skin seems to have adjusted to the change in temperature and humidity, and that tight feeling has dissipated.
Finally, my verdict is a positive one. I like the way my skin feels and looks after cleansing with Solace. Only a couple of pumps are needed and I have a majority of the bottle left after five weeks of use, so it is definitely cost effective. In the spirit of full disclosure, the only quibble that I have is that the bottle says that the “liquid gel turns into a lovely foam.” I did not find this to be the case, but it really didn’t bother me either. As advertised, this is a mild cleanser that cleans and doesn’t strip the skin. I am pleased — thumbs up!