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La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Mother of Pearl Cleanser & Illuminating Toner Review

is a Solution for:
Dry Skin, Dull Skin, Large Pores, Uneven Skin
Reviewed by Marta September 28, 2010 18 Comments


Loaded with antioxidants and no foaming agents


Cleanser may be too creamy for oily skin
A gentle, cleansing duo for sensitive skin

I don’t think I have come across a facial cleanser with clay as an ingredient before. Masks, of course, but not a cleanser. The clays (there are two) give La Vie Celeste’s Restorative Mother Of Pearl Exfoliating Cleanser ($40) an almost creamy texture that enables it to be massaged into the for a few luxurious moments before rinsing off. Doing so reveals a clean (but not squeakily so) complexion and skin that is lovely and soft to the touch.

The clays work as gentle exfoliators and pore closers, which is obvious really and makes me wonder why they aren’t used in cleansers more often. Not being a fan of thick and creamy cleansers (which usually feel too clogging and greasy for my skin), I find the consistency of La Vie Celeste’s perfectly pleasant. But there is much more to it than look and feel.

A good cleanser is the foundation of great skin care (as I bore anyone with who cares to listen) – especially if your skin in sensitive (mine is), prone to rosacea or breakouts and/or looking dull and worn. This one really qualifies, due in large part to its top billing mother of pearl.

Mother of pearl is also called nacre. Along with various amino acids and minerals, pearl is made up of calcium carbonate crystals and the protein conchiolin. Conchiolin is what gives pearls their rainbow-like luminescence, and is the primary source for this ingredient’s anti-aging claims. As documented in the Journal of Cell Biology in 2006, conchilion acts like the protein keratin (which is found in skin, bones and hair), and has the ability to hydrate skin cells, promote skin cell metabolism, facilitate repair of damaged skin cells, and enhance peripheral circulation.

It doesn’t stop there. Antioxidants also play a key role in the form of tea, apple, gingko biloba and ginseng extracts. Better still, there are no nasty foaming agents (this is not a sudsy cleanser) or any thing else to dislike.

Restorative Mother Of Pearl Exfoliating Cleanser teams well with the Restorative Illuminating Toner ($35).  Gone are the days when toners had to do away with the lingering residue of a bad cleanser and so now they have to make a meaningful contribution to my regimen. La Vie Celeste’s toner backs up the cleanser’s antioxidants and then some. I love that the first ingredient is aloe and that it is closely followed by vitamin B. Plus there is the very useful addition of horse chestnut (helpful for broken veins).

I know that I am going to turn back to this cleanser and toner again and again in the weeks to come. As the holidays approach, I can see that this duo will make one or two of my nearest and dearests a very welcome gift.

  • October 11, 2012

    by PAMELA Gleason

    I love the fact that this cleanser removes everything from my pores and then closes them back up again. Am amazed at the effectiveness of this unique little cleanser. Great for my mature, dry and somewhat sensitive skin. Never would have known about this product if it wasn't for TIA reviews. So grateful for this site!

  • June 6, 2011

    by Emily

    Just thought I would chime in. I loved the writeup on La Vie Celeste's cleanser and toner when it first came out (and was already impressed with the rest of the line) so I bought it during the winter...but let it sit in the cabinet until the warm weather arrived. So I've been using both for a few weeks now. (I do wash my face first with the Nutra-Lift non-soap cleanser to remove dirt and makeup, so as to conserve LVC.) I'm now a convert: both products are great, effective, and gentle. Somehow the city in the summer just feels so dirty and this is the antidote!

  • May 22, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Jane, that's a great question. It would definitely be a good cleanser for a 26 year old. I firmly believe that the best thing a 20-something can do is invest in a good cleanser and this one is really good.

  • May 22, 2011

    by Jane

    Is this cleanser appropriate for a 26 year old?

  • March 23, 2011

    by Teri Dourmashkin

    Sean, both the pink and white clays are very gentle light clays that remove impurities, gently cleanse and exfoliate. They are both suitable for all skin types, but particularly sensitive, mature and dry skin. They are not drying at all and can actually faciliate skin renewal, increase circulation and help soften skin. That is why I felt they would work so beautifully in the La Vie Celeste cleanser. So, yes, it would be great for your skin type for daily fact many of our customers who use it are over 40!

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