I recently had the chance to test the Lift Lab Purify + Clarify Daily Cleanser & Detox Mask ($65 in the shop). As always, I am so grateful to Marta and the staff of TIA for this opportunity. This anti-aging, deep-cleaning cleanser works to gently exfoliate the skin. It can also be used as a detox mask one to two times per week by lathering the skin and leaving it on for 2-3 minutes for a deeper cleanse and exfoliation.
First off, a little about me. My skin has become absolutely psychotic since reaching my late thirties. Wrinkles aren't a huge concern for me, although I do have some fine lines on my forehead that are my constant nemesis, but lately that has all been eclipsed by this evil acne that arrived just in time for my thirty-ninth birthday. Unfortunately, it has been the gift that has kept on giving. After resorting to (yikes) benzoyl peroxide, my skin was finally clear after a three week battle with a MAJOR breakout. So, with my skin finally clear, I was ready to try this cleanser that seemed like a dream come true. Unfortunately for me, that dream wasn't quite as sweet as I had hoped.
Okay full disclosure here, this cleanser costs $65 for 4.4oz. The good news is a little goes a long way. A pea size amount is almost too much so it's going to last a really long time. The bad news...well, it's $65.
Looking at the ingredients, the star of this product is the Cell Protection Proteins, listed as fish plasma on the ingredient list. According to their research, it is what keeps plants and marine life in the Arctic healthy. My only problem is the fact that it's way way down the list. The first several ingredients are conditioning agents, binders and “slip”. It also contains bitter orange oil, which can be irritating to some. The very exotic sounding melia azadirachta leaf/flower is otherwise known as "neem" and while it's a friend of mine, it can be irritating to others. I guess all in all, I just didn’t see any ingredients that I felt warranted the price tag, however sometimes seemingly simple ingredients combine to make a powerhouse so it's hard to judge a book, or product in this case, by its cover.
The conclusion: My skin is whacked out right now, more than it has been in years. I started this experiment with skin cleared only by resorting to the dreaded benzoyl peroxide. Sadly, it didn’t stay clear. I wouldn’t go as far as to say this cleanser caused me to break out (although I did find some reviewers online who believed that it did). Had the breakout not dragged on so long and started getting in weird places, I would have assumed my skin was purging as I did see a great improvement in blocked pores. You know those pesky little oil plugs that (almost) everyone has around the nose? They will eventually disappear with this; no, they aren’t magically erased or dissolved, but they will come out and it may not be pretty, but you will see an improvement in the appearance of them (cleaning pores out is the only way to see any “shrinking”). So while this cleanser did shine in some ways, ultimately it came down for me that it simply did nothing to prevent the breakouts from recurring and did not help heal them at all. That being said, this is not an acne treatment cleanser so while I really wish my skin had stayed clear while using it, it makes no claims to clear the evil, hormonal acne I’ve been rocking this past month.
I did notice that the parts of my skin not marred by this wicked breakout looked great. As hormonal acne usually does, it formed a lovely chain around the jaw and chin area. My cheeks and forehead were smoother and glowing. In the moment of weakness when I used the benzoyl cleanser, I woke up to skin you could wring the oil out of. But while using this cleanser, my skin felt moisturized and never greasy. Overall, this could be a great cleanser and especially good as a quick and easy mask (those with sensitive skin should be careful as it can sting a bit) but for me, the ingredients weren’t worth the price tag as I have found cleansers that worked better for me for less. However, if you are not as acne-prone as I am and want a good cleanser that will clean our your pores and leave you with a healthy glow, this just might be for you. I would even say don't let the price tag put you off as a tiny amount will provide ample cleansing (and not everyone is so obsessed with their cleanser being packed full of actives as I am). So my final verdict is that this is a good cleanser that could be great for someone else.
Again thank you to Marta and the staff of TIA for this opportunity and for providing the latest and greatest in all things skin care.