As a 49-year old sufferer of breakouts and dry skin, I need a hydrating and gentle cleanser that does not irritate my sensitive skin or cause breakouts. For the past 6 weeks I've been using Niora Naturals Alpha Clear Cleanser ($16.95) and its accompanying exfoliant, Niora Naturals Alpha Clear Exfoliant ($13.95). While I like the cleanser, I did not like the exfoliant. Here's how my experience went with these two products: I used both for almost 4 weeks with no noticeable improvement in my breakouts. After 4 weeks, I stopped using the exfoliant and saw some improvement; I think the exfoliant may have been reacting with other products; either way, my breakouts have lessened with just the use of the cleanser, and for me that is great news! Because I wear makeup during the day and need a stronger cleanser at night, I use the Alpha Clear Cleanser only in the morning. The cleanser is perfect for morning use because it is mild and creamy; it doesn't irritate my skin, so I don't have to deal with a red, splotchy face in the morning before applying makeup. It is fragrance-free and doesn't leave your skin feeling tight or dry; I still use serums and moisturizers after cleansing, but I can tell this cleanser is much more hydrating than other cleansers I've used.
The cleanser is promoted as balancing out your complexion, whether oily or dry. The two primary balancing ingredients are jojoba and fruit extracts. One of the main ingredients after water and glyceryl stearate is certified organic jojoba; jojoba's fine molecular structure is supposed to provide deep moisturization and quick absorption; jojoba has a molecular size finer than natural skin oils so it can cut through dried oils and clean out debris-clogged pores. For its alpha hydroxy fruit acids, Niora states that it uses gentle and sensitive-skin friendly whole extracts of apples, citrus fruits, and sugar cane. Fruit acids work are exfoliants and can dissolve excess tissue and cellular debris, which block pores and cause sensitivity. Niora indicates that their fruit acids enhance moisturization, tone the skin, tighten pores and improve skin texture while fading wrinkles and age spots. I have not noticed an impact on wrinkles and age spots yet, but perhaps over time I will see it. When I read some reviews of the cleanser, some users raved about great results after using the cleanser with a Clarisonic, so I've decided to try the cleanser with my Clarisonic at night, too.
The exfoliant, as Step 2 in the Niora cleansing system, sounded fantastic, but didn't work for me so far. Niora promotes it as fighting adult acne and enhancing the skin's natural ability to promote clear, blemish-free skin by gently resurfacing the skin, exfoliating the cellular debris that accumulates and causes acne, as well as reducing wrinkles, fading age spots and diminishing redness. Since I suspected that the Exfoliant was not playing well with my cosmetics, I'll give it a try at night only and will report back if I was able to achieve better results. I would love to find the right combination of usage and products to achieve the kind of results Niora describes!
For now, I can confidently recommend the cleanser for all of you with temperamental skin (oily or dry).