Olay has got in on the brush cleanser act with the launch of the Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System. Priced at $29, Olay is trying to get into the increasingly crowded brush market by coming in with an even lower price point that Pretika, the Sirius Skinsonic, amongst others trying to topple the Clarisonic from its high ticket, but nevertheless market leading throne. Curious to see how the Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System compares, I have ordered it and will report back once I’ve given it a try.  But what I can tell you now is that I won’t be using the accompanying cleanser.

Olay’s Pro-X range isn’t bad; unlike many drugstore brands its fillers and mediocre ingredients are redeemed by niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3 and a precurser of enzymes essential for cell energy production and lipid synthesis. For example, the Professional Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream also has carnosine and Matrixyl. Alas, there is nothing to redeem the Professional Pro-X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser. And I mean nothing.

And there is much to condemn it. The worst thing about this cleanser is polyethylene as the fourth ingredient.  It is an irritant, carcinogen and an immune system toxin. Polyethylene should not be used on broken skin whereby it might enter the body. Here in a cleanser, at least, it is being rinsed off. Also here is a close cousin, PEG 200 hydrogenated glyceryl palmate, is polyethylene glycol. Like all PEGs – and there are two more in Pro-X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser - it is considered safe only if in contact with healthy skin.

Then there is potassium hydroxide. This is highly corrosive and an irritant that is regarded as a workplace hazard by the European Union. You’ll be relieved to know that the CIR, the cosmetic industry body, deems it to be safe because of the low concentrations typically used in cosmetics.  The same is likely true of magnesium nitrate, a preservative, which at 100% concentrations is regarded as extremely hazardous in contact with skin.

The formula ends with methylchloroisothiazoline, a skin irritant. However, it is a relief to see that the top two ingredients are lauramidopropyl betaine, a relatively mild mannered surfactant used because it not an irritant and sodium cocoyl isethionate, regarded as only a mild hazard by the Cosmetic Database, although it can be an eye irritant at high doses.


Water, Glycerin, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Polyethylene, Sorbitol, Acrylates Copolymer, PEG 200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Citric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Polyquaternium 10, PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate, PEG 100, Coconut Acid, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate, Sodium Carbonate, Methylchloroisothiazoline