First I would like to thank Marta for her diligence in seeking out products that do no harm. She has also been very generous to pass on products to fellow readers to use and review. I was the lucky recipient of Stem Organics Gentle Cleansing Milk (4.2oz for $36). Prior to reviewing this cleanser I had been using Tracie Martyn's Alma Purifying Cleanser (1.7oz for $65), which I found though the Truth In Aging website.
Stem Organics Gentle Cleansing Milk states that it is a non-greasy, pH balanced light milk that removes daily grime and makeup and that it can be used for every skin type. I have a fair complexion and combination skin that changes in severity with the seasons. I do not consider my skin sensitive but always migrate to sensitive formulas because I believe that they are going to be better. (wishful thinking? probably!)
Stem Organics' formula is appealing to me because it uses natural ingredients, of which 80% are certified organic, and leaves out dioxins, petrochemicals, parabens, and sulfates. It seems difficult to find any product that can live up to those standards and still be an affordable price, which at least for me is becoming more and more important with the state of the economy.
The question is how well can this amazing product on paper perform as a cleanser. The texture is like it states- a milky consistency smelling of citrus. My nose is very particular, and the scent was pleasant and not overpowering. This cleanser does not foam up like a soap, but has a light creamy consistency. It feels cleansing and after rinsing, my skin feels refreshed and soft, with an ever so slight tightness. My skin seems to have switched over to the cleansing milk without any noticeable upset.
The key ingredients are aloe (amazingly the first ingredient) which is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, proteins, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties; chamomile, which is soothing and anti-inflammatory; echinacea, which is detoxifying, healing, and stimulating for the immune system; and olea europaea (olive) extract (squalene? not sure.) which moisturizes and is high in anti-oxidants and fatty acids.
After using the cleansing milk in place of my favorite purifying cleanser, I could not help comparing the two. They both meet my criteria for ingredient inclusions and exclusions, and though the textures are much different, they are both pleasant. The scents are equally favored and my skin seems happy with either product. My budget, on the other hand, prefers the cleansing milk and so that is what I will continue to use; however, I would recommend both equally.
Ingredients in Stem Organics Gentle Cleansing Milk
Organic Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Purified Aqua, Coco Glucoside (vegetable), Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Glycerol Monostearate, Organic Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Tocopherol, Organic Horse Chestnut Extract, Guar Gum, Organic Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Kakadu Plum Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Organic Olive Leaf Extract, Tasmanian Kelp Extract, Organic Mandarin Essential Oil, Sodium Hydroxy- melthylglycinate (amino acid derived preservative), Tangerine Essential Oil, Organic Chamomile Essential Oil, Angelsword Bush Essence, Limonene (Occuring in Essential Oil), Citric Acid