Our Rating: 5 stars

Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser and Masque ($42 in the shop) is my new favorite cleanser. I love the all natural ingredients, the way it makes my skin feel and that it does double duty as a mask. Whether rinsed immediately or left on for a few moments, Red Flower’s cleanser is calming and moisturizing.

This is not a foaming cleanser, but a light, creamy one that rinses very easily and does not clog pores. It leaves the skin cleansed, but not stripped and it will remove light makeup. Tangerine and grapefruit oils give this cleanser a light, citrusy fragrance.  But I really like to get the most of the ingredients and keep it on for as long as possible while I clean my teeth and potter about the bathroom.

Although a key ingredient (justifying the “Sea” call-out in this product’s name) is algae, a marine antioxidant, I think the standouts here are juniper, sunflower (helichrysum) and three types of mushroom.

Juniper is not a common ingredient in cosmetics. However, it has useful astringent and antibacterial properties, which make this cleanser helpful for those prone to breakouts. Sunflower oil is a wound healer. Grifola frondosa (called maitake in Japan or hen of the woods here) is rich in minerals (potassium, calcium, and magnesium), vitamin Bs and amino acids. Various studies have demonstrated that maitake boosts the immune system and has antioxidant properties.

Reishi mushroom (which also cropped up in our recent review of Prana Reishi Mushroom Shield) seems to be something that we want in our anti-aging beauty arsenals. With powerful antioxidants, research has shown it may “protect against aging and age-related degenerative diseases”.

The chaga mushroom, actually a parasite on trees in cold northern climates, has been demonstrated to inhibit cancer (source). According to the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, chaga is proven to boost the immune system and can help skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema.

I am encouraged to try more from the Red Flower range, especially after reading Emily’s review of the White Peat Exfoliant. Founder Yael Alkalay (whose father was Bulgaria’s first dermatologist) seems to have an affinity for great skin repairing botanicals and I am looking forward to future tests.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Oil, Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Algae Extract, Vegetable Wax, Vegetable Glycerin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Tangerine (Citrus Tangerine) Oil, Pink Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi) Oil, Juniper Berry (Juniperus Comunus) Oil, Helichrysum (Helichrysum Italicum) Oil, Lemon (Citrus Limon) Oil, Citric Acid, White Peat Extract, Certified Organic Maitake (Grifola Frondosa) Mushroom, Certified Organic Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) Mushroom, Certified Organic Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus) Mushroom.