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Reviewed and Recommended: REN Zostera Marina Comfort Cleansing Milk

Is a Solution for:
Dull Skin, Oily Skin
April 14, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments
Although no one has ever come right out and said anything, it got through my thick skull the other day that people - well some people, some rather fussy and demanding people - think my recommendations for facial cleansers are lacking. Not to mention that by now everybody gets that I like Tracie Martyn's Amla and probably doesn't want to read about it again. Especially, if they have dry skin, wear make up and would really like, just once, for me to recommended a creamy cleanser. OK. I get it! And, you'll be pleased to know, I finally have one for your consideration.

REN is a good brand that favors interesting botanicals and, where possible, sourcing organic. I have always found them better in the cleansing and shampooing departments (the Moringa shampoo is a firm favorite of mine) than for serums. Happily, though, we are talking cleansers here and REN Zostera Marina Comfort Cleansing Milk ($31.99) definitely passes the creamy test. It is thick, without being gloopy. In fact, I'd go so far as to describe it as velvety. This is no foamer, though. The idea is to rub it between dry hands, massage onto a dry face and then rinse away with warm water.

Parched skins will really like it, I should think. If, like me, you are scared that creamy cleansers will clog pores and leave residue behind, rest assured. This rinses off beautifully and passes the cotton pad and toner test. Given that the bottle is 5.1fl oz, the price isn't bad and I am pleased to welcome into my beauty routine.

As with its Moringa shampoo, REN has come up with a weird and wonderful cleansing agent from nature.  Zostera marina is a grass that grows by the sea and goes by all manner of names: seagrass, eelgrass, seawrack to mention a few. The pectin, a sugar taken from the cell wall, appears to have detoxification properties. So much so, that in one study it was used to successful clean up the livers of rats that had been deposited with lead.

Rosehip seed oil is high in (fatty) linoleic and linolenic acids as well as vitamin C, all of which are essential for the health of the hair and skin. Flavonoids, a ketonic compound (namely 3-pentenpropyl-kentoe) and trans-rhodanic acids have been detected. In fact, rosehip seeds are about 77% fatty acids.

I was really delighted, however, to find that REN has also added in my new best friend flax, although here it goes by the more poetic name of gold-of-pleasure. Flax is positively groaning under the weight of antioxidants, with over 45% of every seed being omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seed supplements are one of the few to have any research to support their anti-wrinkling effects.

Apart from a touch of phenoxyethanol, there is nothing about REN Zostera Marina Cleanser to dislike.


Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Cetearyl Octanoate (Source Palm Oil), Cetearyl Alcohol (Source Palm Oil), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (Source Coconut Oil), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside (source Corn), Glycerin (Source Coconut Oil), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Myristyl Myristate (source Palm Oil), Zostera Marina Pectin (source Sea Grass), Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans (source Corn), Phenoxyethanol (Source Aromatic Ether), Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Seed Oil, Camelina Sativa (Gold Of Pleasure) Oil, Oryzanol (source Rice), Sodium Hydroxymethyl Glycinate (source Amino Acids), Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance), Citric Acid (Source Fruit), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum (Source Corn), Linalol, Limonene
  • April 16, 2009

    by Michelle

    Thanks for posting Marta! I've been searching for a new affordable cleanser that doesn't leave behind makeup and residue. I hate how some cleansers don't cleanse completely and when you apply your regimen of serums and potions, it smears the mascara or eye-liner residue left behind from the cleanser. ugh. -_- glad to know it passed the cotton ball and toner test. =D

  • April 14, 2009

    by marta

    I bought mine at Wholefood.

  • April 14, 2009

    by Niall

    I've used this cleanser for years. It is fantastic. It's so thick and creamy I use at as a mask, actually. I would also recommend Ren's cleanser for sensitive skin, which is similarly great.

  • April 14, 2009

    by Susan

    This sounds like a solid product. I would like to try it. Can this brand be purchased in stores or only on-line?

  • April 14, 2009

    by Aubrey

    I glad to see this review. I keep trying new things, and going back to this particular cleanser. It is the best I have used.

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