Simplicite One Step Exfoliating Cleanser

Reviewed by TIA Community Member on August 30, 2016


By Sarah F. 

I am 52 years old with somewhat sensitive skin that is prone to clogged pores, mild acne and occasional rosacea. I have used exfoliating cleansers for years, as I find a mild scrub to be incredibly helpful with getting rid of dead skin buildup and congested pores. The cleanser I’ve been using is Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, which uses diatomaceous earth as a physical exfoliant. The particles are tiny and very even, so the scrub is extremely gentle and can be used daily.

I was interested in testing the Simplicite One Step Exfoliating Cleanser ($48.40) because it seemed like it might fit into my routine, and I was intrigued by the list of natural and herbal ingredients. They include almond and walnut extracts, jojoba and avocado oils, extracts of violet, thyme, birch leaf, witch hazel and rosemary. As a rule of thumb, I generally avoid cleansers with active ingredients, but these sounded fairly mild and harmless so I was curious to see how my skin would react.

Unfortunately, the exfoliating grit in this exfoliator proved much too harsh for facial use. The granules are uneven in size and shape with sharp-feeling edges. I don’t know what they used in the formulation — it is unclear from the list of ingredients — but I am honestly wondering if there is ground walnut shell in there. Whatever it is, my skin did not react well. I could not rub my face with this rough grit for the full minute recommended in the instructions and even though I cut the treatment short, it left my skin reddened and stinging in several areas.

The product also left a lasting brown stain on the white facial cloth I used to remove it. This is a minor gripe, I suppose, but I definitely found it off-putting. In a nutshell: I felt that this cleanser was too harsh to test for the full 30 days. One use was more than enough. I certainly would not purchase this product, and I wouldn’t recommend it for facial use. I have keratosis pilaris on my upper arms and legs, though, and it will probably be a great treatment for that.