It's been said time and again that the right cleanser is perhaps the most important step in any skin care regimen. VOYA Cast Away Facial Wash ($52) may have come very close for me. Stemming from across the Atlantic, VOYA is an Irish brand whose philosophy and formulas revolve around "organic beauty from the sea," with hand-harvested seaweed as their signature ingredient.
Seaweed is known to be loaded with vitamins, peptides and antioxidants, which is essential in any preventative skin-care regimen. Also worth mentioning is the inclusion of green tea, which can provide UV-protection for the skin, while chamomile acts as an anti-inflammatory and skin soother.
Cast Away uses a gel-like formula packaged in a squeeze tube. A little goes a very long way, as I've learned by over-using in the beginning of my trial. At first, with overuse, I noticed my almost-30-something skin was getting a little too tight after cleansing, though not uncomfortably so. Once I realized I was perhaps using a smidgen too much, I scaled back a bit and was left with soft, clear skin that looked well rested, bright and free of dirt and impurities.
Cast Away uses no harsh detergents that will strip skin of natural oils. Instead you're left with skin feeling smooth and clean. With a few weeks use, my skin looked noticeably more even toned, and texture was smooth. Though aloe allows this cleanser to keep skin hydrated, I did need a moisturizer after using this cleanser.