NIOD Sanskrit Saponins Review

Sanskrit Saponins (SS) from Deciem’s NIOD is a pH-balanced, concentrated cleansing balm formulated with arginine and Ayurvedic plant surfactants. By deep-cleansing, SS claims to clean pores, clean dead skin cells without peeling and gently remove the skin’s own oils encouraging “natural recycling” of the oils. With continued use, SS is said to target build-up, congestion and blemishes. Claims are made that from the first use, SS leaves skin looking “pore-free,” clean and radiant.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Arginine, Polysorbate 60, Acacia Concinna Fruit Extract, Balanites Aegyptiaca (Desert Date) Fruit Extract, Gypsophila Paniculata Root Extract, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Pentylene Glycol, Melanin, Sorbic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

Directions: This is to be used once every other day in the morning or evening, but can be used more often if desired. SS is not intended to remove makeup or sunscreen, so cleanse the skin using another cleanser as a first step. Wet face and lather SS into a paste in the hands for a few seconds. Apply and massage gently, avoiding the eyes, then rinse.

I have oily skin prone to breakouts and blemishes and often get build-up and congestion, especially in the T-zone. I’ve been using this on and off for a long while, and have purchased three tubes thus far.

SS is a light tan/beige color with a thin, cream-like consistency. It smells rather yeasty, which I don’t mind. It doesn’t lather or foam on massaging into the skin.

This is a product that I didn’t realize was doing much of anything other than a nice cleanse until I stopped using it after a few weeks. I then started using again and realized it had helped with clearing dead skin, making the skin smoother, and skin appeared clearer and less congested around my nose and forehead. I have since been using this as a morning mask and cleanse (with much better results than using as just a cleanser), putting a rather generous amount on dry skin, letting it sit while brushing my teeth or showering, then massaging with a bit of water and rinsing. Using it like this, my skin is immediately smoother and more radiant-looking from the first use. With continued use, I don’t feel like my pores look smaller, but my skin is generally clearer, cleaner, less oily and feels less bumpy. SS helps small breakouts along the jawline and whiteheads on the forehead. For bigger pimples, I’m not sure they are cleared up any sooner than the usual healing time, but seems to help with redness and irritation of these larger pimples and helps prevent these breakouts. This has no effect on the blackheads around my nose. SS is also nice to use with the Foreo Luna. SS rinses well and is not drying.

SS comes in a metal tube and once punctured, product runs out on opening the lid for the first few uses. I then have to try and close the lid really fast while product continues to leak out around the lid. There have also been some inconsistencies in the formula between the three tubes I have bought. In one, the SS was thicker, one was thinner and the last tube I bought had some small, hard particles in it; these were not uniform like in a scrub and were rather sharp on the face, but seemed to dissolve slightly in water while massaging the cleanser on the face.

Sanskrit Saponins has become one of my favorite morning masks/cleansers. It provides the results claimed (except for the skin appearing pore-free) and I will continue to purchase.

Thank you for reading.

Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel Review

Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel claims to remove makeup, purify pores, balance skin and reduce excess surface oil while leaving skin visibly clearer and softer.

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Coco-glucoside Citrate, Squalane, Cocoyl Proline, Melaleuca Alternafolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Sodium Levulinate, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf Extract, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Gluconate, Caramel, Citric Acid, Linalool

To go over some ingredients – Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine and sodium cocoyl isethionate are mild surfactants derived from coconut oil. Disodium coco-glucoside citrate is a mild surfactant. Cocoyl proline is a mix of coconut fatty acids and the amino acid proline used as a hydrator and conditioning agent. Sodium levulinate is used as a preservative and skin conditioning agent. Alfalfa leaf extract is said to soothe skin and help make skin look brighter.

Directions state to dampen skin, massage a dime size amount into a light lather and rinse.

This is a gel cleanser that forms a light lather. On rinsing, the cleanser itself doesn’t leave the skin feeling oily, but does leave it feeling a bit dry (though not as drying as Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser), which is surprising given the addition of squalane oil. It took a bit more effort and more water to rinse than other cleansers (I found this to be the case as well with the Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser; perhaps that’s the nature of gel cleansers?). The Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser smells nice; a herbal scent, which I’m guessing is the tea tree oil (I don’t think I’d used anything with tea tree oil previously).

I have oily skin that is prone to breakouts, blackheads around the nose, congestion and redness. One of the reasons I chose this cleanser – for probably about 5 or 6 years I had gotten pimples on the right side of my face in one area on my lower cheek above the jawline; no idea why and I couldn’t get rid of them. One would break out, start to heal and a couple days later, the next would break out, until I had about six in various healing stages. About a year ago they disappeared; no idea why. Three months ago, the breakouts started again, in the same manner as before. I thought I’d give this cleanser a try, as tea tree oil is said to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties that can target acne.

The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel is able to cleanse light coverage foundation, but for heavier full coverage foundation, heavier eye makeup and mineral sunscreen, needs two uses.

Having changed nothing else in my skincare routine (other than an eye cream; I’ve been using the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel), I’ve used the Biossance gel cleanser for a month. As above, throughout the month, the breakouts have healed nicely and I haven’t gotten any new ones. My skin looks generally less congested with a bit less redness. My skin is perhaps a bit less oily overall (though salicylic acid works better to balance oil). I noticed at day 16 I had less blackheads on my nose, but by day 30, there were more. My skin doesn’t feel any softer.

I’m happy with the results of this cleanser, but I have to wonder if the cleanser itself provided the results or if, by some coincidence or other variable, the breakouts have stopped. Being a rinse-off product, I’m generally skeptical of a cleanser providing results beyond cleansing makeup and sunscreen from the skin.

I’ll continue to use the Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser (and would repurchase) and will update here if the breakouts start again with continued use or on switching to a new cleanser.

Thank you for reading.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

I got the Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser as part of this year’s Sephora birthday gift.

This is a gel foaming cleanser for all skin types that claims to remove all traces of makeup, sunscreen, excess oil and debris while supporting a healthy skin barrier.

Directions state to massage over skin, add water to lather and rinse. Drunk Elephant says to use this nightly, as they do not recommend cleansing in the morning.

With the warmer weather, my skin is oily, more so on the T zone.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycolipids, Linoleic Acid, Lauryl Glucoside, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis Fruit Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Polylysine

Key ingredients – Coconut-based surfactants and cleansers create a “rich” foam to dissolve makeup and oils. Marula oil helps remove makeup. Glycerin keeps skin hydrated. Cantaloupe extract contains antioxidants and helps sooth and hydrate the skin.

I’ve used this cleanser for about a month. It doesn’t have much of a scent, especially on adding water. The gel forms into a slight foam (I wouldn’t say a rich foam like that of Amarte’s Daily Wonder Cleansing Foam) on adding water. From the first use, I was surprised by how and dry and tight my skin felt on rinsing and patting dry. The texture of the cleanser is nice and it seems to rinse well (provided extra time/more water is used than has been my experience with other cleansers; otherwise there is a bit of a sticky feeling on the skin). When using in the evening, I would often notice larger breakouts on my jawline/lower cheek in the morning. I stopped use for a few days and upon resuming, got the breakouts again, so could assume this cleanser is the culprit.

It removed my light/medium coverage foundation and sunscreen quite well (I used The Ordinary sun care). For eye makeup I wore NudeStix Nude Metallics for Eyes and a non-waterproof mascara from Tarte. The Beste Cleanser left makeup smudges around my eyes.

While the Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser removes face makeup and sunscreen, eye makeup is left behind and it leaves the skin feeling dry and tight with (perhaps) breakouts on use. I would not purchase the Beste Cleanser.

Thank you for reading.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary is an noncomedogenic, balm-type cleanser suited to all skin types that can be used as a daily, standalone cleanser or the first step in a double cleanse. This claims to dissolve and trap makeup, sunscreen, dirt and debris from the skin while being gentle and moisturizing. It starts off as a balm-like texture, which turns to an oil when warmed on the skin and then turns to a milky texture when wet.

Ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Sucrose Stearate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Malic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin.

Directions state to put a bit of product into your hand and rub for 10 to 30 seconds to warm it up where it will dissolve into an oil. Massage onto dry face and rinse with warm water.

This comes in a 50 mL tube (The Ordinary will be making a bigger size) but they say only a small amount is required because the product spreads easily.

I have breakout-prone, oily/combination skin and have been using this cleanser for a few weeks now. I wanted to get an oil/balm cleanser to remove silicone-based sunscreens (I have been using The Ordinary’s sun care), light coverage foundation and waterproof eyeliner.

I started off using a two pea-size amount, but found it didn’t spread as well and go as far as I would have liked, and settled on using a nickel-size amount for the face and neck. It has a mild oil-like scent. It starts out like a balm-lotion rather than a thick balm texture like Drunk Elephant’s new Slaai Butter Cleanser.

I wear minimal, everyday makeup with waterproof eyeliner, non-waterproof mascara, eye shadow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, sunscreen from The Ordinary (which is rather thick and heavy on the skin), and the natural coverage foundation from Altilis Beauty. The Squalane Cleanser is able to remove all of the above, rinsing with my hands, no cloth. In looking at the below photo (after cleansing), there is only a smudged bit of black makeup at my outer eye left.

I don’t feel the need to use a second cleanser, as this doesn’t leave an oily or waxy film on the skin after rinsing like some oil/balm cleansers do; my skin feels moisturized rather than oily. It doesn’t leave a haze over the eyes. My eyes do not feel irritated. I didn’t get any unusual or increased breakouts while using the Squalane Cleanser. This cleanser is gentle and softens the skin. This also functions well as a mask to protect the face from heat and steam while in the shower.

While the Squalane Cleanser doesn’t spread as nicely or go as far as I had hoped (I like Drunk Elephant’s Slaai texture and spreadability), this does remove makeup and sunscreen and I would consider repurchasing the bigger size when it comes out.

Thank you for reading.

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser/Bamboo Booster Review

Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is a new product from Drunk Elephant; a cleansing balm that claims to melt away makeup, dirt, sunscreen and water resistant formulas. This is said to be gentle around the eyes. It starts out as a thick balm, turns to oil when warmed and massaged into the skin and emulsifies into a milk when water is added on rinsing. This can be used as a standalone cleanser or as the first step in a double cleanse routine. Slaai is sold with a little tube of Bamboo Booster, a physical exfoliant.

Directions state to apply a nickel-size amount to a dry face using dry fingers, massage over the face and eyes and rinse with warm water. An option in the morning is to mix the Bamboo Booster with the cleanser for gentle physical exfoliation.

Slaai Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Lauryl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Glycerin

I had been using The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser, which functions similarly (though Slaai has a nicer texture and more spreadability; I can use less than a nickel size for the face and neck) and wanted to grab Slaai as well for comparison as it seems more affordable than most of DE’s other products (I believe I read in DE’s Instagram comments that a jar should have about 110 uses; of course it depends how much product is used at a time).

I wear minimal, everyday makeup with waterproof eyeliner, non-waterproof mascara, eye shadow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, sunscreen from The Ordinary (which is rather thick and heavy on the skin), and the natural coverage foundation from Altilis Beauty. I have oily/combination skin that is prone to breakouts.

The Slaai Butter Cleanser has a heavy nutty and oil-like scent. The balm melts easily into an oil on the skin and spreads nicely. It removes eye makeup relatively well, with a bit of eyeliner left at the lower lash line, as above in the after photo. The foundation is removed well. After rinsing with my hands (no cloth) and patting dry, there is cleanser left on the skin, not really an oily layer like some of the liquid oil cleansers leave, but an almost waxy layer. Because of this, I had a hard time determining if my sunscreen was removed, so I applied sunscreen to half my face and used Slaai on my whole face. The side with the sunscreen felt heavier on my fingertips, so I don’t think it was all removed. Once rinsed, there is a haziness to my vision for a minute or two and my eyes feel irritated for about 15 minutes. I need to use a second cleanser (usually twice) after using Slaai to get the waxy layer off the skin. I feel like serums and other treatments won’t absorb into the skin if this layer is left on. While I’ve only used this for a few days so far, I have gotten breakouts along my jawline; hard to say if Slaai is the cause, but the breakouts weren’t present before use.

If I use Slaai in the evening without using a second cleanser, in the morning I still feel the Slaai on my face, however, I wouldn’t say that my skin feels more moisturized. My nose feels dry. My skin looks nice in the mirror though and feels soft.

Slaai adds a nice protective layer after using a moisturizing lotion on dry hands, elbows or knees, or on the face in the shower as a mask to protect from heat and steam.

Slaai is sold with Bamboo Booster; DE has no plans to sell separately. Bamboo Booster is said to be a gentle exfoliant that removes dead, built up skin cells.

Ingredients: Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Charcoal Powder, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Mannitol, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Potassium Sorbate

This is to be used once or twice a week in the morning mixed with Slaai – morning, I’m guessing, as the face is free from makeup and dirt – I wouldn’t use this at the same time I’m cleansing a face full of makeup and sunscreen. This has tiny black spheres of charcoal powder and fine white bamboo and cornstarch powder.

Bamboo Booster is relatively gentle (not as gentle as I thought it might be) and makes my skin feel smoother, though it is recommended not to use while on a retinol, so perhaps not for those with quite sensitive skin either. More gentle exfoliants would be something like the Daily Exfolipowder from Amarte or the Rice Polish from Tatcha.

While I love the melting texture and easy spreadability of the Slaai Butter Cleanser, it leaves behind a waxy layer, hazy vision and eye irritation and doesn’t quite remove all the waterproof eyeliner or silicone-based sunscreen. The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser works better, though doesn’t feel as nice on the skin. I also prefer a more gentle, powder-based physical exfoliant. I will not be repurchasing Slaai.

Thank you for reading.