Thursday, 31 July 2008

Review: REN Cleansers

I rarely review skincare products on this blog for the reason that I've yet to find any skincare that has been able to make a radical difference to my super oily, acne-prone yet surface dehydrated skin.

Nevertheless, I do have some favourite skincare products and one of my staple brands is Ren from the UK. What I like about Ren is that it is completely free of petrochemicals, T.E.A, D.E.A (Diethanolamine), glycols, silicones, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrance and colors, and animal ingredients. I'm trying to make a shift towards using more organic, paraben-free skincare and Ren fits in perfectly with that. Ren's products are formulated with plant-based ingredients and what they term "bioactive elements". Plus they come in a 100% recyclable, vacuum packaging to preserve their products (and minimize the need for preservatives). Ren uses grapefruit seed extract in their products as a naturally derived stabilizing agent.

Rosa Centifolia Facial Wash (US$32, £16.50) is for normal skintypes and it contains centifolia rose petals to combat free radicals, aloe to calm and soothe skin, plus mild cleansing agents from oats and corn to gently remove dirt and pollution. The bioactives are: tannins (tightens pores, tones, and firms skin), mucilage (gummy water-like substance that acts as a humectant0, polyphenols (antioxidants) and polysaccharides (carbohydrates that contain oxygen).

The texture is a clear, almost watery gel that turns into a slightly milky consistency when lathered. What I liked about the Rosa Centifolia Facial Wash is that it is a simple, effective cleanser that rinses off very easily while leaving my face soft, supple and clean. The rose aroma is also pleasant without being too cloying or overpowering. Unlike most other cleansers that contain sodium laureth sulfate, it is very gentle on the skin and does not completely strip one's skin of moisture. Some people prefer cleansers that give a very squeaky clean feel but I find those cleansers too harsh and drying to the point that I can actually feel my skin starting to crack and peel after drying off.

The full ingredient list is as follows: Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin (Source Coconut Oil), Coco-Glucoside (Source Corn), Xanthan Gum (Source Corn), Polysorbate 20 (Source Rapeseed Oil), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol (Source Aromatic Ether), Rosa Centifolia Flower Juice, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (Source Amino Acids), Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids (Source Oat), Lactic Acid (Source Wheat), Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance), Rosa Damascena Flower Oil.

Mayblossom and Blue Cypress Facial Wash (US$32; £16.50) is for combination, acne prone, or oily sensitive skin but I found it to be virtually identical to Rosa Centifolia Facial Wash except for the scent. The bioactives in Mayblossom and Blue Cypress Facial Wash are: flavonoids (antioxidants), salicylin (antimicrobial and unclogs pores) and guaiazulene (anti-inflammatory). Like the Rosa Centifolia Facial Wash, the Mayblosson and Blue Cypress Facial Wash is a clear gel that is gentle on my oily skin yet thorough in cleansing. It doesn't prevent breakouts as I still get whiteheads and blackheads but at least it does not aggravate them.

The complete list of ingredients is as follows: Limonene, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Glycerin (Source Coconut Oil), Coco-Glucoside (Source Corn), Xanthan Gum (Source Corn), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Crataegus Monogina (Mayblossom) Fruit Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Phenoxyethanol (Source Aromatic Ether), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (Source Amino Acids), Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids (Source Oat), Lactic Acid (Source Wheat), Lavandula Angustifolia (High Altitude Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Callitris Intratropica (Blue Cypress) Oil, Linalool.

I like to use the Ren facial cleansers in the morning when my skin is just a bit oily. At the end of the day when I need to remove makeup, I usually use an oil makeup remover followed by Ipsa Cleansing Smooth Foam, which is strong enough to remove all traces of the oil makeup remover. But I find the Ipsa Cleansing Smooth Foam too drying to use frequently on its own as it causes my skin to flake so I only use it when I need to remove makeup or I feel like my skin is really dirty.

Ren skincare is available in the US on and in the UK on its own website. In Singapore, Ren is stocked at Apothecary & Co. in the basement of Raffles City where the cleansers cost around S$55 each.

No comments: