Let's talk about face wash. Ever since I read about the problems with using sulfates—foaming agents that can alter the skin's barrier function—I've tried to avoid putting them on my face. I figure, keeping my sensitive skin happy is already tricky enough, so why add that to my list of battles? (Body, I'm not so picky about.)
The problem is, so many sulfate- and soap-free cleansers tend to, er, not actually cleanse. Dontcha hate when you run a cotton pad over your face after using some milky cleanser, and it picks up a bunch of grime? Not only that, but if you happen to have skin that is sensitive and combination like me—then you don't even need that much in the way of moisture.
If you're thinking the way I'm thinking, then a product that should be on your radar is the new Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash.
Y'all know Kiehl's Calendula Toner, right? It's a total cult product that dates back to the 1960s, and helps balance normal-to-oily skin—even though the astringent is completely alcohol-free. The new Face Wash is its younger sister, and has the same concept: it's also based on calendula extract, it's also suitable for normal-to-oily skin, and it also does its job without stripping or drying you out.
Here are the ingredients:
Aqua / Water / Eau, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Coco-betaine, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Acrylates/Stereath-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Nepeta Cataria Oil, Citrus Limon Peel Oil / Lemon Peel Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Limonene, Geraniol, Methylisothiazolinone, Citral, Citronellol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid.
The texture is a gel and it actually does have a decent foaming action, thanks to the sodium cocoyl glycinate and coco-betaine (both derived from non-drying coconut oil). I love that there's glycerin in here, my favourite lightweight moisturizing ingredient, and sodium chloride is just salt. Just a heads up, there are some plant oils further down the list that could be irritating if you are super-duper sensitive. But I have sensitive skin and haven't had any issues—it's only in contact for less than a minute, after all.
What I love most about this cleanser is how clean but soft my skin feels afterward—it's a thorough cleanse, but it's a gentle cleanse. Oh, and the bottle is huge, so it's actually pretty affordable, too. Let me know if you check it out!
Where to Buy
Find the Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash at the following retailers:
- Canada: Hudson's Bay, Kiehls.ca, Amazon.ca
- USA: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Bloomingdale's, Kiehls.com
- UK: Selfridges
Have you tried this cleanser yet?
What's your favourite soap-free face wash?
Opening image: Sephora