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Let’s be real for a second — how many of you have ever loved a cleanser? Like, loved to the point of pearls-clutched-anxious at the thought of it being discontinued? Probably never, right? Probably, you’re like me, in that you’ve tried a LOT of cleansers and some have been good, some have been bad, some have been really bad, but most have just been meh. I don’t know many people who are face wash faithful. They might have a few they like, but they hop from one to one and it’s not the end of the world if it gets discontinued. They’re just not a sexy topic in a beauty regimen.
To add to that, cleansers are really good for only one thing, and one thing only: obviously, washing your face. I don’t expect mine to take off my makeup, but if it can get off the remnants of whatever my oil cleanser / regular remover missed, that’s great. If it doesn’t leave my face feeling like I’ve been staring into the sun while in the Antarctic, that’s even better. I also don’t really fall for all the crazy benefits that a lot of face washes try to tout, especially as they’re on your face for so little time, they really can’t be effective.
I honestly don’t expect much from a face wash, and I’m usually kind of apathetic about them. They’re just a necessary part of life, and not a particularly exciting one either. So, the fact that I’m downright giddy over getting to review this one should tell you something. Today, I’ve got The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam to show to you and omg I’m so excited I can’t even wait. Let’s get to it.
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam looks, at first glance, to be your bog standard face wash.
BUT INSIDE IS MAGIC.
OK, I’m getting ahead of myself and hyberbolizing all around the place. No, hyperbolizing is not a word. That’s how much I love this cleanser — I’m making up words.
Calming down for a second: the cleanser’s main focus is that it contains rice water extract. A lot of Asian girls are familiar with their moms making rice water toners — and by making, I mean saving the leftover water from washing that night’s rice. :blush: Supposedly using that rice water to tone and/or wash your face would brighten up your complexion, prevent acne and wrinkles, and cure cancer (maybe not that last part — depends on who you talk to). So, The Face Shop Rice Water Bright line is meant to capture that practice without the embarrassment of your white boyfriend catching you sneaking off to the bathroom with a jar of dirty rice water.
It comes in a dusky pink tube that is rather simply decorated. I like how understated it is. The face wash is like many Asian foaming face washes today: it comes out a thick, pearly gel texture, and works into an extremely dense foam. You get 150ml or 5.07 oz in a tube, which is quite a lot as you only need a small pearl-sized bead to get lots of rich lather.
I got mine on Amazon, and paid just under $12 with free Prime shipping. As of this writing, however, it seems it’s no longer available for fulfillment through Amazon.
Performance and Use
As mentioned before, it’s like many Asian foaming cleansers in that just a teensy bit works into super dense lather. The below shot is just to show what the cleanser looks like; when I use it, I actually use about half that amount or even a third of that.
It has a light floral-y scent that is very pleasant to my nose. There is a very faint sort of foody and sweet quality to it, not unlike freshly cooked rice. I really love the smell, and actually wouldn’t mind it in perfume form! Even if you’re sensitive to scents, it’s not overpowering in the least.
It has a nice, almost slippery feeling on the face. Even when used with very little water (thus creating a thicker lather), it glides around on skin and doesn’t tug or pull. When I rinse it off, my skin feels and looks so, so, so good. I can’t capture it in a photo, but my skin just looks literally refreshed. It’s soft and smooth, and doesn’t feel tight or dry in the least. It feels exactly like I’ve just had a nice, luxurious exfoliation in a fancy spa.
With most cleansers, I have to rush to start layering on my skincare regimen to stave off dryness, but it almost feels like I could skip it with this (though I never would :shiver: ).
I always use a separate makeup remover beforehand, but this takes care of any lingering traces perfectly. When I tone afterwards, the cotton pad comes back clean.
Below are the ingredients.
I ran the list through COSDNA and a few potential triggers did pop up.
The second ingredient, myristic acid, is used as an emulsifier and moisturizer but has an acnegenic rating of 3. This is a moderate trigger, but in my month+ of testing it, I have not had any issues. To be clear, I have been having quite a few issues with acne flare-ups in the past few weeks, but these are directly related to hormonal issues and shark week and such, and not any of my skincare or makeup.
Potassium hydroxide is another ingredient which raised a flag. This is a strong base which should be familiar to anyone who’s taken high school chemistry, or anyone who’s dabbled in homemade soap making: it’s also known as lye. In large concentration, this is a known skin irritant and is used in many commercial applications including the preparation of tanning of animal hides. Sounds scary, right? Well, let’s take a step back: if you’ve ever gotten a manicure, you’ve probably had a ton of potassium hydroxide soaking on your hands — it’s the active ingredient in many cuticle removers.
The third potentially troubling ingredient is lauric acid. This scored a 4 on the acnegenic scale, which makes sense as lauric acid is often derived from coconut oil, which is highly comedogenic and acnegenic. Lauric acid is commonly used with – what else? – lye in order to make soap. I’m, of course, no chemist (damnit Jim, I’m a doctor!) but I suspect the saponification process renders this and the potassium hydroxide basically inert. That may be incorrect, however.
So, what’s the moral of the story of the above? The dose makes the poison. And also saponification possibly mitigates the potential dangers of these ingredients. (But that’s not as catchy, and is potentially untrue so just ignore it mmkay?)
That being said, everyone is different and everyone’s skin is different. Take your own precautions.
Finally, maybe I haven’t been using it long enough, but I haven’t seen any brightening effects. But, like I said above, I don’t put much stock into those types of claims. In order to get any effect, you’ve have to leave it on your skin for much longer than most people do. For example, when I was using a medicated wash with benzoyl peroxide, I would massage it into my face and let sit for a full minute before rinsing off. That was the only way I could see any of the effects from it. I’m not, however, as willing to have this face wash sitting on my skin for that long — I don’t think it was necessarily meant to do so.
Using this cleanser hasn’t changed my life. It hasn’t even really changed my skincare game. But, it does everything I want from a cleanser and more. It leaves my face perfectly clean and soft, and doesn’t irritate my skin or cause me to break out. It works just beautifully, and I’m a total convert. I really love it! I hope they never discontinue this, and I really, honestly never thought I’d say that about a face wash of all things.
This is definitely
Have you tried the Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam or anything else from the Face Shop Rice Water Bright line? I really want to try their cleansing oil next!