Skincare Snippets 2018-02: This changed my life - IHE Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser
I am now halfway through my bottle of In Her Element Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser (PHP 675 / 100ml, inherelmeent.ph or select Beauty Bar stores) and I've definitely gone through the skin's one-month cycle. Enough time has passed to really observe my skin reactions and for my biases to be cleared away.
When I saw the 'rose set' (Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser and Rose Gel Serum Moisturizer) during the launch in some bazaar about a year ago, I absolutely fell in love with the fragrance of both. It has a really sweet, botanical scent that is such a joy to inhale. It reminded me of Japanese skincare sets, where fragrance takes a huge role and aromatherapy is often infused into the skincare routine.
Rose can sometimes smell grandmalicious, especially when there's a bit of musk to it, but IHE's profile is a bit sweet and light. It's a shame how the scent washes off, but Liz explained there's no way to make it stick, given the nature of the (wash-off) product. If I wanted the fragrance, the Serum Moisturizer would be a great option for me, she says. I tried the serum and it did have a stronger and longer-lasting scent, but I had a great routine at the time and a full set of Hada Labo waiting. There wasn't really a place in my routine for it.
I go through cleansers pretty quickly though, and so I was excited to get to the IHE Low pH in my 'list,' if only for the scent. But then, the great skincare education of 2017 came and rolled by, and I was even more and more hyped up for the cleanser!
Low pH was a buzzword that flew by me. I didn't really care as much for the pH as I did for how it smelled. If anything, the low pH tag made me worried that the IHE low pH would be like other mild cleansers that have disappointed me; no-foam and slick after-feel. But the IHE actually does lather! Not pathetically, if I may add. It starts as a sticky, thick foam. As you incorporate more water in the rinse-off, it thins out and feels absolutely glorious!
Let's get to the hard facts, as this can help paint the picture of why I say this cleanser changed my life - a phrase I don't throw around lightly. Looking at you, Wayne Goss.
#1 Low pH - With a pH of 5.5-6, the cleanser's pH is not that much higher than the ideal facial skin pH of 4-5. A cleanser that is slightly acidic is good for your routine, because it helps preserve the skin's acid mantle, a protective film that prevents pollution and infection from entering the skin. We may not notice it because it doesn't always manifest in acne, but it's these little things that contribute to our overall skin stability and appearance!
Personally, pH never mattered to me because I didn't observe any signs of irritation. I also really liked the stripping feeling of high pH cleansers. But it's not until you compare and feel the difference of a low pH cleanser that you can definitively say if a high pH one is really not-bad for you.
I am so dry that throughout the day, even with 5 layers of skincare, I will start feeling dry in 4 or 6 hours. With a low pH cleanser, my skin is absorbing skincare better and feeling more "balanced." I don't feel the same intensity of dryness as before, and my hydration level, while still learning toward dry, does feel more stable!
#2 No SLS/SLES - This is another cleanser feature I never used to care about. The presence of SLS/SLES wasn't an issue for me, until I found out that Cetaphil had SLS. I never get on well with Cetaphil, which is a crying shame because the first few times I visited a dermatologist, that's what was prescribed to me.
Many skincare geeks avoid SLS and SLES as they are deemed non-essential. Plus, SLS is a known irritant. I've read that these ingredients cause that slimy after-feel, which ultimately causes irritation and dryness.
For the record, I don't see myself writing off a cleanser based on SLS/SLES content YET, but with the IHE experience at least, it has helped explain why the cleanser feels so great after!
#3 Rose fragrance. Okay, this isn't a hard fact. It's just a huge reason why I love this cleanser!
As this is my first low pH cleanser, I can't say yet if it's my holy grail. I will, however, give props to it for forever transforming my living experience. It has created a new standard for me, and I think that's beautiful. For that, the In Her Element Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser undoubtedly deserves a 5 / 5 BBT score despite my newness to the field of low pH cleansers.
That said, this is my first brand, and I would still like to try other brands of low pH cleanser! I may not care yet about SLS or SLES, I may not care much about lather and foam, but one thing's for sure; I am completely in the low pH zone and I'm never going back!
I purchased the Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser on a writer discount with Project Vanity. Full disclosure: I contribute to the PV blog but am not otherwise affiliated with the IHE brand, both of which, are founded by Liz Lanuzo.