The name and marketing material for this cleanser lead you to believe the cleansing benefit is coming from its RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex, but it isn’t. First, there is no such thing as “ActiveSoil,” it is merely a marketing term to make dirt sound fancy. Second, the ingredient label lists it as “soil minerals,” which means there is no way to know what is rare (if anything) about the dirt in this product or what you’re actually putting on your face. Just because it’s a mineral doesn’t mean it contains something rare—minerals can contain sulfur, lead, chlorides—how rare does that sound?
And last, the ingredients in this product that actually are responsible for cleansing your face are similar to the cleansing agents found in soap, and they are potentially too drying and irritating for any skin type.
This cleanser also contains an unusually high amount of alcohol, and the lavender oil causes further problems. Frankly, the only rare thing about this cleanser is that it is one of the worst ones we’ve reviewed in quite some time! (See More Info below for details on why irritation is bad for your skin).
- Drying, soap-like formula adds irritating alcohol to the mix (an odd choice for a cleanser).
- The supposedly rare soil minerals have no special benefit for skin.
- Contains two forms of skin-damaging lavender oil.
This contains lavender oil, and even small amounts can cause cell death and enhance oxidative damage, which takes its toll on your skin. Combined with the alcohol and the drying cleansing agents (including a high amount of potassium hydroxide, also known as lye), this cleanser offers little hope of improving your skin.
Deeply cleanse skin and lift away impurities with this luxurious cleanser. Powered by our 100% pure RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex, this non-drying formula bursts into a rich lather when activated with water to deep clean pores, instantly refresh skin, and give you a naturally luminous glow.
Water, Stearic Acid, PEG-8, Myristic Acid, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Lauric Acid, Alcohol Denatured, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Propanediol, Polyquaternium-7, Soil Minerals, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Glycine Soja), Trisodium EDTA, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia), Lavandula Hybrida Oil (Lavandula Hybrida), Linalool, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil (Vitis Vinifera), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil (Persea Gratissima), Punica Granatum Seed Oil (Punica Granatum), Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Limonene, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil (Anthemis Nobilis), Averrhoa Carambola Leaf Extract (Averrhoa Carambola), Tocopherol
Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. The self-proclaimed "healthiest, purest makeup in the world" was founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s, and is now run by Leslie Blodgett, who appears regularly on QVC and the company's own infomercials to support and demonstrate her products. Blodgett is largely credited with turning the line she began into a $150 million business—no small feat. The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skin-care products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.
Supporting the company's portrayal as a leader in purity are the corresponding claims that the bareMinerals makeup does not contain fragrance, oil, binders, preservatives, emulsifiers, or any other harmful chemicals. Although this line does have its advantages for someone with sensitive skin, as it turns out, bismuth oxychloride, a major ingredient in the powder formulations, can cause skin irritation, while the other minerals can be drying (Source: www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Bismuth_oxychloride-9923103). Regarding bismuth oxychloride, it is interesting to note that bismuth (a metallic element) seldom occurs in nature. Instead, it is a by-product of copper and lead refining, or is manufactured synthetically. Chemically, it's similar to arsenic, a fact you won't see in any advertising for bareMinerals. However, just as cosmetic-grade mineral oil is not identical to the petroleum from which it originated, neither is bismuth oxychloride identical to bismuth. The bismuth oxychloride used in cosmetics is non-toxic, but this background offers a good example of how skewed a company's definition of "natural" can be.
Aside from the health and purity claims, loose powders are as messy as it gets in terms of your vanity (countertop, not ego) and your makeup bag. The powder just gets all over the place, and the very basic packaging does not do much to minimize the mess. Additionally, while there are softer neutral shades, and some fairly exotic shades as well, most are mildly to extremely shiny and make any amount of crepey skin look more so. The face powder does provide some amount of opaque coverage, but the shine and the thickness can be a bit much. The loose powder eyeshadows and blushes apply in a somewhat lighter way, though they still provide significant coverage. Many women ask me about mineral makeup and whether or not it really is better for skin. The answer to that question is "No."
Although most mineral makeup is innocuous, the texture, appearance, and application have difficulties that make it not comparable to today's best liquid or pressed-powder foundations. We agree with bareMinerals' stance that foundation shouldn't look or feel like a mask, nor should there be a line of demarcation where the application stops. However, their foundations are not the only ones able to achieve this, and there is no inherent benefit to this type of foundation over numerous other options.
There isn't much to say about the skin-care products, but what's worth paying attention to is noted in the At-a-Glance section.
For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.com.