bareMinerals Exfoliating Treatment Cleanser with RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex
2.5 fl. oz. for $26
Last Updated:05.07.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This clay-based cleanser is not only difficult to use (clay isn't the most elegant ingredient on which to base a cleanser), but also contains several fragrant oils capable of causing irritation. The "100% pure RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex" offers no special benefit for anyone's skin. In fact, the ingredient label lists it as "soil minerals," which means there is no way to know what is rare (if anything) about what amounts to little more than dirt in this product or to know 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?

Between the problematic ingredients and the abrasive nature of this cleanser, it isn't a treatment we'd suggest you try, especially if having clean skin that isn't dry or tight is your goal. Please see More Info below for details on why irritation is bad for your skin.

  • None.
  • Expensive.
  • Clay-based formula is difficult to use and tricky to rinse completely.
  • Formula contains several fragrant oils that cause irritation.
  • Rare "soil minerals" have no research showing they offer any benefit to skin.

More info:

The fragrant oils in this somewhat abrasive cleanser cause irritation that hurts skin's healing process and its ability to act younger. If your skin is oily, these irritants can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse. Products like this are responsible for skin that appears dry at the surface, but feels oily underneath.


Gently exfoliate, cleanse and renew skin with this water-activated powder cleanser that’s powered by our 100% pure RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex. This concentrated formula delivers a brighter, smoother complexion with smaller-looking pores and a naturally luminous glow.


Kaolin, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Tapioca Starch, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Bicarbonate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Citric Acid, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Hydrated Silica, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Canola Oil, Soil Minerals, Calcium Sodium Phosphosilicate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Colloidal Oatmeal, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Leaf Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Extract, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Flower Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder, Beta-Carotene, Linalool, Cellulose Gum, Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Mica

Brand Overview

Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance

Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. Founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s Bare Escentuals was one of the first brands to introduce the concept of loose powder foundation. Since then, they have moved beyond it to include liquid foundations and tinted moisturizers and an ever expanding line of color cosmetics as well as skincare products.

The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skincare products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.

We should note that loose powder makeup does take some practice to get the hang of—yet there is no denying that this type of foundation has its fan base. There is a lot to love about Bare Escentuals, even if mineral makeup isn’t your thing (especially their price ranges, which have remained affordable in comparison to many of their neighbors at Sephora).

Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; some impressive foundations; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.

Weaknesses: Some of the loose powder products have texture and finish concerns; some of the skincare contain potentially problematic ingredients.

For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Love it!

I've used this exfoliating cleanser for years. It's one of my faves and keeps my skin problem-free. Paula may not like it, but I sure do!

Reviewed by
Patricia R.
Beautypedia Team Response

Hey there!  Thank you for your feedback - we're glad you've found something you love!  Also, The Paula’s Choice Research Team no longer reviews products for Beautypedia, and while The Beautypedia Team is still a part of Paula’s Choice Skincare, what’s new—and you may not yet have known—is that now we have two teams working independently to bring you the best quality reviews, products, and  research-supported expert advice you know and love. One team is dedicated to Beautypedia and product reviews from other brands; the other is dedicated to Paula’s Choice skincare and its unique combination of expertly formulated products and advice on a wide range of beauty-related topics.

I love this stuff!

Maybe the product composition has changed since 2013, but I LOVE this stuff and I have oily skin. I've been using it for 2 months. It melts the makeup off my face quickly and completely as well as waterproof mascara! When I go over with toner, I don't have a trace of makeup left. The texture is different but you get used to it. I also mix with a little liquid cleanser. When I travel, I use it alone. This is one of my must have's.

Reviewed by
Shelly S
I rarely get so frustratingly angry with a product.

It is a pain to use. It did not exfoliate as claimed. It did not really clean my face, forget taking makeup off. I think it broke me out, since it did not clean my face. Smells strange. I rarely hate a product, but I hate this stuff.

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