12.18.2014
8
11
Checks and Balances, Frothy Face Wash
Rating
5 fl. oz. for $21.50
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:12.18.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Checks and Balances, Frothy Face Wash is a very drying, alkaline cleanser that’s made even more troublesome because it contains spearmint, lavender, and geranium oils.

Claims

When it comes to faces with dry and oily places, it takes a clever cleanser to balance the two. This gentle, frothy face wash carefully does both jobs without canceling each other out.

Ingredients

Water, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Potassium Myristate, Glycerin, Potassium Behenate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Potassium Palmitate, Potassium Laurate, Potassium Stearate, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Flower Oil, Linalool, PEG-3 Distearate, Tourmaline, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-7, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Brand Overview

Origins At-A-Glance

Strengths: The makeup products fare best including liquid concealer, blush, brow enhancer, and lip liner; very good makeup brushes composed of synthetic hair.

Weaknesses: Almost every skincare product contains potent irritating ingredients; no products to effectively address needs of those with acne or skin discolorations; some of the makeup products contain irritating ingredients.

Started in 1990, Origins was Estee Lauder's contribution to the (still going strong) demand for natural products. Their approach and claims all hinge on the wonder of plants and the allegedly miraculous properties they offer for skin, whether it be dry, sensitive, oily, or simply showing the effects of time. Here's the issue: Just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients, there are good and bad natural ones. Ironically, Origins isn't all that "natural" because it uses its share of synthetic ingredients, and the plant extracts they do use include some that are bad for skin.

We have never been opposed to using natural ingredients. However, it lacks integrity when a company throws in any plant ingredient with no proven benefit for skin beyond anecdotal information, and then boasts about all sorts of improbable results. It becomes a far more serious issue when the natural ingredients in question have published research showing that they are in fact irritating or damaging to skin. That's the predicament of reviewing Origins' skin care products: almost every product they sell contains several volatile oils (another term for essential oils), all of which have their share of negative qualities when used on skin. In their attempt to appear more natural, Origins uses quite a bit of these offending ingredients, and they're often listed before the much more beneficial additives, such as antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-identical ingredients.

You might be wondering why, if Origins has had such continued success, their products can be such a problem for skin? Can't women just use what they like? The answer is two-fold: yes women can use what they like, but often women like what isn't good for them. For example, smoking is bad for skin (and for your lungs), but lots of people smoke; getting a tan from the sun is bad for your skin, but lots of people spend time outdoors getting a tan; and using products that contain irritating ingredients is bad for your skin, and lots of products come to the table with these inconsistencies.

As we have explained in the introduction to the book, there is a litany of problems that take place when skin is irritated or inflamed, but fundamentally this results in the skin's immune system becoming impaired, collagenase (the breakdown of collagen) occurs, and the skin is stripped of its outer protective barrier. What is perhaps most shocking is that all of these damaging responses can be taking place underneath the skin and you won't even notice it on the surface. The clearest example of this is the significant and carcinogenic effect of the sun's "silent" UVA rays. You don't feel the penetration of these mutagenic rays, but they are taking a toll on your skin nonetheless (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2006, pages 30–38; International Journal of Toxicology, May-June 2006, pages 183–193;Skin Research and Technology; November 2001, pages 227–237; Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 16–25; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, May 2004, pages 327–337; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, November 2003, pages 663–669; Drugs, 2003 volume 63, issue 15, pages 1579–1596; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, March 2002, pages 138–146; Cosmetics & Toiletries, November 2003, page 63; Global Cosmetics, February 2000, pages 46–49; and Contact Dermatitis, February 1995, pages 83–87).

Most of the Lauder companies really have their acts together when it comes to formulating state-of-the-art moisturizers, serums, and sunscreens that leave out the problematic plant extracts (and that represents a lot of products given the almost two dozen cosmetics companies under the Lauder corporate banner). Origins is the exception, and we encourage my readers who prefer to shop for skin care at the department store to explore the truly far better options from Clinique, Estee Lauder, Prescriptives, M.A.C., Bobbi Brown, or even La Mer. Even salon-styled Aveda, also owned by Lauder, with a natural theme similar to Origins, has less problematic formulas.

For more information about Origins, owned by Estee Lauder, call (800) 674-4467 or visit www.origins.com.

Origins Makeup

Compared to the makeup offered by almost all of the other Estee Lauder–owned lines, Origins falls short by virtue of including ingredients that align with its marketing image of offering natural ingredients that have the blessing of Mother Nature regardless of the risks they pose for skin. As omnipotent as Mom may be, this force of nature is a disaster waiting to happen. A secondary reason Origins isn't competing as well with its sister companies is that for many products (particularly the lipsticks, blush, and cleverly named but non-essential specialty products) the technology isn't as advanced. That lack of technological creativity combined with significant amounts of hostile essential oils will help you understand why we recommend exploring similar, but superior (and irritant-free), options from any of the other Lauder companies from Clinique to M.A.C.

If you're prone to being swayed by the promises of natural products (though Origins is not any more natural than many other lines, it just uses the most problematic plant extracts possible), there are a few outstanding gems to unearth here, and at prices that aren't unrealistic. Additionally, Origins' latest tester units, especially in their freestanding stores, are accessible and user-friendly. They include pull-out counters for added space and feature large mirrors. Combine this with a low-key yet helpful sales staff and knowing what to zero in on and you'll find shopping the best of Origins is a pleasure.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Results
Value
Recommend
WRITE A COMMENT
Sort by:
Page:
03.04.2015
I love this face wash

This is working great on my combination skin. Contrary to the official review, I've never found it drying in the least. As for the potentially irritating plant oils, is it really a concern with a product that is washed away within seconds?

Value
Results
Recommend
Reviewed by
Lulle
02.03.2015
Checks and Balances face wash

This is a great product. It only takes a little teeny amount to clean your whole face so it is a good value. Plus I have completely stopped breaking out since using it. No other face wash that I have used has done that. even though I am 54 years old I have combination skin. But ever since using this not only does my skin look better but it feels better. I do not understand the poor reviews of this product.

Value
Results
Recommend
Reviewed by
Lee D.
02.01.2015
Meh.

It's not the worst, but you could do a lot better. (Try First Aid Beauty's Face Cleanser instead.) I have combination skin and while this didn't break me out or make me flaky, it felt a little too stripping and at the same time, it wouldn't get all my eye makeup off.

Value
Results
Recommend
Reviewed by
Anonymous
01.04.2015
I like Checks and Balances

I've been using Retin-A for a decade for acne along with benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin in the mornings. During the winters, especially, my skin gets painfully dry. I've used a variety of other ultra-gentle face washes but my skin consistently peels and is flaky and/or those face washes don't adequately remove makeup. I received a sample of this and it was amazing. In the midst of winter, I could wash my face and it didn't hurt or sting afterwards.

Results
Value
Recommend
Reviewed by
Anonymous
10.21.2014
Love this Product

I have used this for years now. I have combination skin, I live in a cold climate most of the year. I have never had a problem with this being to drying or causing breakouts. I love this product and it is well worth the money.

Results
Recommend
Value
Reviewed by
Tracie P.
10.06.2014
Good Product

I don't understand the low rating. This is the first skin product I have tried that doesn't make my skin irritated or start drying out. I think it should be a case by case basis by person.

Recommend
Value
Results
Reviewed by
Julia L.
07.29.2014
Great

I don't know why this has such a poor rating. Honestly I'm skeptical about the whole rating system. I have fairly sensitive skin and this didn't irritate it at all. I felt it did exactly what it claimed. My face felt clean, but not dry or 'tight'.

Recommend
Results
Value
Reviewed by
El O
01.21.2013
A tube of liquid bar soap.

I used this when I first started to enhance my beauty routine with fancy products. At first I loved it because of how squeaky clean it made my face. Now I understand that this is a bad thing. This is like a tube of liquid bar soap. It'll foam up and clean your face, but it really strips it down. I won't use it again.

Results
Value
Recommend
Reviewed by
Lauren C.
WRITE A COMMENT
Enter a title for your review
 
First Name, Last Initial
Optional
Email Address
 
How would you rate this product on the following:
Results
Value
Recommend
     
     
     
Review
500 characters left
 
SUBMIT
CANCEL

Terms of Use

585630-IIS2 v1.0.0.379 4/1/2015 3:14:10 AM