12.18.2013
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Simple for Men Hydrating Face Wash
Rating
6 fl. oz. for $4.50
Category:Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > After Shaves
Last Updated:12.18.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Most men want their skin care to be simple, which is all fine and good, but this cleanser from the Simple brand can make skin care complicated for a guy. This formula is yet another reminder that most products aimed at men are poorly formulated.

This cleansing gel could've been great for guys with normal to oily skin, but it contains a high amount of the skin irritant menthyl lactate, along with several fragrant oils that pose further risk of irritation. A cleanser doesn't need to cool, tingle, or feel bracing in order to work—those sensations are your skin telling you it's being irritated, not freshened as claimed, which causes redness and makes razor bumps worse, just the opposite of what Simple asserts!

Simple's skin-care statement is as follows: "Our philosophy is: Simple says—never use perfumes, dyes or harsh irritants that can upset your skin. Simple says—settle for only the purest possible ingredients. Simple says—trust the natural goodness in all of our products especially for sensitive skin." That's a good philosophy, but, unfortunately, most of Simple's products don't live up to their lofty goals. There are fragrant ingredients in many of their products; there are potentially irritating preservatives in some of their products; their sun-protection products contain synthetic sunscreen ingredients, which aren't the best for sensitive skin; and many of their ingredients are not natural. (We know their claim of natural goodness doesn't state outright that they use only natural ingredients, but that's what they imply, and many consumers will believe it.)Please see our list of Best Cleansersfor lots of gentle, gender-neutral face-wash options.

Pros:
  • Easy-to-rinse gel texture with a light lather.
  • Inexpensive.
Cons:
  • Contains a high amount of the "cooling" skin irritant menthyl lactate.
  • The fragrant oils pose a risk of irritation, especially on sensitive skin.
  • This formula isn't hydrating as claimed.
Claims

Our Hydrating Face Wash is a soap free blend of ingredients to help to remove oily grime and freshen the skin ready for shaving. The unique formula softens stubble and helps protect against irritation, reducing spots and rashes.

Ingredients

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sorbitol, Sodium Chloride, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Menthyl Lactate, Panthenol, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Benzophenone-4, Copper PCA, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Melaleuca Alternifolia Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Citric Acid

Brand Overview

Simple At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; Simple provides complete product ingredient lists on its Web site; good makeup removers; a few cleansers for sensitive skin; all of the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection.

Weaknesses: Poor selection of products for oily, acne-prone skin; no options for those with discolorations; several products that claim to be great for sensitive skin but contain ingredients that will make sensitive skin worse; mostly unexciting, dated moisturizers, especially those in the Regeneration or Repair lines.

Simple is a United Kingdom–based skin-care line whose self-described claim to fame is that they're the "pre-eminent brand of skincare and toiletries products developed especially for sensitive skin." They also claim to be the United Kingdom's No. 1 skin care-brand, as measured by units sold, and given the line's wide distribution and low price point, the sales figures are probably accurate. But, although their sales claim may be accurate, Simple's claims about their products being good for sensitive skin are spurious at best because too many of the ingredients are completely inappropriate for sensitive skin.

Simple skin care states the following: “Our philosophy is: Simple says - never use perfumes, dyes or harsh irritants that can upset your skin. Simple says - settle for only the purest possible ingredients.  Simple says - trust the natural goodness in all of our products especially for sensitive skin.” Although that's a good philosophy, most Simple products don’t live up to their lofty goals. There are fragrant ingredients in many of their products, they use potentially irritating preservatives in some of their products, their sun protection products use synthetic sunscreen ingredients which aren’t the best for sensitive skin, and many of their ingredients are not natural (we know their claim of natural goodness doesn’t say outright that they only use natural ingredients but many consumers will think that’s what's being implied)

Unfortunately, there are no standards in Europe or anywhere else that regulate which cosmetic products can be deemed suitable for sensitive skin and which cannot. Therefore, any company can make that claim for its products, regardless of what the products contain. It's not all bad news though, as several of Simple's products are fragrance-free, which is a key starting point for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

As mentioned above, the price point for Simple is low; in fact, it is one of the least expensive cosmetic brands you’ll find in the United Kingdom (and a small assortment of their products are sold in the U.S., too). We are all for consumers getting more for their money, but in most cases with Simple you're being shortchanged, and that’s not the way to save money. Most of their products are either very basic or the frills and good ingredients are but a dusting in an otherwise ordinary formula. There are few outstanding products in this line, which is similar throughout the industry.

The anti-aging products are a great example of Simple's combination of low prices and lofty claims, with nary an ingredient on the list capable of delivering any benefit over and above a Band-Aid®. Even the most state-of-the-art moisturizers and anti-aging products won't bring about a significant reduction in wrinkles or other signs of aging, but using well-formulated products (and they don't have to be expensive) helps a great deal. Overall the folks behind Simple took their name too literally.

For more information about Simple, call 0121-712-6523 or visit www.simple.co.uk.

Note: All prices are given in United States currency.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-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.

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