Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser

Price:
$38 - 8.4 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Face/Body Cleansers
Last Updated:
12/23/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

Sadly, this isn't a great cleanser for those with breakout-prone, oily skin or enlarged pores. Cucumber juice (which is 96% water) has no ability to tone or make large pores smaller, though it's not a problematic ingredient, just not capable of doing what Eminence claims.

Although this moisturizer contains the AHA ingredient lactic acid and the BHA ingredient salicylic acid, the product's pH is too high for either of them to function as exfoliants, plus these ingredients will be rinsed from skin before they have much time to work. And despite containing yogurt and yogurt being a source of probiotics, there's no research showing probiotics applied topically help skin, breakout-prone or not.

The formulary concerns for breakout-prone skin are one thing, but the main reason this cleansing milk isn't recommended is because it contains menthol, which is a skin irritant. Irritation is not the way to help breakout-prone skin become clearer, but it can potentially make it and oily skin worse. Also, in a cleanser, the AHA and BHA ingredients plus the menthol and tea tree oil are each problematic when used around the eyes, which you're likely to do when washing your face with this product.

Don't even get us started on the questionable manner in which the company lists the ingredients for this product. Some of them are not in compliance with regulatory standards for disclosing cosmetic ingredients—a trait common to many natural-themed lines.

Pros:
  • Contains some beneficial plant ingredients.
Cons:
  • Milky texture doesn't cleanse all that well and can leave a residue.
  • Probiotics in yogurt are not proven beneficial for topical use on skin..
  • Cannot make pores look smaller or control oil production (the latter is governed by hormones, not skin care).
  • Contains known skin irritant menthol.

Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser purifies your skin without stripping essential moisture for a clearer, more radiant complexion. Tea Tree oil neutralizes bacteria to prevent breakouts while astringent willow bark controls oil production. Lactic acid exfoliates while cucumber juice tones and shrinks pore size. A biocomplex of vitamins A, C, E, Coenzyme Q10 and antioxidants reduces the visible signs of aging.

Cucumber Juice, Willow Bark Extract, Sweet Almond Milk, Yogurt, Lactic Acid, Vegetable Glycerin , Xanthan Gum, Biocomplex (Vitamin A, Vitamin C Ester, Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha Lipoic Acid), Salicylic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Tea Tree Oil, Menthol.

Originally hailing from Hungary, Eminence Organics is now distributed from Canada (don't ask; it's a long, convoluted, somewhat hazy story involving an allegedly disloyal employee and trademark infringements), and is a huge assembly of products sold primarily in spas. Naturally, their claim to fame is the use of organic ingredients. Moreover, they use more food-based ingredients than any other line we know of, except for Lush. But are "organic" ingredients enough reason for you to consider this overly expensive line? Possibly, if you're looking for lunch—but if you're looking for great skin care, you'll find dozens of options that are superior to this one.

The whole issue of organic cosmetics could fill a book, but to put it briefly there are still no FDA-approved standards to meet for labeling cosmetic products as organic. The same is true in Canada, except in the province of Quebec. Beyond that, another element that's complicating this issue is the fact that even though lots of cosmetics contain organic ingredients, it's rarely the case that the entire formula is organic. Why? There are various reasons, but mostly it's because a number of synthetic ingredients, such as preservatives, are essential components of many cosmetic formulas. And they're there for a reason: The organic ingredients are not stable and will deteriorate without them. It also helps to remember that you can't put avocados (or any other food item) on your face to "feed" your skin. To make a long story short, these factors help explain why, until acceptable standards are in place, any cosmetic can sport an organic label without having to prove the claim.

More important than getting labeling standards in place is the fact that lots of plant extracts and essential oils have irritating properties that won't help skin in the least—so what difference does it make if they're organically grown or not? Environmental impact and sustainable farming notwithstanding, peppermint is a problem for skin, whether it's grown with or without pesticides. And lest we forget, the process of extraction is anything but natural.

Not surprisingly, there is a consortium of natural product–based companies attempting to standardize the definition and labeling of United States–sold cosmetics as organic. They are not only doing this out of frustration at seeing so many products mislabeled as "organic," but also no doubt were inspired by what occurred with regard to organic cosmetics in Europe in 2006. According to the Web site www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com, the Organic Farmers and Growers developed a cosmetics and body-care standard for companies that wanted to lure consumers with an organic label. Products that meet this group's standards (which are rigorous, but still respectful of current European cosmetic regulations, including the issue of animal testing) are allowed to sport the group's logo on their products, indicating to consumers that they meet organic standards. According to a July 2007 report in Organic Monitor, "With the absence of any major regulations and private standards for natural & organic cosmetics in the USA and Canada, North American companies are increasingly making products according to European standards." But keep in mind that this addresses only the issue of plant origin, not good skin care. Again, we aren't talking about diet.

Regardless of how things shake out in the United States and Canada, no one in the cosmetics industry doubts that organic products are a passing fad. Until the United States has formal standards, companies (such as Origins) are relying on third-party certification of their organic claims, a process tied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Getting back to Eminence Organics, we find it surprising that there is so much interest from my readers about this line. After all, if you're familiar with my work and my previous reviews of similar lines that use essential oils and other questionable natural ingredients, you can't expect me to give Eminence a glowing review. It's almost as though we are being asked about this line with the hopes that it will finally be the one that causes me to exclaim, "This is it! The search is over for all those seeking a pure and natural skin-care line. These products really do work and your fear of synthetics is over." Well, it's not. Eminence is not the answer, and in fact, unlike many other so-called natural lines, Eminence doesn't offer state-of-the-art, efficacious products. Many of these products are full of problematic ingredients, and other concerns abound.

For example, not one of the Eminence products contains a reliable preservative system (or any ingredients with known preserving qualities, at least against a wide spread of molds, bacteria, and fungi). This in itself is a problem, but it becomes a bigger problem because Eminence uses so many spoilage-prone food ingredients, including fruit pulp, yogurt, and pumpkin. Also, jar packaging is rampant, which means these light- and air-sensitive ingredients will degrade much faster than they would in better containers. According to correspondence we had with the company, they preserve their products with a blend of honey, lemon, and salicylic acid. Honey is not known to have any preservative qualities in the small amount present in cosmetic products. Lemon oil has some preservative ability due to its limonene content, but it must be present in at least a 4% concentration unless it is paired with other preservatives (and that amount would most definitely be irritating), and that is not the concentration used in these products. Salicylic acid is the most reliable preservative of the three, but even this is subject to formulary restrictions that Eminence doesn't consistently follow. Considering that salicylic acid is not a broad-spectrum preservative, you'd likely end up with a microbial soup (Source: Preservatives for Cosmetics, 2nd Edition, Allured, 2006).

Another questionable issue is Eminence's incorrect listing of certain ingredients. Of course, the plant and food ingredients are spelled out clearly, but the phrases "natural cream base," "glycine derivative," and "natural moisturizing factor" keep consumers in the dark about what these products really contain, and they don't meet the labeling regulations of any country on this planet. We suspect that the wordplay has to do with Eminence's goal of making sure that their labels appear to list only natural ingredients. If they truthfully displayed their full ingredient list according to labeling regulations, then their marketing slant and their credibility would be out the door.

There really is very little to recommend about this line; even their decent products could easily be made at home with food ingredients, oils, and a blender. We wouldn't recommend making your skin-care products in your kitchen, however, because your skin deserves better support. (In the same way, we wouldn't recommend that you run or exercise in your bare feet, though that would be pretty natural—just not healthy.) But for those who are intrigued by the concept the homemade option would beat spending way too much money on Eminence Organics products.

For more information about Eminence Organic Skin Care, call (888) 747-6342 or visit www.eminenceorganics.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. Julie S
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 20, 2014
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Love the Entire Probiotic Line from Eminence
    • I have been using this cleanser for almost two years. It gently cleanses my combination skin and balances it out. It feels refreshing on the skin and I even use it to remove eye makeup. I don't find it irritating in the slightest.

  2. Joan V
    Reviewed on Friday, May 30, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    Product Update
    • After buying the bottle, it has held up, particularly in conjunction with the sample of vanilla lotion I got with it. Wish I could afford it and wish it was properly labeled. It makes your skin feel so clean, with no tightness from being too dry. It's awesome, but too expensive, and dishonestly packaged. But if they ever get their act together, it works really well!

  3. Joan V
    Reviewed on Saturday, December 28, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser is good
    • I actually loved how this made my skin feel - clean but not dry, and it felt that way for days after washing (I was traveling). I used samples and loved it. Just bought the way-overpriced bottle so we'll see how it goes once you use it more often.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice 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 herself.

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