APR 05 2016

goop by Juice Beauty Luminous Melting Cleanser

This is an oil-based cleanser, like the One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil I reviewed here. Goop’s version is paired with a face towel and a tiny spoon for scooping out the product. The cleanser is solid in the jar, but when you scoop it out with the spoon and onto your fingers, it softens into a thick oil that you massage onto your face and neck. It does a good job of removing liquid and powder foundation, and even eye makeup. Although, as I’ve mentioned before, I always use a separate eye makeup remover (my old faithful, Bioderma Sensibio H2O micelle solution). To remove the cleanser you need to follow the instructions provided: soak the included cloth with warm water and gently rub off the cleanser. If you simply rinse off the cleanser with water, your face will be coated with an oily residue. I tried this and suffered the consequence so that you wouldn't have to!

The cleanser certainly hydrates your skin with its blend of almond, olive and coconut oils, as well as shea and cocoa seed butters. There are also several essential oil blends and plant extracts not commonly found in a cleanser. Ever heard of Sweet Iris Leaf Cell Extract? How about Poet’s Daffodil Flower Extract? Me neither. Goop claims that Sweet Iris, “reinforces skin's protective barrier while helping to decrease the appearance of wrinkles and promote firmness and elasticity”. A red flag goes up for me whenever a product claims it can decrease the appearance of wrinkles (unless we’re talking about a retinoid, which does help wrinkles). I find it hard to believe that Sweet Iris Leaf Cell Extract can make wrinkles less visible, especially in a cleanser which stays in contact with your skin for mere minutes. What may diminish the appearance of wrinkles for a short time after using this cleanser is the rich, hydrating blend of oils and butters that will - very temporarily - soften lines and wrinkles. But a moisturizer does the same job, and the effect lasts much longer on your skin.

Goop claims that Poet’s Daffodil, “reduces the appearance of brown spots while helping to prevent further pigmentation, leaving a clarified, more even complexion”. A plant extract that’s left on your face for a few minutes has the ability to reduce brown spots? I had large brown spots on my chest area from reckless tanning as a teenager. I tried half a dozen topical prescription creams, none of which worked. The only thing that eliminated them was several rounds of laser treatments by a dermatologist. And the claim that Poet’s Daffodil helps prevent further pigmentation? The only thing that prevents pigmentation is staying away from UV rays.

The moisturizing effect of this cleanser is undeniable, and your skin will never feel stripped after washing. My problem with it, in addition to the questionable claims about some of the ingredients, is this: even after diligently using the cloth to remove the product, a film of oil remains on my face. It’s not visible but I can feel it, and the effect is that my face just doesn't feel totally clean. The product is so rich that it’s difficult to fully wash it off. And I wonder whether the products I apply after cleansing will be able to fully penetrate my skin. A comparable organic, non-toxic oil-based cleanser, One Love Organics’ Vitamin B Cleansing Oil, leaves my face equally soft and glowing but rinses off clean with much less effort.

3.3 fl oz (US $90) To buy, visit