Natural Skin Care Review: Cleansers

If you missed the intro to my four part natural skin care review (and why I’ve selected these particular products) see it here!

And now…

Part 1: Cleansers

A good cleanser should leave your skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished but never dry and tight.  Often people can make the mistake of using too harsh of a cleanser when they have oily or acne-prone skin.  This in turn can strip the skin of its natural oils and disrupt the skin’s pH balance (ie. NOT a good scene).  If the skin feels tight after washing, it’s usually a sign that the water content of your skin has been stripped causing surface dead skin cells to build up.

When trying to see if a cleanser will have a strong drying effect look for sulfates, particularly sodium or ammonium lauryl sulfate in the ingredients list.

Verdict: This cleanser is a great gentle liquid cleanser that leaves the skin feeling soft and clean.  It has a beautiful calmingly floral scent and lathers nicely on the skin.  There is no residue or tightness left behind after rinsing.  After a few weeks of use skin is visibly glowing! 

In this formulation I especially like the use of:
  • Camellia sinensis (green tea) as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory
  • Matricaria recutita (chamomile) flower extract for its anti-inflamatory properties
  • Licorice root for natural brightening properties
Ingredients (*=certified organic ingredient): aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, decyl glucoside and sodium lauroyl lactylate, vegetable glycerin*, caprylyl capryl glucoside, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, helichrysum stoechas extract, glycrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract*, leuconostoc/arundinaria gigantea leaf/sorbus aucuparia fruit ferment filtrate, althaea officinalis (marshmallow root) extract*, gingko biloba extract*, matricaria recutita (chamomile) flower extract*, camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract*, sclerotium rolfsii gum, and a proprietary blend of organic and wild-harvested essential oils

                     Osmia Organics Black ClayFacial Soap ($22)

Verdict: Let me tell you – I have never in my life been so excited about a bar of soap, let alone thought that using bar soap was ok as a gentle facial cleanser but… it IS! And it is FAB-U-LOUS.  I encourage you to read Sarah’s article (the founder of Osmia Organics) on why handmade organic soap is not like the usual bars of soap we all know to be drying and generally not great.  

This soap completely removes all traces of make-up while still leaves my skin soft and supple – a hard task to accomplish!  It has a lovely fresh scent and creates a luxurious soft lather.  After a few days of washing up with this soap my skin’s winter dry patches have started to clear and I’ve noticed my overall complexion has evened out. Osmia has seriously made me look forward to washing my face every morning and night!

In this formulation I especially like the use of:
  • Olive, mango, almond, avocado, and jojoba oils - these oils are effective cleansers as well as extremely nourishing and moisturizing for the skin
  • Hematite (australian black) clay - as hematite has a high content of iron and essential minerals that help to replenish and regenerate the epidermis creating soft and conditioned skin
Ingredients (*=certified organic ingredient): saponified oils/butters of olea europaea (olive)*, elaeis guineensis kernel (palm kernel)*, mangifera indica (mango), prunus amygdalus (sweet almond)*, cocos nucifera (coconut)*, ricinus communis (castor bean)*, persea gratissima (avocado)*, and simmondsia chinensis (jojoba)*, coconut milk*, dead sea mud, hematite (australian black) clay, proprietary blend of essential oils*, and rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) antioxidant*, GMO-free vitamin E oil

          Holistic Vanity Rejuvenating Rosewater Cleanser ($30)

Verdict: A non-foaming very gentle cleanser especially suitable for individuals suffering from skin in need of some TLC.  It has a milky consistency that leaves skin soft and hydrated with a lovely floral smell.  I would personally recommend this to patients who suffer from post-acne hyperpigmentation, dermatitis, redness, and irritation from harsh product overuse.  

In this formulation I especially like the use of:
  • Tamanu Seed Oil: this incredible oil contains two compounds called calophyllolide (a coumarin and relative to cucurmin the active component in turmeric) and inophyllum which are responsible for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidant activity 
    • That means it’s great for stretch marks, burns, eczema, post-acne hyperpigmentation, and general tissue repair
  • Rose Hydrosol:  is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that is made from the water extracted from the rose petals.  It helps to keep the skin pH balanced and is also amazing for tissue repair, repairing wounds and burns and treating dermatitis (eczema)
  • Ginseng Root Extract: topically ginseng root has proven to have wound/tissue repairing properties due to it’s active component of ginsengoside Rd
    • An added bonus is there is some evidence that ginsengoside Rd also has somanti-cancer effects as well! 

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Water, Glycerine (vegetable-based), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil*, Cocoglucoside , Coconut Alcohol, leuconostoc root ferment filtrate (radish root natural preservative), Sucrose Cocoate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sclerotium Gum, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil*, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Lecithin, P-Anisic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil*    * Certified Organic

                          Living NatureVitalizing Cleanser ($35)

Verdict:  This is also a gentle, non-foaming cleanser.  I have a mixed skin type and I found that it left my skin neither oily or tight, which was a pleasant surprise.  I also don't use any make up so this was perfect to just get the day's dirt off my face before bed. I used this in combination with Living Nature's night toner and night cream and woke up with my skin feeling extra soft.

In this formulation I especially like the use of:
  • Manuka honey and manuka oil: A moisturizing and anti-microbial ingredient.  I have been a long time lover of manuka honey for any sort of wound or skin ailment to stimulate tissue repair – it really is a miracle healer
    • A natural antimicrobial, the power of honey to stimulate wound healing and promote healthy skin is well documented and scientifically proven. 
    • Naturally contains lactic acids (AHA’s), which aid in the clearing of dead skin cells
  • Kumerahou flower/leaf extract: Acts as a gentle cleanser and anti-microbial.  
    • This flower is native to New Zealand and contains natural foaming agents 
Ingredients (* From natural essential oils): Aqua (water), Cetearyl olivate (from olive oil), Sorbitan olivate (from olive oil), Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Macadamia ternifolia seed oil, Glycerin (vegetable glycerine), Pomaderris kumerahou flowers/leaf extract, Glucose (plant sugar), Mel (active manuka honey), Parfum (natural fragrance)*, Sclerotium gum, Decyl glucoside (from coconut oil), Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, Glucose oxidase (from milk), Lactoperoxidase (from milk), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil. Limonene*, Linalool*.

                         Pure+Simple Pure Skin Face Wash ($15)

Verdict:  A gentle cleanser for young or oily skin types. Good for those who need a gentle yet through cleansing regularly.  Unscented, this cleanser lathers into a thin foam and doesn’t leave skin tight or dry. 

In this formulation I especially like the use of:
  • Hydrolized Oat Protein: this helps skin to retain moisture as well as combats redness and irritation
  • Vitamin B5: topical use of vitamin B5 has shown to combat acne formation and help with tissue repair
  • Vitamin C: acts to help with tissue repair and as a natural brightener
Ingredients: Decyl Glucoside (Coconut/Corn derived Cleansing Agent), Cocoamidopropal Betainamide Mea Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hydrolized Oat Protein, Centipeda Cunninghamii (Austrailian Daisy) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Dehydroacidic acid, Benzol Alcohol (Food Grade Preservative), Magnesium Salicylate (plant derived salicylic acid salt), Magnesium Gluconate (Anti microbial), Citric acid, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phosphorous, Zinc, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5).

Verdict: Another gentle, non-foaming cleanser that is quite affordable and will last for quite a while as a little goes a long way.  The scent is a mild (yet refreshing) sweet citrus.   Overall, it does a good job of removing all traces of the day’s dirt and debris and skin is left feeling fresh and cleansed.  

In this formulation I especially like the use of:
  • Manuka honey: Moisturizing, anti-microbial, and great for tissue repair! 
  • Vitamin B5: Again, topical use of vitamin B5 has shown to combat acne formation and help with tissue repair
  • Vitamin C - Acts to help with tissue repair, collagen synthesis, and as a natural brightener

Ingredients: De-ionized Water, Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) Leaf Gel*, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Vegetable Glycerin, Carrageenan, Glucose/Glucose Oxidase/Lactoperoxidase (natural preservative), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Manuka Honey, Allantoin, d-Panthenol, Niacinamide (Niacin), d-alpha Tocpherol (Vitamin E), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Orange-Grapefruit Aroma and Citric Acid.  *Certified Organic

Have you guys tried any natural cleansers that you really love? Any that you really didn’t love? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Also, stay tuned for Part II: Exfoliants!


A long time athlete and health advocate,  Dr. Kumentas’ goal is to help her patients become excited about making positive lifestyle choices in order to enjoy healthier, happier lives.  Her driving force is a passion for healing the whole person on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level using carefully selected natural therapies, fitness, and integrated medicine.  She truly believes in the importance of practising what you preach and investing in your health.  
Dr. Nadia Kumentas practices at Zen Beginnings Wellness Centre in Toronto and has a special interest in dermatology, woman’s health, and pain management.

To learn more about Dr. Nadia Kumentas visit or contact her at


Katie R said...

I love my sukin cream cleanser, great ingredients and only $10!

Lizzie said...

I use the Osmia facewash and I love it. Happy to see it reviewed well!

N. Kumentas said...

Hey Katie! I will have to check out Sukin, I’ve been hearing good things about their skin care line!

Anastassia - Those products look beautiful! Where you you purchase them and do you have a favourite one?

Lizzie - Thank you! We loved it too :)

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