One of the little things in life that makes me very happy is a set of fluffy, white, Downy-scented towels. You can find a set in every bathroom in my house.
This love was tested by crappy facial cleansers. Sick of having my white towels looking like they’d been shot by Homer’s makeup gun, I decided to set out on a difficult quest to find the perfect cleanser that effectively removed all of my makeup without stripping my face of its natural oils. I thought it was high time to start double-cleansing to ensure I’m washing all that makeup off on a daily basis.
After trying several cleansers, I found about three that I really liked: Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleansing Gel & Eye Makeup Remover (a solid B+ product), Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel (a tad harsh but excellent), and La Mer The Cleansing Gel (too expensive).
While each of these products are great at removing makeup, I wanted to add an oil cleanser before washing with gel to ensure I was getting everything off with the added bonus of extra moisture and hydration.
While on a little shopping jaunt, I popped into Marshall’s and was surprised to see a bunch of Erno Laszlo products at vastly reduced prices. Erno Laszlo was a brand that I had seen around for years and was anxious to try. Known to be pretty pricey like La Mer, I didn’t give it too much thought as I expected it to be pretty inaccessible.
A quick video of the Erno Laszlo Cleansing Method…
With all of my research on Korean beauty products, I vowed to start “double-cleansing” – an important part of the Korean beauty regime. As I stared excitedly at the Erno Laszlo bounty that Marshall’s provided me, I settled on the Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar ($19.99) and Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil ($22.99).
Before I go into my review of these two products, a little about “Dr. Ernő László”. Ernő László has been in business since 1927, opening his first institute in Hungary devoted to skin care and “scientific cosmetology”. He became famous after developing a custom foundation for Princess Stéphanie of Belgium which greatly reduced her severe acne. He then successfully treated the facial scars of an actress who had been shot in the face. After these two high profile successes, his list of clients grew enormously and included such notable figures as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner and Audrey Hepburn.
Some of Dr. Laszlo’s techniques are controversial, such as his “splashing technique” shown in the video a few paragraphs above. His splashing technique involves using hot water which is drying, irritating and if you are not careful, can cause broken capillaries.
Now, on to the review.
Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar
I wouldn’t normally buy a bar of soap to use on my face, but I’d been meaning to try this for years, so I thought I would give it a go. This soap comes with very specific instructions, as follows:
- Fill your sink with comfortably hot water. Red flag right there!
- Dip the bar into the water and massage into your face.
- Set bar aside and massage your face again with your fingers.
- Splash the hot water onto your face 20 times. This is known as the “Dr. Laszlo Splashing Technique”.
- Splash the face another 10 times using clean, hot, running water.
- Blot face with a towel and use the toners, treatments and moisturizers in the Laszlo line.
- This soap contains Dead Sea mud from the Jordan River, which is reknown for its skin rejuvenating qualities including oil control and brightness. It is also supposed to boost circulation.
- It is free of sulfates (drying irritants), parabens and pthalates (both potentially carcinogenic).
- It smells quite pleasant – softly of flowers.
- Does a wonderful job at removing “day makeup”. Not sure if it would remove heavy makeup or waterproof eye makeup.
- The soap itself is beautiful with its unusual charcoal colour.
- Comes with a handy travel container.
- It’s expensive. Even at the reduced price of $19.99, I found it expensive. It retails normally for $45. I do not think this bar of soap is worth that at all.
- It’s a bar of soap. Bars of soap are not fun to transport, travel container or not. Most of them become mushy if not allowed to dry. Bars of soap also contain drying, harsh ingredients – most of which are necessary to simply attain the qualities of a “bar of soap” such as tallow, waxes, etc.
- The bar of soap is huge. It’s a little awkward to use and I gave up on massaging that brick into my face. I simply rubbed it into my hands and then massaged my face with the pads of my fingers.
- The whole “Dr. Laszlo Cleansing Method” of splashing your face with hot water is bad, as noted above.
Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil
This product was the one I was really after. I had been reading about how great it is for years. I noticed during my hunt for oil cleansers that they are all really expensive! What the hell? I guess it’s because of their new found popularity…
This was EXCELLENT at removing makeup. This oil is very thick and heavy, doesn’t smell great, but doesn’t smell bad either. Smells a tad weird – I can’t describe it, unfortunately. Reminds me slightly of something I’d use to grease hinges. I better hide it from my husband.
- Left my skin feeling incredibly soft! Used in conjunction with the soap, I think this would be an all-star duo for those with dry to very dry skin. My skin hadn’t felt that soft in a while.
- Contains several plant oils such as kernel oil, kukui nut oil (soothing), safflower, apricot, grapeseed and avocado oils, among others.
- *Contains Vitamin C (boosts collagen production) and Vitamin E (antioxidant – protects against free radical damage).
- Absolutely and completely effective at removing the most stubborn of makeup including waterproof eyeliner and mascara.
- The packaging (of this whole line) despite being around for decades, still looks cool, simplistic and modern. Looks good on the bathroom counter.
*Not sure if either of these are stable in the type of container that this oil is sold in.
- It contains mineral oil which is VERY heavy and greasy. Mineral oil is in a ton of beauty products and shouldn’t make you break out, but it’s important to wash your face thoroughly to ensure a clean feeling.
- I would not recommend this product for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Consult your dermatologist first, or try an OTC acne treatment at the very least. This product did not make me break out personally, but I’m not sure if that would be the case for others.
- It’s expensive at $55, but definitely worth it at $22.99.
- It smells strange. Again, I cannot quite put my finger on it, but it most certainly does not smell like a field of flowers!
Overall, I would recommend both of these products. I personally feel there are better facial soap options out there that I would recommend over the Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar, but I am glad that I bought it. It will serve as a great back up when I run out of my favourite cleanser!
Have any of you tried these two products? Have any oil cleansers to recommend? Please share in the comments!