Friday, 31 January 2014

Review: Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil

image from because I give up on photographing reflective bottles

If I had been blogging long enough and had enough readers to use rewardstyle links and therefore so inclined to do a “Best of 2013” list of favourite products, this would definitely be on it. 

I first started using oil cleansers when I switched to Bare Minerals make-up and realised (much to my horror, because it took me a few days) that that sh*t does not come off easy. I washed my face three times over with my usual cream cleanser and it STILL didn't all come off! So I figured I'd go all hardcore and get an oil cleanser. Since I started using cleansing oils, the condition of my skin has improved hugely with spot outbreaks becoming less and less frequent. I can't imagine myself not using oil cleansers now - an essential product for anyone who uses suncream and/or foundation.

The Options:
I was going to go right ahead and buy from Shu Uemura, the king of oils, since he brought the trend to the West and all, but I'd never realised how expensive they are!! :o The classic comes in two sizes: £29.50/150ml or £59.00/450ml, which works out at £39.34/200ml or £26.22/200ml.
I'm willing to pay for a good product, but not this. Number one on the ingredients list is mineral oil. I know it’s quite en vogue to hate on mineral oil nowadays because it sits on the skin doing nothin'. (I avoid it like the plague because of Pond's Cold Cream) It's also a cheap ingredient - I’ll be darned if I’m paying £60 for a bottle!

So I decided to look at others. I googled "Japanese skincare in the UK" and came across DHC Deep Cleansing Oil which retails for £21.50/200ml at Selfridges. I don't have a logical explanation for not choosing this one. I thought it might be a bit gross because it's olive oil based - although I went and bought one with olive fruit oil.
The next brand I looked at was Origins. Their Clean Energy cleanser also contains olive fruit oil plus a mix of about 50 others. I checked the ingredients and reviews which both looked OK so I got it. It’s £21/200ml but rather annoyingly it doesn’t come with a pump (£2). So it’s really £23. I suppose this makes repurchase cheaper but seriously how much would it cost to make it with a pump? 
Anyhoo. On to the review:

{ Ingredients }
Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, PEG-25 Glyceryl Trioleate, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Fusanus Spicatus (Australian Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Amyris Balsamifera (Sandalwood) Bark Oil, Linalool, Limonene, Sorbitan Trioleate, Tocopheryl Acetate

I'll probably do this in every review, but I cannot emphasise the importance of checking ingredients enough!
So it's quite frustrating that Origins don't publish the ingredients on their website ... WHY!? Do you not want me to know what I'm buying?? Companies do themselves no favours by making you look elsewhere to find an ingredients list - I got it from Beautypedia, and its too bad for Origins that it receives a crappy review.
[Side note: the poor review is because of the supposedly irritating plant oils. I haven't experienced any problems though. Unless the irritation hasn't manifested itself on the surface of the skin? Who knows.]

The Good:
It does the job! Simply dispense 2-3 pumps into your hands and massage all over your face. (Don’t imagine it to be like slathering your face in cooking oil - it’s not gross like that at all.) Then wet your hands a little and massage your face summore and the oil emulsifies (it turns milky white). Rise off with warm water and voila! Full face of make-up, gone! I was expecting there to be an oily residue or greasy feeling (like Ultrabland - eurgh) but there was nothing! Just smooth soft skin. (Sidenote: I always double cleanse. Just to make sure my skin is clean)
There’s definitely been an improvement in my skin since I started using it. (FYI I have spot-prone skin, probably hormonal breakouts. Perfect clear skin as a teen, hit 20s and bam, skin turns to sh*t.) I’m not going to made big lofty claims about this being so amazing it will change your life. Frankly I don't believe any one product used alone can really do that for you. It makes a better cleansing routine, and I'd say my skincare routine is finally coming together to give me better skin. :)

The Bad:
The aforementioned lack of pump. But I forgive you Origins. At least I'll be able to pack it in a suitcase.

I’m not sure if the next two things are characteristic of oil cleansers or this one in particular (since I have no comparison).
-Consistency: I was expecting this be thicker (more like Bertolli) but it’s quite thin. Sometimes you feel like you need more product.
-Emulsification: I was expecting this to feel thicker (like milk - more food association). But then again what do I know. I could just be hungry.
I wouldn't say either is “bad” though.

The Final Say:
It works. The price is decent. Pump aside, my only qualm is with how long it lasted. Mine lasted around 4 months, I think. (?? Note to self, dig out the receipt) That might be the average for oils, but I'm use to using cream cleansers which last much, much longer.

It's not cheap, but it's still cheaper than most other oils. Compare it to these Japanese brands, for example:
Sensai Cleansing Oil, £40/150ml
SUQQU Reset Cleansing Oil, £33/150ml
RMK Cleansing Oil, £29/175ml
Shu Uemura Classic Cleansing Oil, £29.50/150ml or £59.00/450ml
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, £21.50/200ml

For an equivalent 200ml bottle, these would cost:
£53.34 (Sensai)
£44.00 (SUQQU) (How on earth do you pronounce SUQQU? Su-Kyu? Sukotto?)
£33.14 (RMK)
£39.34 or £26.22 , depending on the size. (Shu-Chan)

Price wise the only comparable product is DHC. Why are there so few brands to choose from!? I'm patiently waiting for the cleansing oil to trend to hit like BBs did and I'll have dozens to choose from...
I’m quite keen to try out cleansing balms too. I have a few odd samples from Elemis and The Organic Pharmacy, which I’ll be trying out and reviewing soon :) Might even give the famous Eve Lom cleanser a whirl.


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