Philosophy purity cleanser...

I don't usually do these kinds of posts, my general rule is, if I don't like something, I won't talk about it. This is mostly down to the fact that beauty is so individual, what works for me may not work for you. I'm always happy to discuss my experiences and thoughts, but an out and out, 'I hate this product post', I tend to stay away from.

This could also be because, other than now, I can't really think of a product I actually hate. Not mad about sure, can take or leave, but hate, I don't know that I've ever actively hated anything. Mostly because I really research a product or try and get samples before committing due to not wanting to waste money on things that aren't going to work for me. So saying that if I do buy a product, generally I get on with it, then I just need to decide if I can live without it.

Enough waffling, let's get to the point. I was given the Purity Cleanser by Philosophy at a recent press day I attended, I was happy to try it as I've heard such mixed reviews on this product, it's not something I was planning to go out and buy to try, but as I had it I thought it my duty to try it out.

As the name and lengthy description on the bottle suggests, this cleanser is pure, natural and should replace all 3 steps in your cleansing routine. Taking one look at the ingredients list I would instantly suspect this cleanser is most definitely not pure or simple in anyway.

But I'm not the greatest when it comes to deciphering the inner workings of a beauty product so I decided to give it a go. I have really sensitive eyes and so decided not to use this on them and after using the cleanser only twice, I'm so glad I didn't because who knows, I could be blind by now!

After cleansing with this product twice my skin really did not take a liking to it. I woke up the next morning with my left eye streaming and pretty inflamed underneath, as I mentioned I didn't even use this on my eyes and having not changed any other product in my regime, I can only suspect by using it even slightly close to the outside of my eye socket, I reacted. I also had really sore patches between my eyebrows and up onto my forehead, as well as red, sore, blotchy cheeks, my go to sign that a product isn't working for me. I wouldn't say I have sensitive skin so I felt compelled to have a closer look at the ingredients to see if anything stood out to me. The first thing I saw that jumped out to me was Black Pepper...why the hell would you need black pepper to cleanse something as sensitive as your skin?! I found this really useful article that can explain the awful ingredients a lot better than I can, highlighting that one of the ingredients even releases formaldehyde...brill.

As I say I don't have particularly sensitive skin and have never reacted this badly to a product but there was one positive that came out of this, I rediscovered how good the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is. I usually have this on the back burner, something I can use if my skin is acting pretty normal and as it happens, a great product to swoop in and save my skin after such a bad reaction.

Have you used this cleanser and had any reactions?


  1. Hi Mary,
    I too bought this cleasnser due to all the hype and its also supposed to be one of Sephoras biggest sellers. It totally stripped my skin! My face felt so tight and sore after using that I knew something wasnt right. i looked this product up in Paula Begoun's "Beautipedia" which states that this is one of the worst cleansers out there and can actually harm your skin over time. People swear by this product but I think they're just buying into packaging/marketing hype.

  2. Wow, that's crazy you had such a bad reaction! Considering the ingredients though, it makes sense. I just say it's rather crazy because I used this cleanser for a while and it was great for me. It didn't particularly make my skin more clear but it was a great cleanser and makeup remover. I don't recall having any negative reactions besides it stinging a bit when I took off my eye makeup.
    But pepper??? Aaaanyway.

  3. I used to love philosophy a) for their cool, quirky bottles and b) because the shower gel smelled like puddings. A puddingy shower is always a good thing. I haven't branched out to their non-shower gel items yet, but I'm not sure I want to now, espec. as I have super sensitive skin. Your reaction doesn't sound good!