I'm continuing to work on my sample stash, but the review process is getting bogged down with various treatment products. To detest a lipstick or nail polish is for me, the work of a moment, but if a product comes with 15 burn-off-your-wrinkles-and-brown-spots pads, I feel duty-bound to to use all 15 before weighing in.
However, things are simplified when skincare arrives in a single-use packet.
|Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, 1.7 oz., $15.00; picture courtesy of Nordstrom|
This product has been reviewed hundreds of times on MakeupAlley and thousands of times on Sephora. Mind you, I didn't actually read these reviews before I tried the product, because it wasn't necessary. This wasn't a cloth mask imbued with eau de unicorn tears accompanied by instructions written in Korean. It was a water-soluble cleanser in a single-use packet.
There are ups and downs to these packets, which I feel pressed to bloggersplain to you. It can be hard to tell how much product to use, even when common sense tells you, duh, it's a single-use packet. With things like hair conditioner, the amount you use depends on the amount and condition of your hair. And sometimes the product you're sampling is incredibly expensive, and you're trying your utmost to avoid wasting even a drop, because you can dimly sense the shades of your Puritan ancestors judging you for your spendthrift-y wastefulness.
But with a tiny packet of facial cleanser, even an over-thinker can guess the amount required, so I ripped open the packet and rubbed its contents over my face.
This is a lotion-y, non-foaming cleanser, a lot like Cetaphil, except with fancier ingredients.
|Ingredient list courtesy of Nordstrom's helpful website.|
As you can see, the ingredients feature a lot of bland, inoffensive stuff, as well as small amounts of plant oils and extracts.
This product is sulfate- and paraben-free.
It feels like a lotion on the skin. In fact, it shares an okra-water-like slimy lotion texture with Cetaphil, its much cheaper, less allergenic, more widely available comrade in cleansing.
Like Cetaphil, it doesn't strip the skin.
It worked fine as a wake-up-the-face morning shower cleanser.
The product's claims are unconvincing. Fresh touts its use of soy, but as always, in a cleanser, the ingredients are on your face for an extremely short time, so whatever miracles soy is supposed to perform probably won't have time to occur.
It has limited cleansing abilities. It won't remove heavy makeup or sunscreen unless you also use some kind of mechanical exfoliation, either by washcloth or Clarisonic.
It has fragrance. A strong cucumber fragrance
which I hated.
I like cucumbers, and I don't, in general, mind the smell of cucumber in my skincare (RIP Caswell Massey Cucumber cold cream) but this stuff just flat out reeked. Some reviewers pick up notes of rose, etc., which makes sense, given the ingredient list. All I smelled was a composting heap of cucumber skin.
And I realized something. Life's too short to use beauty products that
First of all, taking care of yourself should be one of life's great sensual pleasures. Your creams and lotions should look, smell, and fell wonderful—to you, not a random bunch of reviewers. If you adore the scent of Fresh Soy Cleanser, that's great; use and enjoy. But I'd be kicking myself if I'd popped for a full-size tube based on the reviews, because I would have never reached for it.
Which leads me to the second half of my epiphany. Bought-but-not-used products make me feel bad. They don't spark joy; they spark guilt. If I had purchased a tube of this cleanser, it would get shoved aside and neglected. And then the shades of my Puritan ancestors would gang up on me and make me feel terrible.
This shit smells terrible, and it was with an overwhelming sense of joy that I threw the empty packet into the bin.