All About: The French Sea Clay + Pineapple Enzyme Cleanser

Many of us grew up in a skincare world centered around “light” products, from oil-free moisturizers to foaming cleansers that leave complexions feeling squeaky-clean. And we definitely subscribe to the age-old motto, You Do You, however modern skincare science has been turning more and more towards oil balance, not necessarily complete oil removal. Our skin needs oil! It’s protective and nurturing. That being said, too much of it can lead to clogged pores and irritation, as can the pollutants, dirt and grime, and other unwanted visitors our skin picks up throughout the day. Cleansing is healthy and useful; it’s finding the right method for you that makes all the difference.

The French Sea Clay + Pineapple Enzyme Cleanser uses both clay and oil to soften and purify. Both substances stick to dirt, excess oil, and impurities and gently draw them out from beneath the skin’s surface, rather than simply drying the top layer of the skin. An added bonus: French sea clay is a mineral clay, composed of iron-oxide and decomposed plant matter, and these molecules have regenerative properties beyond detoxification. Cleansing with clay provides benefits similar to traditional physical exfoliation as well- smooth skin, refined pores, decongestion- without potentially upsetting or damaging the skin with too much scrubbing and scratching.

Using clay alone as a daily cleanser, however, would likely not keep your skin very happy. To ensure this cleanser is gentle enough for daily use, French sea clay is coupled with a number of other ingredients with different nutrients, textures, and properties, each of which has its own range of benefits. One of these is willow bark, a natural source of pore-refining, exfoliating beta hydroxy acid (BHA). BHAs are put on a pedestal for good reason; they work on top of the skin as well as deep into the cells beneath the surface, turning over dead skin cells on the outermost layer and effectively clearing the pore lining at the same time. The exfoliating natures of both willow bark and clay are softened by soothing aloe leaf, which calms inflammation and adds extra hydration. Grapeseed oil, then, after assisting in the purifying process, locks in moisture, while pineapple-derived Vitamin C works to brighten complexions and stimulate collagen production.

These ingredients are most effective when massaged onto dry skin (weird, we know, but go with it) for thirty seconds to a minute, then rinsed off with warm water. This time gives the clay and oil time to collect any unwanted molecules, the acid from willow bark to effectively penetrate pores, and the vitamin C to properly absorb. Let it also be a small daily reminder to slow down and take some time for yourself- feel and smell the product, take care in working it gently into your skin. It’s worth it.

Use once a day for dry skin and up to twice a day if you're prone to an oily complexion. Follow with the Rose + Neroli Toner, then either the Daily Glow Face Serum or Nightly Renewal Serum, depending on whether you’re getting ready for the day or unwinding in the evening. And pro-tip: this cleanser, because of its clay base and natural BHAs, can double as a mask!

TL;DR: Incorporating a clay-based cleanser is a great way to achieve clean, balanced skin without stripping or drying it. The French Sea Clay + Pineapple Enzyme Cleanser uses both carefully mined clay and oil to soften and purify, drawing out excess oil, dirt, and pollution, while Willow Bark, a natural BHA, refines pores from the inside out. At the same time, Aloe Leaf soothes and calms, Vitamin C from pineapple enzymes brightens, and Grapeseed Oil moisturizes sans any grease.