The good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to the latest compact cleansers.
Alright, let’s just all admit it: washing your face is the worst. It’s that necessary chore that peeks its head just as you’ve crawled into bed post-workday (and/or wine), guilt tripping you with visions of breakouts and makeup-smeared mornings past. Needless to say, we typically welcome any time saving measures with open arms. Enter: cleansing sticks—essentially face wash’s more sophisticated, aesthetically streamlined cousin. Okay, so maybe we’re just suckers for the pretty packaging. And while there are only a few on the market, the compact cleansers have managed to create quite the stir among those who follow skincare trends for a living (i.e. us). The idea of a reusable stick to wash your face, however? Well, we have a few doubts—like the fact that it involves smearing a stick all over your face not unlike applying deodorant. Turning to some of our favorite skin saviors, we enlisted the help of estheticians Charlotte Cho of Soko Glam, and Shani Darden of Resurface Skincare, to give some educated insight into the who, what, how, when and why of our skincare routine’s latest addition.
— What —
“Healthy skin begins with clean skin, which is why cleansing is the most important part of your skincare routine. I would recommend the double cleanse routine, which starts with an oil-based cleanser (also very travel-friendly because it is an oil in solid form) and then finishes with a water based cleanser, like the su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick.
The su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick has been one of our bestsellers on Soko Glam since it was added last year, and it is just one of many examples of how innovative Korea's beauty industry is. I predict that other beauty companies have taken note and you may be seeing more cleansing sticks on shelves in 2016!” —Charlotte Cho, Esthetician; Founder, Soko Glam; Author, “The Little Book of Skincare: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin”
— Why —
“One of the biggest benefits of using a cleansing stick as an alternative to traditional facial cleansers is portability. Cleansing sticks are solid rather than liquid, making them convenient for traveling, and the twist-as-you-go method is also great for conserving product.” —Shani Darden, Esthetician; Founder, Resurface Skincare
“[The su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick] is made out of fermented damask rose extracts, which makes the scent heavenly. Roses are a prominent ingredient in skin care products because they are a proven anti-aging ingredient with hydrating and firming properties. This particular cleansing stick also has real dried rose petals which offers an exfoliation action as well. Keep in mind this is fermented skin care product, is preservative-free and free from added fragrances and colors. Fermentation is the process in which yeast secretes enzymes and amino acids that are beneficial to the skin. Not to mention it has a pH level of 6, which is a gentle pH for all skin types and does not leave you with a dry, tight feeling after washing. It's also a multi-tasker because it promotes the circulation in your face whenever you use it. Promoting blood circulation helps create a brighter complexion!” —Charlotte Cho
— How —
“To use the cleanser, turn the dial at the bottom of the stick to reveal about one centimeter of the product. Use gentle circular motions to massage the stick directly onto a damp face. Rinse off with cool to lukewarm water.” —Charlotte Cho
“I’m not crazy about the idea of rubbing a reusable stick on your face and I probably wouldn’t recommend applying one directly to your skin on a regular basis. Instead, I would apply using a hygienic, wetted sponge, like a Konjac, that can be sterilized after each use. However, the sponge can be too abrasive for some people, so everyday usage might be irritating. I would rub the cleansing stick on the wetted sponge, then gently apply to the face—similar to using a beauty blender.” —Shani Darden
— When —
“I would suggest using [a cleansing stick] on special occasions, such as after a workout or on a long flight, when no other cleansing option is available. It will clean more thoroughly than a makeup wipe, but daily use directly on skin creates a breeding ground for bacteria. When you use makeup remover wipes, oftentimes residue is left on your skin since you're not rinsing with water. Since cleansing sticks include rinsing with water [afterwards], you get a more thorough clean.” —Shani Darden
— Who —
“The su:m37 cleansing stick is chock full of different types of oils, such as coconut oil, which can be too heavy for acne prone skin and clog pores. The Boscia [Charcoal Deep-Pore Cleansing Stick] can be overly drying for skin that is already dry or sensitive, so I would recommend following with a light moisturizer.” —Shani Darden