If you told me 6 years ago that I’d wash my face with powder, I’d have raised my eyebrows in disbelief for the simple reason that I only imagined a cleanser to be in a gel or a cream form. However, there’s something unique about applying a pow(d)erful combination of clays, roots, resins, flowers, and spices, because the benefits for the skin are extraordinary. The advantages of cleansing powders are numerous: versatile, you can easily turn them into masks by leaving them on for 10-20 minutes, add water, floral water, honey, or oils to your mix. The bonus? They also provide mild exfoliation, the key for a soft and glowing complexion. Last but not least, cleansing powders are easier to preserve (the expiry date is longer as opposed to water-based products). Today, I’m sharing my favortie powders, some are real powerhouses (Okoko, Mel Millis and Mauli), some are more gentle but equally efficient (A.S Apothecary, Aster & Bay)
This was a little gift to myself, I’ve been wanting to try Mel Millis for a long time and when you receive a Mel Millis order, it definitely feels like a present: nested in a beautiful black box, with a soft muslin cloth, Phytonutri Qi Plankton Skin remedy is here to wow. I think you could liken it to May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt (which I haven’t tried yet), except that the formula is more minimalistic (a touch that might benefit people with more sensitive skin). Armed with no more than 10 ingredients (which are rich in vitamins, minerals, peptides and prebiotics), Phytonutri Qi still manages to tackle most issues : it’s purifying, balancing, nourishing, and brightening all at once. Some cleansing powders can get a bit drying, but Phytonutri Qi feels the opposite : skin looks plumper after use, thanks to Sodium Hyaluronate and rose extract. Dry skin type can use this without a trouble. I enjoyed it both as a mask and exfoliant. As a cleanser, I have to follow up with a toner to get rid of every residue, unless I wash everything off with a muslin. Simply rinsing away with water won’t cut it for me, there’s always a bit of powder sticking somewhere.
Ingredients: Ecocert Moroccan Lava Clay, Organic Theobroma Cacao, Organic Panax Ginseng, Organic Arthrospira Patensis, Organic Camelia Sinensis, Eco Sodium Hyaluronate, Organic Vanilla Planifolis, Organic Myristica Fragrans, Organic Curcuma Longa, Organic Rosa Centifolia.
I have a fondness for ayurvedic-inspired skincare and Mauli is no excecption to it. They have worked wonders for my problematic skin and my love for spices knows no bound (even in food). Just like Mel Millis, Mauli privileges quality over quantity. The Radiance mask and exfoliant contains less than 10 ingredients, but they work synergistically to provide an efficient treatment. The scent is quite strong, with a real spicy kick, thanks to sandalwood and saffron blend. Finely milled, it turns into a creamy consistency and works amazingly well as a mask. As a cleanser and with regular use, it will keep blemishes at bay and tackle hyperpigmentation, because it’s a terrific brightening treatment due the amount of turmeric, sandalwood and licorice. As a mask, it’s a radiance boost, instantly reviving dull and tired skin. I tend to reach for Mauli when my skin behaves badly, it quickly restores some balance and shrinks spots quickly. It comes in a dark jar with a mini steel spoon and muslin cloth.
Ingredients: Rose Petals and Absolute, Mysore Sandalwood Powder and Oil, Kashmiri Saffron Extracts and Root, Turmeric Root, Vetiver Root, Rosehip Oil, Asparagus Root Extract, Mineral Rich Clay.
The rising star: Okoko Cosmétiques – La Boue de Beauté (also known as the Beauty Mud)*
Okoko is a Canadian artisan brand with a bright future ahead of them. I’ve been testing out some products from the line and la Boue de Beauté is real coup de coeur! Designed to be a brightening facial mask, it quickly reminded me of May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver in terms of efficiency and effects (but Okoko felt slightly gentler). The preparation is also similar to May Lindstrom’s mask: as soon as you add water, it tingles and turns into a soft mousse. La Boue de Beauté contains 3 different types of clay, vitamin C, raw cacao to draw out impurities and combat excess oils. Add to that a solid amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Rich in algae (chlorella, spirulina, and seaweed) for an antioxidant boost. Himalayan salts are used to treat skin conditions such as dry skin, psoriasis, and acne. Bamboo extract is high in natural silica, which is one of the key elements to restore the appearance of healthy skin. Bamboo also has the advantage to be an anti-irritant, which is good news as the formula does contain Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda). I personally haven’t experienced any irritation following the use of baking soda (I don’t have a problem with it in deodorants as well, but my sister does, so clearly everyone is different). I tried looking for studies on the use and appropriate dosage of Sodium Bicarbonate in skincare but without much success. However, I’ll just share this link from Cosmetics Info stating that “concentrated solutions of Sodium Carbonate, but not Sodium Bicarbonate, are skin and eye irritants due to their alkaline nature”. As usual, I highly recommend each and everyone to do their own research. Like I said, the mask worked amazingly well for me, by helping clear up my skin.
Price: €51.56 EUR
Ingredients: Kaolin, Moroccan Lava Clay (Rhassoul Clay), Montmorillonite, Ascorbic Acid, *Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Sodium Chloride (Himalayan Pink Salt), **Theobroma Cacao (Raw Cacao), Sodium Bicarbonate, Allantoin, *Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice)Root, *Chlorella Vulgaris (Algae) Extract, *Spirulina Platensis (Algae) Extract, *Ascophyllum Nodosum (Seaweed) Extract, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Extract, *Rosa Centifolia (Pink Rose) Leaf Extract, *Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, *Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Leaf Extract, *Curcuma Longa (Turmeric), *Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil, *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil * Certified organic ** Certified fair trade
An artisanal UK brand made with organic flowers and herbs wild-harvested by Amanda Saurin herself. Amanda is the wondrous founder of A.S Apothecary and she has magic hands. Her products feel supremely fresh and high-quality which subsequently will this show on your skin. Out of all the powders, I’d say that this one will most likely suit all skin types, including sensitive and reactive skin because it is remarkably soothing. Just like Okoko, A.S Apoth uses algae, hers is the kelp from the Isle of Harris. What makes A.S Apothecary unique is that every ingredient is local and hand-picked at the right moment. This also applies for the mineral powder. Mixed with water, you get a texture that is not creamy but still applicable. As soon as I apply it, I’m immediately transported into a botanical garden because of the sensory experience. The texture as well as the scent, feel herbal/earthy and the whole A.S Apoth skin experience feels very grounding (especially for the city girl that I am). The freshness of the mineral powder is impressive, you have to try it asap (pun intended). Non-abrasive, it doesn’t give any redness. Skin feels calm and soft after use. For added nourishment, mix it with A.S Geranium oil to keep skin glowing and supple. My mineral powder #2 comes from A.S Apothecary’s gorgeous complete box of cleansing (here – full review will pop up too) but the products are also sold individually.
Ingredients: Argyll Clay Green illite, Harris Kelp Macrocystis Pyrifera, Elderflowers Sambucus nigra, Chamomile Matricaria recutita, Calendula Calendula officinalis, Stellaria Stellaria media, Sandalwood Santalum album
Aster & Bay has a stellar formula, just like most of the products mentioned in this round-up, they favor fewer ingredients, each one has a specific function. The star ingredients here are dandelion and hibiscus. With Autumn just around the corner, I’m ready to bring back the dandelion tea because it’s great for detox. In skincare, dandelion root is an excellent treatment against inflammations, blemishes, and dark spots because it is rich in vitamin A, C and E. Hibiscus is also called “the botox herb” and is high in antioxidants. The use of Adzuki powder is clever, Adzuki is rich in vitamin b9 (for healthy cell growth) but also contains the complex sugar-based cleanser Saponin, a natural foam-forming soap substitute. Aster & Bay recommends it to use it with their cleansing oil, but I’ve used it on its own adding just a bit of water and it works just as fine. I like to use it as a topical spot treatment, by applying it on zits fo 20 minutes or more. Gentle enough for a daily/regular use, it provides mild exfoliation for a glowing and soft complexion.
Ingredients: adzuki powder, colloidal oats, rice powder, Moroccan lava clay, dandelion root powder*, licorice root powder*, hibiscus flower powder*, marshmallow root powder*, fennel seed powder*, frankincense powder**, myrrh powder**, turmeric root
What is your favorite powder product?