I love this cleanser. I love the ingredients, I love the scent, I love the texture, I love the functionality, I love the experience. I love this cleanser. But this cleanser doesn't love me.
More than once when using this, I experience what could only be classified as contact dermatitis or an allergic reaction.
On more than one occasion, I have broken out in itchy, red, and inflamed patches on my face - typically my jawline, forehead, and cheekbones. The itchiness and redness usually stay for a few hours. It's even worsened if I leave the cleanser on for more than a few seconds. Here's a picture of it, and that's even after I applied makeup.
The most confusing thing about the cleanser is that I don't get the reaction every single time I use it. I'd say I get itchy and red about 70% of the time when using it. But not every time. It's frustrating because there's nothing in the ingredient label that seems foreign to me / isn't in some of my other products.
Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Capric/Caprylic/Triglycerides, Water, Glycerine, Propanediol, Glyceryl undecylenate, Aroma, Sucrose Stearate, Decyl Glucoside, Oryza sativa (Rice) Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lactobacillus/Punica granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Papain, Curcuma Zedoaria Root Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sucrose Palmitate, Zingiber Officinale Root Oil, Salix alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus Flower Oil, Sucrose Laurate, Abies PectinateLeaf Oil, Foeniculum Vulgare Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extracts, Kaolin, Bioflavanoids, Leuconostoc ferment filtrate, Montmorillonite, Mica, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Superoxide Dismutase, Soybean Peroxidase, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Linalool, Limonene.
I'm wondering if it's the "aroma" ingredient, which is just code for "fragrance." Highly fragrant products really haven't had an adverse effect on my skin in the past, but I suppose I can't rule that out. As a side note, I adore the way this smells. It's citrus-ginger, and makes you feel bright and happy.
In fact, let me point out some potential culprits: Aroma - Codename for fragrance. Natural or not, some skin just can't handle fragrance. Especially as the 8th most used ingredient behind the ingredients that make up the product's texture, and before the product's cleansing agent. Zingiber Officinale Root Oil - Ginger oil. I've read that ginger can be both anti-inflammatory and irritating. Eugenia Caryophyllus Flower Oil - Clove oil. This also contains eugenol, which is the volatile oil element of clove oil. It may be potentially irritating, depending on who you ask. Interestingly, the Eve Lom cleanser doesn't give my skin irritation, and is rich in clove oil.
I have no way of knowing exactly what is causing the reaction. With the "aroma" element of this product, how am I to know exactly what went in to making the scent? I have allergies to pollen and dust, you know, spring time allergies, but what flowers went in to producing the fragrant component of this product? As much as I love Tata, her products, and how she conducts her business, I just wish that this particular cleanser was less fragrant.
The hardest part about this whole situation is the fact that I absolutely adore this cleanser. I keep longing to use it, and find myself upset when my skin freaks out when I do. With a bit of experimentation, I've found that using an oil or balm cleanser first, sloppily removing it, and then smoothing the Purifying Cleaner over it so that the balm acts as a buffer between it and my skin - the reaction is less obvious. But then that defeats the purpose of the cleanser itself.
I don't know what to do. Do I continue using it to see if the reaction still occurs? At this point, I've used about 1/4th of the bottle. Do I give it to someone who I know loves it and be sad when I can't reach for it in the morning or evening?
This cleanser is almost like McDonald's french fries. Every time I eat them, my stomach screams at me. Yet I continue to do it. Except the difference is, Tata Harper products are designed to be the literal polar opposite to things like McDonald's and synthetic fillers in skincare.