Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: Ling Skincare Purifying Facial Cleanser

Lets be honest - Cleansers are pretty basic. If it can perform the function of cleaning the skin (and most of them can) the choice comes down to several other factors: personal irritants (scent, ingredients, added exfoliation matter, etc), type of product (cream, foam, bar, etc.), availability of the product (is it easy to obtain), and price. So that's what I'm going to base my review on.

My Facial Skincare Preferences:
  • Irritants - Scents irritate me the most. If it has a strong scent, sometimes my eyes will react and start watering. I like products to be as free of scent as possible... unless I like the scent and have no reaction to it. What do I mean by that? I tried Philosophy's Purity once and my eyes could not handle the fumes coming off of my skin from the scent. I care more about scent than I do about ingredients, but I'll list those for those of you who do have allergies or problems with certain ingredient irritants.
  • Type of Product - I prefer foaming cleansers. I've honestly only had one in my lifetime but it captured my heart just a bit. My second choice is a cream.
  • Availability - If I run out of my cleanser I want to be able to get it with minimal hassle (more on that later). Something that helps with this is having a bottle that isn't totally opaque. That way if the product is harder to obtain, I will know at a glance when I need to start the hunt.
  • Price - If a cleanser is over the $30 mark, I hesitate on the purchase. Really, if it's over $20 I hesitate. What could possibly be in the cleanser that would hike a price up so high? There is a MUCH larger discussion on this later.
On to the review!

From the Link Skincare Website
Ling Skincare's Purifying Facial Cleanser has this Description on the Website:
Formulated to compliment the natural chemistry of the skin, this cleanser thoroughly cleanses and gently removes debris on the surface of the skin while protecting its vital, natural balance. Calming Rose Water, soothing Stearic Acid and coconut-derived Tea-Cocyl Glutamate combines for a sulfate-free cleanser leaving skin soft and supple, never tight or dry. 
The Big Question: Can it clean your skin?
Yes, unless you are being completely unfair (which I was).  I put this cleanser through a very rigorous test! I put on a full day's makeup, wore it through the day, then played softball in my catchers mask collecting dirt and mud all over my face. I washed with the Ling Purifying Facial Cleanser immediately upon getting home and scrubbed hard (there was a good layer of grime on my face). After I rinsed off, I took a MAC Wipe and wiped it across my face. It picked up minimal makeup, none of the dirt. Far less left on my face than when I usually use a wipe by itself. So all in all, I'd say the Ling Purifying Facial Cleanser did a pretty darn good job!

Incidentally, when I wear makeup I have gotten in the habit of almost always using a MAC Wipe or Cleanse Off Oil to remove my makeup before washing my face with a facial cleanser. So under normal circumstances, the Ling cleanser would be catching whatever my makeup removal method of choice did not remove. There are no doubts in my mind it can do the job.

Scent or Other Irritants
Nothing that seems abnormal or aggravating.

This cleanser is a cream cleanser. Smooth and white, there are no granules. It is meant to clean, not to exfoliate like a scrub. It does not foam. Never once has washing my face with this cleanser felt like it was drying my face out. I do think it lives up to it's claim of being gentle and non-drying.

Being where I am (Southern Ohio) I could only purchase this product through the Ling Skincare website. One might see that as "less available" but really, a website away can seem much closer than a trip across town to the dermatologist during working hours on most days. As long as it's in stock and arrives quickly, I am happy.

Price Discussion (sorry folks, this is long)
The Ling Skincare Purifying Facial Cleanser costs $36 for 6.7 fl oz. I have a problem with cleansers and price. I do not always think that I know how best to evaluate price. After all, in the past I have tended to pay quite a bit of cash for my cleansers, or have used cleansers that cost quite a bit. Let's review the past cleansers I can remember using over the last six or seven years:
  • Skin MD Rejuvenating Cleanser (From my dermatologist) (6.7 oz) - $20: I do know this - my dermatologist has a deal with the company providing it to slap their own name on the product and (I believe) sell it for a cheaper price to their patients. But my doctor recommended it, so how could it be bad?
  • AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Foam (4.1 oz)  - $50: Ripoff! Thankfully I didn't purchase it. If you remember from my earlier post, I won this from Temptalia. But I didn't find anything special about this cleanser and it ruined my towel.
  • Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel (8.4 oz)- $33: Picked this up when it became hard to find Repechage on eBay and my spa stopped carrying it. I really sort of disliked this cleanser in retrospect. I think that is why I went on a hunt for a new cleanser and began scouring  eBay for the old Repechage one I had used before. 
  • Repechage Hydra Refine Cleansing Mouse (5 oz) - $27: I purchased this because I had tried a few facials with the Repechage system at my spa and LOVED it. Stopped using this when Hausfeld's started using Dermalogica products. I was very, very sad. I loved this cleanser and this line. This was also over 7 years ago when I first became interested in skincare routines before my wedding. 
  • Clinique Facial Soap with Dish (Bar) - $12: My mother got me in to Clinique early because she was into Clinique. I didn't like it that much.
Take a look at those price numbers. If I began purchasing Ling Skincare's Purifying Facial Cleanser for $36 it would be the most expensive cleanser I have purchased out of my own pocket.  The price is just high enough that I could see myself purchasing it a couple of times, then going back to my dermatologist's $16 cheaper cleanser.Then maybe picking it back up again when I decide that the one from my dermatologist is just not fun and I want a change.  (Vicious cycle ensues).

I can tell you hands down I like this cleanser better than the more expensive AmorePacific! I am so glad I didn't actually purchase that myself!

Bottom Line
This is a good stable cleanser that could be worked into virtually any skincare routine. Best of all, it is non-drying. The only drawback I see in it is the price, which is just a tiny bit high for me to recommend it universally.

Final Thoughts - I will need to follow up...
  • If you have a spa that sells Ling near you, try it first. Or purchase the Weekly Facial Kit to get a sense of the product before a full investment.
  • All Ling products from my understanding have a 2 to 3 years shelf life. I don't have any concern about it going bad. (EDIT - Was corrected by Ling Representative. I thought she had told me 2 to 3 months. Very sorry).
Full Disclosure
The products in this review were furnished to me by Ling Skincare not only for my use but for review. I will not be compensated in any other way by Ling Skincare and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell Ling Skincare products, nor am I affiliated with Ling Skincare in any way.