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Fourth Ray Beauty

AM to the PM Gel Cleanser

5.80 fl. oz. for $ 12.00
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Brand Overview

Fourth Ray Beauty’s AM to the PM Gel Cleanser is one of those products whose aesthetics we love… but whose ingredients leave a lot to be desired!

This gel cleanser comes in clear bottle with a pump. It creates a light lather when it contacts water. It’s easy to spread across skin, and rinses cleanly without making it feel immediately dry or tight. It does a good job removing dirt, oil, and most kinds of makeup (though waterproof or longwearing makeup requires makeup remover to for complete removal because of the gentle cleansing agents used).

There are some emollient ingredients in the mix (such as sweet almond oil), as well as skin-soothing ingredients aloe and cucumber. But that’s where the positives end…

In addition to the good stuff, Fourth Ray Beauty’s also included a host of fragrant ingredients, among them lavender, bergamot, bitter orange, and ylang-ylang extracts. All of these have the potential to cause skin irritation, especially when used daily. Even though this product is supposed to be rinsed from skin, the potential for problems still exists (see More Info for details).

If you like gel cleansers, there are far better options available that still get the job done but skip the potentially-harmful fragrance.

Pros:
  • Effectively cleanses dirt, oil, and most makeup from skin.
  • Doesn’t leave skin feeling dry or tight.
Cons:
  • Contains numerous fragrance ingredients that can irritate skin.

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:

Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

The ultimate daily face wash. Developed to gently and effectively dissolve and wash away dirt and makeup without over drying or stripping the skin of natural hydration. A complex of natural botanicals leave the skin clean, comfortable, and fresh.

Water, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract, Lotus Corniculatus Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Protein, Quartz, Rose Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Cupressus Sempervirens Leaf/Stem Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Flower Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Cananga Odorata Flower Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Leaf/Seed Extract, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis Fruit Extract, Sodium Chloride, Panthenol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cocamide Mipa, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimoniuim Chloride, Trisodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 4 (CI 14700), Ext. Violet 2 (CI 60730).

With as much focus on the metaphysical as on the scientific, Fourth Ray Beauty is the brainchild of Seed Beauty, the creator of social-media savvy lines like Kylie Cosmetics and ColourPop. The brand says its focus is on wellness-inspired skin care, and that the name Fourth Ray is derived from the fourth ray of the rainbow, which represents “beauty, harmony, purity, wholeness, and integration.”

Its lineup consists of mainly the basics when it comes to a skin care routine: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and acne treatment. The formulas are largely unremarkable, with a lack of impressive ingredients, and most of its products contain fragrance. The standout is their cleansing oil which bypasses most of the pitfalls of its competition.

When it comes to its approach to acne and oily skin though, this brand with a New Age philosophy has a decidedly old-school approach by including witch hazel, alcohol, and other irritants that can make acne and oily skin worse.

Fourth Ray infuses each of its products with crystals to, as stated on its website, “cleanse not just your skin but your energy.” This is just marketing, though; there’s no scientific research proving that crystals can do anything for skin.

You can learn more about Fourth Ray Beauty on its website, fourthraybeauty.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.