Cactus Water & Hibiscus Cleansing Stick
St. Ives Cactus Water & Hibiscus Cleansing Stick is an interesting take on balm-style cleansers. While the concept is cool, and the formula gets a lot right, there are still some aspects left to be desired.
This stick cleanser come in a plastic tube and twists up (a lot like a stick deodorant). You're instructed to wet your face, then rub the stick all over, followed by using your hands to gently wash your face. The stick starts out solid but "melts" into a more balm-like texture when it contacts water.
It works, and this stick does a good job at cleansing, even removing waterproof makeup without a trace. It rinses cleanly, and thanks to a healthy amount of coconut oil, doesn't leave skin feeling tight. In fact, it leaves skin feeling softer afterward.
There are a few drawbacks to this product, though. As you apply the stick and it "melts," some product gets on the sides of the tube, meaning it's best to wipe it off after every application.
There's also the issue that this contains fragrance. It isn't strong, but any fragrance has the potential to cause irritation, especially when used near the eyes.
Another note, one of the cleansing agents (potassium myristate) can be drying for skin. It's not present in a high concentration here, but is something to consider if you have particularly dry or sensitive skin. There also isn't much of the namesake ingredients present in this formula, though they don't have any particularly noteworthy benefits for skin, so it's not too disappointing.
Those caveats aside, this is an interesting, and very portable, way to cleanse your face!
- Does a good job removing dirt, oil, and even waterproof makeup.
- Rinses cleanly.
- Leaves skin feeling softer and smoother.
- Travel-friendly packaging is convenient.
- Product gets on the side of the container with each use, which can be messy.
- Contains fragrance, which can irritate skin.
- One of the cleansing agents used can be drying to sensitive skin.
St. Ives At-A-Glance
Two things set this line apart in the minds of consumers familiar with the brand: the Swiss angle and their apricot face scrubs. This notoriety didn't translate to thoughtfully formulated products, though. Instead, most of the scrubs are too abrasive, and the apricot is simply there as an extract, never mind that in a scrub it doesn't have any significant benefit for skin. The same can be said of the selection of supposedly Swiss-based herbs. Most of them have soothing properties, but it doesn't matter to skin if the ingredients came from Switzerland or South Dakota. If anything, the whole Swiss angle is getting a bit tired. You can bet that there are no scientists working high in the Swiss alps to formulate these products. St. Ives is a line with very little worth considering, so feel free to breeze right by as you shop for skin-care products at your local drugstore.
For more information about St. Ives, owned by Unilever, visit www.stives.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.