Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser
Farmacy’s Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser claims to have been formulated for those with sensitive skin, but it contains some ingredients that research shows could make sensitive skin worse.
This cleanser comes in a clear plastic bottle with a pump dispenser. It starts off as a gel, then becomes a lightweight foam when it contacts water. It does a good job removing dirt, oil, and makeup, rinsing cleanly without leaving skin feeling dry or tight.
As claimed, this contains some beneficial ingredients, among them skin-plumping sodium hyaluronate and soothing honey and licorice extract.
We wish it was just good-for-you ingredients that were included, but there are also several fragrant ingredients in the formula that put skin at risk for irritation (see More Info for details). Among them are two types of lavender oil, pine oil, geranium oil, and patchouli oil. Also included are fragrance (listed in the ingredients as flavor), plus the fragrance ingredient linalool, which can create additional irritation, especially for skin that is sensitized.
Even though these ingredients only come in contact with skin briefly since they’re rinsed right away, they’re still problematic, especially for the sensitive skin this is marketed toward (not to mention the eye area). Give this one a pass and opt for a far gentler version you’ll find on our list of best cleansers.
- Does a good job removing dirt, oil, and makeup.
- Rinses cleanly without leaving skin feeling dry or tight.
- Contains fragrant plant oils that can irritate skin.
- Includes fragrance and fragrance ingredients that can further aggravate 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
A soothing, ultra-gentle facial cleanser perfect for everyday use! Made with sensitive skin in mind, Clean Bee Lifts away excess oil, impurities and makeup while infusing moisture with honey and hyaluronic acid.
Farmacy is the creation of entrepreneurial businessman and self-described “plant geek” Mark Veeder. Due to a chance discovery, he was able to bring together his childhood background on a farm and his experience as a marketing and public relations expert to create a skin care brand focused on farm-raised ingredients.
As the story goes, during his time as a marketing professional in New York City, Veeder still maintained a 7-acre farm 90 miles away. The chance discovery happened in 1999, when he noticed an unusual green variant of the normally-purple Echinacea Purpurea on his property. Excited by what this could mean, he sent the plant to a lab for testing. The test results showed that this version had 300 times more of the antioxidant cichoric acid than the usual strain of the plant. Veeder patented it, sold it to local nurseries, and named it GreenEnvy. Fifteen years after the initial discovery, he resolved to create a skin care company, Farmacy, with GreenEnvy as its star ingredient.
Before you get too excited: there’s little independent research backing the claims surrounding GreenEnvy’s potency (most of the research has been done on Farmacy’s behalf), though as with most plant extracts, it provides antioxidant benefits and may also prevent collagen breakdown, which is nice but hardly unique to this plant.
As for the products themselves, most have solid foundations (great, plant-based antioxidants abound) but some of them are undone by additions that make them less-than-ideal for skin. Many contain fragrant plant oils which, while natural, aren’t good for skin. Fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, puts skin at risk for irritation that can cause numerous problems. Frustratingly, many of the fragrant plants are, in fact, also brilliant antioxidants; however, plenty of natural ingredients also provide antioxidant benefits without risking skin irritation and other problems.
We like that Farmacy’s take on natural is to combine it with key lab-engineered (synthetic) ingredients. This approach is refreshingly honest and affirms the research-supported fact that just because an ingredient is synthetic doesn’t mean it’s bad for skin. The truth is there are good and bad natural ingredients as well as good and bad synthetic ingredients.
Farmacy’s other issue beyond fragrance is that several of the products are packaged in jars, which exposes their good ingredients to light and air that will eventually cause them to break down and lose effectiveness.
There is one mineral-based sunscreen that’s a standout, especially for sensitive skin, but because of the issues mentioned above, this line isn’t quite the farm-fresh merger of nature and science it’s made out to be.
To learn more about Farmacy, visit https://www.farmacybeauty.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.