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St. Ives

Cleansing Stick Rose Water & Bamboo

1.59 fl. oz. for $ 7.99
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Brand Overview

St. Ives Cleansing Stick Rose Water & Bamboo is pitched as a convenient way to cleanse and control oil on the go, but its problematic ingredients mean it’s best to skip this.

This comes in a plastic tube and swivels up, much like a standard deodorant stick. St. Ives says to wet your face, rub the stick all over, then use your hands to gently wash your face.

The stick starts out solid, but quickly becomes a more of a lightly foaming balm when it contacts water. We should note that this didn’t have the messy packaging issue of the other St. Ives’ stick cleansers we’ve tested so far.

It does a good job cleansing, removing dirt, oil, and most makeup (though not the most stubborn waterproof formulas). It rinses cleanly, but doesn’t leave skin feeling stripped of moisture thanks to the amount of coconut oil it contains.

While it sounds good so far, there are some significant drawbacks to consider. First is that while this claims to get rid of excess oil for shine-free skin, it’s not impressive in that regard. It also contains a cleansing agent (potassium myristate) that can be drying to skin. While it’s not here in a great amount, there’s still cause for concern, particularly if your skin is sensitive.

More issues: this has a very strong scent that lingers after rinsing, and contains fragrant rose flower water and fragrance (and the scent is stronger than that of St. Ives other cleansing sticks). Again, they’re not here in the strongest amounts, but even with rinsing, they have the potential to cause irritation – which can make oily skin even oiler (see More Info below for details).

While this might seem convenient, its problems outweigh its benefits, and can’t compete favorably with alternatives you’ll find on our list of best cleansers.

Pros:
  • Stick cleanser is convenient and does a good job removing dirt, oil, and makeup.
  • Rinses cleanly without being overly drying.
Cons:
  • The formula doesn’t do a good job getting rid of excess oil.
  • Contains a cleansing agent that can be drying for skin.
  • Has a strong scent that lingers.
  • Contains fragrant rose flower water and fragrance, which isn’t the best for skin.

More Info:

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: Yes

Say so long to shine with our rose water and bamboo cleansing stick. Leave your skin soft and hydrated with extracts from rose water and bamboo. Inspired by Korean beauty trends, this solid cleanser (made with 100% natural coconut oil, of course!) gets rid of excess oil for instantly shine free skin!

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Potassium Cocoate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Potassium Myristate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Sodium Chloride, Myristic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Potassium Laurate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Lauric Acid, Glyceryl Oleate, Coco-Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Fragrance (Parfum).

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.

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