Multi Cleanser for All Skin
Laneige dubs Multi Cleanser for All Skin a makeup remover + gentle exfoliant infused with papaya, but it's anything but gentle on skin. Of chief concern is the potentially irritating cleansing mix, compounded by fragrance.
The mixture of fatty acids (stearic, myristic, and lauric), combined with the alkaline potassium hydroxide, has the potential to irritate skin—especially if you get this into the eye area. That, combined with fragrance, makes this a cleanser best to be avoided, not only by those who have sensitive skin, but also by those with any skin type!
By the way, the papaya enzyme (listed as papain) that Laneige claims can sweep away dead skin cells isn't likely to remain stable in this formula, plus it can lead to skin irritation and an allergic response for those with latex sensitivities, as papaya is a natural source of latex (Annals of Allergy, 1995). More to the point, there isn't any research demonstrating its ability to work in the same beneficial manner as leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliants. Likewise, the micro-cellular beads aren't going to be as effective at exfoliating skin as an AHA or BHA.
For effective, yet gentle, cleansing options, see our Best Cleansers list.
- Effectively removes makeup.
- Fragranced formula isn't gentle on skin as claimed.
- Contains potentially irritating papain and harsh cleansing agents.
- Will sting if it gets in the eyes.
Strengths: SPF-rated products provide broad-spectrum sun protection; utilization of some intriguing melanin-inhibiting ingredients.
Weaknesses: Highly fragranced formulas put skin at risk of irritation; use of see-through bottles and jar packaging weakens the potency of the beneficial ingredients; claims for mineral water dont stand up to the research; despite a higher-than-average drugstore price point, Laneige products arent superior to their competitors.
Laneige is a South Korean brand owned by high-end cosmetics company, AmorePacific. Launched in 1994, the story behind this brand centers around mineral waterwhich they tend to label Optimal Mineral Waterharvested from the snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas. They allegedly spent 20 years perfecting its scientifically engineered properties for skin and, according to Laneige, this superior water is the secret to hydrating, protecting, and revitalizing skin.
Heres what we really know: All water thats included in cosmetics, regardless of the source, must go through a rigorous purification process, and there isnt any research showing that water from any one source is better for skin than water from any other source. More to the point, repairing and hydrating skin is not as simple as adding water. Even Laneiges highly touted mineral water wont retain moisture in skin unless the outer barrier is reinforced with ingredients like antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing ingredientsall of which are required or the water just evaporates. So, does Laneige deliver in that regard? Yes and no.
The problem is that their products tend to include beneficial ingredients right alongside potentially irritating ingredients (including fragrance), which detracts from what the good ingredients would otherwise be able to do for skin. In some cases, the jar or clear bottle packaging further impedes the potency and stability of the formula because many of the superstar ingredients break down in the presence of air and/or light.
As far as Laneige makeup goes, at the time of this review they sell only a BB cream in the United States, but it is also plagued by the inclusion of potentially irritating ingredients.
In the end, despite their highly touted Korean brand prestige and steeper-than-average mass-market price point (the line is sold at Target stores in the United States), Laneige ends up being more about marketing fluff than whats actually good for skin. Beyond the mineral water, Laneige products would have merit for their anti-aging prowess, but their inclusion of potential irritants and the use of packaging that compromises the stability of the beneficial ingredients renders the products generally unworthy of consideration.
For more information about Laneige, visit www.us.laneige.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.