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L'Oreal Paris

Pure Clay Cleanser Detox & Brighten

4.40 fl. oz. for $ 6.99
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L'Oreal's Pure Clay Cleanser Detox & Brighten cleanser cannot detoxify skin (we explain why in the More Info section) nor can it brighten skin. All it does is clean skin, absorb excess oil, and irritate skin with a surprising amount of fragrance.

What's purely bad is the fragrance it contains, which is a problem for all skin types and becomes more problematic here because the scent lingers on skin even after thorough rinsing. See More Info for details.

Esthetically, this has an interesting texture that combines clay, skin-softening ingredients, and cleansing agents in a cream-to-mousse formula that doesn't leave skin feeling tight. This is wonderful, but it doesn't excuse the problems the strong fragrance presents for skin. See our list of Best Cleansers for better options.

Pros:
  • Creamy clay texture morphs into a light, easy-to-rinse mousse.
  • Absorbs excess oil and rinses cleanly.
  • Doesn't leave skin feeling tight.
Cons:
  • Cannot detoxify skin.
  • Highly fragrant formula can irritate skin.
  • Fragrance lingers on skin even after thorough rinsing.
More Info:

Why Beauty Products Cannot Detoxify Your Skin: Despite the claims of many cosmetics companies, you cannot "detox" your skin. Brands that make this claim never really specify exactly what substances or toxins their products are supposed to eliminate, which makes sense, because your skin does not store toxins.

Toxins are classified according to whether they are produced by the body or are introduced into the body, usually through eating or inhaling. Toxins are produced by plants, animals, insects, reptiles (think snake venom and bee stings), and so on. Toxins also can be inorganic, such as heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and others.

When it comes to your skin, toxins cannot leave your body through your skin or sebaceous (oil) glands—it's physiologically impossible. Other parts of your body, mainly your kidneys and liver, handle the process of "detoxifying" just fine, as long as you have a healthy diet.

There are a handful of studies indicating that sweat acts as a carrier in "detoxifying" by removing trace heavy metals from the body; however, the methodology of those studies is considered questionable when reviewed by third-party experts.

Nonetheless, if you choose to sauna, steam, or exercise to increase sweating, that's a lifestyle option to discuss with your physician, but it does absolutely nothing as a purifying skincare activity.

Skincare products are not going to "detox" your body or skin. As we always say: Stick to what the research says really works, and ignore the fantasy claims because they aren't going to help your skin or your budget!

References for this information:

Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, December 2015, pages 675–686

Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012, pages 1–10

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-dubious-practice-of-detox

http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/diet-weight-loss/nutrition/article/truth-about-detox-diets

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

L'Oreal Paris Skin Experts created our 1st range of clay-to-mousse daily cleansers that leave skin looking perfectly clear. Each cleanser is powered by 3 different clays in their pure form and enhanced with a nature-sourced ingredient. Pure Clay Cleanser Detox-Brighten goes beyond daily cleansing to clarify and detoxify for skin that can breathe better. Immediately skin is purified of dirt, oil and pollution, and is left with a clean, clear healthy look. Skin looks revitalized with a fresh glow. Use after use, skin's overall quality is improved. Dull skin appears more radiant and luminous.

Aqua/Water, Kaolin, Glycerin, Coco-Betaine, Propanediol, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Potassium Laurate, Acrylates Copolymer, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ci 77499/Iron Oxides, Moroccan Lava Clay, Montmorillonite, Ethylhexylglycerin, Charcoal Powder, Limonene, Linalool, Sodium Benzoate, Polyglycerin-10, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Citric Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tocopherol.

L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minorif there are any at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.

The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreals makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.

Unfortunately, despite the brands enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstoreimagine the results if their skin care followed suit.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.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.