The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser
Tula’s The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser contains a gentle blend of cleansing and lather-producing ingredients suitable for all skin types. This squeeze tube-packaged facial cleanser quickly removes excess oil, dirt, and makeup, leaving skin noticeably softer. Unfortunately, all those positives are washed away by a tidal wave of fragrance and fragrant essential oils.
Many facial cleansers contain fragrance, some strong, and some whose scent is barely detectable. This one, however, takes the cake: we cannot recall a cleanser that was so perfumed it’s highly capable of irritating not just your skin but also your eyes and inside your nose (if some accidentally gets in via your nostrils).
It’s not just the fruity-sweet scent, it’s also fragrant citrus, juniper, and ylang ylang (Canaga odorata) essential oils and their fragrance components like linalool. We cannot stress enough how problematic this can be for skin, so be sure to check out the More Info section for an expanded explanation.
Tula also includes skin-beneficial ‘biotic ingredients like prebiotic chicory root, probiotic yogurt powder and postbiotic bifida ferment lysate and while they’re nice to see in a product they will be of little use in a rinse-off formula. Whether prebiotic, probiotic, or postbiotic, these microbiome-influencing ingredients work best when left on skin, since their action isn’t immediate–they need time to interact with other substances in skin.
See our list of best face cleansers for picks that have this one’s gentle cleansing agents minus an overwhelming scent.
- Removes dirt, excess oil and makeup.
- Rinses clean, yet leaves skin soft.
- Potent fragrance can irritate skin, eyes, and inside nose.
- Contains irritating citrus and ylang ylang oils.
- Exposes skin to fragrance compounds known to irritate.
- The ‘biotic ingredients work better for skin when left on, not rinsed off.
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:
Toxicology In Vitro, February 2018, pages 237-245
Toxicological Sciences, January 2018, pages 139-148
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
Makeup, excess oil, and impurities are washed away while pores are deep-cleaned (but not stripped). Skin is left more glowing, balanced, and prepped for the remainder of your skincare routine. Contains our signature probiotics to leave skin looking nourished and balanced. A probiotic face wash suitable for all skin types and all ages – excellent for dry skin.
Tula Skincare is a brand focused on an emerging group of skincare ingredients: probiotics. While it’s long been known that probiotics (such as those found in yogurt) were beneficial for health when consumed via certain foods and supplements, new research shows they’re also beneficial applied directly to skin. Internally, probiotics (which are live microorganisms that live in and on the body) can regulate digestive health; externally they play a role in managing a key component of skin’s surface known as its microbiome.
Tula was founded by Dr. Roshini Raj, a still-practicing gastroenterologist who says she noticed that many of her patients who had consumed probiotics showed signs of improvement in their skin. This concept of balancing skin became the core foundation of Tula, a word which means “balance” in Sanskrit.
To that end, all Tula products contain probiotics (in the non-living form of lysates, which retain many of the same topical benefits as live probiotics), along with some pre- and postbiotics as well. Postbiotics are exciting because these by-products from the breakdown of probiotics give each person’s microbiome key substances skin needs to be strong and healthy.
There are a couple of standout options, but unfortunately, Tula includes fragrance in the majority of their offerings, and fragrance – whether synthetic or from natural sources (essential oils and extracts) such as Tula uses, puts skin at risk for irritation. Irritation can disrupt skin in a way that counteracts the anti-inflammatory benefits of probiotic ingredients, so these formulas would be better minus the fragrance.
As far as packaging goes, with a few rare exceptions (such a couple of products in jars), Tula does a good job keeping its skin care in opaque containers that protect its best-yet-most-delicate ingredients from losing their potency in the presence of light and air. Overall, it’s a hit-or-miss brand – with some top-notch options, some that are good (except for the fragrance), and others to skip altogether.
To find out more about Tula, visit https://www.tula.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.