Expert Reviews
Community Reviews
Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

Clay Chameleon Transforming Purifying Cleanser is billed as a transformative "cleansing ritual" that removes impurities and detoxifies skin, and while it has its good qualities, it's not all it's cracked up to be…

To start, the absorbent properties of clay in this formula cannot "detoxify skin." Detoxification simply doesn't work in that capacity, nor are "toxins" to blame for your skin issues (see More Info for an in-depth explanation).

What about the "clay-to-cream" transformative texture mentioned in the claims? You're instructed to apply Clay Chameleon Transforming Purifying Cleanser to dry skin, at which point it has a cream-like consistency and rosy hue. Next, you're advised to, "dampen fingertips and gently massage until clay cleanser transforms into a white cream." Those are the directions on the product itself.

Conversely, the directions on say to wait until you see the clay transform to a white cream, before dampening fingertips and rinsing off. We tried both methods and either way, the formula eventually emulsifies into a lighter (almost white) pink version of its original color as you massage it into skin, and then you rinse. This effect doesn't produce any real tangible benefit for skin, but some may find it fun.

In terms of the formula as a whole, despite the fact that this cleanser contains some absorbent clay-based ingredients, its texture is actually more on the emollient side, making it ideal for normal to dry or combination skin. It removes makeup decently well and leaves skin feeling soft—not stripped.

Most of the exotic-sounding ingredients called out are fine for skin but in a cleanser, such ingredients are rinsed down the drain and, thus, aren't that extraordinary in terms of their benefit. As for the formula being "infused with the scent of Bergamot and Mandarin," that's actually not a good thing, at least not for skin.

Daily use of heavily fragranced products, whether natural or synthetic, can cause a multitude of problems for skin, leading to pro-aging inflammation. In a rinse-off product such as this, there's less contact time with skin, so it isn't overly concerning (unless you have sensitive skin), but fragrance free is the better way to go for the health of skin.

Marketing gimmicks aside, Clay Chameleon Transforming Purifying Cleanser is a fine option for normal to dry or combination skin—just don't get caught up in the hype surrounding toxins and fragrances that please your nose but won't make skin happy.

Note: We did find ourselves going through this product a bit faster than your average cleanser due to the texture and amount needed to cleanse the entire face. Not a deal breaker, just something to be aware of.

  • Cream-like consistency ideal for normal to dry or combination skin.
  • Removes makeup while leaving skin feeling soft—not stripped.
  • Cannot detoxify skin as claimed.
  • Scented formula not advised for those with sensitive skin.
  • You may go through this a bit faster than your average cleanser due to the texture.
More Info:

Why Beauty Products Can't Detoxify Your Skin: Despite the claims of many a cosmetics company, you cannot "detox" your skin. In fact, brands making this claim never specify which substances their product supposedly banishes—which makes sense, as your skin isn't capable of storing any sort of toxin. An actual toxin is a poison, and we're talking REAL poisons, such as those produced by plants, animals, insects, ¬or reptiles (think snake venom or bee stings) or other organisms.

So-called toxins cannot leave your body through the pores or through your skin, whether via sweat or other means—they're filtered, broken down, and removed by the kidneys and liver. Heavy metal toxicity, for example, can't be "sweated" or otherwise drawn out of skin; this requires medical treatment to remove them from the body.

Regardless of the skin concern you're battling, "toxins" aren't to blame—and if you're serious about wanting results, stick to what the research says really works (and ignore fantasy claims about "detoxifying" cosmetic products).

Last Updated:05.20.2016
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews
Transform your cleansing ritual with this beautifully innovative clay-to-cream facial cleanser that combines the benefits of purifying Brazilian Red Clay and mineral-rich Sea Salts with the soft comfort of a cream. Enriched with Papaya and Bamboo Extracts, our formula works to gently remove impurities and help detoxify, to leave your skin feeling pure, soft and supple. This skin-enlivening formula is infused with the scent of Bergamot and Mandarin to help uplift the senses each time you cleanse.
Water (Aqua/Eau), Glyceryl Stearate SE, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, PEG-60 Glyceryl Isostearate, Butylene Glycol, PEG-32, PEG-6, Myristic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, PPG-15-Buteth-20, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Stearyl Alcohol, Kaolin, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Montmorillonite, Succinoglycan, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sea Salt (Maris Sal/Sel Marin), Tocopherol, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77499).
Brand Overview

Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance

Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. Founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s Bare Escentuals was one of the first brands to introduce the concept of loose powder foundation. Since then, they have moved beyond it to include liquid foundations and tinted moisturizers and an ever expanding line of color cosmetics as well as skincare products.

The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skincare products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.

We should note that loose powder makeup does take some practice to get the hang of—yet there is no denying that this type of foundation has its fan base. There is a lot to love about Bare Escentuals, even if mineral makeup isn’t your thing (especially their price ranges, which have remained affordable in comparison to many of their neighbors at Sephora).

Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; some impressive foundations; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.

Weaknesses: Some of the loose powder products have texture and finish concerns; some of the skincare contain potentially problematic ingredients.

For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.

Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!