Laneige has a history of formulating irritating cleansers; unfortunately, Deep Pore Cleansing Foam follows that trend. 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. While the high amount of glycerin may offset the potential to irritate, it also makes it very difficult to rinse completely from skin. In short, this is not a gentle cleanser!
Making matters worse, Deep Pore Cleansing Foam contains potentially irritating fragrance components that add to the already-plagued formula. By the way, if you're curious about the "detoxifying pores" claim, we debunk that in the More Info section.
All of the points above, combined, earn this cleanser a "just don't go there" status.
For effective, yet gentle, cleansing options, see our Best Cleansers list.
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 to begin with. An actual toxin is a poison, and we're talking REAL poisons, such as those produced by plants, animals, insects, 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 sweat or other means—they're broken down and removed by the kidneys and liver. Heavy metal toxicity, for example, can't be "sweated" or otherwise drawn out of skin; it 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 fairy tales told about "detoxifying" plant extracts).
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” don’t stand up to the research; despite a higher-than-average drugstore price point, Laneige products aren’t 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 water—which they tend to label “Optimal Mineral Water”—harvested 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.
Here’s what we really know: All water that’s included in cosmetics, regardless of the source, must go through a rigorous purification process, and there isn’t 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 Laneige’s highly touted mineral water won’t retain moisture in skin unless the outer barrier is reinforced with ingredients like antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing ingredients—all 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 what’s 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.
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.
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