I love trying out new cleansers. I know cleansers are products that you don’t leave on your skin for too long and that most of it ends up down the drain, but a good cleanser can really make all the difference. Our skin is protected by a slightly acidic film called the acid mantle, and this acts as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other toxins. Harsh cleansers can change the pH of your skin and upset this gentle balance. A lot of people who experience breakouts mistakenly think (I used to be one of them) that they need a harsh cleanser to prevent breakouts, when it’s often the opposite. Stripping all the natural oils disrupts the acid mantle, making the skin more susceptible to breakouts and other infections.
If you are thinking of getting a good water-based cleanser, make sure it’s free of sulfates and it doesn’t foam (there are some exceptions to this rule, but if you are not sure, go with a non-foaming cleanser). When I first saw The Little Alchemist Wild Apple & Mint Purifying Gel Cleanser, I was apprehensive it might be a little too harsh for my combination skin, but it’s very gentle and perfect for any skin type.
The cleanser comes in a brown Aesop-esque brown pump bottle. The packaging is nice enough but I always confuse The Little Alchemist with Grown Alchemist (another Aussie brand) because they look so similar. I really hope The Little Alchemist updates their packaging so they can stand out a bit more. The Little Alchemist formulations are unique, all-natural and effective, and their products are so different from anything else out there in the competitive Aussie natural skincare market. They deserve all the attention they can get!
Aqua, (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Extract*,Alchemilla Vulgaris (Lady’s Mantel) Extract, Leuconostoc/Aloe barbadensis Leaf/ Sorbus Aucuparia Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Pascopyron Smithii (Wheatgrass) Extract*, plantago major (plantain) leaf extract*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Extract*, Vegetable Glycerine, Decyl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Zeolite, salix nigra (Blackwillow Bark) Extract, Glycrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract*, Carica Papaya Extract*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, fragrance (Vanilla & Almond Extracts), Curcuma Longa (Tumeric) CO2 Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood Orange) Peel Oil, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Oil.
The formula is rich in fruit enzymes, antioxidants and has a small amount of Decyl Glucoside, a mild cleansing agent. I love the addition of fermented ingredients as they make the ingredients more bio-available. The all-natural formula has no parabens, silicones or any other questionable ingredients.
Texture, Feel and Smell:
The cleanser has a transparent, fresh aloe gel-like texture that foams minimally. It has a herbal smell that reminds me of health tonics I get from my naturopath.The instructions recommend using just one pump per cleanse, but I find that I need at least two pumps to fully cover my face. The formula is rich in fruit enzymes, but it doesn’t sting or irritate my skin, which is incredible!
This is a very effective brightening cleanser. The fruit enzymes exfoliate gently, and the formula rinses clean without any residue. Although it’s marketed as a cleanser for normal-oily skin, it is gentle enough for most skin types. While it leaves my skin feeling clean, it doesn’t give me that stretchy, scrubbed clean feel, like many gel cleansers. If you wear makeup or heavy sunscreens, you’ll need to use an oil-based cleanser and use this as Step 2 of your double cleanse. I use this as my morning cleanser, and it leaves my skin clean and glowing.
It’s very reasonably priced, given the quality of the ingredients. The 100ml retails for $38 on I am Natural Store. I’d requested for a sample of their Pineapple and Zeolite Micro Polish, and they sent me a 50ml bottle, worth $24, for free. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that level of generosity from a small niche brand before!
To purchase, click here!
Photography: Laarni Gomez