PurErb is a Southern California based herbal skincare and aromatherapy brand. They specialize in Meridian facial massage¹.
I’m trying out and reviewing their Clarity Brightening Cleansing Bar:
The claims: This all-natural bar soap is said to “lift impurities, brighten dull skin, reduce hyper-pigmentation while boosting alertness”. It’s a bar soap with 38 different plant extracts, over two dozen said to “brighten the complexion”. Also, it was developed by a “respected Korean Master Monk”.
The scent/appearance: It’s not much to look at. It’s a disc with a dark muddy color with a soft, almost oily feel. It smells like a supplement that would be sold as alternative medicine. It is earthy/rooty (like ginseng) but sweet like molasses and dried hay. The foam is like a tan/hay shade.
How to use: Wet your hands and rub on the bar until it lathers. Massage the face and neck for 30 seconds and leave the foam on for two minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Quick reminder of my skin type – I’m normal-to-dry. My biggest priorities are with discolorations, anti-aging and hydration.
My experience: I can’t remember the last time I’ve used a bar soap on my face. Most bar soaps are extremely harsh and drying. However, I’m finding that there are more bar soaps, especially from Korea that are gentle and have a cult-following. Products can have a terrible pH in any form². I tested the pH of this soap and it’s 7 (give or take). This is not ideal but it’s also more neutral than a lot of foaming cleansers on the market.
The bar lathers easily and washes off easily. At first I only used in the morning because I didn’t know if would remove makeup. Well, it removes makeup, even stubborn Korean BB creams and sunscreen. To my surprise, it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry or tight. Even with the more neutral pH, my skin did not break out either.
The only thing I don’t like is the smell. I didn’t realize that I was so sensitive to this until I tried it. It’s not even a “bad” smell but I’m so sensitive to anything that reminds me of molasses (this is why I hate immortelle in perfume). The scent doesn’t linger on the skin but I admit that I make sure I wash it off very thoroughly because I don’t like it. It’s that I’m standing in the shower for 1-2 minutes with an aroma on my face that I don’t enjoy.
As far as the brightening effects, I can’t say because I use a lot of other brightening products. I do feel like over the past month my skin has appeared more radiant/”clear” but there may be other factors impacting this. All I know is that the past month my skin has looked great.
Ingredients: Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin Orange) Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi (Bearberry) Extract, Mitracarpus Scaber (Mitracarpe) Extract, Morus Alba (Mulberry) Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Cuscuta Chinensis Lamarck (Chinese Dodder) Extract, Salicornia Herbacea (Slender Glasswort) Extract, Phaseolus Radiatus (Mung Bean) Extract, Agarum (Sea Colander) Extract, Agarum (Sea Colander) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Trichosanthes Kirilowii Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris (Cowslip) Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris (Lady’s Mantle) Extract, Veronica Officinalis (Gypsy Weed) Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Platycodon Grandiflorum (Balloon Flower) Extract, Ligusticum Porteri Root Extract, Dahurian Angelica Root Extract, Bletilla Striata Extract, Ampelopsis Japonica Extract, Dolichos Lablab Linn (White Hyacinth) Bean Extract, Japanese Hogfennel Root Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Wild Flax) Extract, Trigonella Melilotus Coerulea (Blue Fenugreek) Extract, Houttuynia Cordata (Heartleaf) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria (Chamomile) Extract, Kaempferia Galanga (Aromatic Ginger) Extract, Agastache Rugosa (Korean Mint) Extract, Bupleurum (Chinese Thoroughwax) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract.
Overall, I think this is a product worth trying if you are looking for an all-natural cleanser. Or if you are looking for a product that is easy to travel with. It is extremely convenient for travel – can go in your carry on, no fear of leaking.
Two sizes are available (1 oz which is shown and a 3.5 oz bar). Prices range from $10 to $35 at PurErb.
My best guess is that a soap bar the size that I have will last 2-4 months with daily use.skincar
¹More about this and techniques here.
²Here’s a great introduction to pH and cleansers. There’s a follow-up article that is worth reading because there’s more factors than pH when finding a great cleanser.
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