“Halcyon days like boats drifting along slow-moving rivers; spring evenings full of a plaintive melancholy that made the past beautiful and bitter, bidding them look back and see that the loves of other summers long gone were dead with the forgotten waltzes of their years.”
– The Beautiful and the Damned, by Scott F. Fitzgerald
As far as I’m concerned, YÜLI’s Halcyon Cleanser is magic.
The first time I used this, I made the mistake of having too wet hands and a too wet face. The result: I felt like I was massaging a very pleasantly-smelling water over my face. Use this with a damp face and/or lightly wet hands, key words: damp or lightly wet, not dripping. This way, you’ll get the gentlest foaming action you’ve ever seen from a gel–and yet it’s powerful enough to dislodge whiteheads that are ready to go. Was that too visual? #sorrynotsorry. But time and time after again, when I’m breaking out, I go back to this one, because it’s gentle, leaves my face the softest, and combined with a light massage, somehow clears out surface acne–be it instantaneously or gradually over time. It’s the best and strangest thing ever. Also, the light, floral scent is so refreshing day or night. And like all YÜLI products, it’s a product of the ingredients which were chosen for efficacy, not for scent (#coolwithouttrying).
With such a gentle formula, you wouldn’t expect it to be able to remove makeup, but it can. YÜLI has a blog post demonstration of how Halcyon can remove makeup; I’ve tried it, and it works. One reader I talked to once said that she even uses this to remove eye makeup, which I also tried with some success (though fair warning, the instructions say to avoid the eye area). The reasons why I don’t use it to remove makeup are because I feel more comfortable removing my makeup with a balm or oil cleanser first and I want to make the most out of these beautiful ingredients. The plus side of using this as a second cleanse is that I can be rest assured that if my first cleanse didn’t get all my makeup, this will mop up. At night, I typically use three pumps (a little extra just in case for makeup) after a balm or oil cleanser, and in the morning, two, alone–and my skin has loved this from last fall up until now as the flowers are finally coming out for spring.
Amazing performance aside, just from the ingredients, you know this cleanser is something special. I’m thinking the floral scent and part of the gentleness come from the hydrosol blend, herbal infusion, and aloe which all top the list. As Mountain Rose Herbs puts it, a hydrosol contains all of the essence of the plant in every drop, just like essential oils but in milder form. In vitro studies have proven helichrysum italicum to be anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, and many, many studies have been done on lavandula angustifolia (fancy for lavender) on its antimicrobial powers and calming effects (and all of these properties are in every drop of the hydrosol!). The herbal infusion of green tea leaf, red algae, chickweed, and sweet olive flower together are antimicrobial, cooling and drawing, and full of antioxidants and minerals.
Other cool ingredients include peptides, zeolite, vitamin C ester, and biodynamic fruit enzymes. While many other cleansers use sulfates (goodness forbid) or castile soap for foaming action, here the peptides derived from Amaranth protein are the source of the very gentle foaming action that washes away nasties from your skin that also, being peptides, help to heal and repair the skin. Friendliest foaming ever? Zeolite is this weird clay that absorbs nasties (just don’t inhale it as a powder–cancer warnings), vitamin C ester is a very skin-friendly form of vitamin C (hey brightening), and fruit enzymes mean gentle exfoliation. All in all, a really special and different list of ingredients that together clean and heal the skin.
tl;dr There’s a reason why Kathy of Beauty Palette has multiples of this on backup–it’s good. Gentlest foaming action, light floral scent, soft and clearer skin afterwards (literally can massage away surface whiteheads). Can remove makeup, but I prefer it as a second cleanse. Unique ingredients: foaming peptides and hydrosol blend.
Have you used this cleanser? What are your thoughts? If not, what is your current favorite cleanser?
Ingredients: H. italicum/L. angustifolia hydrosol blend*, herbal infusion of (T.pratense*, C. sinensis*, S. media, Z. officinale*, O. fragans), D-aloe barbadensis,vegetable glycerine, sodium cocoyl isethionate (vegetable source), peptides derived from Amaranth protein, jojoba ester*, Rhodophyta (Red Algae) ferment, G.lucidum (Reishi) tincture*, zeolite, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), vitamin C ester, biodynamic fruit enzymes, petitgrain sur fleurs oil*, bergamot (bergaptene-free) oil*, collidal silver
Disclaimer: I purchased the 100ml size myself and the 30ml size was a sample-with-order with a separate order–both from yuliskincare.com (though now you can find it at Spirit Beauty Lounge!). I know I have a lot of love for this brand and its products, but honest to goodness, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Herold, Lauren. “Chickweed: A Stellar Herb.” Journal Of The American Herbalists Guild 10.1 (2011): 31-33. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 3 May 2014.
Hsin-Hsueh, Lee, Lin Chi-Ting, and Yang Ling-Ling. “Neuroprotection And Free Radical Scavenging Effects Of Osmanthus Fragrans.” Journal Of Biomedical Science 14.6 (2007): 819-827. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2014.
Viegas, Daniel Antunes, et al. Helichrysum italicum: From traditional use to scientific data, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 151, Issue 1, 10 January 2014, Pages 54-65, ISSN 0378-8741, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.005.
Vlaisavljevic, Sanja, et al. “Trifolium Pratense L. As A Potential Natural Antioxidant.” Molecules 19.1 (2014): 713-725. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2014.