Friday, April 24, 2015

REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water: a burning rose...



REN Cleansing Water was my first experience with a non-French micellar water. These no-rinse cleansing waters remove makeup, cleanse and tone skin all at once. They're very popular in France (I reviewed Lierac's, Esthederm's and Le Couvent des Minimes') and they're slowly starting to become easier to find in North America too. I was really hopeful, since REN seems to have a great reputation as an efficient skincare brand, but the Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water bitterly disappointed. 



The bottle is clear and the label is very basic, it looks a little too medical for my taste, especially considering this product retails for $25. I don't necessarily need fancy shmancy packaging but this is really very plain. The medium sized hole on top dispenses a perfect amount of liquid on my cotton pad. 

The cleansing water has a pleasant natural rose scent, coming from the rose water and rose extract it contains. Here's the full ingredients list: Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Lactic Acid, Citronellol, Geraniol, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract. Looks pretty good doesn't it? 


Unfortunately, something in this formula burns my eyes horribly and even irritates the skin on my face. I have a hard time believing the burning sensation is caused by the rose water, even though it's the main ingredient. I used pure rose water as a toner daily when I lived in Turkey, and I never had a bad reaction. With this Cleansing Water however, just getting a soaked cotton pad too close to my eyes makes them sting and they immediately get watery. Even the skin on my cheeks turns red after use and I feel the burn for a minute or two. Let me tell you that I don't have sensitive skin and having this kind of reaction is extremely rare for me. I use AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C, retinol without any irritation, but somehow this supposedly gentle cleansing water sets my face and eyes on fire! UPDATE: Linda Libra Loca made me realize that the culprit is probably the lactic acid. It has exfoliating properties and according to Paula's Choice ingredient dictionnary, it can irritate mucous membranes - like the eyes - and cause skin irritation.

To make things worse, its performance as a makeup remover is poor. It's just not enough to completely remove foundation and it does nothing to dissolve eye makeup. 

Overall: total failure. I would NOT recommend this product to anyone with even mildly sensitive skin and/or eyes. In fact, I wouldn't recommend this micellar water to anyone at all, since there are so many out there that do a great job at removing makeup! 

Where to buy? REN is sold on dermstore.com. I would look into the rest of their skincare range and skip this product if I were you.

The product featured in this review was purchased by Lulle. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links.


8 comments:

  1. Sorry this turned out disappointing in so many aspects. It's terrible it's burning your face! Bioderma makes the best Micellar water but I read many excellent reviews on the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water and I have been meaning to try it (but I always forget to look for it when I am out shopping!)

    http://herandmakeup.com

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    1. Bioderma is not a favorite of mine. I tried in France a long time ago (maybe 10 years!) and I didn't like how it smelled and the fact that it left my skin feeling a bit sticky. It's definitely the most well-known and popular but not the best if you ask me!
      I think I'll try the Simple one when I'm done with my current Vichy. It's easy to find, cheap and you can get it on sale, so it's worth a try!

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  2. I can't believe something containing Lactic Acid is marketed a cleansing water? I wouldn't dar to bring it near my eyes...

    LindaLibraLoca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. Wow, for some reason I didn't even realize it was there - I was focusing on the rose extracts. Yes I guess we found the offender!

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  3. Oh noooo I'm so sorry to hear this is such a bummer! I don't care WHY it stings your eyes. A makeup remover simply never should! I love Bioderma Sensibio and basically buy the thing in bulk. I've tried some other formulas, but I seem to always go back to it.

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    1. Yeah there's really no excuse to sell a micellar water that burns the eyes! One of my favorite cleansing water is by Lierac, it's gentle and removes eye makeup very efficiently.

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  4. Oh wow this sounds horrible! I was always keen on trying it, but will stay well clear of it now as my eyes are very sensitive! Thanks for the heads up, I'll stick to my trusted Bioderma! :) xx

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    1. With sensitive eyes you should stay far away from this one, lol!

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