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double cleansing

January 5, 2016

Battle of the Western Cleansing Oils: Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil vs. Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil

Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil, left, and Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil, right.

In Friday’s post on How and Why I Double Cleanse, I mentioned that I had been using cleansing oils for a couple of years now. Julep was the brand that introduced me to cleansing oils, and I’ve gone through almost 2 bottles of their Bare Face Cleansing Oil. Mid-way through 2015, I decided I wanted to see what other options were out there for cleansing oils because I’m a curious kitten and no matter how much I love a product, I’m almost always interested in trying an alternative just for shits and giggles. Uh, I mean for research purposes. No, who am I kidding, it’s mainly for shits and giggles. That’s what led me to purchase the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil, which I’ve been using for the past couple of months. They have a lot of similarities, and in terms of everyday makeup removal, I’d say they perform almost identically, but in performing the test for this post, I actually discovered something that surprised me: one of these cleansing oils removes Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara significantly better than the other.

These both have a very viscous texture, similar to olive oil. I’d say the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil is ever so slightly thicker than the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil.

This round is a draw.

Neither of these has a particularly pleasant scent, but neither is repugnant either. The Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil contains olive oil, which is what I’d say is the most prominent scent, followed by the grape seed oil and vitamin E. The Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil has added fragrance, but it’s not very strong, basically just enough to cover up the scent of the oil. Since it’s so faint, it’s a bit difficult to describe the scent of this one, to me it just smells fresh. I haven’t had any issues with the added fragrance irritating my skin, but it’s also not something that I’m particularly sensitive to. However, if you do have sensitive skin, that may be a deciding factor for you.

The Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil wins buy a nose (*wiggles eyebrows* see what I did there? …I’ll show myself out. C’mon Cristine, that wasn’t even a boxing reference.)


Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil
Ethylhexyl Stearate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hexyldecyl Stearate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, BHT

Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-30 Sorbitan Tetraoleate, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Citris Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hibiscus Abelmoschus Extract, Squalane, Phenoxyethanol.

Here’s the CosDNA analysis for the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil, and here’s the CosDNA analysis for the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil.

As you can see, CosDNA flags more ingredients as potential irritants or acne triggers in the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil than in the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about that since these ingredients are Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba, which isn’t in the current formulation of this product), and Gossypium Herbaceum (Cottonseed Oil), all of which have been determined to be safe for use in cosmetic products by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. The only ingredient here that I would consider a cause for concern is PEG-20, which shouldn’t be used on damaged skin (e.g. sunburned skin), but is otherwise safe for use.

As for the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil, the ingredients flagged by CosDNA as acne triggers and/or potential irritants were Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive Oil), Tocopherol (again, Vitamin E), and Squalane, all of which are safe according to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. I would trust the CIR over CosDNA for information about ingredient safety since the findings of CIR are based on multiple scientific studies, whereas CosDNA pulls the majority of their information from sites like Dermadoctor, which, although backed by some scientific research, aren’t as thorough as CIR, and which also have potential biases since they sell their own products. Still, I think that if you have sensitive skin or any known acne triggers, CosDNA can be helpful in determining whether or not you want to purchase a product, which is why I include their analysis as well.

The Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil wins this round for inclusion of extra skin-beneficial ingredients, namely Rosehip oil and Squalane.

The packaging of the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil is more travel-friendly since it includes a cap, but the pump for the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil can be pushed down and twisted to lock it, it’s just a bit more of a pain since you would lose product in the process. Both bottles are plastic, but the Julep BFCO is a thicker, sturdier plastic that has no give, while the Sephora SCO is a softer plastic. The pump for the Julep BFCO is significantly more narrow, meaning that less product is dispensed. It takes 3-4 pumps of the Julep BFCO to equal 1 pump of the Sephora SCO. The Sephora SCO also contains more product at 6.4 fl. oz./190 mL than the Julep BFCO at 3.5fl. oz. /104 mL.

This round is a draw.

Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil $28 ($22.40 if you’re a Maven) for 3.5fl. oz. /104 mL
Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil $14 for 6.4 fl. oz./190 mL

Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil is the clear winner of this round.

For this test, I applied several long-wearing products to my hand including: Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Unicorn Blood, Benefit They’re Real Mascara, ColourPop Lippie Pencil and Lippie Stick in Taurus, Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Palomino, L’Oreal Silkissime liner in Plum, Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 001 Black, Julep Gel Eye Glider in Cosmic Black Shimmer, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, and Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Eldorado. I left the products to dry completely, then applied equal amounts of oil for each test. As I mentioned before, the Julep BFCO dispenses significantly less oil, so I had to use 3 pumps of the Julep BFCO to match the amount of oil dispensed by the Sephora SCO. I then rubbed the oil into my skin for approximately two minutes, which I figure is about the amount of time a person would spend washing their face with a cleansing oil. Following, I added a bit of cool water, emulsified the oil, then rinsed and gently dried my hands.

Before. Test #1: Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil.

After. Test #1: Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil.

Also, if you’re wondering why I’m so pink, it’s because of the lighting in my bathroom, it’s much warmer than the 6500k bulb I use for the majority of my pictures.
Before. Test #2: Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil.
After. Test #2: Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil.

I normally can’t tell the difference between these two cleansing oils when they’re on my face, but as you can see from the photos, the Julep BFCO did a better job of removing the Benefit They’re Real mascara. Neither one was able to completely remove the Jeffree Star Unicorn Blood or Bite Beauty Palomino, and neither even faded Urban Decay Eldorado.

They both emulsified well and rinsed cleanly, meaning that neither left an oily residue.

The Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil lands a punch on the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil at the last second, taking the round.

Final Thoughts:
I think these both work well as first cleansers in a double cleansing routine. The Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil is a better value for the money since it contains more product, costs less money, and lasts longer since you only need 1-2 pumps of this, versus 2-4 with the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil. One other thing I should mention is that while both oils rinse cleanly from my face, the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil tends to cling to my eyelashes and will sometimes form a bit of a film over my eye that lasts for an hour or two. It doesn’t sting my eyes, nor does the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil, but it’s definitely an odd sensation and a bit bothersome. I also prefer the smell of the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil, so while I would consider repurchasing both of these, I would choose the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil over the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil. However, if you use Benefit They’re Real on a regular basis, the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil may be the better option for you. I don’t use that mascara very often, so for me it makes more sense to use the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil.

 It’s not a TKO, but the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil is the winner of this battle. 

Have you used either of these? What were your thoughts?

January 1, 2016

How and Why I Double Cleanse

Happy New Year!

And what better topic to chat about on January 1st than cleansers? Today I’ll be telling you all about why I double cleanse, how I double cleanse, and which products I use.

I’ve been double cleansing for several years now and it’s become so much a part of my regular skincare routine that any other method of cleansing seems strange to me. There are a few different ways that you can double cleanse: washing your face with one foam, gel, or milky cleanser, then following up with a second cleanser, such as a foam or gel cleanser or cleansing milk to get the benefits of both cleansers and to be sure that you’ve thoroughly cleansed your face; or using an oil or balm cleanser and then a gel/cream/liquid cleanser. The latter is what most people are referring to when they mention double cleansing, and it’s also what I’ll be talking about here today.

I was first introduced to the idea of double cleansing by an esthetician, who explained that the basic premise behind double cleansing is that with the first cleanse you remove anything sitting on the surface of the skin such as makeup, dirt, or sunscreen, and with the second cleanse you treat the skin and prepare it for the rest of your skincare routine. This made a lot of sense to me, and I already had everything I needed, so I gave it a go. For the first two or so weeks I used a gel cleanser followed by a cream cleanser. This was too drying for my skin, but I did feel like my skin was cleaner and I enjoyed the process even though it took a bit longer than I was used to. Around this time, I received the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil and konjac sponge in one of my monthly boxes, and I began to use these for my first cleanse, along with whatever gel or cream cleanser I happened to have at the time. I would start by applying the cleansing oil to my dry face to remove makeup, sunscreen etc., then wetting the konjac sponge and gently massaging my face with the sponge, especially in areas such as the crevice of the nose where makeup tends to gather. Then, I rinsed my face with lukewarm water and patted it dry. Cleansing oils are formulated with emulsifying ingredients that help them to rinse cleanly from the face, leaving no oily residue behind. This means that you won’t feel like there’s a film still sitting on top of your skin, and it won’t cause clogged pores. They’re also beneficial for all skin types because they don’t strip the skin of moisture like other cleansers can sometimes do, and they help to remove excess sebum from the skin, so people with oily skin may find that their skin is more balanced after using an oil cleanser. I used to have very, very oily skin (it’s now oily-dehydrated) and I credit oil cleansing to keeping my more oily areas in check, while helping me to avoid aggravating my dry areas.

I’ve gone through two bottles of the Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil, but I’m currently using the Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil simply because I wanted to see if there was a big difference between them. I’ll have a more detailed review of both of these up on the blog next week, but spoiler alert, they’re pretty similar. I’ve also recently tried the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm and really enjoyed that as a first cleanser, possibly even more so than either of my cleansing oils because the texture felt so luxurious. I still have a little bit of my sample left, and I have to keep slapping my hands away from it because I’m saving it for a few overnighters I have coming up since balms are more travel-friendly than oils. I’ve got my eye on a few other balm cleansers, including the Sunday Riley one and the cult-classic Banila Co. Clean It Zero. If you’ve read my post all about my skin, then you’ll know I’m a bit of a Sunday Riley fan girl, and so help me god if one more person raves about that new cleansing balm, my will power will go out the window.

I no longer use a konjac sponge, simply because the one I had needed to be tossed and I haven’t gotten around to buying a new one. I’m on the hunt for a new second cleanser because I’d like to see if using a 5.5 pH cleanser improves my acne and dryness, but the one I’m currently using is the Garnier Balancing Daily Exfoliator for Combination Skin. The exfoliating particles are very sparse and gentle, and it seems to keep my skin softer than any of the other cleansers I currently have.

To review: I massage the Sephora cleansing oil onto my face for a minute or two to remove my makeup, rinse that off, then follow up with the Garnier cleanser, taking the time to work it into the skin, rinse, and then pat dry. It may seem like a bit of a chore at first, but when you begin to realize how much better it makes your skin feel, it will be worth it.