Of all the skincare steps, cleansing gets the least amount of credit. It’s often hurried through as just that thing you do to remove dirt and debris, but it sets up how your skin will receive the rest of your regimen, preparing the canvas on which you apply your skincare.
A strong, soapy face wash, for example, can strip away your skin’s natural moisture and throw off its pH level, leaving it in a vulnerable, sensitive state when you start putting on your skincare. This dearth of our natural protective barrier can in turn set off irritation or dryness, to the point where you may toss out a perfectly good serum or moisturizer thinking it’s the culprit when actually, your face wash could be the root of the problem.
On the flip side, if your cleanser is so mild that it doesn’t remove all your makeup and the day’s debris from your face, what’s left behind could block your pores and prevent your skincare from fully absorbing, rendering it less effective.
So, it is important to cleanse thoroughly while maintaining skin’s natural moisture and balance, which is why more gentle cleansing methods have increased in popularity.
While we developed our Luminous Cleansing Elixir seven years ago, it is, like most of our products, still a forerunner for innovation in its category. At the time, the goal was to deliver a completely different, superior kind of cleanse that’s incredibly gentle yet highly effective, and that preps the skin to absorb the potent ingredients in our restorative moisturizers. We also wanted it to be for most skin types, so we formulated the elegant, silky balm to work with or without water—or you can do both to create a luxurious double-cleansing experience with one spectacularly versatile formula.
Double cleansing, for anyone who hasn’t tried it, is when you start with an oil-based cleanser to dissolve makeup, sunscreen, debris, and excess oil. Oil breaks down oil, so this first step helps you gently remove all that stuff without scrubbing your delicate skin or depleting its natural moisture. Then you cleanse a second time with a mild emulsifying formula to rinse away any residue and lingering dirt particles, and the result is skin that’s clean yet still soft and balanced.
Normally, this process requires two cleansers: an oil-based formula followed by a water-based one. But the unique, extraordinary composition of our waterless, oil-based Luminous Cleansing Elixir lets you double-cleanse with one multifaceted product, all while nourishing your skin.
Our combination of two ultra-gentle surfactants with high-grade, skin-nutritive oils and humectants gives the cleanser its dual-action capability:
● The main ingredient and primary surfactant is Avocado Oil, which comprises a third of the formula. As an oil cleanser, this moisturizing emollient dissolves face makeup, sunscreen, debris, and excess oil so they come off easily, even without water. Our Avocado Extract comes from our founders’ permaculture ranch in Malibu, CA and is vegan, organic, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids and skin-softening properties.
● Our secondary surfactant is Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, a mild, coconut-derived ingredient that allows water and oil to mix for better cleansing. When it gets wet, it emulsifies into a lush, creamy foam for a decadent lather that doesn’t disrupt the skin’s natural moisture (Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate also has one of the EWG’s highest safety ratings).
● Nourishing humectants like glycerin and moisturizers such as safflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and sesame seed oil leave skin feeling soft and supple after cleansing, never tight or dry. Many other cleansers use wax or silicones instead to provide slip and make the skin feel lubricated afterwards, but they don’t actually moisturize.
And since our anhydrous Luminous Cleansing Elixir doesn’t contain any water, it needs fewer preservative agents and is also housed in a secure airless container to help keep the ingredients as fresh as possible until the very last drop.
With soothing avocado oil acting as the oil cleanser and the coconut-derived surfactant providing cloud-like, satisfying suds should you choose to wet the formula, our 2-in-1 Luminous Cleansing Elixir can be used in several ways:
For the ultimate hydrating experience, skip water (which can exacerbate dryness) and massage two pumps of the cleanser on dry skin, then gently wipe it off with a soft, dry tissue or cloth. This method leaves behind a veil of moisture on your face from the oils, so you may want to wait at least 15 minutes to give the oils time to absorb before applying foundation or other makeup products.
To turn the balm into a gorgeous milky cleanser, or if you have a full face of makeup to clean off, wet your hands and face with water, then blend one pump of the formula on your skin. Gently remove with a soft, damp washcloth using cool or tepid water (never hot!), which also lightly exfoliates the skin. (Avoid using the cleanser around your eyes and instead use a separate eye makeup remover.)
For a superb double cleanse in one step, gently massage two pumps on dry skin for a minute or so, then wet your fingertips and continue massaging to work the cleanser into a silky lather. Remove with a soft, damp face cloth using cool or lukewarm water.
To create a soothing, moisturizing treatment, massage two pumps of the cleanser on your dry skin and leave it on for 30 minutes before removing.
Our multipurpose Luminous Cleansing Elixir is so much more than just a face wash—its restorative oils, vitamins, and extracts nourish and moisturize to maintain skin’s natural balance, which is the first step every day to a soft, radiant, healthy-looking complexion.
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