Updated!! When I first read about the re-release of iS Clinical’s Warming Honey Cleanser in Victoria Health’s September newsletter, I knew that I had to get my hands on it! I am already a fan of their Cleansing Complex, so I knew I had to at least try it!
Previously only used in clinical and spa settings, the packaging of the Warming Honey Cleanser was updated, and is now being sold to the masses! Apparently other people are having trouble finding this cleanser in the US, just like I was, because I have people on a daily basis asking me where I bought mine! I thought I would tell everyone at once, share some initial thoughts, and have a look at the ingredients!
When Victoria Health made the announcement I could only find it available in the UK, and International shipping can be expensive! About a month later, I watched as some of my British Instagram friends posted routines including this cleanser and got major #fomo! So I searched again! The older packaging product showed up on Amazon, but I wasn’t sure about the retailer, so I decided against that option. The grey market for skincare and makeup products is big business, but as a consumer, you don’t always know if you are getting the authentic product. I know Amazon has a strict policy for counterfeit products, but that doesn’t mean that a few grey sellers don’t slip through the cracks! Caroline Hirons has a great blog post about grey market skincare products here. You should definitely check it out!
Finally I found a link to BeautifiedYou.com, a US company based in California, that has the Warming Honey cleanser in their online store. I checked the iS Clinical authorized retailer page because I honestly have never heard of them, and they are indeed a Platinum Partner. So I decided to order from this retailer, and honestly, my experience with BeautifiedYou.com was great! They shipped the product very quickly, I received it two days after I placed my order. I even got a 22% off discount code. Can’t beat that! Definitely check them out if you are wanting to buy this cleanser, or other iS Clinical products.
I found other retailers in the US where you can now purchase this cleanser. Make sure to check my sale page for updated promo codes, the following retailers often have ongoing sales. You can purchase at BeautifiedYou.com, they sell other skincare and makeup brands also, much like DermStore. Warming Honey Cleanser can also be purchased at LovelySkin and PremierLook. I also found the cleanser now available on Amazon for any Prime members interested in 2 day shipping! Click here: iS CLINICAL Warming Honey Cleanser, 4 fl. oz.
iS Clinical Warming Honey Cleanser, Initial Thoughts…
The Warming Honey Cleanser is 4 oz/118 mL for $38 USD. It is made with a glycerin base, and its ingredient list is short and sweet. More about the ingredients in a moment. This cleanser has a thick, gel-like texture that is light gold in color. It is thicker than typical jelly cleansers, like Glossier Milky Jelly or NUDE Skincare Omega Cleansing Jelly. There is a slight scent of honey and royal jelly, nothing overpowering. It does eventually break down to a tacky feeling oil.
I was honestly unsure how to use it at first. I first applied a dime size amount to dry skin, but it doesn’t glide like a gel-to-oil cleanser does. It took some time, but it finally warmed up and started to spread easier. The process did take several minutes, and I really had to work to massage it in. However, it was luxe experience. Not something I would take the time to do everyday, but instead something I would save for a Sunday Spa Day.
The next morning I used it differently. I applied the cleanser to my dry face and started massaging it in. Whenever it felt difficult to spread, I added a tiny bit of warm water to my fingertips and started massaging. It turned into this gorgeous texture that felt like an oil and spread across my face like butter.
I also use this cleanser like I do their Cleansing Complex, as a mask. I just apply a thin layer on dry skin, leave it for 10 minutes (or whenever I get around to washing it off,) and then rinse. I’m not really a mask person, so I don’t have a ton of facial masks. So the fact that this cleanser functions as a mask is perfect for me!
However I decide to use this cleanser for the day, my favorite thing is how easy and quickly it rinses away. Just a few splashes of water and the cleanser, dirt, any leftover debris on my face is gone! No washcloth needed. I really appreciate having cleansers like this in my arsenal. Especially when it is midnight, I have school lunches to pack, laundry to finish, and my bed is calling my name! Just saying, 5:30 am comes too quickly, and I don’t feel guilty for wanting to cut corners on nights like these
Who is it For??
iS Clinical states that the Warming Honey Cleanser “leaves skin ultra-hydrated and
moisturized, while helping to refine and balance problematic skin types.” Its hydrating properties could be great for dry skin, while the anti-microbial benefits could be good for ance-prone. I can tell you, my combination/normal skin type feels very clean, hydrated, soft and smooth after using this cleanser. Like unbelievably soft. However, let me just say, I never felt the warming sensation. Others have, maybe you will, but I haven’t.
A Luxurious Cleanser
I am really surprised that a clinical brand could create such a luxurious cleanser! This cleanser is something I would expect from a green beauty brand. Their Cleansing Complex is definitely a functional cleanser that does a great job, but doesn’t check that box for me as an ‘experience cleanser.’ The Warming Honey Cleanser, on the other hand, is a complete experience for me. No matter how it is used, it is effective, but still creates that spa-like sensorial experience I crave in a cleanser. With no fragrance, or essential oils.
Let’s Look at the Ingredients…
This cleanser is interesting to me because who doesn’t want a warming honey cleanser?! I have never tried a honey cleanser before, but its benefits for skin are overwhelming. Honey is moisturizing, anti-microbial, and is a natural antioxidant. It also has wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties, forming a barrier to protect and soothe. I even found one website claiming that honey can be used as a sunscreen to prevent sunburn. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is a great ingredient for skin.
The base of this cleanser is made of glycerin, a humectant that restores skin. Compounded with the honey, this cleanser leaves skin feeling smooth and hydrated.
Papain, or Papaya Extract
iS Clinical touts papaya extract as “gentle yet powerful exfoliation.” I have found both pros and cons to this ingredient in my research. The Warming Honey Cleanser contains the ingredient, Papain, as the 8th ingredient. Papain is the enzyme that is extracted from papaya. It works by digesting protein, which relates to our skin because dead skin is made of keratin protein. However, I have found research from multiple sources that claim papain can be a potential allergen. There is even a study done by Austrian researchers that found Papain can cause allergic skin reactions in mice and on human skin cells in a petri dish. Read more about the study here. I definitely need to do more research of my own to determine if this is a red flag for me since the facts are conflicting. I haven’t experienced any signs of an allergic reaction myself, but that’s not to say someone else won’t.
Green Tea Extract
Another key ingredient that iS Clinical highlights is Green Tea Extract, or Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract. Green tea is an infamous antioxidant that can help prevent free radical damage. However, let’s consider two facts: it is in a small quantity in this cleanser (listed as the 9th ingredient out of 12,) and it is being rinsed down the drain. We aren’t leaving it on our face like a serum. It is nice that it is included, but I don’t know how big of an impact it makes considering these factors.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
An ingredient that raised a red flag for me was Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, or SLSA. Its close resemblance to SLS, sodium lauryl sulfate, led me to do further research. When I looked it up in my cosmetics ingredients dictionary it said see SLS. In further research I found that SLSA is a gentle cleanser derived from coconut and palm oils that removes oil and bacteria without irritating or stripping skin. SLSA is used as a replacement for SLS because it cleans effectively, yet gently. It is known to provide a rich lather experience, however I would say this is not the case for this cleanser. It does not lather. Its downside? It can be moderately irritating to the eyes. That explains a lot, because if this cleanser gets into eyes..it does burn!
The iS Clinical Warming Honey Cleanser is a win for me so far. I really like the texture, how it makes my skin feel, and the versatility of use. I never felt the warming sensation which is a bummer, and there is conflicting research about the ingredient papain. However any negative of this product is outweighed, for me, by the positives. I will continue to put this cleanser to the test and provide updates at a further date!
Apparently I am incapable of write a short review, which is what I intended this to be. I just can’t help it, I have to include even the smallest details! If you would like a shorter version of my thoughts, you can always follow me on Instagram. Has anyone else tried the Warming Honey Cleanser? I would love to hear your thoughts below! Did you feel the warming sensation and how do you use it? Thank you for reading and Stay Happy & Beautiful!
Until next time,