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The Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser is a current favourite on my rotation at the moment. (For information on my skin type, please see my post here, or the information in the footer at the bottom of the page).

Confession: I have used Dr Bronner’s Castille soap for 10+ years to as my cleanser. It is, I think, still my HG cleanser. I am going to dedicate a separate post on this at some point. It’s that good!

I had a bad experience with the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil when I was a teenager, and that really put me off any sort of cleansing oils or balms. So when the cleansing balm rage hit a few years ago, I never tried any of them because I was too scared they would trigger all sorts of angry breakouts on my face. Plus… in comparison, Dr Bronner’s is cheap! And it works!

I saw this cleanser by Grown Alchemist at TK Maxx of all places. That place is a gold mine for skincare and makeup finds. (If I’m not mistaken, it’s TJ Maxx in America, and Winners in Canada). You have to accept that they get what they get, and there’s no rhyme or reason. But, they do get a wide range of brands. I’ve discovered quite a few amazing brands through them (like the Original & Minerals hair products). Grown Alchemist is going to be another one. My wallet will not thank me…

In honesty, I thought Grown Alchemist was over-hyped when it came out. But let me tell you, the hype is real! At least for this product. I am yet to try other products from them, so I can’t comment on the entire line yet.

The Claims

A gentle cream cleanser to remove make up, cleanse and condition delicate facial skin without dehydrating or irritating, leaving it looking soothed, purified and perfectly prepared for moisturising.

Grown Alchemist

The Ingredients

Taken from the Grown Alchemist website

What attracted me to the Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser was the lack of fillers in the product. I also liked that aloe vera extract was the top ingredient, as I know this is something my skin likes.

I was a bit scared about the fact that camellia seed oil was the third ingredient, as I’d never tried this plant oil before. However, it is given a comedogenic rating of 1, so unlikely to clog pores (see this website for a comprehensive list!). But I take the comedogenic ratings with a pinch of salt anyway, as the basis on which they were formed has subsequently been shown to not to be reliable (read more about this here).

I was also a bit scared of the number of essential oils. Whilst I don’t have “sensitive” skin in the textbook definition (i.e. does not become red or irritated easily), I get inflammatory acne in reaction to synthetic fragrance. Also essential oils are known to trigger inflammatory and allergic reactions in quite a number of people, such as with Caroline Hirons. She wrote a review lambasting this product, and so it did make me hesitate. But what she described was a true contact sensitivity reaction. Knowing that I don’t tend to get allergic (or contact sensitivity) reactions to essential oils, I decided to give this a try. And it was also only £6.99 at TK Maxx! Can’t argue with that price.

The Review

Grown Alchemist Hydra-restore cream cleanser
Texture shot – Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser

This is a true cream cleanser. It isn’t a balm or a cleansing oil. It has enough slip to do a short facial massage (less than 5 minutes).

It smells SO good! It doesn’t smell like your typical natural products, which usually have a herbal smell. I don’t know how they did this, but they’re wizards. If you put this in front of me without telling me anything about the product, I would have thought it was a synthetic fragrance. So much so that I re-examined the ingredient label again when I first cracked it open, out of panic that I’d bought something with synthetic fragrance in it! It smells very rich, almost gourmand. The only way I can describe the scent is that it makes me feel like I’m putting on a cozy luxe cashmere sweater.

It emulsifies well, and doesn’t leave an oily residue.

I find it effective as a cleanser. But, I do double-cleanse. I always use micellar water first, as I wear mineral sunscreen which is always a bit tough to get off. I haven’t noticed any makeup residue after using the Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser after my second stage of cleansing.

And most importantly, no acne!

Where to Buy

I actually went and bought 4 backups! I know I’m trying to reduce the back-up buying. But I really could not resist the price at TK Maxx, especially when I found out it normally retails on their website for £31. So my secret stash is uncovered. If you live in the UK, you can currently pick one up at TK Maxx for £6.99. But you’d better be quick, as of this moment there are only 5 left!* When they run out at TK Maxx, you can also get it in the UK from Net-A-Porter for £22 (£5 for standard UK delivery regardless), and also Harrods, Selfridges, and FeelUnique.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite cleansers on rotation are! And do come say hello on Instagram @theartbeaute. Until next time x

Unpaid review. Products purchased by me.

*Update 9 Sept 2020: Sold out at TK Maxx.

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