If you’re after blemish-free, clear and even-toned skin, proper cleansing is the key. I repeat: CLEANSING is the key. Pricey toners and a myriad of clay masks are not going to do anything if you regularly go to bed with clumps of mascara still on your lashes and your sunscreen still covering up your pores because you’re too tired to cleanse properly after a night out. Well, guess what: leaving all that make-up, sunscreen and gunk and sebum that accumulate during the day will lead to clogged pores and cause breakouts eventually. That’s why using a good cleanser that is able to get rid of all that without totally stripping the skin and prep it for the following skincare steps is crucial. Oh, annd it should be low-pH.
Wait, what. Low pH? But why, isn’t this just a cleanser anyway?
Yes, yes, I get ya. I was never very aware about the pH levels of beauty products until I started using BHA and AHA’s.
Let’s have a quick pH-bootcamp:
Skin, by nature, is slightly acidic, with its pH usually being somewhere below 5. This helps skin retain water and wards off bacteria, amongst others. However, if you use products on your skin that have a different pH, your skin’s pH is going to change, which could potentially wreak havoc on your skin. What’s worse, your skin won’t go back to its normal pH immediately. Even normal water can change pH levels and it needs a good amount of time for it to go back to its acidic state afterwards.
Using a highly acidic cleanser makes you more prone to breakouts, because your skin’s ability to fight bacteria decreases. Bacteria love to party and reproduce on an alkaline base, which is given to them with high-pH cleansers. On healthy, slightly acidic skin, however, bacteria has a much harder time growing (read, less acne. Hooray!).
See why you should be using a pH-appropriate cleanser now?
And with this, let’s go to the review of the fabulous, hanbang (traditional Korean medicine) and low-pH cleanser from Sulwhasoo, the Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Cleansing Foam.
Despite being a fairly expensive, luxury skincare brand from Korea, I love Sulwhasoo. From their focus on ginseng and traditional extraction methods to the earthy scents and the beautiful, detailed packaging, I crave everything about it. Yes, it is on the pricier side, but girl, you gotta treat yoself sometimes, right?
When my SU:M 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick was running out I was worried that it would take time and lots of research to find another low-pH equivalent that was as pleasant to use, but luckily I had to look no further than Sulwhasoo.
The Snowise EX Cleansing foam is, as the name already hints, from Sulwhasoo’s whitening line. Now, I didn’t buy this in the hope of getting ‘whiter’ skin. It’s a general misconception that products that are advertised as whitening will really bleach your skin (which you shouldn’t do anyway if you don’t want to harm your skin). Instead, they tend to have a skin-brightening effect, making skin more translucent and fading scarring and hyper pigmentation. In addition to that, I don’t believe that a cleanser that stays on my skin for less than 5 minutes would be able to do any of that anyway. There is simply not enough time for that. But still, as explained earlier, using a good, low-pH cleanser can have many benefits and effectively keeps acne at bay, which is why I decided to get this.
This being said, let’s have a closer look at this low-pH cleanser:
Sulwhasoo is considered a Korean luxury brand. If you didn’t know this much before, you would definitely notice as soon as you hold one of their products. Even the Snowise cleanser comes in a pretty, sturdy plastic tub with simple a classy, shiny print.
Smell & Consistency
Before lathering it up, this cleanser, which is pearly white and creamy, can be best compared to a regular shampoo in terms of consistency. The smell is definitely not like your usual cleanser. A lot of cleansers targeted at female consumers tend to have a flowery, sweet or perfume or very scents. On the other hand, the Snowhite Ex Cleansing Foam has a strong, earthy pine forest smell. Personally, I love it. It’s a refreshing scent that reminds me of the real ingredients used in the cleanser, rather than the artificial scents I was so used to. In the morning, the wave of forest pines helps me wake up, and in the evenings, it helps me relax. If you’re not really into the earthy, woody kind of scents, this may not be for you, but I consider it a welcome olfactory break!
The usual issue with low-pH cleansers is: they don’t foam too well. Many of us have gotten used to the thick, luxurious bubbles to get that squeaky clean feeling. Surprisingly, the Sulwhasoo Snowhite EX Cleansing foam creates quite a decent amount of bubbles – that is, if you are ready to work on it for a bit. For it to lather nicely, I need to rub my hands together for a while until I get the desired consistency. This process can be accelerated by using a konjac sponge or a foaming net, which you can get very cheaply on sites like eBay or SaSa.com.
Even though I spend several minutes massaging the cleanser very lightly (careful not to use pressure and tug the skin which could lead to premature wrinkles), after I wash it off with some lukewarm water, my skin does not feel stripped or tight. Instead, I’m left with a refreshed, even-toned face, ready to absorb the rest of my skincare routine.
Overall Rating and Conclusion
The Snowise EX Cleansing Foam by Sulwhasoo has to be one of my favourite cleansers. The relaxing scent, the decent leather you can get with it and the fact that it doesn’t dry out my skin is everything I look for in a cleanser. As for other claims the products makes, such as ‘whitening’ the skin, I didn’t notice any difference by adding this to my skincare routine, but as I mentioned earlier, I don’t have these expectations from my cleanser anyway. If you really want to see any real difference with your skincare regime, I’d suggest to invest in chemical exfoliants and potent serums, masks and more. You’ll definitely get better results with that. But as for as cleansing goes, the Snowise EX does everything you’d expect from a good pH cleanser. And while you may not see actual ‘whitening’, over time, your skin will thank you for using a low-pH cleanser!
Score: 4.5 / 5.0
I took 0.5 from this cleanser because it does take some effort to lather it up (if you’re not using any tools that is) and because it’s not the most affordable cleanser, although I wouldn’t exactly say it’s and indulgence either.
Where can I buy this?
I got mine from W2Beauty by the lovely Alice, who kept me up to date with payment, shipment and special offers the whole time, but you can also get it from these places:
TesterKorea.com for USD 33.20
Jolse for USD 33.13
RoseRoseShop for USD 29.63
Have you tried the Snowise EX Cleansing Foam or any other low-pH cleansers that you can recommend? Let me know in the comments below! ^^