I usually take my sweet time with reviews, but I was so excited after using the new Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxers that I had to share my thoughts before their official release. Luckily it’s pretty easy to determine if a cleanser or wash-off mask is a hit or miss, and one of these is definitely a hit.
- What is it
- A collaboration between Althea and Get It Beauty, this cruelty-free 2-in-1 pack cleanser draws out sebum, dirt and residue from the pores while dispensing an array of nutrients to the skin, leaving it fresh, supple and smooth.
- How I use it
- The rose one as my morning/second cleanser, and the green tea one as an occasional deep cleanser. As a regular cleanser, I use a dime sized amount and add water to create a lather. As a deep cleanser/mask I apply a quarter size amount all over my dry face, leave on for 10 seconds, then massage with water to cleanse my skin.
- Best suited for
- Rose will for all skin types (except sensitive) due to its shorter and less controversial ingredient list, while Green Tea will work better for oily/acne-prone skin.
- Includes mild artificial fragrance, and the Green Tea version has kava kava extract which can be skin sensitizing. Both contain plant extracts, so double check for potential allergens.
- Clear squeeze tube so you can see the pretty gel within.
- Both smell subtly of their respective key ingredient.
- Gel with very fine rose petals/green tea leaves depending on version. Once you add water, it transforms into a bubbly lather that rinses off easily.
- Leaves skin feeling smoother, softer, and brighter. The Green Tea version can leave skin feeling a bit dry, especially if used as a mask.
- Available At
- $11 per tube (Rose, Green Tea) $22 for both at Althea (free shipping for orders $50+, plus get 20% off your first order!)
I managed to translate the ingredients on the box from Korean to English, and I was impressed with the mix of gentle surfactants and beneficial plant extracts. Click on the name to view full ingredient list:
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Pteris Multifida Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Amaranthus Cruentus Seed Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder (6000Ppm), Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-51, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol
more details on INCIDecoder
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Pteris Multifida Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Amaranthus Cruentus Seed Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (1000Ppm), Hydrogenated Lecithin, Rosa Gallica Flower Powder (3400Ppm), Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-51, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol
more details on INCIDecoder
The key ingredients in each respective products are both well-known: Green tea extract is a soothing and powerful antioxidant, while rose water/rose extracts can be hydrating and anti-inflammatory. Althea specifically sourced the green tea from young tea leaves on Jeju Island and handpicked the roses from Grasse in Southern France to ensure the higher quality extracts. Both products also feature some interesting, lesser-known plant extracts, and it was my first time seeing a lot of these. Let’s see what they do:
- Piper Methysticum Extract – aka Kava Kava. Can cause skin issues when taken orally, but very few studies have been done to study it’s topical effects. Paula’s Choice says it can cause skin sensitivities, but the her sources were also from the 90’s. Doesn’t seem to offer any particular benefits though, at least none that were backed by studies.
- Melia Azadirachta Extract – aka Neem Tree. Has antibacterial properties similar to neomycin, making it suitable for acne-prone skin. (source)
- Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract – aka Amur Cork Tree. A traditional Eastern medicine with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. (source)
- Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract – aka Ivy Gourd. A few studies show that it has anti-inflammatory (source) and anti-microbial (source) properties.
- Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract – Honestly you’d get more benefits eating the eggplant than putting it on your face, but it does show potential as a topical antioxidant (source).
- Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract – Similar to colloidal oatmeal, which is oat kernal flour, the extract is also excellent for soothing irritated skin.
- Pteris Multifida Extract – A patent study showed that it can help promote collagen synthesis, minimize skin irritations, and prevent acne (source). Definitely sounds promising, but I’d like to see more studies regard its benefits.
- Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract – An increasingly popular ingredient in K-Beauty, it’s shown to prevent the skin against wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity. (source, source)
- Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract – aka Holy Basil. Traditionally used in Ayurveda treatments, it’s said to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (source).
- Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract – Another traditional Eastern medicine, it’s full of water-binding sugars making it almost comparable to hyaluronic acid in terms of moisturizing the skin. It’s also got anti-inflammatory properties! (source)
- Amaranthus Cruentus Seed Extract – Amaranth oil, which is extracted from the seed, is rich in essential fatty acid and linoleic acid, which are both great for the skin. It also has some UVA protection abilities (source).
- Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract – It’s good inside and on the outside of your body, thanks to its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It can also help regulate sebum production (great news for oily skin) and brighten dull skin! (source)
- Corallina Officinalis Extract – aka red algae extract. Algae in general is both a humectant and an emollient (Anne has 2 great posts in case you don’t know what those are), and depending on the species, they can also have anti-aging and antioxidant effects. This one in particular is rich in trace elements like calcium, zinc and magnesium which are beneficial to our overall skin health (source).
As you can see, the Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxer contain a lot of anti-inflammatory ingredients, which can deliver results much faster than anti-aging or brightening ingredients that work at a deeper level. For me, seeing the latter in cleansers mean very little, but anti-inflammatory ingredients in cleansers? That I can get on board with. Another good news: both products are low pH (around 5), making them moisture barrier friendly!
Real Fresh Skin Detoxer usage experience
I have a weakness for aesthetically pleasing products, and these are definitely easy on the eyes (and nose!). I love both the appearance and texture of the Green Tea and Rose versions, with their visible rose petal and green tea leaves suspended in a lightweight gel that glides easily over the skin without any tugging. The petals and leaves are supposed to act like exfoliants, which I was initially wary of, but luckily you can barely feel them on the skin, so don’t expect the Real Fresh Skin Detoxers to replace your scrub. The hint of fragrance is great for those who appreciate the olfactory experience, but still subtle enough to not offend anyone with a super sensitive nose. Saying that these are a delight to use is an understatement.
Yes, so I’ve only used these for 4 days, but like I said, it doesn’t take a month to determine whether or not cleansers work. If anything, you can pretty much tell after the first wash whether or not you like it. I’ve used this both as per official directions (apply a thick layer, wait 10 seconds, then cleanse) and as a regular cleanser, and the difference is negligible. Yes, my skin did look a tiny bit brighter and feel a smidgen smoother when I masked first, but it also made my skin drier after washing off, probably because I’m using 5x the amount of product compared to my regular cleanser! Also if you use acids or retinol and your skin is on the sensitive side, masking can make your skin feel slightly uncomfortable.
For someone like me that spends very little time outdoors on a daily basis, I’ve found the best way to use these is as regular cleansers, and if you really want a deep cleanse, then apply a thick layer. If you have oily skin or you live in a city with a lot of pollution, then masking + cleansing every night with the Althea Real Fresh Skin Detoxer might work for you.
Which one should I pick?
For me, the Green Tea is comparable to a clarifying mask or cleanser and is stronger than the Rose version. You can achieve a similar “deep clean” effect by masking with the Rose version as well, so it comes down to your skin type and what your current routine has:
- Dry/normal skin? Go with Rose. Oily/acne-prone? Go with Green Tea. Combo skin types can go with either.
- Need a foaming, low pH daily cleanser that’s easy on the eyes and nose? Go with Rose. Already have a daily cleanser you love? Go with Green Tea for its clarifying properties.
I personally prefer the Rose version over Green Tea, it’s a beautiful low-pH foaming cleanser that works as claimed without irritating the skin. I also love that I can use it as a mask if I feel like doing a deep cleanse, saving me from buying and applying an additional product in my routine! I usually don’t care for rose scents, but this one doesn’t smell fake, nor is it so in your face that you want to gag. Just a lovely cleanser all around.
I really have no complaints about the Rose version, and if you prefer foaming cleansers (me!), you'll really like this one. Most rose cleansers I've come across are non-foaming, and sometimes I feel like they're almost not strong enough, or they leave a film behind, neither of which I'm a fan of. For me, this hits all the marks of a great cleanser in my book, and bonus points for it doubling as a deep cleaning mask. This will definitely be a staple in my routine going forward!
Hope you enjoyed this review, and happy Friday!