Sometimes simple can be good, especially when it comes to cleansing products. Harsh detergents found in most shampoos, body washes, and facial cleansers are often the cause of our hair & skin problems, so why do we keep using them? I’ve been using sulfate-free shampoo for a while now and have definitely noticed an improvement in my hair health, and it’s about time to do the same for my face.
Meet Aqua Aria, a Japanese facial soap with just 4 natural ingredients! At first I was skeptical about it’s effectiveness – after all, don’t most facial cleansers come with at 20+ ingredients? But apparently 4 is just enough:
- Bentonite (clay) – This is the main ingredient of the product. After doing a bit of research, I found that bentonite is often used to detoxify skin and draw out impurities. It’s also a great antibacterial cleansing agent, which makes this soap very suitable for those with acne-prone skin.
- Sekken Soji – A popular cleanser ingredient in Japan, it’s actually made from fatty acids (from animal and vegetable oil) and sodium hydroxide. It’s very gentle in nature yet still produces a nice foam.
- Squalene – A natural moisturizing agent derived from shark liver oil or olive oil, it has several skin benefits. It acts as a natural lubricant to prevent moisture loss, and its high penetration efficiency means that it can help the skin better absorb other ingredients! It also helps repair the skin and reduces the appearances of fine lines & wrinkles, as well as protect the skin from environmental factors such as UV rays. Talk about a power ingredient!
- Glycerin – Like squalene, glycerin also helps the skin retain moisture. It’s also an emollient, which means that it makes the skin moist, soft, and supple to touch. This is a common ingredient found in most moisturizers.
Since there are no fragrances added to the soap, it smells like nothing, which to me was kind of weird at first. I also found that massaging the bar on my face didn’t produce as much foam as I would’ve liked. Rather it had a milky consistency, similar to that of cleansing oil mixed with water. Personally I prefer applying this with my cleansing brush, as it produces the more foam and uses less product.
When rinsing it off, I immediately get that squeaky-clean feeling on my face. Literally, I can hear my face squeak as I’m washing away the soap! Usually this means that as soon as I dry my face, it will feel extremely tight and dry, so I was a little concerned. However, my face felt just fine. I even waited a bit to see if the tightness would kick in, but nothing happened. I was simply left with a smooth clean face.
02/01/2017 UPDATE: Soaps are naturally alkaline, which means they are high pH and no bueno for our moisture barrier. This soap, while not drying, is no exception. I don’t remember the exact pH of this soap, but I recall testing it way back and it was definitely higher than a 5…I want to say it was at least pH 7.
In terms of its cleansing abilities, the squeaky clean part should give you a hint. After some experimenting, I found that I could get away with just removing my eye makeup, and Aqua Aria would take care of the rest. I’m sure it would do a good job of removing my eye makeup as well, but I wouldn’t use the soap anywhere near my eye. It got in once and let’s just say it was…quite painful.
Aqua Aria Cleansing Bar
Overall I'm happy with the Aqua Aria cleansing bar, and I can see it being suitable for all skin types. The $68 price tag is quite steep, especially for a facial cleanser, but after trying out the product I can see why. That being said, would I repurchase in the future? If I have extra $$$ to spend, then yes. To me the Aqua Aria cleansing bar is like a luxury brand bag or car - awesome to have, but you can do just fine with mid-tier alternatives.
For those of you who want to indulge in a little bit of luxury, use the coupon code “AAJennyW10” to get a 10% off your purchase! Aqua Aria cleansing bars can be purchased directly from their website. Happy cleaning!