February 2016 Birchbox Review #3: BORGHESE Fango Purificante Clay Cleanser

Oh, Birchbox. At least you tried.

A lot of times when I get skincare items in Ipsy or Birchbox, they miss the mark by a mile on my skin type. When I was a teenager and in my early twenties, my skin was quite oily (thanks, hormones!) and I would have killed for a good clay based cleanser. As I’ve gotten older, my skin as gotten a little drier. Now, I have more combination skin (normal with a slightly more oily t-zone). So with this clay based cleanser, they sort of got it right.

I’m incredibly picky about my face cleansers, because even though my oiliness has calmed down I can be acne and irritation prone. I did a ton of research before committing to my current cleansers, which have worked out really well. I wasn’t in the market for a new cleanser, but I thought why not? Let’s see how this does.

Borghese Fango Purificante Clay Cleanser (USD $30.00 for 3.5 oz) is a pricey clay based cleanser. Granted, you are getting 3.5 oz, but $30 is still a pretty penny to pay for a cleanser. But some high end skincare is super amazing, so I won’t hold the price against it.  The packaging of the full size is also a squeeze tube, which is perfect for dispensing without exposing the cleanser to the elements and bacteria.

What this cleanser has going for it is that it’s suppose to be a gentle cleanser made out of Tuscan clay. Let’s be real, it doesn’t really matter where the clay comes from…dirt is dirt. But clay can absolutely be a great oil extractor for those of us with oily patches. As for the “gentle” claim, the ingredients almost all check out. There are a lot of safe, natural, and beneficial ingredients such as some clarifying oils, amino acids, and (my personal favorite) hyaluronic acid. These are all great because they will gently cleanse and repair the skin without leaving behind excess oil.

The one flaw: this cleanser has fragrance, skincare enemy number one. I did some research and it looks like this doesn’t have too much fragrance in it. Plus, since the cleanser does wash away it won’t stay on the skin. Still, if you have very sensitive skin and know you don’t react well to fragrance, you may want to keep away.

I actually think this could be a fabulous cleanser for folks that have extremely oily skin and a normal cleanser just isn’t cutting it. However, my skin was not a fan. The problem was that the clay and a few of the oil cleansing ingredients extracted too much moisture from my skin.

What I did was swap my typical nighttime cleanser, Marcelle Hydra-C Facial Exfoliating Gel, for the Borghese. I use a more exfoliating cleanser at night, to control my oily t-zone. This one from Marcelle works great for my combo skin and doesn’t dry out the rest of my face. I could tell immediately that the Borghese was doing its job of extracting oil. My skin felt super tight and dry, even after going through my moisturizing routine. This bad boy is powerful.

But it absolutely overpowered my skin. By day 5 of using this cleanser, my skin looked severely parched and was starting to feel itchy from being dry. I immediately stopped using it and did a few moisture masks to reverse the effects.

I don’t think this cleanser is bad at all. It’s just not a good match for someone who has anything drier than oily skin. I think someone with my skin type is better off sticking with gentler cleansers and just using the occasional clay based mask on their oily areas.

Rating: 4/5. While this cleanser was not a good match for my normal/oily combo skin, I do think this could work wonders for people who have severely oily skin and need to get it under control. Fragrance aside, the ingredients are very promising and, in my experience, do work at extracting oil.

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