Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash - review


At the moment my aim in life is to get my draft posts down to less than fifty, and while we can laugh about how sad that makes me, I prefer to look at it as setting myself up to achieve a small victory - something I do a lot these days. 

It's a way to survive screaming toddlers, setting yourself tasks that will yield end results. I mean, as soon as I fold one load of washing and put it away, I've got another one to do. As soon as I clean the crumbs from the floor, they're back there again and so forth - so you have to give yourself small things to achieve that aren't never-ending, or at least that's what I think.

Anyhoo. That's a round-a-bout way of introducing this post. Essentially I'm going to spend the next week trying to review all the Skyn Iceland and Perricone MD posts I've got in my drafts, which will bring me over the line and make me feel a bit better when I open my drafts and don't have so many to consider that I start to feel lost.

Next up is this cleanser, which I love. Unfortunately, though, I just tested it and my pH strips rate it at between an eight and a nine, which is too alkaline and I'm now wondering what's in it.

I'm also scratching my head because it feels gentle on the skin and although it does lather madly, it doesn't strip my skin in the way that some astringent cleansers can do.

This is going to be a difficult review to write!

Skyn Iceland claims/product details:

  • Refresh, revitalise and fight congestion with this hydrating, foaming cleanser that purifies without stripping the skin of its natural oils
  • Mild yet exceptionally effective, this hard-working cleanser is a saviour for stressed out, blemish-prone complexions in need of a deep clean
  • Formulated with white willow bark, a naturally occurring form of salicylic acid, to banish breakouts and soothe irritation, icelandic kelp to fight inflammation and antioxidant-loaded cylindrica seed oil to prevent free radical damage and repair the skin's lipid barrier
  • This slightly foaming cleanser offers that clean, detoxified feeling without any associated drying, leaving the skin as balanced as can be
  • Free from parabens, PEGs, formaldehyde, silicones and sulphate detergents
  • Vegan
  • To use: dispense product into clean, slightly damp palms and work into a lather; massage onto the face before rinsing thoroughly; follow with skincare regime 
  • RRP $44 AUD for 150ml


Ok, so I've had a look at the ingredients and there's no mention of SLS or any of its common derivatives, which confirms what the claims say when they note that it's free of sulphate detergents.

So what, then, is making this product lather up and what's giving it such a high pH? I'm afraid that's outside my pay-grade (ie, my expertise ; )), so all I can do is present the information I have and leave you to make your own decision.

It's a pale green, creamy gel cleanser that has a very slight, clean scent. Do note that it contains parfum and artificial colours, although these represent the last three listed ingredients (and there are LOTS of ingredients), so at least we can say that they're low in concentration.

A little goes a long way with this and it lathers up like nobody's business. It's not an astringent lather that strips the skin, but rather one that feel gentle and luxurious (almost velvety or creamy), and my skin never feels too clean after use or irritated so that's something to keep in mind.

It's such a pleasure to use, and that's the real kicker. I was rather crestfallen when I tested this and saw how high the pH was, because nothing has led me to believe that this is bad for my skin - and since I have dry, sometimes sensitive skin that doesn't react well to harsh cleansers, that's worth mentioning too.

Indeed, I recently reviewed the fabled ExfoliKate cleanser (see here) and while that has a slightly lower pH of between a seven and an eight, I found that to be too much for my skin to use on a daily basis because it stripped my face a little. This one doesn't, so I don't think I can say for sure that the pH factor tells us the whole story.

What I can say is that this is one of the nicest cleansers I've used. The product feels just gorgeous on the skin as it lathers up and it leaves my face feeling clean, comfortable and soft. It's also gentle enough that I can use it twice-daily without drying out my skin, and even this 30ml travel-size is lasting me ages because you need so little each time.

Overall I love this cleanser but I'm not going to tell you to buy it because I'm not an expert so I can't say whether the high pH automatically makes it bad for your skin. I also have to go by what my skin tells me, and my skin is telling a good story so I can't ignore that. It would be worth consulting your dermatologist on the ingredients and pH, and perhaps grabbing a sample so you can see for yourself how it works.

For now I'm just going to say that I love it and also love that the price-tag is quite reasonable for the amount of product you get and also the fact that it comes from Mecca! In the interim I'll certainly ask my own dermatologist about it and let you know if I learn anything new.

A beautiful product.

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