Cow’s a brand targeted at sensitive skin. Its products are as simple, natural, and mild as possible. Even the white and baby pink packaging makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
This time around, our editing department purchased Cow Brand’s Cleansing Oil. It’s marketed as additive-free, but we looked into the ingredients list to test their claims. We also tried the product out ourselves to check for cleansing power. This is what we learned.
Cow Brand Additive-Free Makeup Cleansing Oil
Cow Brand’s famous for their bar soap. Their products cater to delicate skin and are marketed as additive-free and non-irritating. All formulas have to go through allergy testing.
This cleanser features naturally derived ceramides to moisturize and protect dry skin. And it’s cheap. In Japan, you can get a bottle for about 500 yen–and though it’s sold for double in the States, the price still isn’t too bad.
Putting Cow Brand’s Makeup Cleansing Oil to the Test
We had a group of editors put Cow Brand’s Additive-Free Makeup Cleansing Oil to the test. Specifically, we were looking for the following three factors.
Test ①: Cleansing Power
Test ②: Hydration
Test ③: Ingredients
Test ①: Cleansing Power
Japanese cleaners pretty much always double as makeup removers.
Gets Rid of Most Makeup, Even Without Scrubbing
We tested the cleanser out on the following products.
Products We Tested on
- Waterproof Mascara
- Waterproof Eyeliner
- Lip Tint
- Liquid Foundation
We were surprised at how much cleansing power this packed. We massaged it very gently into skin, and liquid foundation, waterproof mascara, eyeshadow slid off. And though the waterproof eyeliner and lip tint survived the first round of cleansing, we only had to scrub a bit harder at the residue for it to fade away.
However, the oil was a bit dense; your face will feel greasy during cleansing. Also the pump was a bit stiff.
Test ②: Hydration
We used a moisture analyzer to measure water levels in our skin right before, right after, and five minutes after cleansing.
Skin Stays Moisturized for a Good Amount of Time
We had no complaints here. While moisture levels did predictably drop after five minutes, we still ended the session 14.8 degrees higher than when we began. The ceramides were obviously doing their job.
Now you know your skin won’t dry out as you make your way to the vanity for your post-cleansing lotions and creams (which you still shouldn’t skip out on).
- Before Cleansing: 47.4
- After Cleansing: 68.8
- Five Minutes after Cleansing: 62.2
Test ③: Ingredients
We asked a specialist who used to work in cosmetics R&D to look at the ingredients list for us. We then discussed the likelihood that sensitive skin will react to the formula.
Unlikely to Irritate Even Sensitive Skin
Looks like Cow Brand’s cleanser lived up to its claims. It was full of ingredients unlikely to cause irritation and was free from common additives, including fragrances, dyes, and ethanol.
It was based off an ester (a chemical compound derived from an acid–fats and oils are often just complicated esters). Esters are quite mild on skin but have high cleansing power and can therefore be drying. With this cleanser as with all other cleansers, seal in moisture with some good toners and creams.
The Final Verdict: Cleansing Power, Moisture, and Mild Ingredients–The Cleanser that Has It All
Cow Brand’s Oil Cleanser packs enough cleansing power to get rid of most makeup, even without rubbing and scrubbing. Its formula also contains ceramides, which moisturize and protect the skin. Finally, it is free of likely irritants and additives.
It is, however, not a miracle worker. Skin will eventually dry out over time. We recommend using the cleaner before stepping into the shower; after stepping out, apply your usual toners and lotions to provide extra hydration.
Should I Get Cow Brand’s Oil Cleanser or Milk Cleanser?
Cow Brand’s Additive Free Makeup Cleansing Milk is even more mild than their cleansing oil. Skin feels more supple and more moisturized after cleansing. It’s suited to especially dry or sensitive skin or to those who just don’t like the feel of cleansing oil.
However, it doesn’t offer much cleansing power (and will definitely not work on waterproof products). Both the oil and the milk are perfectly good products–which one is better depends on your priorities.
Learn More About Other Japanese Cleansers Here
We’ve purchased and tested Cow Brand’s cleansing milk, actually–along with over 50 other cleansers. If you want to shop around a bit before settling, feel free to check out your other options here.
We put Cow Brand’s Additive-Free Makeup Cleansing Oil to the test. We were surprised by how it managed to achieve a balance between cleansing power, moisture, and mild ingredients. If you have sensitivities but love to wear thicker makeup, it’s worth checking out.
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