The Cleanser with Coconut Oil that Doesn’t Break Me Out

What? Stop the crazy talk.

If you’ve been around and about Nephriticus, you may have read about my great coconut oil breakout of 2012 and my road to recovery (thank you YÜLI Cell Perfecto PM). You’ve probably seen me mention the rms ‘un’ cover-up and Kjaer Weis foundation, two well-loved foundations in #greenbeauty with lots of coconut oil, from time to time but never in full-out posts.

I really thought coconut oil was an enemy of my skin for some time, despite its vast array of antibacterial, antifungal, anti-all the things properties. I sometimes tend to break out easily in response to stress, diet, germs, etc. and in the past, not having coconut oil in my life did less harm than having coconut oil in my life.

However, I went to a MV Organic Skincare and Kjaer Weis event at Credo Beauty in the fall of 2015, and somewhat on a whim, but mostly on recommendation, I later walked away with two products: the Gentle Cream Cleanser from MV Organic Skincare and (not one but) two shades of the Kjaer Weis foundation.

I had been eyeing the Gentle Cream Cleanser since Lilly (Genuine Glow) posted about it, but shied away due to the inclusion of coconut oil. I had hit pan on a Kjaer Weis foundation before, but while I loved the medium/full coverage, I suspected the coconut oil content wasn’t the best for my very stressed-out skin at the time.

How pleasantly surprised I was in the months following.

At the Credo Beauty event, I was schooled in the art of cleansing by Madeleine. I was getting off an In Fiore high (read: massage oil cleanser in forever followed by massaging in cream cleanser for slightly less than forever, then rinse for forever, sorry California drought). MV Organic Skincare, not very unlike Pai Skincare, is a lot about treating skin sensitively and very gently. So instead of my 10 minute oil massage, Madeleine had me massage the cleanser in for 10 seconds.

The reasoning? She saw immediately that my skin is textbook oily, super redness prone (she mentioned my blog and apparently I immediately blushed tomato-red, sans-makeup 😅), and acne-prone. She brought up a couple points that majorly clicked with me.

  1. Massaging my face so much may be exacerbating my acne more than helping it. Of course, Caroline Hirons has some great massaging routines (and goodness knows I LOVE a good facial massage), but of course, I don’t have the same skin type as her
  2. “Let the cleanser do the work.” Madeleine had to tell me to slow way down when I was applying the cleanser because I was used to just whish-washing away, massaging super fast and everywhere à la that fabulous Into the Gloss cleansing video. But it kind of makes sense right? The cleanser was made to clean. I should spread it over my face and let it do its thing.

I still leave makeup removal to an oil + warm muslin (back then, the S.W. Basics Makeup Remover with an equally short and gentle massage) as to maximize the gorgeous ingredients in the cleanser. Again, I massage slowly and gently, starting with an inhale of the beautiful rose scent, for a max of 10 seconds before applying a warm and wet muslin to my face several times and then slowly and gently removing the cleanser from my face.

You can see a theme going on here.

One of my concerns with the coconut oil was that it would leave a film on my face that would cause me to breakout, but I couldn’t have been more wrong with this cleanser. It leaves my face feeling clean, in a healthy clean but not squeaky-clean way, but not filmy (which I realized the In Fiore Treate Cleanser, as beautiful as it was, kind of did) when paired with a warm and wet muslin.

This is not the only reason my face has been surprisingly and extremely well-behaved these past few months in the face of graduate school, but I would have to say it is one of them. I reach for the cleanser day and night, and for once, am quite reluctant to switch cleansers–a feeling I haven’t had since YÜLI Halcyon. I even purchased a backup cleanser in the hilariously taller and larger size.

I am sure there will be questions about how this cleanser stacks up to YÜLI Halcyon. The short of it? These are in my top two, for sure. Halcyon is a gel formula, this one’s a cream. They can both remove traces of makeup, though I wouldn’t use either as a makeup remover. This one needs a cloth for removal, Halcyon doesn’t. Halcyon foams the teeniest bit, this one doesn’t. What they both have in common is how well my acne-prone skin responds.

Of course there is more than coconut oil to this cleanser so let’s have it:

Water Camellia (Camellia Oleifera) Oil* Cetearyl Glucoside Vegetable Glycerin* Olive (Olea Europaea) Fruit Oil* Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil* Glyceryl Stearate Vitamin E non GM (Tocopherol) Xanthan Gum Honeysuckle (Lonicera Caprifolium & Lonicera Japonica) Extract With essential oils of: Rose, Chamomile and Mandarin * Potassium Sorbate

*Organically Grown

It’s kind of beautiful how short the list is, no? Don’t know why there are no commas but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We have some oils like Camellia oleifera (or tea seed) oil, the often feared coconut oil, and the solid (figuratively) olive oil. Then we have probably our emulsifier/smoother, glyceryl stearate and emulsifer/thickener xanthum gum, sometimes controversial preservative honeysuckle and less controversial potassium sorbate, and scents courtesy of essential oils.

In terms of fatty acids, Camellia oleifera oil is heavier on the oleic acid side (~67 – 88%) than the linoleic acid (~2 – 10%) (source and source). It’s as rich if not more than in monounsaturated fatty acids as olive oil. It’s also twice as rich than olive oil in vitamin E, and also contains squalene, which is also produced by our own skin cells. Also it is, our favorite word here lately, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial (source).

The scent is light, floral, and pleasant from what I remember, and feels even lovelier when you press a warm wet cloth against your skin after having massaged the cleanser in.

Have you tried this cleanser? If so, would love to hear your thoughts! If not, what is your favorite cleanser post makeup removal?

tl;dr MV Organics Gentle Cream Cleanser, although containing coconut oil, was really wonderful for my skin as a second cleanse, though it does need a warm wet cloth for removal.

You can purchase this from Credo Beauty or The Detox Market.

Disclaimer: I purchased this product myself twice from Credo Beauty. All thoughts and opinions are my own, with the exception of Madeleine’s suggestions. I did my best to paraphrase her recommendations to the best of my memory. I am not being compensated for my words. Affiliate links are included in this post.