While Asian skincare brands are getting more hyped here in West, I discovered an intriguing US brand promising to combine Asian wisdom with advance French cosmeceuticals. I've always had an appreciation for both French pharmacy and adoration for East-Asian skincare, so you can believe how curious I was of Pur~lisse. Thanks to the Pur~lisse team I got a generous chance to test and review some of their products for you. I have a bit mixed feelings of the line, which I'm trying to open with my best effort.
The story of Pur~lisse
The creator of the line, Jennifer Yen, started to suffer from troubled skin while working as an actress in Hollywood. Heavy stage make up didn't do good for her skin, and frustrated she turned to her grandmother for inspiration from Asian beauty wisdom. She ended up creating her own line, marrying Eastern remedies (soy beans, sea weed, white tea, etc.) with French skin technology. According to the website, the focus of Pur~lisse is creating quality skincare with healing results. Their cosmetics are cruelty free with no animal by products, mineral oil, parabens, propylene-glycol, GMOs, etc. Standing for 'pure' and 'smooth' in French, Pur~lisse was born. Let's take a look at my best picks from the brand!
Blue Lotus + White Tea Treatment Sheet Mask
I've tested some great, high quality mid-range sheet masks during the years and my standards are semi-high. I don't expect miracles from my masks, but as there is a lot of offering I allow myself to be picky about the overall experience. My ideal sheet mask has a big enough sheet, has a lot of essence but doesn't drip all over the place, stays wet at least 30 mins and leaves my skin super hydrated and plump. I keep a spreadsheet for the masks I test with a ranking 0-5 (all masks I've tested rate above 2): I gave Pur~lisse 4-4.25.
The Pur~lisse Blue Lotus + White Tea Treatment Sheet Mask come in a pack of 6 for $36, which is $6 per mask. It might be far from SK-II mask prices, but to me that's a very premium price for a sheet mask – my ideal mask costs $1.5 max. The Pur~lisse essence is light and milky, the sheet is not too doused to be drippy, which I like. The feel on the skin is moisturising and nicely cooling even without keeping the mask in fridge. The sheet is a good fit for my face: fairly large and very soft sheet made of natural fiber. The sheet is folded neatly and doesn't have the annoying plastic slip inside the packaging.
Water,Glycerin, Butylene Glycol,Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract ,Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine,Allantoin, Betaine,PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin,Xanthan Gum, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract,Disodium EDTA,1,2-Hexanediol,Propanediol,Caprylyl Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Sodium Polyacrylate, Fragrance
Most of sheet mask ingredient lists look like gibberish to me, as I'm not familiar with all the solvents and viscosity controllers by name. Fortunately the Blue Lotus + White Tea Treatment Sheet Mask is packed with moisturizing ingredients. This water based essence is full of glycerin, butylene glycol and then camellia sinesis (green tea) leaf extract, which is a very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Green tea's polyphenols target free radical damage, particularly caused by UV-damage. I'm happy it's so high on the ingredients list.
I ran the rest of the ingredients through COSDNA and most of the them are on the safe side, except for one pH-adjuster and preservative. As for blue lotus.. not sure where it is on the ingredients list? Confusing. There is some fragrance, but it's fairly low amount. Wasn't Pur~lisse supposed to be free of synthetic fragrance? Personally I feel comfortable using this mask, but if you're very sensitive you can always patch test the essence. I think for sheet mask aficionados there are masks with similar results for a much cheaper price. I probably wouldn't pay $36 for a box of 6, but a better bang for your buck than many luxury brands. I can imagine Pur~lisse a worthy option if you are intimidated by ordering sheet masks from eBay or ingredients list that you can't read. Overall, I like it, don't love it.
Blue Lotus 4~in~1 Cleansing Milk
This cleansing milk comes in a generous 150ml/5.07oz tube and is reasonably priced for $36 (~33.55€). I tend to associate word 'cleansing milk' with crappy Garnier milks from my junior high days, but the Pur~lisse Blue Lotus 4~in~1 Cleansing Milk wins easily in efficacy. This cleansing milk comes out as a milky cream from the tube and gently removes dirt, grime and make up with a mild lather. My skin is clean and smooth without feeling stripped. There is a light mediocre cleanser scent, but not very overpowering.
I wasn't expecting a cleansing milk to tackle any make up, but the Pur~lisse is surprisingly effective. It doesn't wash off all of my stubborn mascara, but works as a 1st cleanse on the days when I'm wearing lighter make up. My preferred method however is to save it as a 2nd cleanse on the heavier make up days. If you want to learn more about my recommend cleansing routine, check out my blog post Cleansing 101.
Water (Aqua), Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Acrylates Copolymer, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Tridecyl Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polysorbate 80, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein Octenylsuccinate, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Butylene Glycol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Nymphaea Coerulea Flower Extract, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Laureth-4, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Carbomer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Limonene, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Tagetes Minuta Flower Oil, Michelia Alba Flower Oil
The cleanser has some good potent ingredients, such as oat kernel extract (calming and soothing ingredient), white tea extract (antioxidant) and blue lotus extract (another antioxidant). This time I could actually find the lotus on the ingredients list, which is bolded above. The website speaks about soy milk, but I only found hydrolyzed soy protein in the ingredients list - this is what food manufacturers often refer as hydrolyzed vegetable protein. If you're ever been on a budget and soaked edible soy protein to substitute mince meat for a spaghetti sauce, we should be talking about the same thing. I guess soy milk is prettier way to put the same macronutrients. According to my pH strips the cleansing milk pH is ~5.5, which is OK.
Although I like the performance of this cleanser, I am afraid most of Pur~lisses 'purity' is in branding and packaging. A fair amount of the ingredients flagged moderately hazardous when I ran the ingredients list through COSDNA and EWG. Pur~lisse advertises healthy skin without 'harsh ingredients' (full list on the website contains: parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic color/fragrance, GMOs, sulfates and phthalates).. then why not then use cleaner ingredients for the formula? Especially many of the surfactants (Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polysorbate 80, Laureth-4) are potential allergens and irritants or may contain potentially toxic manufacturing impurities. I'm puzzled why fragrance is still listed as an ingredient in the sheet mask. Is it from a natural source? Talking about fragrance, 1/3 of the cleansing milk's ingredients are perfuming ingredients in form of flower and citrus oils. The limonene might be from a natural source, but still classified as a high irritant. Not all chemicals are bad, but just because a skincare product is something-free doesn't mean it's packed with good.
First of all, I'm not a purist when it comes to cosmetic ingredients – I use mostly conventional beauty with some eco mixed in, but that's a totally different topic to tackle. What I am bothered about is a misleading branding, perhaps aimed for a bit younger people. Judging by the ingredients, Pur~lisse isn't very pure at all. Depends on how you define purity, but I expected something more eco and truly safe for sensitive skins. The Asian wisdom seems only a small handful of exotic sounding ingredients and the French pharmaceuticals is.. I don't know, usage of regular chemicals and clever copywriting? I expected the products to be made in France, but they're manufactured in either USA or Korea. That's not bad, just not French.
The products do perform nicely and I will most likely use them up. Unfortunately they're not effective or luxurious enough for me to hurry purchase new ones once I run out, especially for $29.95 shipping from the US. If you are not concerned about cosmetic ingredients and want fuss-free and nicely performing skincare, at least the Pur~lisse sheet mask may be worth looking into. In the cleansing milk there are so many ingredients I can't pronounce I honestly feel put off. If you want truly 'pure' and 'smooth', look somewhere else.
The product in this post was generously provided for consideration. Regardless, my opinions are my own honest and unbiased views. The links are for your convenience and do not contain ads.