|Spoilers: As you can see, I've been going hard on this.|
**Scroll down for photo reference if you're not a Classical Studies nerd like me
In this post:
- Product Details
- Why I accepted this product
- Why I can't quit it
- Demo - does it work?
- Ingredients list
- Final thoughts: pros and cons
Full product name: Cremorlab T.E.N. Cremor Refreshing Cleansing Gel Oil
Purpose: Like oil cleansers, this is a 1st cleanser made with oily ingredients to more easily break down the makeup/sunscreen/residue on your face before being rinsed away with water, and then followed with a 2nd foaming cleanser to clean the skin itself.
Scent: Unf. The scent. THE SCENT. It's got a rose scent, but it's not that horrible fake rose floral, it's got a genuine rose scent that smells like I'm huffing petals. It's almost identical to the Lovemore Rosa Hybrida silk mask scent, if you've tried that. The smell is just incredible. In fact, I struggled to identify what the scent was at first, because my brain kept saying 'a real flower' and it couldn't connect it to the perfume-scent I associate with rose.
pH result: Under 5.5, see photo below. Gel oil cleansers apparently are aqueous enough for pH testing, unlike their traditional oil cleanser cousins.
Quantity: 150 ml
Rating: 4/5, with the cost knocking it down a bit, because Cremorlab is pricey.
Where to get it: Unfortunately, Cremorlab isn't readily available: $32 from Peach & Lily (if you want a $10 off $50 referral code, you can use this link) or if you are willing to use a buying service (like Avecko or Boyah Shop) you can get it straight from Korean for 29,000₩ which is about $25 USD, and depending on whether any coupons are available and can be applied by the buying service, you may be able to get it as low as $20.
Just keep in mind that international shipping can be quite pricey, unless you are hauling enough to make the shipping brackets worth it. The hangul is 크레모랩 티이엔 리프레싱 클렌징 젤오일 in case you want to go hunting for it; beware of duty free store listings as they're not going to be accessible for your buying service!
Why I accepted this product
|**Laocoon and the Serpents,aka |
blogging ethics when it comes to press samples
[image credit blueboathome]
So my default answer to these requests is "No", but I have to say that Peach & Lily won me over on a few counts:
- They clearly actually read my blog, because they conversationally managed to work in knowledge about my interests (like weird/unknown things, Hanbang, and snails)
- They mentioned specifics about my skin type and the kinds of products they had in mind, but most importantly
- They were very polite and non-pressuring about whether they expected a review in return.
I also made a purchase at that time to snap up some backups of my favourite pH-adjusting toner, the out-of-stock Mizon AHA/BHA Daily Clean Toner (review here) and when it arrived, it included this Cremorlab cleanser along with my goodies. I see what you did there, P&L. Well played.
|Cremorlab: giving people a packaging boner since ... I have no idea. What's my name again? Mmmm, pretty Cremorlab.|
I tried, guys. I tried to hate it, in a furious determination to prove that Bloggers gladly rip products to shreds no matter what their origin. But no, I was thwarted, and now I'm leaking tears of resignation while I add a backup to my wishlist spreadsheet.
Why I can't quit it
As I mentioned, I have problems with oil cleansers. I have problems with sunscreen. I also have problems with ultra-easily clogged skin. This is a terrible combination, and requires double cleansing. Double cleansing is not optional for me, especially since I favour low-pH foaming cleansers that just don't have the acid-mantle-nuking stripping powers that my old high-pH cleansers did. Even then, they still couldn't clean off sunscreen properly.
|I love Cremorlab's aesthetic; especially their art design.|
I need to double cleanse, but oil cleansers break me out because the oil gets trapped in my pores, where it can't be emulsified by water, and clogs me up even worse.
|One pump of the gel oil, pre-emulsification, on my palm.|
'Gel oil' is actually pretty accurate here, because it's much easier to emulsify and rinse than any of the oil cleansers I've even tried, even my beloved LJH Dr's Care/Cellabel cleansing oil, which I loved enough to repurchase here and that's saying a lot. Why is that important? Clean rinse = no clogged pores.
|Same pump of gel oil, emulsified with water.|
However, as my ill-fated Goodal Trans Foam Cleansing Oil experienced taught me, pool cleansers are not oil cleansers, and they can and do have pH results because they're gel-based, not oil-biased. (Gel oils apparently do as well) Fanserviced-b didn't like the Goodal pool cleanser either, and my face hated it. It also pH tested high, but that might have just as easily been an ingredient or the formulation.
|Dry strip included above for a control, note the corner of the green square where it's still dry/non-reacted.|
Besides, I don't expect first cleansers to work solo. I expect first cleansers to do the following:
- Cleanse off my makeup/sunscreen
- Emulsify and rinse cleanly
- Not break me out
- Be pleasant to use
Demo - does it work?
For me, it does, and it does a good job of it. It's a gel oil, not an oil, so it will get sticky/tacky if you work it into the skin too long, so it's not good for oil massage, but here's how it does on makeup and sunscreen:
|Don't laugh, it was the the easiest way to tell which product was which!|
So, on the gel oil goes:
|You can tell how easily it spreads by how quickly it's trying to drip off my hand before I can take the photo.|
|Fwoooosh! Ok, it doesn't make that noise, but sound effects are fun? Also I had to really contort my wrist to take this shot; the gleam of the gel oil was reflecting the light so bad that it was totally washed out otherwise.|
|Still wet from the rinse, not even wiped dry.|
It's such a relief for me to have a 1st cleanser that I can actually use daily without clogging my pores, causing breakouts, or requiring me to vibrate the oil cleanser back out with a Clarisonic. I use a lot of chemical exfoliants in my routine, so it's important that I minimize irritation to my skin.
I pulled this from Peach & Lily's product page:
Water, Methyl Gluceth-20, Sorbitol, Isohexadecane, Octyldodeceth-16, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Rose Flower Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Squalane, Carapa Guaianensis Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil, TocopherolThat rose flower oil. Did I mention the scent of this stuff is amazing? I feel like I have, but my memory is clouded with thoughts of petals dancing on the breeze in a garden, so things are a little fuzzy.
Here's the Cosdna analysis page, where nothing scored above a 2, mostly oils, which makes perfect sense. The box also mentions that it contains no parabens, mineral oil, or artificial colours, and while 'no parabens' normally makes me side-eye things, I'm pleased to see that there are preservatives in this product.
Any time a Korean brand goes for a 'natural' marketing angle, I'm instantly wary of that translating to 'low, ineffective, or no preservatives' and while I'm looking forward to moving out of the desert and no longer losing lipsticks to the melting heat, I don't want to tempt fate.
The description on Peach and Lily's product page mentions "T.E.N thermal water" but I just ... yeah. Let's not take that seriously, shall we?
Made with Cremorlab's T.E.N. thermal water, evening primrose, and andiroba oils, this cleansing gel quickly dissolves makeup residue and skin impurities while also moisturizing and helping to improve skin's appearance.Well, "thermal water" questions aside, they'll get no argument from me about what it actually does, which is clean off makeup and sunscreen.
Final thoughts: pros and cons
This is pretty straight forward; obviously I like it enough to repurchase it, and it works for me. Does that mean it will work for you? Not necessarily, and sadly it does not come in sample sizes that I've found. On the other hand, if you've been itching to get your hands on some Cremorlab, love the smell of roses, and struggle with oil cleansers, this might be something to keep on your radar.
- It gets the job done
- Does not break me out
- Emulsifies and rinses easily
- Smells amazing
- Low ingredient triggers
- Has a rocking package design
- Difficult to source
So, there it is- the most reluctantly positive review I've written in a long time. I spent more time wrestling with the fact that I was deliberately trying to find excuses not to like it instead of just reviewing it impartially that it prompted me to change my mind about accepting press samples. I've been burned by oil cleansers so much in the past that this would have been near the bottom of my Cremorlab list, so I'm grateful for the twist of fate that put it in my hands. Now I have to figure out how to send a leak-proof decant to my mom.
All the best,
**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 (which, if you hadn't guessed yet from it being mentioned in the very first paragraph of this review, is this product right here) which swore me off of them forever. (No more press samples, plz no I can't handle it. Nooooo!) This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.