Organic creamy cleansers review

When it comes to skincare, I increasingly believe that less is more.  Less scrubbing, less stripping, less peeling.  And, of course, less petrochemicals and silicones as eliminating those largely obviates the need for harsh cleansing methods in the first place.  So here are two of my most favorite organic creamy cleansers side-by-side: Pai and Weleda. Which one should you choose?

Pai Camellia & Rose Cleanser:  To indulge and pamper your skin

Pai is a relatively new brand from the UK (launched in 2007) that I like a lot.  Their entire line is very clean, is certified organic, and is also cruelty-free. Although they don’t particularly advertise it as such, the entire line is also gluten-free.  With a large celebrity following, it seems Pai can do no wrong.

The Camellia & Rose ceanser from Pai is one of their stand-out products in my opinion.  It is very creamy (nothing surprising considering the ingredients) to the extent that I would  consider it somewhere in between a milky cleanser and a cleansing balm.  It is quite thick and moisturizing which requires the use of a muslin or washcloth to be fully removed–doing it without works but leaves behind a film in my experience (but their muslin cloth is amazing and has me totally hooked!). The scent is sort of citrusy and luckily unobtrusive as I did not care much for it. It is best applied on barely damp skin as this substantially reduces the amount of product required to just one pump, instead of the 2 or 3 indicated on the label.

The good:

  • Very moisturizing and non-drying (there’s no alcohol or detergents among the ingredients) which makes it quite unique among organic cleansers.
  • Very soothing and well tolerated by sensitive skin.
  • Removes makeup well, including eye makeup.
  • Did not break me out or clog my pores.

The not-so good:

  • Much like a cleansing balm, I find it a bit heavy for year round (probably better suited to colder weather).
  • Very pricey at over $14 an ounce, so, for many, a luxury choice for moments of indulgence or true need.


Aqua, camellia sinensis seed oil*, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil*, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil*, cetearyl alcohol, vegetable glycerine*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter* , cetearyl glucoside, rosa damascena (rose otto) oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) oil*, lavandula officinalis (lavender) flower oil*, litsea cubeba fruit oil* – may chang oil, mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin e), sodium lauroyl lactylate, sodium anisate, sodium levulinate, lactic acid, glyceryl stearate citrate. *Certified Organic.

Price: $50 for 3.4 ounces or $70 for 6.8 oz. ($14.70 per ounce or $10.30 per ounce for the larger size).

EWG rating: 2

Purchase from: Pai’s website or other organic online retailers such as Spirit Beauty Lounge or Naturisimo.

Weleda Soothing Almond cleanser: To soothe your skin year round

Weleda is a very well established brand with roots dating back to 1921. Weleda, named after the Celtic goddess of healing and wisdom, formulates its products using biodynamic farming methods (biodynamic farming goes one step further from organic methods by taking into account the rhythms of nature). Today they have 50 acres of these biodynamic gardens in Europe, South America and New Zealand, as well as rely on fair-trade partnerships to source the rest of the ingredients used for their products. All their products are certified natural by BDIH and Natrue, certified biodynamic by Demeter, and neither their ingredients nor products are ever tested on animals. Many of their products are also gluten-free.

The Weleda cleanser is truly a milky cleanser. It spreads with ease and dissolves quickly on contact with water.  This cleanser (unlike others in their lineup) has no essential oils in it so it is truly suitable for reactive skins including those that have undergone peelings or similar procedures.  Given its light and milky consistency, it does not require the use of a muslin or wash cloth to remove and is unique in that it cleans very gently yet does not leave any residue behind when rinsed (an issue with most creamy cleansers).  This makes it an excellent year-round (or in my case, warmer months, cleanser).  The scent is of almonds and very mild, and I personally find it very pleasant and preferable to citrus smells (which tend to remind me of household cleansing products) or floral ones.  And at $7 per ounce it is a high-quality, yet affordable choice (it is usually cheaper in Europe as well).  I also love the old fashioned aluminum toothpaste-like tube which is very environmentally friendly as aluminum is widely and easily recyclable. As with Pai, using this product on barely damp skin gives the best results as this cleanser will quickly dissolve into nothing if your face is wet.

The good:

  • Creamy yet light, it rinses totally clean.
  • Very soothing and well tolerated by sensitive skin.
  • Very good price/quality ratio.
  • Removes makeup well and does not clog pores.

The not-so good:

  • It dissolves in water very easily so it is best applied on dry or barely damp face or it won’t work.
  • It contains alcohol.


Water (Aqua), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate SE,Alcohol, Prunus Domestica (Plum) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid.

Price: $19.50 for 2.5 ounces (7.8 per oz.)

EWG rating: 2 

Purchase from: Weleda’s website, your local Whole Foods, or large online retailers.


We have two winners here, each catering to a specific need or budget.  Not only are the two products amazing, but so are the brands which are among the very few I can recommend wholeheartedly and without hesitation. I encourage you to keep both in mind when shopping and to go to their websites for more information.  Weleda, in particular, puts out a nice magazine with coupons twice a year.

Have you tried these?  Which cleanser is your favorite?


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