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I’ve been meaning to try out Barr ever since fellow editor Dianne reviewed its centella 3-step routine last summer. As a vegan and cruelty-free brand, Barr embraces simplicity and practicality. The brand uses only EWG green-grade ingredients to create safe yet effective formulas catering to those with sensitive skin.
While the rest of my face remains relatively dry, my T-zone and chin area seem to be producing slightly more sebum than before due to seasonal change. I’ve been looking for a cleanser suited for the recent changes in my skin – something that provides a fresh and clean finish and doesn’t strip away essential moisture. I opted for Barr’s Centella Calming Gel Cleanser as it seemed to tick all the boxes. I also picked up the Super Balance Brightening Ampoule to see if it can restore a healthy glow to my skin.
What is it? A calming gel cleanser formulated with centella and green tea leaf extracts, 0.1% allantoin and PHA to gently cleanse, soothe and exfoliate skin while regulating oil-water levels.
Packaged in a nude-pink squeeze-type tube, the cleanser comes as a clear gloopy gel that lathers into foam when rubbed or massaged onto skin. I tend to prefer milkier cleansers, which are usually more suitable for dry and sensitive skin, but this gel cleanser proved to be just as hydrating. Its gel texture made my skin feel refreshingly clean without any hint of tautness, leaving it calm and soft even after a hot shower.
There isn’t much smell to the cleanser, but the mild scent I detected reminded me of COSRX’s Refresh AHA BHA Vitamin C Daily Toner that I tried for my 7-skin method review. With only 0.35% gluconolactone (PHA), the cleanser provides mild exfoliation by gently dissolving dead skin cells. It’s much less likely to irritate skin in comparison to formulas with the more potent AHA and BHA.
According to Barr, this cleanser doubles as a makeup remover, meaning it’ll suffice for both steps in your double cleansing routine. I only used it after removing my makeup with a cleansing balm first, but the Centella Calming Gel Cleanser’s cleansing effects were rather thorough. There wasn’t a hint of residue when I wiped my face with a toner-soaked cotton pad.
What is it? The ampoule gives off a mild green tea scent but with a milkier touch. The cloudy white formulation has a gloopier texture than what I’m used to. Despite this, it isn’t tacky at all and leaves a soft, hydrated finish. I can attest that it’s mild and gentle on sensitive skin like the brand claims, as I haven’t experienced any irritation.
To test out the ampoule’s full potential, I incorporated it into both my morning and evening skin routines over the course of three weeks.
As the weather became warmer and more humid, I occasionally skipped night cream whenever my skin felt less dry. To my surprise, the ampoule did a great job in keeping my skin hydrated through the night.
There’s a recent blemish around my chin from a pimple I had a month ago. It usually takes months for such blemishes to fade, but after using this ampoule, I’ve seen gradual improvements in just three weeks. This is impressive considering the ampoule only has 2% niacinamide (Vitamin B3), which is considered a low concentration compared to other skin-brightening serums out there.
I honestly have no complaints about the cleanser! My boyfriend, who usually fluctuates from oily to normal skin, also likes the cleanser – no wonder it’s half gone – and claims that his skin feels a lot cleaner and softer after using it. Though the cleanser doesn’t remove blackheads, it helps prevent blackheads from building up if the product is used regularly.
Likewise, I was surprised by the visible improvements in my skin after only a few weeks of using the ampoule. Although the effects are gradual, it’s enough for me as anything more potent may irritate or disrupt my skin’s balance. This ampoule may be too mild, though, if your skin is accustomed to a higher concentration of niacinamide, or if you want quicker results.
After almost four weeks of constant use, I believe I’ve found another vegan skin care brand that I can recommend to friends and family with confidence. I can see these two products being suitable to use all year round, given how they’ve fit into my current skin routine so seamlessly. If you’re a fan of vegan, cruelty-free and clean skin care, definitely give Barr a try!
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