Time for a review! Today we’ll be looking at the Missha Super Aqua Oxygen Micro Visible Deep Cleanser.
I have a love/hate relationship with Missha. When I love their products–like the Time Revolution First Treatment Essence–I love them so much that you wouldn’t be able to pry them out of my hands if you were waving a steak in front of my face. But when I hate them–as with the Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Gel mask–they make me want to claw my face off.
Where does the Super Aqua Oxygen Micro Visible Deep Cleanser fall on this spectrum? And what is it with Missha and unreasonably long product names? Read on to find out the answer to the first question. I have no idea what the answer to the second question is.
Purpose: Missha Super Aqua Oxygen Micro Visible Deep Cleanser is a bubble cleanser designed to remove sweat, oil, dirt, and makeup from the skin.
Do not use if: Your skin does not tolerate foaming cleansers or is sensitive or reactive to sulfates, hyaluronic acid, fragrance, or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use: In the morning or after the oil step of your double cleanse at night, spread a thin layer on dry skin. Wait about 1 minute for the product to foam up, then wet your hands and massage with either fingertips or cleansing tool. Rinse away thoroughly.
Ingredients list: Water (Aqua), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acrylates Copolymer, PEG-8, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-glucoside, Methyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether (I know I made a typo in there somewhere), Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG–Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Gentiana Lufea Root Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy ooh a word I know!) Leaf/Stem Extract, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Lilium Candidum Flower Extract, Sansevieria Trifasciata Leaf Extract, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum), Disodium EDTA
Whew. That’s a long ingredients list, full of a lot of long science words. Respect to all the other bloggers who also type out product ingredient lists. Shit’s not easy. Moving on.
Notable ingredients: Out of all those long science words, CosDNA only identified two as potential irritants or acne triggers. The pH adjuster Triethanolamine scores a 2 for acne but is so far down the ingredients list that I would consider it a nonissue–there is most likely not enough of this ingredient to have much of an effect on your skin. Higher up the list, Sodium Laureth Sulfate scores a 3 for acne and a 2 for irritation, so tread carefully and patch test if you suspect it might be a problem for you. It isn’t the only sulfate in this product, either.
Sulfates are a controversial topic, due to the fact that they can be quite harsh and stripping and thus capable of exacerbating existing problems like acne. Some people swear off of them altogether, even seeking out sulfate-free toothpastes to prevent chin acne, while others (including much of the cosmetics industry) consider them just fine for the vast majority of users. I fall somewhere in the middle. I’ve never noticed sulfates causing me any problems, but when I switched to a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, I stopped shedding almost completely. Consider products that have given you issues in the past to make up your mind.
Down in the lower half of the ingredients list, the Super Aqua Oxygen Micro Visible Deep Cleanser contains several different botanical extracts. I’m not impressed. In most cases, plant extracts in skin care seem to be used more for the way they fancify the product’s image, and in this case, their position on the list suggests that there isn’t much of any of them in there, anyway. Also rather hype-ish is the product’s claims of purifying the skin through oxygen bubble action. I’m going to guess that the actual cleansing ingredients in the product have more to do with however purer skin gets after use.
On the plus side, Missha Super Aqua Oxygen Blah Blah Cleanser also contains Sodium Hyaluronate, the sodium salt version of hyaluronic acid, one of my favorite hydrating ingredients. I question just how much of an effect it can have, given that it’s in a wash-off cleanser, but my feeling about hydration is that your skin should take everything it can get.
Finally, it’s important to note that Missha Oxygen Blah Blah Cleanser foams up to a pH of 5.5, which is great. pH is a critical consideration when it comes to choosing a foaming cleanser. If the pH is too high, you run the risk of damaging your skin’s natural moisture barrier, allowing moisture to escape and bacteria to infiltrate. 5.5 is pretty much perfect.
Below, I’ve swatched Holika Holika Pro:Beauty Cheek Tok liquid blusher and a L’Oreal Infallible eyeliner on my wrist to demonstrate the cleanser’s ability to remove makeup.
The product pumps out as a whitish gel, which you spread over dry skin.
After about a minute, the product will bubble up into a dry, airy white foam, and if you leave it on long enough, the bubbles will begin popping, a sensation that can be a little unnerving, but not as unnerving as the Missha penchant for upsettingly long product names.
When the foam has foamed, you’re ready to wet your hands or a trusty konjac sponge, massage the bubbles around a bit, and rinse clean. And while this cleanser won’t do much for waterproof makeup, it does indeed do a great job at removing less hardy cosmetics.
The cleanser does what it needs to do and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry, tight, stripped, or irritated. As an added bonus, whenever I use this cleanser, the pores on my nose look markedly clearer after rinsing. The effect doesn’t last all that long, but it’s a pleasant bonus.
Conclusion: I’ve been using this product for several months now, with no issues to report. It’s never broken me out or irritated my skin, and the only reason I’m transitioning to a new cleanser now is boredom. Well, boredom and the price point. At full price, Missha Super Aqua Wordy Name Oxygen Cleanser is $22+shipping on the Missha US website. The fact that Missha runs sales fairly frequently on their website does ease the pain a little, but it’s simply a lot to pay for a cleanser, especially one that only lasts about a month with twice-daily use.