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The first step I made towards developing a solid skincare routine was to start double cleansing to gently but completely remove sunscreen, makeup, dirt, oil, and other impurities from my skin at the end of each day. In my opinion, getting that sparkling clean (but never stripped!) canvas is vital to maximizing the effects of your nighttime products.
In the past couple of years, I’ve tried many different first cleansers, reviewed a handful of them, and decided that I most definitely prefer balm cleansers to cleansing oils. My longtime favorite, Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet, is a balm cleanser. Balm cleansers are solid in the jar and therefore travel well, and they don’t drip or splatter the way cleansing oils can. Now, thanks to a box full of cleansers that Memebox sent to me to check out as part of the KIB squad, I’ve got a new balm cleanser to show you–and a way to get your hands on it–before it even launches! Let’s get to know Nooni Snowflake Cleanser. (We’ll also take a look at swatches of the new Pony x Memebox Pony Shine Easy Glam eyeshadow palettes and a couple of Memebox I’m Eye Shadow singles while we’re at it.)
About Nooni: Nooni is Memebox’s in-house skincare brand. In the coming months, I hope I’ll be able to introduce you guys to many more Nooni products, some developed with direct input from me and other members of the KIB Memesquad!
Purpose: Nooni Snowflake Cleanser is an oil-based, emulsifying balm cleanser formulated to break up and lift off sunscreen, makeup, dirt, and oil from skin.
Best suited for: All skin types.
Do not use if: You are sensitive to vitamin E, fragrance, shea butter, or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use: As the first step of your evening skincare routine, spread an almond-sized amount of product over dry face. Massage gently for 1-2 minutes or until all makeup is dissolved. Wet hands and massage again to emulsify. Rinse.
Optional: To loosen stubborn clogs and deep-clean pores, wait 5-15 minutes after application before massaging. Welcome to Grit City.
Nooni Snowflake Cleanser ingredients: Mineral oil, cetyl ethylhexanoate, PEG-20 glyceryl triisostearate, polyethylene, PEG-8 isostearate, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, water, tocopheryl acetate, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, butylene glycol, nelumbo nucifera flower extract, citrus unshiu peel extract, citric acid, oxygen
CosDNA analysis (is impressively clean)
Notable ingredients: No need to dwell on ingredients in a simple cleanser. I’ll just point a couple of things out. One, the Snowflake Cleanser is mineral oil-based. While some people have concerns about the safety of mineral oil as a skincare ingredient, I’m in full agreement with the cosmetic chemists at The Beauty Brains: there’s really no reason to be afraid of mineral oil unless you personally have a sensitivity to it, and the groups that propagate mineral oil scaremongering tend to have their own agendas or be misinformed. Also! Mineral oil is fantastic for lubing up those stubborn little sebaceous filaments dotting many of our noses. It’s the oil I recommend most for my three-step pore clearing routine.
The second thing I want to point out is the oxygen at the end of the ingredients list. Yeah, I rolled my eyes, too. Oxygen is kind of…everywhere…and if I’d had a say in the development of this particular product, believe me, I would have been against using it as a gimmick. Then again, my enjoyment of skincare has increased greatly since I shifted my focus to ingredients and stopped paying any attention whatsoever to marketing claims. I suggest you do the same and just check out how well the product performs!
At first glance, Nooni Snowflake Cleanser is very similar to the classic Banila Co. Clean It Zero. It’s a firm, colorless balm with a subtle floral fragrance that’s pretty nondescript (nondescriptly pretty?) in the jar and that fades quickly while you use the product.
Once I scooped the product out for the first time, however, I noticed how different it feels from Clean It Zero. Nooni Snowflake Cleanser is the firmest, driest cleansing balm I’ve ever tried. For the first couple of seconds of application, it has an almost waxy, almost crumbly texture. I was told that the name of the product comes from the tiny pockets of oxygen suspended within the balm–little negative-space snowflakes–and those micro-bubbles add an interesting feel to it as I spread it over my skin. Again, I don’t think the oxygen does anything at all as an ingredient, but the sensation it gives does deliver a bit of skincaretainment. A first cleanser that’s kinda fun is a rarity.
I really like the dryness of the Snowflake Cleanser as it comes out of the jar. It enables me to apply the product very precisely to my face, avoiding areas like my eyes when I don’t want to get cleansing balm in them. Not a huge plus, obviously, but I do prefer it to Clean It Zero and maybe even to Botanic Farm Grain Ferment.
What I appreciate even more is the richness of the product as it melts into oil on my face. When it comes to first cleansers, I prefer thick to thin. I find that thicker oils provide more lubrication for massaging, letting me go longer and get more crap out of my pores without friction or drag, and when I choose to let the product sit on my face for a while before I massage, it doesn’t run or drip. Nooni Snowflake Cleanser softens up quickly into a thick, luxurious-feeling oil that stays where I put it.
As a makeup-removing first cleanser, meanwhile, it does its job well.
I did something a little different for this review than I normally do. Instead of attempting another handface (I’m kind of shamed after seeing my friend Cat’s magnificent hand art in her Clio Pro Palette first look), I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and show you guys the Memebox eyeshadows that I was also recently gifted by our squad leader! Below, you’ll find cotton swab swatches of every shade in the upgraded Pony x Memebox Pony Shine Easy Glam palettes, and three I’m Eye Shadow singles, too. Swatches are shown on a base of Skinfood Royal Honey Cover Bounce Cushion applied over a generous layer of Biore Perfect Milk sunscreen, which is all the primer I need, baby.
I added a generous amount of Nooni Snowflake Cleanser, as I would if I were cleaning all these stripes off of my face.
I massaged for a little under a minute (I use a stopwatch to time these tests, by the way). The Snowflake Cleanser rapidly loosened up all except a little bit of the tough-ass Fairydrops mascara. Which is, by the way, one of my HG mascaras. It’s like falsies without falsies. That’s a big deal for me.
Like any good cleansing balm or oil, Nooni Snowflake Cleanser emulsifies easily with water into a thin, milky liquid.
It rinses off cleanly, leaving just a hint of the mascara behind.
I have no problems with residue, clogging, breakouts, or irritation while using this product.
Conclusion: Nooni Snowflake Cleanser is a solid entry into the first cleanser arena. It’s convenient, pleasant to use, and as effective as can be expected. Not many first cleansers can fully remove Japanese mascara without a couple minutes’ wait between application and massage–when I use my first cleanser to remove eye makeup, I swipe it over my eyes when I first put it on and then massage my eyes last, and that always does the job completely–but not many first cleansers are as nice as this one, either. I finished up the last of my sample tub of this to demo it for this review, and I’ll definitely be snagging a full-size tub.
Where can I buy Nooni Snowflake Cleanser?
And if you want a chance to win a full-sized jar of Nooni Snowflake Cleanser, along with a copy of Kerry and Coco’s K-beauty book (which includes a couple of pages of Fifty Shades of Snail!) and a whole mess of other goodies, keep an eye on my Instagram account over the next couple of days. I have two glorious boxes to give away, and I’ll be announcing my rules soon.
Finally, if you’re free at 6pm PST on Tuesday, October 27 (today), join me and some other KIB squad members on Twitter for a Memebox Tweet chat! Just use the hashtag #beginwithnooni to talk with us about balm cleansers, double cleansing, Kerry and Coco’s amazing K-beauty book, and more. I can’t wait to chat with you guys! I had a great time in the Tweet chat! And by the way. About Food Poisoning Gudetama… #sorrynotsorry
What’s your favorite first cleanser?
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