Natural and clean beauty products are all the rage these days but with its growing popularity and the rise of unreasonably pricey and ineffective products, some might doubt the efficacy of clean or natural products. We tried out the Birch Sap Facial Cleanser from Skög to see if it matches up.
Be it Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook, you’ll see influencers upon influencers recommending natural or organic routines and products that promise to overcome all manner of skin problems from acne to fine lines and wrinkles. The clean and natural beauty trend is well and truly upon us.
But with no clear definition of what clean beauty actually is, choosing the right clean or natural products can be challenging. With facial cleansers being the one skincare product that can make or break your skincare routine, it's never been more important to choose wisely with the growing number of increasingly costly products with inflated claims.
So it is quite refreshing to find a natural cleanser like Birch Sap Facial Cleanser from Skög, a Swedish eco-concious and natural beauty brand. The Birch Sap Facial Cleanser is a relatively unassuming product that just does it’s job without the pomp of the hypermarketed beauty industry and at $44 for a generous 200ml bottle, it is at the lower end of the price spectrum for natural facial cleansers.
What’s In It
The star of this cleanser is of course Birch Sap, sometimes referred to as Birch Water or Birch Juice. The Birch Sap in this cleanser is extracted from the abundant and beautiful white and black birch trees that grow throughout Sweden. It is extracted through a similar process that is used to extract maple syrup and is also used in this cleanser’s companion product, the Birch Sap Facial Tonic Mist.
The use of Birch Sap in skincare products and other topical remedies isn’t new. Containing over 17 different types of amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, with a myriad of skincare benefits, Birch Sap is prized both in the k-beauty and western beauty alike for its healing and anti-ageing properties and can even be used medicinally to treat stomach and kidney problems.
But it is the purifying properties of Birch Sap that make this cleanser so unique. Used topically like in this cleanser, it helps eliminate toxins and purify your skin and pores which is exactly what you want when cleansing your face, especially after a long day out in the city.
The Birch Sap Facial Cleanser also contains vegetable-derived Glycerin that helps pull moisture to the outer layers of your skin and soothing Aloe Vera. But the other interesting ingredient in this cleanser is Tea Tree Oil, a natural microbial, that complements Birch Sap, by purifying and tightening your pores helping prevent acne breakouts. Tea Tree Oil is also an anti-inflammatory making this cleanser an excellent natural cleansing option for oily complexions and acne prone skin. Visit the product page for the full ingredients list.
Scent & Texture
This cleanser has a very pale yellow appearance and a thick liquid texture akin to a rich hydrating essence. There wasn’t anything that was super unique about the texture but what really stood out for me was the robust scent. This cleanser has a relatively strong scent that is quite unique and familiar if you’ve used other birch sap products like the Time Out Refresh, Forest Bathing Essence from Solyph. In addition to the unique aroma of birch sap, the distinct scent of Tea Tree Oil was also present.
For those who’ve read my previous reviews, you probably already know that I do not really like strongly scented skincare products and while quite pleasant once I got used to it, I did not initially take to the strong scent and this is something to take note of. But as a clean and natural, eco-concious product, the Birch Sap Facial Cleanser does not have any added fragrance and so the strong scent comes from the high concentration of natural oils and botanicals that are used to formulate the product which can be seen as a good thing.
The Birch Sap Facial Cleanser comes in a generously sized 200ml or 6.76 fl oz and comes with a pump dispenser. If you are really particular about sustainability, then you should probably note that pump dispensers do use more plastics than your flip top or disc top caps but they are a lot more convenient to me and with a little familiarity, I always get the exact amount that I want.
As a natural product, this cleanser lacks any chemical surfactants which are really bad for the environment. Despite this, it was easy to lather this cleanser and while you aren’t going to get a thick fine foam from it, the lather was smooth and was effective in lifting dirt and debris off of my skin.
Massaging the lather in my skin, I could feel a very slight oiliness to the lather that comes from the natural oils like Tea Tree, Grapeseed and Neroli Oil. It did not really bother me and because of the natural oils in this cleanser, it was very effective at removing makeup and can be used as both steps in a double cleanse.
The rinse off did take a little bit of getting used to though, as the oils left a residue that gave me the sensation that I hadn’t fully rinsed off the cleanser despite already having done so. This took a bit of getting used to but once I pat my skin dry, it felt clean, refreshed and surprisingly moisturised as if I had already applied my hydrating toner.
Verdict: Definitely Worth A Shot
There are many things to love about this cleanser, from the pump dispenser to the natural and organic ingredients in the formulation, Skög definitely did not stinge on the ingredients in this product, many of which are not only natural but organic certified. You can literally feel the richness and concentration of the natural oils and botanical ingredients in this cleanser.
The Birch Sap Facial Cleanser also lathered really well for a natural cleanser and is quite unique in that it would be hard for me to classify this as an oil cleanser but it did have some of the qualities of an oil cleanser that made it useful in both steps of a double cleanse and in removing makeup. Entirely on this point, I would recommend that everyone of any skin type give this cleanser a try.
More subjectively however, some might find the scent of this cleanser a little too robust but it’s really a matter of opinion as I prefer my skincare products to have a milder scent. On the upside, not only is this cleanser vegan and natural, it is also cruelty-free (PETA certified) and at $44, for a 200ml bottle, this is one of the more affordable premium natural cleansers that you will find on the market today.
About the writer
Stacy Liu, an American-born Chinese, is the beauty editor at Asian Beauty X obsessively writing about new beauty launches, the best hair products, and the skincare formulas that really work for every skin type.