Philosophy Purity Made Simple ($20.00 to $40.00) is a cult favorite when it comes to finding a gentle, one-stop cleanser. The original is a creamy formula with no real lathering/foaming properties. They recently launched a version that is high-foaming, which is not a creamy formula, and instead pumps out as a foam and then lathers up a bit more while applied. Purity Made Simple is a 2008 Sephora Beauty Award Winner, as well as an Allure Award winner in 2007 selected by readers. It is an “emulsifying cleanser” that gently cleanses while removing dirt and makeup. The original version was actually designed not to foam!
How does it pan out? Foaming or emulsifying? Let me tell you!
THE ORIGINAL: Purity Made Simple (funnily enough, abbreviates to PMS…) is a great option for those who want truly clean skin, but at the same time, need something gentle enough for sensitive skin. I always test a cleanser’s gentleness by how much it burns my eyes.Â Now, I don’t intentionally rub it in my eyes, but after a few weeks of using it, I’m bound to have gotten a bit in my eyes here and there. This doesn’t burn them, which is always a good sign.
Secondly, much of what Purity Made Simple feels and does, reminds me of Cetaphil I would say Philosophy is almost like a step up from it. Cetaphil doesn’t remove my makeup that well–at least not well enough to avoid using a makeup remover or a makeup remover wipe afterward. Philosophy does a better job in that aspect, and I often only reach for a wipe when I’ve worn heavy eye makeup (think last week’s all-blue eye), lip products, or something long-wearing (e.g., Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners).
To apply, simply squeeze out a pea-sized amount of product onto your hand, add a touch of water, and then massage into skin for about a minute. I usually splash my face with water, then massage the product in it–I just find this technique to be easier for me. As far as price goes, I consider it worth it, and it has a good value. You can get an 8 oz. for $20.00, 16 oz. for $32.00, and 24 oz. for $40.00. I’m currently using the 16 oz. bottle, and I’ve hardly seen it go down after using it nightly for about three weeks.
THE FOAMING: Many with oilier skin, or acne-prone skin, opt for gel and foaming cleansers, because they find it gives them a better clean. Well, Philosophy has your number, ladies, because this version definitely lives up to its high-foaming description. Neither the original formula or the foaming one gives you tight-feeling skin afterward, but your skin feels refreshed and clean. One drawback from the foaming version is that it’s hard to travel with it–you need the foaming pump in order to foam out the product. Then again, it comes in 6 ounces, which you can still pack away in your check-in luggage. It’s not a big deal, but it is worth pointing out. I find I need about one or two pumps to get my cleanse on completely, and like the original, you need to massage it in for about a minute, and then rinse with lukewarm water. Price is a little higher, with 6 oz. available for $21.50 and 12 oz. available for $34.50.
WHICH ONE WINS? Both. I think it is about your preferences–both worked just as well on me. I found the foaming one isn’t quite as nice to my eyes, but it doesn’t leave me blind for minutes after (just the slightest burning sensation for a few seconds). Nonetheless, sometimes I like a nice lather, which makes the foaming version a good option to have around the house. The foaming version is pricier by the ounce, but it’s hard to tell whether you’ll use it any faster/slower than the original.