Today’s review is of Stratia’s Velvet Cleansing Milk. Water-based cleansers (used in the evening after oil cleansers) can be a surprisingly tough slot to fill in my routine. While I don’t expect them to have any other effects other than cleansing, I do need for them to be gentle and have a low ph.
Your skin’s natural ph is between 4.5-5.5, with 7 being neutral on the ph scale. This means your skin is slightly acidic; in part, this ph helps keep bacteria from living on your face. If you use a cleanser with a ph of an 8 or a 9, the cleanser will actually raise your skin’s ph level. It will eventually come back down, but that change in ph can make your skin vulnerable to bacteria, as well as disrupt your skin’s acid mantle, or moisture barrier. Having a low ph cleanser means that your skin’s ph will remain low, helping keep your acid mantle healthy and intact. High ph cleansers can also dry out your skin, hence that “tight” feeling you get after using one.
For more detailed scientific information on what this raising of your skin’s ph does to your skin, read Cat’s detailed blog entry on “Skincare Discovery: Why the Ph of your Cleanser Matters” over at Snow White and the Asian Pear. To be extremely reductive (seriously, that post is full of scientific studies on skin ph), using a high ph cleanser, according to the scientific sources Cat cites, can irritate your skin and make acne worse.
I’m on the second of four Stratia reviews that I’m going to be uploading over the course of the next couple of days because I am always proud to purchase from small, women-run businesses. Additionally, Stratia is going to be having a Black Friday sale (20% off of everything!) on Black Friday, so I want to get reviews out for those interested in purchasing.
Alli, the owner of Stratia, creates all of the formulas for the products and makes them herself. She has meticulously researched ingredients and based on the four products I’ve tried–Soft Touch AHA, Rewind, Velvet Cleansing Milk, and Liquid Gold–her research has paid off! (Read my review of the Soft Touch AHA here, Liquid Gold here, and Rewind here. )
Stratia Liquid Gold
The bottle is sturdy plastic, and the pump allows you to control how much you dispense really well. The only complaint is that I can’t see how much product is left in the bottle.
Foaming cleansers can remove too much from your skin, leaving your face feeling dry, tight, stripped, or squeaky. Harsh cleansers can disrupt and damage your skin barrier, leading to symptoms like dehydration, flaking, acne, and increased sensitivity. For anyone who experiences these symptoms, a gentle non-foaming cleanser is crucial to keeping your skin healthy.
Velvet Cleansing Milk is a rich, emollient cream cleanser that effectively removes dirt, grime, and other buildup while leaving your skin’s natural oils in place. Its cleansing power comes from Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, a water-soluble form of olive oil that gently bonds to grime on your face and rinses cleanly away.
Fortified with chamomile, aloe, and rice bran oil, it’s a soothing, purifying cleanser that won’t dry out your skin or leave a film.
pH: ~5.0” (Stratiaskin.com)
This mild cleanser is meant to keep your skin’s ph low while it cleanses.
Water (Aqua), Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Essential Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Ceteareth-20, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
- Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters: a mild, emollient surfactant (cleanser)
- Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Essential Water: soothes skin
- Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil: softens skin; great for dry skin
- Allantoin: stimulates cell growth and softens skin
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: soothes irritated skin
In addition to being low in ph, this cleanser is filled with skin-soothing ingredients. While they won’t have lasting benefit because they are washed off, it means that using this cleanser probably won’t irritate your skin.
The (Personal) Evidence
The Stratia Velvet Cleansing Milk is not like most water-based cleansers I’ve used: it is a thick white, scentless cream that doesn’t foam. It spreads easily over the skin, and feels quite calming, which was a surprising quality for a water-based cleanser to have. I rub it on my face, add water, massaging it gently on my skin, then gently splash water to rinse it away.
The low ph of the Stratia Velvet Cleansing Milk is just the icing on the cake. I really love how soothing and calming this cleanser feels. My face never feels dry or stripped after I’m done washing, and my face feels clean. The Velvet Cleansing Milk rinses clean away and works well to take off any makeup residue left from my oil cleanser.
I like having a cleansing milk because they are, in general, much gentler than foaming cleansers. I don’t miss the foam, although it took me a bit to get used to not having it.
I have a number of water-based cleansers that I rotate through, but this will always be in the rotation. I know it is gentle and is my go-to in the winter my skin is generally drier and in need of gentle products.
In short: this cleans skin, doesn’t irritate, has a low ph, and rinses cleanly away. I definitely recommend it!
So, will I buy this product again?
- Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
- Yes. I enjoy this product enough to purchase again in the future, especially if it’s on sale.
- Meh. Maybe. I mean, I bet there are other, better things out there. I’d use it if someone gave it to me.
- No. I won’t use this again and will probably bad-mouth it to others.
- Hahahahaha. Nope. Noooooooope. Not even if you paid me.
The Verdict: Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
Where you can purchase: Stratia $15