su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick Review

Guys, I just placed my first Avecko order last night.  I'll talk more about that in another post, but I'm going to start adding the Hangul for each product I review now (and go back and add to old posts), to make it easier for others to look up.  I'm pretty nervous about doing this review, as this is arguably one of the biggest Asian skincare products, and has such a cult following.




Hangul:
숨37˚ 미라클 로즈 클렌징 스틱 80g

The Description:
With plenty of foams, this cleansing stick removes wastes without skin irritation and has even a soft skincare effect

Seriously, the HG cleanser for so many people, and this official description sounds like an afterthought.  "Yeah, it cleans.  With foam.  Moving on."  I guess they didn't expect people to love it so much.

Price: ($$$-$$$$)





I bought mine right after the first shortage, where people were paying around $40-60 for this cleanser, and stocking up on them like the Skinapocalypse had hit.  This was so. loved. so when it finally got restocked at W2beauty, I snagged it for $34, which isn't terrible, but still overpriced. (If you do buy from W2Beauty, you can use my sponsor code 137024611 to get $5 off your first purchase.)

Not much of a dent after 6 months of daily use.


I think when it first came out, it was around $23.  Tester Korea had it for $19 a couple of months ago, and triggered a massive buy that I think they're still struggling to fill orders.  They have it for 30,000 won right now.  Here's one on GMarket for 25,200 won.  Point is, it's not a very cheap cleanser.  The good news is that it can last a very long time.  I received mine in November 2014, and after 6 months I've probably only used about a quarter to a third with once daily use.  Some people can only get 2 months of usage out of theirs, which is a bit too rich for my blood, but for me, it can easily last a year.  If you can get it for less than 30,000 won, I think it's totally worth it for this higher end cleanser.  [4/5]

Ingredients:







Glycerin, Coconut Oil(4)(1), Purified Water, Stearic Acid(2), Lauric Acid(4)(1), Lauryl Betaine, Potassium Hydroxide, Betaine, Western Rose Flower (0.5%), Fragrance, Camellia Oil, Tocopherol(2)(2), Green Tea Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Oil(2), Apricot Kernel Oil(2), Yeast / Damask Rose Flower Extract Ferment Filtrate (0.01%), Basil Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Lime Oil, Pot Marjoram Oil, Orange Peel Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil

*Please do not copy this to your blog/retail store/forum/group.  Translating ingredients is a very time consuming, frustrating, painstaking process.  You are more than welcome to link back to this review page if you want to provide full ingredient translations.  Thank you.

  • Potential acne triggers are listed in red.
  • Potential irritation triggers are listed in orange.
  • Potentially hazardous ingredients are listed in purple.  (Note:  this is according to the rating system on CosDNA, which rates them according to reports from CIR, RTECS, and the FDA on if these ingredients could be harmful with long term usage to the skin, cells, or human body.)
For su:m37, that's a super short ingredients list.  One thing you'll notice right away is there are some common, potentially comedogenic ingredients and quite a few essential oils that could be phototoxic. So why is this so loved?  Well, potentially comedogenic is just a term.  This cleanser doesn't clog my pores or break me out, so for me, none of these ingredients are comedogenic.   For some people, ingredients that don't even get flagged on CosDNA are heavily comedogenic.  So this either breaks you out or it doesn't.

Glycerin is first on the list, and is a very popular NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor, found in skin), because it moisturizes, but mostly because it's cheap.  Coconut oil is a very well-loved emollient and moisturizer, high in fatty acids and great for both skin and hair (presuming it doesn't break you out).  Lauryl betaine is the gentle surfactant in this cleanser, and betaine is an anti-irritant and humectant.  The rose petals make up 0.5% of the product by weight, so after that are just a few drops of everything else.  It also has Vitamin E (Tocopherol), which is a great, oil-soluble antioxidant that is effective in low concentrations.  This makes for what should be an extremely moisturizing cleanser.

pH




This cleanser is famous for two reasons:  its packaging and its pH.  Low pH cleansers are ideal, as healthy skin is typically slightly acidic.  For more on that, check out Snow White & the Asian Pear's excellent post or Skin & Tonics' amazing writeup on low pH cleansers.  I, of course, had to verify for myself, but it does clock in perfectly right around ~5.  [4/5] (All those essential oils, although they make up a tiny fraction of the product.)


Performance:







This looks like a gigantic Chapstick.  The casing is plastic, with the su:m37 logo on the top of the lid.  To access the product, you twist the bottom clockwise.  The packaging is a huge selling point for many people, as it's incredibly travel friendly and is a very novel design.



I've only used this as my foaming cleanser, although I've heard it can be used as the "oil cleanser" step as well.  The directions advise to swirl the stick around on your face to lather up the product and massage, then rinse with water.  No wonder it only lasts two months for some people.  There's no built in sponge.  This is basically a giant face Chapstick.  How I use it is after my oil cleansing step, with my face still damp, I swipe once on each cheek and my forehead.  Then using my fingers, I massage it all over, and it lathers up just fine, and washes off easily.  But I'm a cheapass, so feel free to go crazy.



A gripe I have with this is actually one of its selling points.  It has little bits of rose petals in it, which sounds romantic and luxurious, like you're bathing in roses...

This is SFW, right?  Image from Tom Cash on Flickr.

Except in reality, for me anyway, it just feels like every now and then, some slimy brown (yes, brown) thing gets stuck on my face.  Or up my nose.  Or in my eye.  I think if they had ground it up finer, or just left out the petals, I would have liked it much better.  The roses don't add any exfoliation benefit anyway.

This is the amazing result you get when you do 100% of your editing with free phone programs.

The problem with trying to photograph the suds is that they dissipate the second you stop massaging.  So by the time I've wiped my hand, grab my camera, get the dang thing to focus, and take a picture...well, it's not too impressive looking.  This doesn't lather like crazy, but it's a very creamy foam, and gets the job done.  When I first received it, it smelled quite heavily of roses, but the smell disappeared over time.  Now it just kind of smells like soap. [4/5]


Personal View:





I took this with me to Dallas as my sole cleanser, and I don't know if it was because the water there, or this, but my skin was flaking like crazy and it felt so tight and dried out every time I washed my face.  I'm assuming it has to be the water, because I use this in my morning routine by itself sometimes, and it wasn't that crazy.  That being said, it's also not particularly moisturizing despite all the moisturizing ingredients, and can actually be a bit drying, but then it's a cleanser.  Its job is to clean your face, not to moisturize.

I have some concerns for the hygenic aspects of this cleanser, as it's applied directly to the face, and would obviously stay wet when you cap it unless you're willing to swipe away a good layer of product (that could be like a week's worth!), so I leave it uncovered after I use it and go through the rest of my skincare routine.  Then when I'm done, I cap it with fingers crossed that it'll be ok.  It does have a high amount of glycerin, which can be antimicrobial (in high concentrations), and I haven't seen any funky colors develop yet.  The gooey rose bits are a bit of an annoyance that I wish I didn't have to occasionally deal with, but isn't a dealbreaker.

I would recommend this if budget wasn't too much of an issue.  The upfront cost is a little high, but this product can totally last you a good while.  Emphasis on the "can" as if you use it per the manufacturer's recommendations, this will melt faster than uncured soap forgotten in the shower.  As for rebuying, I will when it's easier to get ahold of for a low price.  I like to try new products, so it'll be a little while before I cycle back to this one.  Of course, it'll be a little while before I run out of it also... [4/5]


TL;DR:


The Good:  Great packaging, can last very long, gentle, ideal pH, very travel friendly.

The Bad:  Can be expensive, can be comedogenic, can be drying, rose petals are an annoyance
  • Price:  4/5
  • Ingredients:  4/5
  • Performance:  4/5
  • Personal View:  5/5
  • Average:  4/5

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