Disclaimer: I received this product complementary from cupidrop.com. All opinions are my own and are unbiased
When I saw that Tososwoong had a enzyme powder, I was naturally curious as my favorite K-Beauty product is AmorePacific Enzyme Treatment Peel. Cupidrop generously gave me a bottle of this powder wash to review and I have been using it for the last few weeks.
What is an enzyme cleanser? Enzymes in skin care have two functions ~ exfoliation and to help reduce swelling, tenderness, redness and pain ~ anti-inflammation. Enzymes can be very gentle and are a fantastic replacement for facial scrubs and microdermabrasion products, such as Dr. Brandt Skincare Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant and Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub ~ those products can be too harsh for your skin and could exacerbate the skin issues you thought the product was going to handle! Enzymes break down the upper layer of skin which contains dead skin cells that contains keratin and whisking them away ~ literally decomposing the skin cells. By breaking down keratin, your skin is smoother and silkier. Some of the best fruit enzymes are papaya (papain), blueberry and pineapple.
I personally use these cleansers as exfoliators and not a replacement for a normal foaming or cream cleanser. Exfoliation are very different from cleansing and whereas these are gentle enough to use several times a week, I would not use them daily. I mention this as I have been asked this product can be used to replace the 2nd step in the double cleansing routine and I do not recommend it. I wouldn’t use a facial scrub as my 2nd step, so why would I use an enzyme treatment, regardless of its foaming action, as one? Rhetorical question, as I already answered it!! :)
image from cupidrop.com
Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash comes in an easy to use bottle, with a blue cap that flips up. It works on a principle that once you tip the bottle to shake out the product, it has already pre-measured the amount for that “shake & tip” ~ I don’t know how else to explain it!! At any rate, you won’t spill the whole contents of this cleanser into your hand. The grains are a light beige in color and have a light scent, but it isn’t overpowering. One thing I do dislike about this bottle is that the cap breaks apart too easily ~ you can see in the photo below that it is already cracking and separating and I have not been rough or dropped this bottle.
Tosowoong cap closeup
I removed the cap below so you can see the pre-measured amount. You would not need to do this, otherwise all of the product will spill out!
When I first used this, I applied the powder directly to my face and I could really feel the gritty grains against my skin. I do not have sensitive skin ~ however, I decided with future uses, to foam up the cleanser in my hand first instead on my face, so that I could dissolve the grains before applying to my face.
Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash really does foam up nicely!! It provides a thick sudsy lather, which will please anyone who loves foaming cleansers. It is also soft and my skin feels soft, smoother and cleansed. This doesn’t give me a stripped out dry feeling ~ instead my skin feels moisturized.
Tosowoong claims that their cleanser is 5 to 5.5 pH level, so I put that claim to the test. Using my own pH strips, I tested the foam, using my own tap water, and came up with …. 5 ~ 5.5! So, this is a low pH enzyme cleanser, for those who are concerned about pH levels.
image from cupidrop.comtra
I translated the ingredient list directly from the box. There are some potential irritant triggers with this product, such as alcohol denat (rating a 5), papain ~ which is lower from 0-3 and there is an acne trigger with sodium laureth sulfate (3) and also is an irritant (2). Sodium laureth sulfate should NOT be confused with sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate is deemed safe to use in skincare products. Some ingredients of note
- Papain ~ This anti-inflammatory and anti-bacteria enzyme is derived from papaya. It will exfoliate your skin without irritation by gently loosening dead skin cells and removing them from your skin.
- Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (licorice) is a skin brightener and an anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant with soothing properties
- Osory (badger) Oil is used to moisturize, but it is also full of pentapeptides, which means that it can heal dry and damaged skin, blemishes and reversing scar damage.
Ingredients: Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sodium Lauroyl Aspartate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Palmitate, Osory (badger) Oil, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Papain (140 mg), Maltodextrin , Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Titanium Dioxide, Alcohol Denat , Phenoxyethanol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Fragrance cosDNA.com analysis
As you might have guessed it, I will do a quick, unscientific comparison between Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash and my bae, AmorePacific Enzyme Treatment Peel (full review here). Let’s look at the ingredient list first (click on chart to embiggen)
Both of these enzyme powders use papain, which is papaya, as the enzyme fruit ingredient. This helps exfoliate your skin without any harshness. They both contain corn starch (zea mays) which is a thickening agent and helps with the silky smooth feel of the product. Tosowoong has corn starch as its first ingredient, whereas AmorePacific has this way down its list as it is relying on silica to handle this job ~ this is cosmetic grade silica, so it is non-carcinogenic. AmorePacific contains detox ingredients ~ zeolite, which is a silky smooth mineral powder as well as more moisturizing products, whereas Tosowoong is relying on the Badger Oil for its moisturizing properties.
Both products are not vegan ~ AmorePacific contains lactose (milk proteins) and Tosowoong contains badger oil. Tosowoong also contains a derivative of palm oil and there are issues with using palm oil, due to the destruction of the native habitat of orangutans. I do not know if Tosowoong uses sustainable palm oil, but I mention this as this can been of interest to those wishing to purchase this product.
I can use alcohol in my skincare products as I do not automatically believe that it is horrible and since Tosowoong is a wash off product, I would think this would be fine for most skin types ~ however, I do know that there are skin types that have a low tolerance to alcohol denat. AmorePacific has a slew of antioxidants, but, just like alcohol in cleansers, this is a wash off product, so the benefits would be small. Tosowoong has less ingredients that just focus on cleansing and if you like less is more, Tosowoong is a fine choice.
AmorePacific excels in the smoothness factor as I did do a test ~ using half my face with Tosowoong and the other half with AmorePacific, it was very apparent that AmorePacfic results in more smooth, soft and silky skin. Tosowoong also has the problem with its more grittier texture, and if you have sensitive skin, I recommend that you foam this cleanser in your hands first before applying to your face. It is a minor point, and Tosowoong does foam up quite a bit more than AmorePacific, which if you are looking for a more foamier cleanser, Tosowoong would be a better choice.
pH levels are pretty much the same ~ Tosowoong is between 5 ~ 5.5 and AmorePacific is between 5.5 ~ 6. Both products dispense a pre-measured amount of product, but Tosowoong gives you more product in that amount than AmorePacific. The cap design on Tosowoong, or at least the one I have, could be designed better, as it seems to break apart easily. It does have the convenience of a flip-top cap, whereas AmorePacific has a screw on top, which does make it more sturdy but also not as quick to dispense.
Obviously, one of the major deciding purchase factors between Tosowoong and AmorePacific is the price point. They are both 70 grams and Tosowoong is an obscenely affordable $12.00 whereas AmorePacific is $60.00. Another factor will be the ingredients list and any allergies or concerns. Both products leave your skin smooth without stripping your face dry and you can feel that it is moisturized without being greasy.
Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash is pretty good for its price point! It has a lot of the properties that the much more expensive AmorePacific Enzyme Treatment Peel has and it much more affordable. Since it is so inexpensive, I feel I can spurge and use this on my neck, arms and even my legs ~ anywhere I feel exfoliation is needed. This is a pretty good dup for AmorePacific, so if you ever wanted to try an enzyme powder wash and have never been able to afford it, I think you will be happy with Tosowoong. If you currently have an enzyme cleanser but have only used it on your face, due to its expense, I would recommend Tosowoong for your neck and arms, as those are areas that need exfoliation as well ~ these enzyme cleansers will help with cellular renewal, so that if you have “mismatched” décolleté and face skin tones, these products will help with correcting that. Will I use it? Yes! I am still in love with my AmorePacific and because I can afford it, I will continue to use it on my face. However, Tosowoong will also make its way into my cleansing routine for other parts of my body that would need this type of exfoliation. My décolleté area is slightly more reddened and darker than my face, because of the years I went without putting sunscreen on my neck and upper chest area, and I am hoping with regular use with Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash in that region, it will help even out my skin tone.
If you are interested in purchasing Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash, you can find it at cupidrop.com for $12.00, where they not only carry this item, but other great Tosowoong products, like the facial sheet masks, Time Shift series and Snail series of products. Cupidrop does ship internationally as well and you can contact them for their exact shipping rates.
[ Disclaimer: I received this product complementary from cupidrop.com. All opinions are my own and are unbiased ]