So, today I’ll be reviewing the Conatural rose face wash. And I realise that this review may seem redundant. Because those of you who have been following my journey know that I’ve been gushing about this product for weeks. It was one of the highlights of my Pakistani Products Only Challenge. And I’ve been posting about it as such. So, since we know that I’m in love, do we really need an in depth review?
Yes. Because, there is a ton to talk about, when it comes to the Conatural rose face wash. The formulation is really interesting, and includes a ton of quality ingredients for a, frankly, surprising price point. Simultaneously, I feel that the product is a great indicator of the kinds of trends that are emerging in Pakistani skincare. And I’d like to use this as an opportunity to have some necessary conversations.
A Gentle Approach
When you enter the ingredients for the Conatural rose face wash into Incidecoder, the results are shockingly good. The list reads like a ‘best of’ montage, where each entry is a highlight of sorts.
While most face washes on the market brim with harsh, stripping soaps and sulphates, this product is an outlier. Instead of SLS, the cleanser of choice here is the much milder Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate. Now, this could mean that ‘squeaky clean’ aficionados are left disappointed. Because it doesn’t strip the natural oils off your face, it may not leave your skin feeling as clean as some alternatives. But the key word here is ‘feeling’. See, the skincare industry, with its correctional approach to care, has had a profound impact on all of us. And for the most part, it has left us feeling unclean in our natural element. Many of us may have used harsher products, thinking that it was the only way we could be truly clean. Thus, opting for a gentler option can take some getting used to.
What I do want to highlight though, is that depending on what you want to accomplish, you may need some help. For example, for days when I’m wearing makeup, this product is not enough. In fact, I’d almost always use this as the second step in a double cleansing routine. The exception of course is first thing in the morning, when the Conatural rose face wash is more than enough.
But, the ingredients are sufficient for cleansing your skin in perhaps the least abrasive way possible. Simultaneously, the ingredient list is also noteworthy for several other reasons.
A Healing Touch
It is a truth attested to by most acne bearers that our skin HAS to be treated gently. The irritating ingredients that we are often encouraged to use are both physically, and emotionally scarring. They not only aggravate our skin condition, but also convince us that we have to ‘fix’ ourselves. Because of this I think it’s always a good idea to look outside of the cliched ‘acne busting’ skincare. And in particular, turning towards more soothing active ingredients can be a real game changer for many.
The Conatural rose face wash isn’t marketed as being acne approved (they have a neem alternative for that). But, the list of quality soothers on its roster drew me in. Conatural has created quite the overnight reputation courtesy its ‘powered by nature’ promise.
And at least as far as this face wash is considered; I’m on board the hype train. The mix of chamomile, centella asiatica, green tea, and licorice among others, makes it a skin saving, antioxidant rich cocktail.
A Natural Bounty
In fact, the wash was one of the first products I purchased as a part of my Pakistani Products Only Challenge. And based on my experience, I think skincare in Pakistan can be divided into either nature focused or scientifically inclined. Of course the rules are not hard and fast, and often the boundaries between the two overlap. Even the most ignorant will acknowledge that skin-science darlings have been derived from natural organisms. Simultaneously, I think we can agree that just being natural doesn’t make something suitable for your skin.
Personally, I have used products that fit into either group. What’s more, I’ve even found favourites belonging to each. And this cleanser for Conatural is a perfect example of exactly that. As I mentioned, Conatural’s tagline, much like its name, appeals to the ‘nature’ end of the skincare spectrum. And while I’m not a fan of all the products on offer (stay tuned for that) but this cleanser is solid. It incorporates a plethora of antioxidants, antibacterial & antimicrobial ingredients, and a ton of moisturisers. Also, despite the rose scent (which I suspect is down to the use of rose water) there’s no added fragrance.
More For Less
A part of me wonders whether all of this is wasted, given that this is a wash-off product. But then, my skin’s reaction to it, coupled with the price tag convinces me otherwise. At the end of my thirty day challenge, I loved how hydrated and even my visage looked. And, I think that this was down to the use of so many skin-soothers.
Now, having repurchased the wash (I switched to their neem variety for a bit) I can attest to its quality. The only other face wash that has offered me similar results is the Cosrx low ph good morning cleanser. And while that is also excellent, it’s much more expensive. The Conatural face wash costs Rs. 784, while the Cosrx one can cost up to Rs. 2000 in Pakistan. In a landscape where caring for your skin is touted to be a vanity reserved for the vulgarly rich, this is a welcome surprise. I of course cannot decide whether something is ‘affordable’ for your circumstances or not. What I will say is that usually, an ingredients list of this quality wouldn’t fit into this price point.
Conatural Rose Face Wash… Or Toner?
The one thing that I do not like about this product, is how it is marketed. The tagline reads that it is ‘made with pure rose water to refresh and tone skin’. Moreover, the back of it promises that this is a 2-in-1 product (we love those) that is both a cleanser and a toner.
Okay so let’s talk.
Right of the bat, I’ll admit that the word ‘toner’ is one of my personal pet peeves when it comes to skincare. Primarily, because the definition for such products varies dramatically depending on who you ask. Typical western skincare wisdom claims that toners are supposed to be used after cleansing. And that they remove dirt and grime off of your face. I would ask, why is there dirt and grime on my face, if I cleansed properly to begin with?
But, when I became aware of Asian skincare logic, this definition changed greatly. You see, for Japanese, Chinese and Korean skincare brands, toners are not necessities. But they also do a lot of heavy lifting. There are toners that exfoliate the skin. Toners that moisturise and hydrate. And even more toners, which incorporate active ingredients of choice, for specific concerns.
And therein, rose water has always confused me. I’ve grown up with people telling me that it’s a ‘natural toner’, and being confused about what exactly that means. Moreover, and I think I should have mentioned this earlier, rose water doesn’t always work for me. In fact, throughout my childhood and teenage years, I can attest to rose water actually irritating my skin. So while most Pakistanis would gush about how amazing this ingredient is; I couldn’t really share their enthusiasm.
Explaining My U-Turn
Now do not get me wrong; I’m not at all contradicting the praise that I showered on the Conatural rose face wash. Rather, the point of that tiny digression was just to remind everyone that skincare is very subjective.
Sometimes ingredients work for some people and not others. And other times, the same ingredients work for some people in one product and not in another. My rendezvous with the Conatural rose face wash is the grinning poster child for exactly this lesson. Despite me not being the biggest rose water fan, I actually love this product! (That’s right; LOVE!) So much so, that I would definitely encourage you to look into it. Is it possible that your skin’s reaction is completely different? Absolutely! But that’s why we learn about and pay attention to ingredients, and always patch test!
Price; Rs. 784.
Amount; 150 ml.
Container; Plastic tube.
Available At; Conatural website, & stores across Pakistan.
Verdict; Very gentle, and on my list of favourites.