Review of Unlisted Brand Albolene cleanser by wiseowl
Asian cleansing oils had gotten too much for my budget. (Not to mention, when my mild rosacea is flaring up, cleansing oils are a little too good at what they do; I've learned that as I get older, being squeaky clean w/stripping cleansers doesn't help my rosacea.) The fragrance in Pond's had become too much for my mild rosacea.
Then, I stumbled across Albolene. I don't get why this isn't better known. Love that it has no fragrance--makes such a difference. I'm able to wipe off all my makeup without it feeling too stripping on my skin and then I follow with a gentle cleanser. I get why some might think, "hey, this is glorified Vaseline", but the truth is it's not. When you rub Vaseline on your face, it stays thick--acts like a barrier, which is why you see it used around the hairline for coloring hair with henna to prevent henna staining your skin. Albolene, on the other hand, turns into a liquid-y oil and you're able to move makeup off your face. In fact, I even use Albolene on no makeup days prior to my gentle cleanser: it gets off my Shiseido sunscreen, as well as all the grunge of pollutants. Because I'm a very light user of makeup, one to two fingertips' worth of small smudges of Albolene are enough to remove my everyday makeup(undereye concealer, talc-free powder on my t-zone, a coating of mascara on tips of lashes, and some lipstick). But if you use a little more makeup than me, I'd suggest dabbing a second application of Albolene and doing a second sweep just to get a feel for how much Albolene you'll need to use in general. I'm not going to criticize the fact it comes in a pot/jar because I'm already an obsessive handwasher who washes her hands before she applies anything to her face. Though, I do think Albolene's jar is a much better design than Pond: you can fit your whole hand in and reach the bottom unlike the Pond's jar. Oh, if you need to avoid fragrance like I do, be sure you get the Albolene with the blue lid. The one with the red lid has fragrance in it. But if you're a germaphobe, here's a good option. Ben & Jerry's and Hagen-Daaz both do these individual sized, dixie cup style ice creams, coming with little plastic paddle spoons. Treat yourself to ice cream and then save and wash the paddle spoon for dipping into Albolene. There, I just gave everyone an excuse to buy ice cream, aren't I nice?
Here's why I'm taking off one lippie. This is not for people with oily skin. In fact, Albolene says this on their website, though they don't mention this on the jar! I have combination skin, but my skin is happier with less stripping products due to my mild rosacea: anything with foam causes me to run to the hills. Also, if things like mineral oil, petrolatum, or paraffin clog your pores, don't use this product. The very chic blog Ars Aromatica has a great article on mineral oil if you get confused about mineral oil. Cosmetic companies love to play on women's fears and get us to shell out loads of money for products because the items are "mineral oil-free". Here's the thing. If mineral oil clogs your pores, a product like Albolene will seem hideous. If mineral oil doesn't clog your pores and you have something like mild rosacea, Albolene will seem like a great budget option for makeup removal.
This stuff costs more than Pond's, but there's a lot of product per container and it seems to last me way longer than Pond's and gives me way more bang for the buck than Pond's.
Teenagers with hormonal, highly reactive skin should maybe hold off on trying this. I remember back in the day it was hard for me as a teenager to figure out whether mineral oil clogged my pores or not thanks to all the surging hormones--sometimes tricky at that age to figure out when it's an ingredient or your hormones responsible.
One last thing, people in performance art-related stuff should really consider this product: the way Albolene liquifies would be really great when you want to break down and cut through greasepaint, tv sticks, etc.
Update 7/12/2013: I just discovered in one of those mega-stocked CVS Albolene packaged in a squeeze tube with a quantity I'd estimate to be about 2-3 oz. I would say the pricing was about half the price of Albolene's regular last-you-a-year tubs. I think this packaging could be possibly useful for regular travelers: the amount will last you multiple trips. So, check ds websites and drugstores that are especially well-stocked to see if you can spot the squeeze tube option.