Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser Review

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My skin always goes crazy around this time of the year: some parts will be way too dry, almost to the point of cracking, while others will show up as blotchy oily patches. That’s why it’s important for me to keep switching my cleansers around, because something that works for the Summer months will totally destroy my skin in the Winter. In pursuit for a good wintertime cleanser, I decided to give Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser a try, because it claims to carefully remove all makeup and impurities and provide gentle exfoliation without stripping my skin of natural oils.

Sibu Beauty was founded by Bruce McMullin in 2003 when a series of events led him to Calcutta, India where he learned about Chinese plants and herbs from an ayurvedic specialist, who also mentioned sea buckthorn berries. In pursuit of the superior source of sea buckthorn, Bruce traveled to some of the most remote locations in the Himalayas, and after long and thorough search, he finally found that perfect place. At elevations of 13,000 ft., among pristine crisp mountain low-oxygen air, grows the Turkistanica sea buckthorn, rich in Omega-7 and more common Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. To gather it, McMullin chose to have the berries hand-harvested the traditional way by local people, thus supporting the skills taught by generations of ancestors and providing jobs. The berries are harvested early in the morning by shaking bushes with sticks until the berries fall down onto the ground cloths.

This all-natural balancing facial cleanser provides deep yet gentle exfoliation, to make your face look and feel fresh, clean, and radiant. Non-foaming gel formula works great for removing makeup, excess oil and impurities, and is suitable for all skin types.

First of all, I would like to mention that this is not my first encounter with Sibu Beauty products: I tried their Face & Body bar through Yuzen box last year and it was probably one of the best soaps ever — non-drying, gentle, and smelled wonderful. So based on my previous experience, I was almost certain that I will love this cleanser, too, and that’s exactly what happened.

Like I mentioned at the very beginning of the post, I was looking for a good wintertime cleanser, something that wouldn’t over-dry and further irritate my already cranky skin. Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser actually provided me with both cleansing and exfoliating, so it’s like I got two products in one – a cleanser and a gentle scrub. I mostly use acids for winter exfoliation just because my skin is so picky, but it didn’t seem to mind the fine grains in this cleanser: they were fine and sparse, so I didn’t experience any redness or irritation afterward.

This cleanser is non-foaming, which might strike some people as odd, but it’s kind of like those cleansing hair conditioners that are extremely gentle to the hair because they don’t contain harsh surfactants. Yes, the skin will not feel “squeaky clean”, but it will retain the right amount of oils for the best balance.

I also tried it as a makeup remover, and while I decided not to try my luck removing eye makeup [since it’s also a scrub and everything], and it seemed to work fine for the most part, but I needed to follow up with micellar water to make sure everything is off.

My overall impression of Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser is very positive, just as I expected. This non-foaming all-natural cleanser works well as a first step in my AM and PM routines, and can even be used to remove makeup, however I found it a bit less effective than my usual oily makeup remover. I also admire and respect what Sibu Beauty as a company stands for, you should check out their story here if you have time, it’s very touching.

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$17.95 USD, 4oz. Available at Sibu Beauty,, Vitacost.

Water, decyl glucoside, coco betaine, sd alcohol 40-b, lauryl glucoside, hydrogenated jojoba oil, carrageenan, glycerin, phenethyl alcohol, sea buckthorn fruit extract (hippophae rhamnoides), sea buckthorn seed oil (hippophae rhamnoides), panthenol, coco-glucoside, glyceryl oleate, xanthan gum, sodium levulinate, sodium phytate, sodium anisate, fragrance (from orange and lemon essential oils