Beauty product of the week: Napoleon Perdis Rebirth of Venus Skin Renewing Cleansing Oil
Image: Instagram user napoleonperdis
This oil cleanser won't clog your pores and works wonders on your lashes.
Why we love this product
Beauty trends come and go, and one that seems to be resurfacing again is cleansing oil. I'd first heard about the concept of using oil as a face cleanser around five years ago. I'd tried one or two and decided it wasn't suitable for my oily, congested skin.
Now, this cleansing trend is beginning to make waves again, and I remembered I actually did still have an oil cleanser lying around. Sealed and unopened, in my beauty cupboard was a bottle of Napoleon Perdis' Rebirth of Venus cleansing oil I'd received as part of a product send-out a while ago. Fresh out of my last cleanser, I decided to give this one a try.
The quick verdict
Why is it good? It's a nourishing cleanser that makes your skin (and lashes) healthier.
How much is it? $39
Aside from testing out this trend, the real reason I wanted to try this product was the promise of youthful, super-healthy, pore-free, flawless skin. The Rebirth of Venus oil makes some big claims and has a long list of fancy ingredients. The light-weight, Japanese-style oil is enriched with amino-acids, marine placenta and olive oil plus a few other high-performance ingredients mentioned on the bottle. It also contains lotus, according to the description: "fermented seeds from the lotus - revered for its astonishing ability to blossom after 2000 years - help soften and smooth the complexion". It sounds like a rather tall order.
The instructions say explicitly that you need to apply to dry skin. And I see why, I did try it on wet skin, and the experience isn't the same. Dry skin it is. I use a rather generous amount, tipping straight into the palm of my hand and then massaging all over my face. You can use a cloth to massage in, but I like using my hands. I spent more time working the product in than I would like, more than a regular cleanser. I guess I feel like it might need a bit more help getting into my consistently clogged pores.
It's a unique feeling, swapping from a cleanser that lathers to an oil that doesn't change in consistency. It feels as though your skin isn't really being cleaned. But that's just something you'll need to contend with. Oil cleanser will never produce the same feeling as a wash that foams. Using an oil also allows you to really feel the texture of your skin. Every lump, bump and rough patch is evident to your fingers, and this initially made me feel like the oil was somehow congesting my skin even more – spoiler, it wasn't.
When you're done, you simply wipe away with a cloth – my cloth of choice is a Face Halo. If your skin still feels a little slimy, put a cloth under hot water and wipe off any residue. The after effect shouldn't be surprising, but it is. Although I know factually that oil is a superior makeup and grime remover, it doesn't feel like it should outperform a traditional cleanser. But obviously it does. This product removes even the most stubborn mascara with little to no fuss.
So does it deliver on its complexion-improving promises? It definitely made my skin look healthier. I'd been using the product for a week before penning this review and I can see just one or two days was enough to make a noticeable difference to my skin. My complexion looked brighter and a natural glow was evident on my cheekbones. The wintertime dullness my skin develops was reduced and my face looked a lot more lively and definitely much healthier.
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As for flawless or pore-free skin, it didn't quite get there in a week. My pores were reduced, especially around the forehead, but I can't call my skin pore-free. Also, this cleanser isn't heavy duty enough to combat serious congestion. It doesn't cause congestion from my experience, but towards the end of the week when my jawline felt a little rough, this cleanser was not enough to purge the blocked pores and I returned to a BHA overnight product to clean the area out.
One added benefit that isn't promised on the bottle is the effect on your lashes. This oil cleanser is gentle and so nourishing that it almost acts like a conditioner for your lashes. And since there's no rubbing involved, you won't rub off half your lashes when removing mascara. Although it's only been a week, I feel like my lashes are fuller. Probably not due to growth, more just that they're not falling out as rapidly.
Overall, I really liked the product. I feel like it has made a very positive difference to the appearance of my skin. I also feel like long-term, this is an effective anti-ageing solution. Adding oils, rather than stripping oils seems like a much kinder way to treat your skin, especially if you're concerned about wrinkles. I also love what this oil is doing to my lashes. I'm just sorry I never opened this bottle sooner!
Side note: do not use this if you have lash extensions, it will dissolve the glue and make them all fall off.
At $39, this isn't cheap. But it's roughly the same price as any other cleanser that you'll find in a department store or at Sephora. If you're someone that invests in skincare, this price won't hurt your wallet too much.
Where to buy
I personally like to shop with Adore Beauty because I find the shipping is the fastest and the free gift with purchase selection is the best. But you can also buy from Priceline or Active Skin. If you want to head in-store to Priceline to buy, know that not every store will carry the standard Napoleon range. Try a bigger Priceline or just buy it online.