Here’s a little known fun fact: in my skincare routine, cleansing is my favorite step. Which is why I borderline hoard cleansers. All of them. Balms, oils, gels, foams, you name it. Since I am always tempted by something new to try, it is rare for me actually to finish one. In addition to that ready-to-go-with-my-serums clean feeling, I thoroughly enjoy the facial massage element. So you can imagine how freaking impressed I have been with Face Halo, a makeup slash sunscreen remover that works with just… water. *says goodbye to the 438 face cleansers in my stash…* JK.
First things first. Whether it’s because I’m gay, jaded, almost middle-aged, have spent over a decade living in New York City, or a combination of them all, I am the biggest skeptic. So while I did catch a glimpse of Face Halo at the CEW demo night a few months ago (the last event I attended before the lockdown), I wasn’t able to stop by their station. The place was literally a zoo. Fast forward mid-pandemic when a surprise Face Halo mailer arrived. With so much time on my hands, I decided to give it a proper try. Afterall, I do wear tinted sunscreen every day, which technically makes me in need of a makeup remover. A quick’ish review below.
What is it?
Face Halo is a well-sized, round pad made of super dense, ultra soft fibers, which happen to be 100x finer than human hair. When soaked in water, it removes makeup and stubborn sunscreen without requiring any additional cleansing solution. Numerous immediate perks spring to mind. Face Halo replaces disposable makeup wipes (which I know, in general, are terrible but the Koh Gen Do ones are pretty fantastic but have a crazy price point) and they’re great for the environment. Each pad can be reused 200 times. That sounds great but I am not sure how one would actually track that. Please share if you have a tip.
Does it work?
I’m going to be transparent here. I cleansed my face, applied BR P50 1970, a hydrating serum, and followed with EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Tinted. Went on a 5 mile hike, broke a sweat, came home, and decided to put Face Halo to the test. After adding water, I wrung it out (it absorbs quite a bit but you want it wet, not dripping), and started pressing and gently swiping across my face. Within seconds, the pad had grabbed all dirt and pigment. I even got a whiff of the P50. After repeating the move using the other side of the double-sided pad, my face felt perfectly clean. To be sure, I grabbed another pad. Additional swipe picked up absolutely nothing.
Admittedly, I wasn’t wearing a full face of makeup; no under eye concealer, and the tinted sunscreen isn’t exactly waterproof (like some foundations). I’m not sure how the pads would have worked had I had on layers of pigment. My guess? It probably would have removed most of it but not all.
Is it gentle? Does it exfoliate?
Yes and yes. The surface of Face Halo is ‘a puppy snuggled under a blanket’ level soft. But no matter how soft the pad, you still apply pressure as you swipe across the face. You can be very light-handed, definitely a better move if your skin is sensitive or prone to redness. Since my skin is neither, I tend to be a bit less subtle. Keep in mind that as the fibers glide across the face as you move the pad around, you are performing physical exfoliation by default. Even if only water is involved.
Yay or Nay but also Why?
Personally, I find these to work incredibly well in spite of shallow expectations. If you’re not convinced, the brief list below details some reasons I plan to keep these around for a while. I’ll likely replace them when they look like they need to go because I’m not creating a spreadsheet to log the number of times they’ll land in the hamper.
- Great for removal of tinted sunscreen. When using an oil-based cleanser, I’d incorporate Face Halo as support in the cleansing step.
- Fantastic at removing face masks sinkside without creating a mess or having you jump in the shower to remove all the dried clay specks from your brows and hairline.
- On nights when you’re too tired (read: inebriated) to do the whole routine, Face Halo is way better than a disposable face wipe.
- Treat yourself to the Accessories Pack, which includes a headband and laundry bag. You don’t want your Face Halo ending up in the land of ‘single socks gone missing’.
- Be sure to throw them in the wash within a day or two after using since bacteria can and will grow on fibers.
- Get the original (white) so you can see what comes off your face, I find little comfort looking at a black cloth after cleansing.
- One double-sided Face Halo delivers a full face cleanse.
- Do not pack these when you go on vacation. Bring a travel-size cleanser instead. Who does laundry on vacation?
The Face Halo 3-pack retails for $22 at skinstore.com where you can also save 20% during the Memorial Day Weekend Sale with code MD20
If you’re also considering switching to reusable cotton rounds for your toner application, read this post from last year.