Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick Review
A couple of months ago, I received an email from my friend Sheryll (of The Wanderlust Project) proclaiming the virtues of the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick, a facial cleanser laced with rose petals and fermented Damask rose. It was 1:30AM when I got that email, and though it was a work night and I should have been asleep hours earlier, I immediately stopped what I was doing so I could order this mystical stick. The moment it arrived I was in love –this cleanser is, as Sheryll says, “the way, the truth, and the light.” I try a lot of skincare products, and so very few of them go on to become holy grail items for me – but this Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick? It’s easily my favorite cleanser of all time. In fact, I’m going to marry it. We’re going to honeymoon in Korea, build our dream house in the French countryside, and send our kids to private school. My married name will be Kerry Stick.
What is it?
Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick is a facial cleanser in the form of stick inside a twist-up style applicator. It claims to be hypoallergenic, non-stripping, mildly exfoliating, and to rinse without leaving behind any residue.
Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Water, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Lauryl Betaine, Potassium Hydroxide, Betaine, Rose (0.5%), Fragrance, Camellia Oil, Tocopheryl, Green Tea Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Apricot Seed Oil, Yeast/Fermented Rose Extract Filtrate (0.01%), Basil Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Lime Oil, Pot Marjoram Oil, Orange Seed Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil
I love how many moisturizing plant oils there are in this ingredient lineup, and really, there’s a lot to love about this list in general. Here are some of the highlights:
This sugar alcohol is a popular ingredient in skincare product for a multitude of reasons. It’s a humectant moisturizer, meaning it attracts and holds more than its weight in water, which affords a plumping, hydrating effect. It’s also been proven to increase skin elasticity, promote wound healing, and has antimicrobial properties.
Coconut oil is a popular skincare ingredient that has moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. The antibacterial properties are thanks to a fatty acid found in coconut oil called Lauric Acid (more on that in just a moment). Coconut oil also excels at preventing Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) when applied topically. Most people are able to use coconut oil without any issues, though it can be comedogenic for an unfortunate few. The nice thing about the inclusion of coconut oil in a cleanser like this one is that it rinses clean, so even if you’re one of the unlucky who can’t tolerate coconut oil in a moisturizer, you might still be able to reap some of the benefits it has to offer with less of a break-out risk.
For more on coconut oil, here are a couple of studies exploring its abilities to prevent water loss and treat atopic dermatitis:
Lauric acid is the magical fatty acid that gives coconut oil all of its superpowers. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid that possesses antimicrobial properties shown in multiple studies to be effective against P. acnes, the bacterial responsible for acne. Below is a sampling of a few of those studies:
Roses have had a place in skincare history for centuries, and it’s still as popular as ever as a skincare ingredient. Rose extract and rose oil possess naturally occurring anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and astringent properties. I wish I knew whether this particular ingredient was rose oil or rose extract – rose oil has the added benefit of being an excellent emollient for skin.
Green Tea Seed Oil
Better known as green tea extract, this ingredient has a multitude of studies showing its benefit in the skincare world. Green tea’s active, skin-friendly component is polyphenols, which possess powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
This study from June of 2013 showed green tea extract to have a prolonged moisturizing effect, reduce skin roughness, and improve skin microrelief (wrinkles):
Olive oil is a classic skincare ingredient that melts away makeup and sebum with ease. It also has a long history of use as a facial moisturizer. It contains high amounts of Oleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps strengthen the moisture barrier when applied topically, as well as antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
Yeast/Fermented Rose Extract Filtrate
Fermented ingredients are Su:m37’s signature quality. I’m still in the process of learning how and why they work – for some reason, studies on the topical application of fermented ingredients have been difficult for me to find, though I am confident they exist as I have seen them referenced in other places.
The core concept of fermented ingredients in skincare is that the fermentation process, which begins as the ingredients react with a controlled set of microorganisms, breaks down the molecular structure of the ingredient, transforming it into a more nutrient dense version of itself. Enzymes are also produced as a byproduct of the fermentation process, which break down the nutrients to smaller particles. The idea is that those particles can be absorbed more rapidly by the skin. The fermentation process also produces additional antioxidants and amino acids.
According to CosDNA, there are a few red flag ingredients in this formula. Coconut oil and Lauric acid both score a 4 out 5 as potential acne triggers. For most people, these ingredients shouldn’t cause any problems, and in fact, they are actually great ingredients for the treatment of acne. However, there is an unlucky minority that experiences breakouts from coconut oil. Potassium Hydroxide gets a 5 out of 5 as a potential irritant. Potassium Hydroxide is very caustic on its own, but when it’s used as a pH adjuster, as it is in this formula, it’s already been reacted and is therefore completely safe.
The container for the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick is a sleek, light peachy-pink, twist-up tube. The product inside is a light pink stick, speckled with small, pink rose petals.
No surprises here – the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick is very distinctively and classically rose scented, but it’s not sharp or intense. I would describe the fragrance as creamy and delicate.
One of the things I love about the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick is that it can be used as either the first and/or second cleanser if you like to double cleanse. The rich oils in the cleansing stick remove makeup with ease, including waterproof eye makeup. As a second cleanser, it leaves the skin completely clean and soft, without making it feel stripped or dry. Most of the time I use the cleansing stick as my morning cleanser, and sometimes as my second cleanser in the evening. However, if I were traveling, this cleansing stick is the only one I’d need to pack. I’m really looking forward to traveling with this cleansing stick actually – it’s so compact, and because it’s solid, I don’t have to worry about it leaking all over the other toiletries in my bag.
To use the stick, I just splash my face with tepid water, and then rub the stick over my wet face in a circular motion. I really enjoy this part of the process – it’s basically a mini facial massage. Once I feel like I have enough of the lather on my face (there’s usually a few rose petals on my face at this point as well), I’ll wet my hands slightly and rub the cleanser in a circular motion with my fingertips. I like to take my time with this step – after 30 seconds or so, I am rewarded with a smooth, creamy froth. I give this another 30 seconds, and then rinse it away with a few splashes of lukewarm water. The cleanser rinses away completely, leaving no residue behind.
I’ve been using the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick for about 3 weeks. I reach for it every morning, and often use it for my second cleansing step in the evening as well. My skin glows after using this cleanser, and I love the clean-but-not-tight feeling I get from it. I’ve noticed a slight decrease in skin sensitivity over the past couple of weeks, and I think the Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick might deserve the credit for this. I had one tiny pimple when I first started using this product, and I definitely noticed a significant decrease in its inflammation after using the cleansing stick just one time. I have not experienced any breakouts, irritation, dryness, or greasiness as a result of using this cleansing stick.
As far as exfoliation goes – I’d say those effects are minimal. It’s the rose petals that provide the exfoliating effect, and as you might imagine, rose petals aren’t terribly abrasive. I don’t think this is a bad thing – if I really want to physically exfoliate flakes from my face, I’m going to reach for a product that’s made to do exactly that. For a daily cleanser like this one, I much prefer a gentle product that isn’t going to irritate my skin.
Before I allowed myself to fully fall in love with this cleanser, there was one more thing I needed to know. Most solid cleansers (including most bar soaps) have a pH that’s too high, making them a problem for the protective acid mantle of the skin. An ideal cleanser really needs to have a pH between 5 and 6.5. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity for my new pH strips to arrive, I was able to check the pH of the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. The results: 5.5. Perfecto!
I absolutely love the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick – washing my face with it feels like a luxury experience rather than a chore, and I love how my skin feels afterward. I also really love that I can use this cleansing stick for both steps of my double cleanse. I don’t normally use it that way, but having the option is nice, and will be especially handy for travel. Its ability to act as both a makeup remover and a cleanser is ideal for those who’d like to treat themselves to a luxury product but still save a little money – given the choice, I’d much rather spend $27 on one amazing cleansing stick than two just-okay cleansing products. I would absolutely buy the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick again and again. In fact, I already have two backups on the way. I never want to be without it. Keep an eye on your mailbox for our wedding invitation.
Pros & Cons
Skin & Tonics Rating
|A-||20/20 Efficacy||10/20 Ingredients||20/20 Application||20/20 Wear||20/20 Packaging|
|Total: 90||Rating system details »|
Where to Buy
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|Amazon||$24||Free 2-Day shipping with Amazon Prime!||buy|
|eBay seller forthefairestsophia||$32||Ships free from Korea.||buy|
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