Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser: The Story Behind It

I wanted to share the story of how we created our Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser and the thought process that went into it because we believe in being transparent about what goes into what you use on your skin! We're super excited to launch this game-changing cleanser because it truly goes above and beyond simply cleansing your skin, acting as a skin savior as well. Here's the story on how this cleanser came to life!

It's been twenty years since I first went to esthetician school and gave my first facial. Since then, through thousands of facials and skincare consultations, I've learned so much about skin and how it works, analyzing results and researching product formulas. These years of experience have taught me to identify root causes when it comes to skincare issues.

Whatever the skin issue, whether it be eczema, breakouts, accelerated signs of aging, sensitive skin, or etcetera, a key clue into discovering its cause is someone’s current skincare routine, namely the cleanser. One of the first things I analyze in people’s routines is their cleanser; one of the most common culprits causing persistent skin issues is a cleanser that is ultimately harmful to skin.

Our skin has a natural and beautiful ecosystem that allows it to thrive. An important part of that ecosystem is the natural skin barrier, a protective mantle that helps keep bacteria out and water in. When skin gets oily or you've been wearing makeup all day, it's normal to want to give skin a good scrub or a very thorough cleanse, and it can feel great when your skin feels squeaky clean after cleansing. However, these strong soap agents that cause that squeaky clean tightness can actually damage our skin's protective barrier by disrupting the delicate ecosystem that is our skin. And, because cleansing is something you likely do every day, soon, skin can become weaker and weaker, leading to a lot of different skin issues. Because you’re likely to keep cleansing your skin, even if you cut back on other products, skin is in a constant state of mild to severe crisis.


Power Calm.

We do talk about the importance of gentle cleansers here at Peach & Lily, and some of you may already know this. You might already opt for cleansers with lower pH levels because you know that skin likes being at a lower pH, or you might already opt for sulfate-free cleansers because sulfates can strip skin of its natural protection. However, you might notice that some gentle cleansers just don’t work as well, so skin feels like there are still impurities hanging around. And you might be right — sulfates are tremendous cleansing agents, and gentler cleansing agents may not give you that satisfying feeling of squeaky cleanness.

And, so, we went into our labs to work with that challenge in mind: how could we create a cleanser that's sulfate-free with a low pH, that’s gentle on skin, hydrating, calming, and, at the same time, able to give skin that fresh-as-a-daisy, super-clean feeling? We explored this question with our partner lab over the course of a few years, and we didn't stop until we unanimously agreed that the formula we had was able to cleanse thoroughly while leaving skin feeling and looking incredibly hydrated and calm and without disrupting the skin's natural ecosystem.

After we’d finalized the formula and had moved into testing, we all noticed something incredibly exciting. Overall, our skin began to look and feel calmer than we had thought possible. We’d intentionally worked to develop a cleanser that would support skin, compatible with the skin naturally works, while cleansing skin fully, so we could give our skin a chance to recover and reach a new level of calm. This, in turn, helped improve our other skin goals!

When we thought about it, it made total sense — when skin is calm and in good health, it can better focus on working on other trouble issues, like dark spots or extra collagen production for more bounce and elasticity. That’s why we came up with the name Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser — this cleanser is a gel texture that not only helps power up the calm in skin but also powers skin up in general. What better name could there be than Power Calm!


The science behind this cleanser is three-fold.

First, we identified sulfate-free, gentle cleansing agents that can truly dissolve and draw out impurities and clean skin. We then added extremely hydrating ingredients like our proprietary blend of hyaluronic acid as well as soothing and inflammation-fighting ingredients like chamomile, camellia, centella asiatica, peach, cucumber, licorice, and ginger. We wanted the cleanser to clean but also help bind moisture to skin and soothe skin.

Before you ask, yes, this is a cleanser, and yes, you quickly wash it off, so why bother adding all these active ingredients?

When we tested a formula that contained just the cleansing agents, skin was left clean but lacking — we found that we wanted something more. When we began to infuse the formula with these soothing and hydrating ingredients, post-wash, skin felt unbelievably more hydrated and calm. This meant that it took much longer to reach this perfect formula because cleansing agents can actually become less effective when combined with various extracts that, for instance, soothe skin. We refused to give up, though, tweaking and tweaking and tweaking until we found that perfect balance of cleansing agents and pristine extracts that would perform the best on skin.

Finally, we knew that the sensorial experience of a cleanser matters because it's the first step of your routine, and it helps set the tone for the rest of your skincare time. We made sure the initial gel texture was that perfect silky, slightly viscous goop that glides onto skin with neither too much nor too little slip — just the right amount, rather, the kind of jelly texture that doesn’t cause friction on skin and feels cooling and satin-y as it is massaged into skin.

With the addition of water (you can apply the cleanser onto dry skin or damp skin), the gel lathers into this sumptuous, soft, milky foam. It's not a bubbly foamy or a dense lather, but a subdued milky foam that allows skin to luxuriate in the moment. This cleanser dissolves light, everyday makeup, but I do still recommend using an oil-based cleanser as the first step, especially if you wear waterproof makeup and/or your skin type is oilier. However, in the mornings, just this cleanser alone is the perfect start to any routine.

A subtle, herbal aroma of lavender, chamomile, and camellia promotes a sense of deep calm, while the cleanser calms and cleans your skin. And rest assured — we never include more than 0.05% of essential oils in any of our formulas in case your skin doesn't love essential oils — it's a fraction of a fraction of a percent only which makes it suitable even for sensitive skin. To be able to include this minuscule drop to enhance the experience of our cleanser required us to partner with a scent specialist! And we take pride in the fact that we don't take shortcuts and think of every detail for you because your skin deserves it!

As someone who's been struggling with eczema my whole life, a cleanser that respects my skin while still working hard for it is so vital for my skin health. Almost by definition, because of eczema, any disruption to my skin's ecosystem is something I'll see and feel very quickly. The opposite is also true — a thoughtful cleanser that respects my skin reaps rewards quickly. For some time, I’ve been using the Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser exclusively each morning and as my second step cleanser in the evening, and my skin has never been more radiant and healthy-looking. It's been such a calming way to start and end each day. I hope this specially-formulated cleanser will help you as much as it's been helping me in my skincare journey — and that it will power up your calm in every way.

Cheers to radiance and calm!


Posted on February 21, 2019
by Peach & Lily