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Looks Like A Shaving Cream But Cleanses Skin Brilliantly — Meet The New L’Occitane Immortelle Intense Cleansing Foam

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I’m always anxious when brands begin to tinker with the formulations of crowd-pleasing, editor-approved, best-selling skincare products. Clearly, years of living in New York City have turned me into a paranoid skeptic, but there’s always a part of me, an if-it-ain’t-broke mentality, that takes over, making me wonder, Why mess with perfection? Oftentimes, the doubts are merited, as brands re-release products with plenty of pomp and pageantry but consumers find little to no difference in their performance — or worse, they yearn for the preceding product. L’Occitane, however, always tends to always pleasantly surprise me, improving upon already outstanding formulations and adding new products to existing collections based on consumer feedback, perceived gaps within line-ups, and beauty market trends and forecasts — all without alienating fans of existing offerings. Take, for instance, the new  L’Occitane Immortelle Intense Cleansing Foam ($30 at L’Occitane stores and USA.LOccitane.com), a denser alternative to the existing L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam ($28 at USA.LOccitane.com), one of my all-time favorite facial cleansers. Rather than discontinue the latter, much to the chagrin of loyalists such as myself, the Provence-based luxury skincare brand simply designed a new alternative for those who felt the Precious Cleansing Foam was a bit too frothy, too light, too airy.

Now, I always found I got a great cleanse from the L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam, but I will admit that it wasn’t the cleanser I reached for when employing a sonic cleansing device such as the Foreo LUNA or the Clarisonic Mia 2— simply because the cleanser, due to its lightweight foam, didn’t provide enough of a cushion for the bristles I was pressing against my skin. Because of this very practical reason, I tended to favor slightly creamier and more viscous cleansers when using these devices — among them the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, the M-61 Brilliant Cleanse, and the Pacifica Sea Foam Cleansing Face Wash. My only complaint (if it can even be deemed such) regarding the L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam, then, was that it was difficult to use alongside these devices.

Still, I was slightly skeptical about whether the L’Occitane Immortelle Intense Cleansing Foam could outperform its predecessor. Much to my surprise, this cleanser is as good — if not better! Because it’s packaged in a pressurized can, when you press down on the indented cap, the nozzle releases a rich dollop of the the cleanser that resembles men’s shaving cream — from the snow white color to the meringue-like shape. And, in fact, the first few times I used the cleanser, I giggled at my reflection in the mirror since it did feel like I had slathered on some shaving cream and was ready to get my beard shaped up (side note: I don’t actually have a beard. Just thought I’d clarify!). I kept reaching for the can just to make sure I hadn’t accidentally grabbed one of my husband’s Gillette shaving cream cans! Once I was reassured that this cleanser just went on like a shaving cream, I went with the flow and loved every minute of the subsequent cleansing ritual.

While it does resemble a shaving cream, this cleanser’s makeup is far superior, starting with the basic fact that most shaving creams rely on pressurized air to create that familiar foamy texture, thereby creating no protective barrier atop the skin, instead leaving it exposed to sharp razor blades. This cleanser, however, is incredibly dense — in fact, the mousse is rather opaque, so that you won’t initially see your skin when you slather it on your face. This, is in fact, a positive attribute since it means it’s packed with actual botanical actives and not just pressurized air. What you get, then, is the perfect balance between a foam and cream cleanser, a delightful midway point in the texture department.

As with all products in the Immortelle collection, the L’Occitane Immortelle Intense Cleansing Foam is enriched with organic immortelle floral water, which has a high concentration of antioxidants that stimulate cellular regeneration and fend off free radical damage, and which is also known as an extremely gentle toner and anti-bacterial agent. Other ingredients include sunflower seed oil, which is rife with vitamin E and therefore functions as a potent moisturizer and anti-aging ingredient, neutralizing UV rays and protecting the skin’s outermost layer from degradation; and glycerin, a natural humectant. Plant-derived palmitic acid and oleic acids, both fatty acids meanwhile, function as surfactants, helping to detach dirt and debris from the surface of the skin, and as emollients, rendering the complexion softer and smoother.

After every cleanse, my face felt fresh, clean, supple, and comfortable — without any inflammation, tightness, or burning. Best of all, because of the denser nature of the foam, I can use this cleanser with any sonic cleansing device and enjoy the perfect amount of cushioning between the device’s bristles and my face. In other words: the Immortelle Intense Cleansing Foam might just be better than the Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam. Now that’s intense!

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