A calming cleanser from Pai

Recently I took part in Pai’s cleanser challenge – part of their Say No To Squeaky Clean campaign, and have been so impressed with the results, I just had to write this post.

A bit of background for you.  Pai are a skincare company founded by Sarah Brown, a head of PR-turned-skincare-guru.  Sarah founded the company after battling with allergies and reactions caused by chemicals and toxins used in a lot of traditional skincare products.

Sarah Brown – founder of Pai Skincare

Sarah launched Pai in 2007 to meet the needs of people with very sensitive skin. The range has grown to include everything you’d want in a skincare regime; cleansers, toners, oil, eye cream, exfoliators… all with the aim of providing a high performance product that won’t irritate the skin.

So what’s it like in practice?

I trialled the Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser* for 2 weeks initially. It’s a soft, creamy cleanser that is worked onto dry skin and wiped away with the accompanying muslin cloth (which is excellent by the way, it really polishes the skin but gently).  
All sounds straightforward, yes? 

Pai – Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

The point of difference though, for me, is that it is so gentle and so suitable for sensitive skin. 
My 30-something skin is all over the shop at the moment. A combination of illness and medication has left my face a bit befuddled and unbalanced. I have dry cheeks, with a lot of redness and sore patches (but not flaky), persistent hormonal spots in the chin and jaw area, a normal-verging-on-oily t-zone, and just a bit of a grumpy mug.

Skincare is something I’m ‘into‘. So I’ve got a sturdy routine going – cleanse (oil then balm), tone (acid then moisturising), serum (and oil sometimes), moisturiser… plus regular masks and peels. What I have noticed though, is I’m trying everything on my skin to try and take it back to it’s normal state (normal for me is a bit sensitive, mostly dehydrated, but pretty clear and well, fine with no real problems). 
Nothing has really worked for a sustained amount of time. I know that the crux of the issue is my hormones and the medication I’m taking, so without removing the cause, I can only manage the effects.

I decided ‘go big or go home’ when it came to the Cleanser challenge. I thought this would give my skin a chance to chill out a bit, and just see what happened really, so I decided to just use the Pai cleanser morning and evening, and a simple serum and moisturiser afterwards. No toners, no acids, no peels or masks, no fancy-schmazy creams that give you a new face each time, or whatever it is they say.  

So how did it go?

From the first day I noticed my skin just felt better. After cleansing I didn’t have a single spot of redness or ‘warmth’ to my skin (usually after an energetic cleanse, my skin is as red as a Royal Mail postbox). My skin felt incredibly soft post-cleanse, and just really relaxed.
As the fortnight wore on, this didn’t change. I did worry about missing exfoliation at first, but the cloth that came with the cleanser was so darn effective (although I loved it so much it meant washing and drying it every day!!), I didn’t actually miss it.
At the end of the first week, my spot count was down (yus!) to just 4. They’re still with me, but only 1 is ‘really’ a spot now. I’m hoping it shoos off soon!

I’m not a skincare science expert, but I think it’s safe to say that the two weeks using such a lovely gentle product, has given my skin time to almost ‘reset’ itself – stop it from working too hard, and from not really knowing what’s being thrown at it. If I took just one thing away from this challenge, it’s that sometimes that my skin just needs a break.


There’s two potential downfalls here. First is the eye makeup removal. This doesn’t cut the mustard for me when it comes to (not waterproof) mascara and gel liner (which is pretty tough stuff). I ended up using a good 4 pumps of the product on the first Saturday night and still had panda-eyes. 
The other concern I have is how long a bottle would last for. I had a 50ml bottle, and that ran dry after just 2 weeks. That’s 2 weeks of 1 morning cleanse (1-2 pumps as directed), and a double cleanse in the evening (oh, plus my eye makeup drama of the Saturday). 
So I’m not yet convinced on value for money, although, it is £25 for 100ml putting at a reasonable price point, and much cheaper than some ‘well known’ quite rubbish cleansers on the market.

Would I buy it again?

Yes. Yes. Yes. I really love it. I’m just working my way through my REN Rosa Centifolia Cleanser and once it’s done, I’ll be hopping back on the Pai train permanently (but with an oil just for eye makeup removal!).

You can read about the ingredients and product in glorious detail on Pai’s website here: http://www.paiskincare.com/camellia-rose-gentle-hydrating-cleanser-100ml-5
It’s worth noting that Pai do a really cute (yes, that’s not the point, but it is cute) sampler kit for £7 at last check. If you’re wondering what they’re like, I’d definitely recommend a try.

Also, while you’re there, check out the post on their blog featuring little ol’ me – can’t miss it, there’s big photo of my face. 

What do you think, would you give it a go? 

*cleanser provided by Pai F.O.C for purposes of Cleanser Challenge (not in exchange for review, but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about this one!)



  1. April 29, 2014 / 1:02 pm

    Thanks for this detailed review, although you mention it didn't do a fantastic job of removing make up did it remove foundation okay? The price point outs me off a little as I currently use the Liz Earle that's 100ml and I go through it like water! One bottle a month. However I'm defo giving this a go as nothing seems to get on with my sensitive skin at the moment 🙂 x

  2. April 29, 2014 / 2:03 pm

    Mmmm I love this cleanser! I used it a while back and my skin just adored it!
    I didn't find a problem when it came to removing make up but I don't really wear a lot anyway which might have made a difference – and its one of the few products I don't worry about getting into my eyes as its so gentle and lovely 🙂

  3. April 29, 2014 / 3:17 pm

    Thanks Rinica!
    It was superb at removing foundation (I always double cleanse at night just to be sure…). Really gentle in the eye area, but for me it didn't budge my mascara enough – I was wearing Lancôme hypnosis doll eyes, so it was failrly full on!

    All I'd say is give it a go, use 1-2 pumps for first cleanse and then maybe just 1 for the second. It'll definitely be more gentle than Cleanse & Polish, which I like but find the eucalyptus & rosemary a bit strong & sometimes irritating. Xx

  4. April 29, 2014 / 3:18 pm

    Totally agree Kel, it's so gentle. I was wearing a heavy mascara and gel liner so it's probably more my makeup than the cleanser. Wouldn't put me off purchasing though! Xx