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One step to clean and refreshed: Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser review

Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser with a face scrubber

Cleansing is the most critical step in my skincare routine - and it should be for you too. As well as leaving the skin squeaky clean and feeling invigorated, a good cleanser will ensure your face is fully primed to absorb and benefit from the active ingredients in any serums or treatments you use. The last thing you want is left-over makeup, oils and dirt getting in the way of progress! I’ve recently tried the Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 cleanser and these are my honest thoughts.

This face wash was gifted to me by my daughter, who received it in a subscription beauty box. It is a generous trial size, offering 30 ml of product. 

As an advocate of double cleansing, I was initially unsure where to place it in my routine. I grappled with the question of ‘first or second?’. In the end, after a bit of experimentation, I decided to use it first instead of a balm. That decision was based on the cleanser’s all-round performance and the fact that my balm supply is currently running low.

I should point out that this face wash is intended to be used as a single-step product. It is designed to fit in with busy lives and to make cleansing effortless.

What makes this cleanser a 3-in-1 skincare solution? According to the brand, it tones and hydrates the skin while cleansing. Philosophy also states that its Purity cleanser is gentle - great for the skin’s microbiome. 

Philosophy Purity cleanser: performance

I’ve been using this product for two weeks as part of my evening skincare routine. A little goes a long way!

Active ingredients include Meadowfoam Seed Oil, revered for its moisturising properties, and Rosewood Oil, best-known for brightening the skin and delivering anti-ageing benefits. 

The texture is silky smooth and I would liken its appearance to old-fashioned shampoo. I apply it to a slightly damp face and gently massage into the skin before foaming with warm water. It takes a few rinses to thoroughly remove, something I like because it gives me a degree of confidence that I’m going to end up with clean skin. In fact, you can clearly see diluted makeup swirling down the plughole!

In total, this step of my cleansing routine takes under two minutes.

Some important notes I’ve made:

  • Effectiveness: This lightly foaming cleanser removes makeup, oil and dirt. It leaves my skin feeling clean, hydrated and radiant. It also supports clear skin and I’ve noticed a brightening effect.

  • Gentleness: It doesn’t irritate any part of my face or dry it out. I’ve got mature, combination skin, so getting the right balance is crucial.

  • Lather and texture: This product does lather but it is more on a par with a balm than your average foaming face wash. The texture, as stated above, is velvety smooth and silky.

Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser

Cleansing ingredients and value for money

As an alternative to a cleansing balm, the Philosophy Purity cleanser is a good choice.

Ingredients - Philosophy has packed a botanical punch with this product. It contains oodles of plant extracts, including at least 12 oils. Coconut alcohol and Coco-Glucoside are among other ingredients. While this product is not alcohol free, it is paraben free.

Scent - Think of spa brands and you will get an impression what this cleanser smells like. It’s very botanical but not overpowering. I’d say, the fragrance is uplifting and calming.

Packaging - It’s functional with opaque, neutral aesthetics. I haven’t had any problems getting the cleanser out of the bottle. However, I notice the brand’s products all come in very similar packaging. If I had more than a cleanser from the Purity range, I’d probably struggle to decipher one Philosophy product from the other. 

Value for money  - If I was to buy the full-size product, I’d pay between £23 to £33, depending on offers, for 472 ml. That would last me around three months so, for a premium brand, that is very good. It is also available in smaller size bottles, so it is suitable for all budgets.

While I wouldn’t rely on it for toning or hydration, those benefits can give a skincare routine a clear head start.

Do I recommend Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser?

If you want a simple one-step cleansing routine, this product is ideal. It is effective. Travel a lot? Philosophy Purity is perfect for those days when you just don’t have a lot of time to devote to cleansing. A simple wash and you are done. 

Would I purchase this product? Yes. It is ideal for those off-days when I'm knackered after an arduous shift at work and don’t feel up to a long-winded cleansing ritual. It can be used on its own, with no follow up cleansers. Even though Philosophy is considered a premium brand, I don’t think this cleanser is expensive for the amount of product you get in a full-size bottle.

In summary:

Philosophy's claims - Yes, the product did meet my expectations, based on the brand’s claims. It cleansed, it toned and it offered a degree of hydration.

Comparison to other cleansers - This is an all-rounder. It’s easy to use and a fast alternative to double cleansing routines. If you aren’t a fan of balms, try this.

Overall recommendation - Good choice for people who are too busy for more than a one-step cleansing routine. 

Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser with a fluffy spa headband

About Philosophy

A Leaping Bunny approved brand, Philosophy was founded in the mid 1990s by Cristina Carlino. She is credited with inventing a quick-acting face peel.


Based in North America, the skincare company is currently owned by Coty, Inc. It was previously owned by The Carlyle Group from 2007.

As its name suggests, Philosophy is a principle-led brand. It is best-known for developing effective skincare solutions that are also very gentle. It has pioneered the way active ingredients are delivered to the skin and is recognised for luxury-feeling products.

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