KYPRIS Cleanser Concentrate Review: Why Green Doesn’t Equal Safe


I went into trying Kypris’ Cleanser Concentrate with such high hopes. It promised the “ideal cleanse” with a “totally new” experience in a gel-cream format that could be applied onto dry or damp skin. At first use, it was like a mediocre first date where some things were pretty cool, but the overall experience was more awkward than anything.

Cool things: The packaging is inspired by feminist art, I’m not very deep so I can’t say how the geometric shapes are connected but I dug the gold etching on the glass jar. The scent was subtle and smelled like roses in a very neutral and controlled way. The cream was bouncy and light which made it easy to scoop and also distribute over skin.

Awkward things: Still not sure how this works, tried it with dry and damp face and it feels like moving a moisturizer over skin. Don’t think anyone will hate the way this cleanser performs, but also don’t think anyone is going to be blown away by it either where they won’t want to give another cleanser a shot after this runs out.

The hope was that it would be like the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser  which has a similar texture and scent but the Kypris Cleanser didn’t cleanse as well, each use culminating in an anticlimactic feeling of “that’s it?” For a cleanser, that’s not ideal.

But even if it doesn’t perform as well as the Glossier Cleanser, and even though it is over 3x more expensive at $64 for a jar , it’s a better quality product because of the green ingredients, right? Well, let’s talk about that.

A month into use (and by use, I mean interchanging between 3 different cleansers being tested on a daily basis so really.. not heavy usage), the cream started to change. I soon noticed curdling with yellow, yeasty chunks forming. A week afterward when I opened the container, the nice rose scent was replaced by a disgusting cheesy smell. It was obvious that the product was contaminated. I checked the use by period on the jar, which is surprisingly short at just 3 months. As a reference, for most big box retailers a period of 6 months is the minimum accepted standard. Even at that, my product was only 1 month old from when I got it so it should not have happened.

I discussed this with Spirit Demerson (of Spirit Beauty Lounge) when we met up in New York, who suggested that the open jar packaging may make it more susceptible to contamination and degradation. Fair point, which is also why I only use a scooper for jar products and never double-dip. Comparatively, I’ve seen demos online where fingers are used which makes me quite concerned that this easily contaminated product is sitting on the shelves of many homes right now. The problem is that bacteria contaminated products can cause significant harm from causing red eye to spreading illness, and they may not always be detectable.

Herein lies an underlying issue with the current state of “green” beauty: preservatives such as parabens are to be avoided, even it’s replacement, phenoxyethanol is not something we want to see in an ingredients list. But many times with green beauty, the avoidance of established protocols that are used to ensure stability and safety means trying new, less proven methods, and for customers it means trusting that the person creating the products knows what they’re doing even though the majority of product creators don’t seem to have a relevant background.

I was especially surprised that my first (and hopefully only) experience with contamination happened with Kypris because their products are made in a lab which should have more checks and balances than home-made products and their founder espouses the integrity, ingredient superiority, and scientifically sound nature of their formulas so fervently in interviews and on social media.

So yes, there are no parabens, phenoxyethanol or other things that green customers find disturbing. But it’s performance leaves much to be desired and much more important is that the formula does not seem to be stable or safe in terms of lacking an adequate preservation system to prevent contamination.

For green products to become legitimate, it needs to be as reliable, effective, and even more safe than the traditional products it seeks to replace. This product is not going to move the needle forward, but if you’d like to give it a try yourself:

CREDO BEAUTY
The DETOX MARKET

– Eddie

  • FSM

    That looks like a petri dish! Between this and the analysis of Kypris combining growth factors with exfoliators, I seriously doubt that Chase has too much actual knowledge of the chemistry behind skincare.

    • Sorry the pic is the reality, it isn’t beautiful to look at.

  • Laura

    Thank you for the honest review. I rarely see critical analysis on these big blogs and am very grateful for your insight.

  • Susan

    Im glad to read this review, as I had a similar experience with their sunscreen. Just a few weeks before it went noticeably bad, I started to see peeling on my face as though I was getting a burn. They tried to blame me and said that I must not be putting it on correctly, but this is the ONLY sunscreen that I have had this problem with.

    • Looks like the issue extends to their jar packaged products. Hope you didn’t get too bad of a burn.

  • Lea

    Very interesting post. I’ve actually had a similar experience with this same product. I’ve had much better luck with Tata Harper products, which contain lactic acid from fermented yams as a source of preservation. I believe Tata Harper also works with a team of chemists and skin biologists to make up for her lack of knowledge in the field.

    • Thanks for sharing Lea! Yeah, have not had any similar issues from other green brands including Tata Harper. Definitely don’t think people “need” the experience but there is a need for proper vetting.

  • Well written post, Eddie. I agree with your statement that for green to be considered as legitimate in the mainstream space, it not only has to be up to mainstream standard when it comes to easing people’s hesitations around issues such as efficacy and safety, it has to over compensate.

    I was initially very curious about Kypris when they launched and then a red flag came when I went to add Kypris on Instagram and discovered that Chase Polan had preemptively blocked me. I did not take it personally, but it definitely makes me question her motivation and how confident she is in her work if she goes to such lengths

  • Dear Chase,

    Thank you for posting a response on here, I always appreciate when brand founders go out of their way to provide clarity.

    I understand that your products are sold in the EU which has legal requirements, and that working in lab settings, etc., you would have quality control and assurance testing. That was why it was confusing to me how this could occur.

    I always closed the lid before actually beginning to cleanse my skin because I did not want the cream to dry out and only used a scooper without double dipping, as mentioned in the post. I have used other products in jars before as well and have not had these problems. So while I understand that you’re suggesting there was probably unintentional user contamination, I do not believe that to be the case given that this has never occurred before and the methods I use to prevent this as I share products that I like with my team, so we always take care to avoid contaminating products.

    I applaud your consideration for the environment as a reason for not using plastics. However I never suggested nor implied that plastics should be used. I only pointed out that a jar packaging as Spirit also pointed out could be a vulnerability that should be accounted for. Also, will future Kypris jars use glass tops? I notice that the current jar tops are indeed made of plastic.

    I also never advocated for aggressive preservative systems that would compromise skin’s natural bacteria, only that a product shouldn’t curdle and become bacteria infested within 1 month of use. I do not think this is an out of line expectation.

    I started with a pearl sized dollop of product as instructed but the cleansing was not enough so I had to increase the amount that I used. I adjusted to an amount that would work best for me. I had seen reviews even from bloggers who loved it who said that they needed to use more product than the pearl size that was advised.

    I do not like harsh or overly aggressive products, I have used balms/oil cleansing/gel cleansers/cream cleansers and know the nuance between their performance. I have good skin because I know how to make things work. When a product works well, I can figure out how to incorporate it. My experience the Cleanser Concentrate was just that it was mediocre no matter how much I used, and the wetness of my skin. But I do give allowance that each person is going to be different and maybe it just didn’t vibe with my skin chemistry, the main issue is that the cleanser went bad after a 1 month.

    Based on a few other comments, it seems this contamination issue is one that others have experienced as well. I hope you will take these experiences constructively and perhaps consider adjustments to the formula or packaging. I know it must suck to read a review that isn’t great but there are valid points that if taken through action in improving the product could produce something even more wonderful.

    Thanks again for actually taking the time to comment, it is refreshing to see.

    • Steph

      This is typical Kypris, they never entertain the possibility that they would have a shortcoming and will spend their time writing mindless drivel that can be summarized as “it’s not us, it’s you”.

  • Kelly

    It’s wonderful that kypris took the time to comment but it’s troubling to me that she didn’t seem concern about the cleanser going bad. Just blamed you and not going to investigate what happen. I would respect the brand more if they would admit to there faults.

    • Well, it’s telling for sure.

      Thanks for leaving a message, Kelly!

  • Mary

    Got drawn onto your post through a combative discussion that took place in a Facebook group (Green Beauty Insiders) where Kypris and a blogger named Organic Bunny are questioning your motives and “accusations”. Chase herself specifically called the claims in your post “baseless negativity” and Organic Bunny is on the “it’s your fault” train. Thought you should know as I see many people saying the same things but those opinions are shut down.

  • V

    I would check out this blogger’s old post on Kypris– it’s pretty much the same story of poor customer service and products of questionable quality and effectiveness. https://skintrovert.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/my-kypris-nightmare-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/