Caldera + Lab is a relatively new, somewhat niche skincare brand that specializes in high-performance men’s grooming products. They describe themselves as “greentek” on their website, and note their mission to create top-notch products using pure, potent ingredients from nature combined together using pharmaceutical-backed science and sustainable business practices.
We’ve had our eye on ever since their first product, The Good serum, launched earlier this year and knocked our socks off. A few members of our team got a chance to try it out and gave it two huge thumbs up. Like all of their products, it’s definitely a luxury skincare item with a high-ticket price, but if you’ve got the dough to spend it won’t be wasted on a bottle of it. You can read our full review of The Good serum here.
They just launched a new staple skincare item every man needs in his routine — a good daily cleanser. Theirs is called The Clean Slate, a balancing cleanser, and two members of our team were lucky enough to receive samples for testing ahead of the launch. Almost needless to say, we loved it.
What We Loved
This cleanser is described on their website as pH-balanced, and it definitely feels that way. Your skin has a delicate pH balance that can be thrown off by using the wrong products. You know how some cleansers are too drying, or feel like they don’t clean your skin all the way? That usually means the pH balance is off in some way, or isn’t agreeing with your skin’s unique chemistry. This product is made to gently clean using plant-based ingredients instead of harsh surfactants that can strip your skin, and you can definitely feel a difference when using it.
Spy’s Site Director, Tim Werth, got a chance to try it as well and had some favorable words.
“I’m a big fan of The Good face serum, but it’s definitely more of a luxury product. While a premium, eco-friendly face serum is in the ‘nice-to-have’ category for me, a good face wash is a must-have, and right now Caldera+Lab’s The Clean Slate cleanser is my go-to. I would highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a new face cleanser with natural ingredients and eco-friendly packaging.”
The week or so I used it instead of my regular cleanser my face felt just as clean and just as ready for the other products that are in my night time routine. It didn’t feel stripped of essential oils, over-exfoliated or irritated, and I didn’t notice any increase in acne, blemishes or acne as a result of using it.
“I think my favorite thing about this cleanser is the fragrance. It has a clean and fresh fragrance with fresh water and mineral notes, probably from the glacial silt, which is not something I’ve seen in many ingredient lists before!” said Werth.
I have to agree, the fragrance is there but it’s not overpowering, and definitely doesn’t feel or seem synthetic. It compliments the refreshing nature of the formula itself, and just works.
What We Liked
While all of the ingredients listed on the bottle are nice, they didn’t add too much to my experience of using the product, since I’m not sure what each of them does. This brand places a lot of emphasis on what’s in their products, and the quality of the ingredients they harvest. I care about my products being well-made, but as a consumer I’m not going to further research why “sustainable microalgae” is good for my skin. But, perhaps that’s just me.
As Werth mentioned, the eco-friendly packaging of a glass bottle is a nice touch, since there’s so much plastic in the skincare world. The Clean Slate’s packaging also matches their other new product, a moisturizer called The Base Layer, which we’ve got a separate review of. These two products look excellent together on a shelf, and will make even the most cluttered of bathroom counters look put together.
The one thing we wish were different? The price. While this product’s price tag is not as high as The Good serum, it’s still more than $30 for just over 3 ounces of cleanser if it’s a one-time purchase. You can also buy it for $29 dollars if you subscribe to a regular shipment, but that’s still more expensive than most basic cleansers out there, and some may not view a cleanser as a skincare product you need to spend extra money on. As a benchmark comparison, a bottle of CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser costs less than $14 on Amazon for 16 ounces, you can do the math.
Does this take away from the quality of the product or its potential effectiveness? Absolutely not. It’s just something to consider when deciding whether to add it to your routine or not.