A month or so ago, I spotted the Giovanni D:tox System towelettes at Target and, much to my surprise, there were mini packets of 10 towelettes for under three bucks. Since I'm a longtime fan of Giovanni (I love their Direct Leave-In Conditioner), I thought I'd pick these up since I'm sucker for anything that contains volcanic ash:
Giovanni D:tox System Purifying & Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Towelettes
(retail: $2.49 at Target, 10 towelettes per package)
My full review, after the jump...
Right off the bat, these towelettes have a lot going for them. They contain some nice ingredients, they're 100% vegetarian, the don't contain any sulfates, dyes, parabens, phthalates or artificial fragrance and they're also made with biodegradable cloth right here in the USA.
The size of the towelettes is nice and generous (6 inches by 7.75 inches) and even though it's hard to convey this in a photo, the cloth itself is VERY soft. It feels almost like silk against the skin:
However, I'm afraid that this is where my love affair with these towelettes ends. First, let's talk about the moisture content:
There is a lot of moisture in these clothes. Squeezing them in your hand (like I've illustrated above) will leave lots of product on your fingers. And even though the moisture looks airy and bubbly, I'm afraid it actually feels more like a paste when you rub it between your fingers. It's thick and sticky once it comes in contact with the air, and it causes the towelette to slosh around on my face. It's difficult for a towelette to actually absorb anything when it's this wet and coated in such a thick paste-like substance, and I'm afraid it actually ends up depositing product onto my face when I want it to lift and remove the product that is already there.
Another thing that I found odd was this:
It's hard to convey this in a photo, but once these towelettes dry, they become stiff and "crunchy". I thought about how I could convey the crunchiness of the dried towelette in a photo, and this was the best I could do:
Since Maybelline Color Tattoos are pretty heavy (the container is made of glass), I thought I could show you what it looks like when I put a Color Tattoo on top of a dried Giovanni towelette (left) and a regular, dry paper towel (right). See how the Color Tattoo sits so high up on the towelette? Well you know how thin towelettes are, and normally a thick glass container would flatten a towelette out like a pancake. So hopefully this illustrates how stiff this cloth has become after sitting out all night on my desk.
I honestly can't think of another towelette I've used over the years that dries and becomes crunchy. I'm not sure what's causing this to happen, but I thought it was worth noting because I just find it...odd. If the ingredients do this to a cloth, it makes me want to wash the remnants of these towelettes off my face before they start to dry. But the packaging states that there's "no need to rinse" so, for the purposes of this review, I did not rinse while testing this product (more on that in a bit).
In regard to how well these towelettes remove makeup (which is pretty much what you want to know at this point, right?), I'd say they're average to fair. On light makeup days, I could get away with using one cloth to remove my makeup, but on heavier makeup days, especially when I was wearing black liquid liner, I needed two. However, I noticed that in the morning, I could still see traces of my mascara and liner under my eyes, even after using two cloths.
After makeup removal, I find that these towelettes leave a sticky residue behind. My face feels quite sticky until it's dry (which takes a while due to the high moisture content of these cloths). After my face has dried, my skin is quite soft to the touch, and the stickiness does go away. But here's the thing: I tested these when it was very hot, and I noticed that if I misted plain water on my face (which I'm prone to do when it's hot), my face felt wet and sticky. In other words, the water reactivated the residue of these towelettes and it created a thick, sticky film on the face.
Sadly, I wasn't able to test this product for my normal amount of time (I test skincare for a minimum of four weeks and sometimes 8-12 weeks before I write a review), because after ten cloths, I was done. I had no desire to purchase a full size package and continue testing this product. Since I only used ten cloths, I can't tell you if there are any skin benefits to this product as I didn't notice anything (negative or positive) after using ten cloths.
The fragrance of these towelettes is pleasant and herbal (I definitely detect lavender, and maybe a bit of chamomile).
FINAL VERDICT: I'm having a hard time thinking of who I could recommend these to, but maybe if you don't mind rinsing your face after you use towelettes and you only wear a very minimal amount of makeup, these might work for you. But keep in mind that you would also have to be willing to work with a heavily-saturated cloth that leaves a sticky, paste-like residue behind. As for the rest of us, I just cannot recommend this product. The pasty film, the inferior makeup-removing properties and the odd next-day crunchiness are deal-breakers for me. I'm really sad about this one because, like I said, I love Giovanni products, but this one's a bust.
Are you a Giovanni fan? If so, what are some of your favorite Giovanni products? Have you tried these towelettes? I would love to hear about your experience (hopefully it was far better than mine).