A new product arrived at my office today–Leejiham Dr’s Care White-P Zyme–and I’m delighted to report that it turned out to be a cleanser with a low pH level, hence this rushed post to share the news. A series of tests (shared live on my Snapchat–username: fanserviced) showed that this enzyme cleanser has a pH level of 5.0-5.5, perfect for maintaining your acid mantle.
I’ve been beating my head against the wall, trying to find and test low-pH, interesting cleansers from East Asia that don’t send my very-tricky-when-it-comes-to-cleansers skin into freakout mode. That resulted in a really disappointing review of 8 low-pH water-soluble cleansers (although some of them turned out not to have low pH levels). I’m gearing up for another attempt at a mass low-pH cleanser review, and given my LJH fangirling, this seemed like an obvious choice.
The History Of Interest In Low-ph Cleansers Among Fans Of Asian Beauty
[I’m stealing this section from my own previous post on low-pH second cleansers.]
One year ago, Kerry at Skin & Tonics posted on “The Importance of Fatty Acids, pH & the Moisture Barrier: How I Eliminated my Acne & Decreased my Skin Sensitivity,” which set off a major change in what many international fans of Korean (and Asian more generally) beauty products look for in their second step cleansers. In the post, Kerry argued in favor of low-pH cleansers since higher pH cleansers (including many foaming cleansers) damage the skin’s moisture barrier, causing issues such as dryness and potentially the growth of bacteria that could otherwise be managed by skin kept at its natural, acidic pH.
Cat at Snow White and the Asian Pear looked a few months later into the science behind the issue in “Skincare Discovery: Why the pH of Your Cleanser Matters” and confirmed that researchers for decades have demonstrated that low pH cleansers protect against acne-causing bacteria by keeping skin in its ideal pH zone while high pH cleansers damage the moisture barrier that helps give skin resilience. Based on her review of the literature Cat is strongly in favor of cleansers that have a pH of 5.5 or less when mixed with water.
Product name in English: Leejiham Dr’s Care White-P Zyme or Leejiham Cellabel White-P Zyme (they appear to be the same product, but the Cellabel line was renamed Dr’s Care recently)
Product name in Korean: 이지함 닥터스케어 화이트-P 자임 (Dr’s Care line) or 이지함 셀라벨 화이트-P 자임 (Cellabel line)
pH level: 5.0-5.5 (I’d say closer to 5.0; keep in mind that my water is a pretty fab 7.0)
Ingredients: Maltose, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Silica, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Candida Bombicola/Glucose/Methyl Rapeseedate Ferment, Calcium Silicate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin, Protease, Water, Carbomer, Papain, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben. (from allofcosmetics)
CosDNA analysis. This product has no common acne triggers. Carbomer rates 1 out of 5 (5 being most likely to cause issues) and Papain 0-3 as potential irritants.
Where to find it:
I bought mine for $14 including shipping at HKC Plaza. They’re based in Singapore and I find that orders with tracking come incredibly fast. Tracking is included at no charge for orders $24 and over. Oh–and they tend to send lots of cool LJH samples even though I’m fairly certain that they don’t know I run a blog. I’m talking samples other than the well-known tea tree line. EXCITEMENT!
I first attempted to buy this from LJH USA, but they refunded my payment via PayPal with no explanation and I’ve obviously not received the product. Uhh.
I considered buying this on KoreaDepart, but it’s more expensive and the price doesn’t include shipping.
I also considered buying this on eBay, but I really prefer that important packages come with tracking.
The prices on Amazon are about double what you can find elsewhere, sadface.
Who might like this, who might not:
If you’re brand new to enzyme cleansers, this is a small and fairly affordable option as a tester. If you would like to have your enzyme come out of a small, travel- and shower-friendly bottle, this is a good call. I totally dig this mini bottle packaging over the Su:m 37 packets.
If you already know you like enzyme washes, this may not be a great choice since there are plenty of enzyme cleansers with similar-ish ingredients and pH levels, but far lower costs. To equal the 90g of product in one set of Su:m 37 White Award Enzyme Powder Washes, you’d have to buy 6 bottles of the White-P Zyme, which would cost $84 if purchased at HKC Plaza! EEEP! That’s about double the cost of the Su:m 37 enzyme cleanser before shipping.
One great thing is that this doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, often shortened to “SLS” by skincare fans due to its reputation as a potentially very irritating ingredient. For skincare fans with concerns about SLS or known sensitivity to it, the higher cost may be justified.
In the event that you have sensitivity to papain (papaya enzyme), this probably isn’t a good choice for you–it does appear in the ingredient list and I did feel the effects of it (my skin tends to adjust to it after using a cleanser a few times–not ideal, but shrug).
If you love rich, foamy fouf, this probably isn’t the cleanser for you. In my quick test of it, it seemed more bubbly than foamy.
Given the price per gram, I’m most excited about this for its low pH level and the super convenient bottle packaging. ahahaha
The future and the past
Expect this to show up in the next installment of my low-pH cleanser comparison review. In the meantime, check out my first attempt at a low-pH cleanser comparison review and follow my pH-induced madness on the fanserviced Instagram. sob
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