As someone who has never really liked a traditional bar of soap — they’re messy, they usually make my skin feel gross, and they’re a pain to use — I was delightfully surprised when I started using the Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar on the regular, and was rewarded with fantastic feeling (and looking!) skin.

Loaded with charcoal and Dead Sea mud, plus some 26 minerals essential for skin health, this bar of soap cleans, exfoliates, and keeps skin hydrated for a smooth and revitalized complexion. It also helps with fine lines, and helps to tighten and minimize the appearance of pores. While my skin is normally pretty balanced, I do have some pinkness on my nose — not acne, just an extra shade of lovely — and this helped reduce rather nicely.

The way this works is you lather, lather, lather and then apply said lather to your face. The mud and charcoal make this look rather messy and decidedly unclean, but just trust in it, and go with it. Take your time with this, and really indulge in the process — slowing down and really cleansing your skin is a nice way to start or end your day. I’m all about this self-spa-treatment approach.

I thought this really cleansed my skin, but there was absolutely no “stripped” feeling. No tightness, no dryness, and my skin never looked (or felt) irritated, which has been the case with some other cleansers I’ve tried.

Now, this soap comes from one of the most luxurious skincare houses in NYC — seriously, it’s a member’s only institution — but I don’t think the price is that outrageous. Mostly because you know the ingredients are top notch, it works, and also, this product has lasted me literally forever. I’ve been using a tiny sample size for at least 3 months now, and it’s still going strong. It also comes packaged with its own soap dish to keep things nice and clean.

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