Many, many years ago I read an article in a fashion glossy which confirmed my suspicion that I can skip expensive face cleansers and should, instead, splurge on face moisturizers and eye creams. Since then, I’ve consistently used face milk cleansers and tonics from Viva Cosmetics, produced by PT Vitapharm, which claims to have been making cosmetics in Indonesia for more than 40 years. The line currently includes an extensive skincare and makeup range; one of their star products is the eyebrow pencil, beloved by many FD forum members.
Viva has several variants of milk cleansers and tonics geared toward different skin types, with three variants for oily skin: cucumber, lemon and averrhoa (i.e. star fruit or belimbing in Indonesian). A bottle of cleanser or face tonic cost less than Rp5,000 each, and the fact that they’ve been around forever (it seems) attest to their effectiveness. Since my skin is oily, I’ve mainly used the cucumber variant, sometimes alternating with the other variants. Recently, Viva has released a new variant, Green Tea. A generous FD Forum member gave me a set of the Green Tea milk cleanser and tonic since she found them incompatible with her skin. It’s a welcome gift since the set wasn’t available in my local grocers at the time and I was curious to try it. A bit wary at first given my friend’s experience, I’ve been using the set now for 2 weeks.
The milk cleanser has a thick lotion consistency, similar to the cucumber variant. The ingredients listed includes Camellia Sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil, mineral oil, cetyl alcohol (nothing like rubbing alcohol since it is an emollient made from vegetable oils) and other standard ingredients such as parabens, perfumes and colorants. Green tea is known to have antioxidant properties, and tea tree antibacterial properties, so both are desirable ingredients in a skin cleanser, frequently featured in other brands as well.
As standard with other cleansers, I spread the lotion evenly over my face and remove it with a cotton square. It has a somewhat medium-strong fragrance which, to me, doesn’t resemble a ‘green tea’ smell; rather, it’s tinged with the antiseptic-type fragrance commonly associated with tea tree oil, which I neither like nor dislike. The cleanser takes off makeup, dirt and oil, leaving the face clean and not greasy. Since my skin is oily, I normally follow up with using a gentle foaming cleanser (to remove all residue), face moisturizer and eye cream. The Viva Green Tea cleanser meets all my expectations, and in the future I foresee using it regularly in rotation with my beloved Viva cucumber cleanser.
I don’t usually use face tonics after cleansing with a foam cleanser since I generally find them too drying. However, not so with the Viva Green Tea tonic. Similar with the cleanser, the tonic has green tea and tea tree extracts, and in addition also includes witch hazel distillate and hydrogenated castol oil. I put some tonic on a square of cotton and gently pat all over my face. It actually gives a pleasant cooling effect on the skin, doesn’t sting, and doesn’t leave my face feeling dry and tight after use. I’ve been using the tonic about every other day for two weeks, and am very satisfied with the result. I’ll be using the tonic regularly from now on.
After more than two weeks of using the Viva Green Tea line, my face is still its normal self, with no breakouts, drying, or increased oil activity, which makes the cleanser set a clear winner in my opinion! And at less than Rp10,000 for the set (at least 2 month’s supply), it does the job without breaking the piggy bank. As with other skincare, however, I’d suggest doing a patch test first on a small section of your face, especially if you have sensitive skin.