By: Skin Care Ox

Written By: Diane Elizabeth K. // First Published: 02/19/2020

OSEA Malibu’s Ocean Cleanser is by far one of the brand’s most popular skin care products—but is this organic cleanser really worth the hype? Which skin types should try OSEA’s Ocean Cleanser and which types should avoid it? Is this a good cleanser for acne-prone and oily skin? Are the Ocean Cleanser’s ingredients actually safe, organic, and all natural? To answer these questions, we got our hands on this popular face wash, tested it for two weeks, researched every ingredient, and analyzed hundreds of real customer reviews from around the web to create this comprehensive review.

Overall, this cleanser passed our review process with flying colors. Technically considered a “non-foaming cleanser,” the Ocean Cleanser was crafted to gently exfoliate away dead skin, decongest pores, and balance pH using vegan lactic acid, probiotics, essential oils, and natural clays. Although you won’t get a heavy lather from this face wash, the Ocean Cleanser is actually a great choice for those with blemishes, oily skin, and large pores. Unlike many cleansers designed for oily skin types, the Ocean Cleanser doesn’t use harsh soaps and alcohols which can leave your skin feeling dry and stripped of its natural (protective) oils. Instead, it uses a blend of ingredients designed to leave skin feeling clean, refreshed, soft, and hydrated at the same time. Even dry skin types will love how this cleanser exfoliates away flaky skin while adding a ton of moisture to combat fine lines and wrinkles. To top it all off, the Ocean Cleanser is actually made with vegan, all natural, organic, and non-toxic ingredients that you can feel good about using.

Below, you’ll find a complete summary of our in-depth two week review of OSEA Malibu’s Ocean Cleanser. Our reviews are organized into three categories: The Clean Ingredient Score (is the product made with clean ingredients?), Product Design & Effectiveness Score (does it actually work?), and the Online Customer Review Score (what is everyone else saying?). Combined, this review should provide everything you need to decide if the Ocean Cleanser is right for you. Enjoy!


Product Name: Ocean Cleanser

Product Description: A non-foaming seaweed-based cream cleanser that gently cleanses, exfoliates, and hydrates the skin without harsh chemicals. Size: 5 oz Packaging: Thick frosted glass bottle w/ pump dispenser Consistency: Silky cream Scent: Citrus/Lime Samples Available: Yes - Shop OSEA Travel Sizes

Price: 48

Currency: USD

Availability: InStock

  • Clean Ingredient Score
  • Product Design & Effectiveness Score
  • Online Customer Review Score

Where to Buy?


The Osea Malibu Ocean Cleanser has earned a Clean Ingredient Score of an “A”. This organic face wash is cruelty-free and packed with all natural, organic, GMO free, and vegan ingredients. The cleanser creates a very light lather and uses decyl-glucoside as a mild surfactant to help break apart dirt, oil, and other impurities. A few stand out ingredients in the formulation include the Brand’s signature organic algae extract, fermented beet derived lactic acid, as well as cypress and juniper oils. The Ocean Cleanser loses some points (although few) for its preservative system, potassium sorbate, a naturally-derived food-preservative which has been linked to skin irritation in some concentrations. The Ocean Cleanser uses very low concentrations of this natural preservative and our testers did not experience any irritation. It is to be noted that the Ocean Cleanser is a very gentle cleanser suitable for most sensitive skin types (other than those with a known sensitivity to potassium sorbate).

Clean Ingredient Summary


Top Clean Ingredients

  • Algae Extract: Chlorophyll containing ocean dwelling organisms. Contains a plethora of potent vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Known for its ability to help skin retain a lot of moisture (an alternative to hyaluronic acid).
  • Lactic Acid: A plant-derived alpha hydroxy exfoliating acid that is naturally produced through bacterial fermentation.
  • Cypress Oil: An essential oil made from the Mediterranean cypress tree. Has antibacterial, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and mild antioxidant properties.
  • Juniper Fruit Oil: Known for it’s detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and mildly astringent properties. Great for clearing blemishes.
  • Jasmine Oil: An essential oil made from jasmine flowers known for its antibacterial, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties. Non-irritating and great for sensitive skin.

Preservatives Used:

  • Potassium Sorbate: Natural | EWG Score: 2
  • Tocopherol/Vitamin E: Natural | EWG Score: 1

Concerning Ingredients
  • Potassium Sorbate: Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid and can be derived from natural sources such as fruits. It is used primarily as a preservative instead of parabens because of its strong antimicrobial anti-fungal properties. Potassium sorbate has caused some controversy because of some evidence that it can cause irritation due to allergic reactions in rare cases. There is scant evidence, however, that the low concentrations used in skin care (below .5%) create a high risk for skin irritation. (source | source)
All Ingredients

Ingredients as of: 01/09/2020

aqua, algae extract* Natural | Emollient | Moisture | EWG Score: 1 , decyl glucoside Natural | Mild Non-Ionic Surfactant | EWG Score: 1 , sodium lauroyl oat amino acids Natural | Cleansing Agent | Skin Conditioning | EWG Score: 1 , sorbitan olivate Natural | Surfactant | EWG Score: 1 , sesame seed oil*, jojoba seed oil*, magnesium aluminum silicate (natural smectite clay), tocopherol/vitamin e, lime oil*, orange oil*, juniper fruit oil*, cypress seed oil*, jasmine oil*, lactic acid Natural | Exfoliant | Humectant | EWG Score: 1 , xanthan gum Natural | Binder | Stabilizer | EWG Score: 1 , glycine Natural | Amino Acid | Skin Concidionting | EWG Score: 1 , potassium sorbate Natural | Preservative | EWG Score: 2 , chlorophyll *denotes organic ingredient


The Osea Malibu Ocean Cleanser claims to be a non-foaming/lightly-foaming cleanser that hydrates, exfoliates, and removes excess oil without stripping the skin. We originally tested the Ocean Cleanser for a two-week trial; however, this cleanser has since become a staff favorite and is in constant rotation. Accordingly, we give the Osea Malibu Ocean Cleanser an A+ for Product Design & Effectiveness. For starters, the experience of using this silky-smooth cleanser was such a treat: it’s got a uber silky, creamy, consistency that feels almost like a lightweight lotion. Add a touch of water and the cream creates a very light foam. Unlike other low-foam cleansers (which can sometimes leave skin feeling “unclean”), this cleanser leave skin feeling super refreshed. The citrus/lime scent is very uplifting and noticeable (scented with essential oils). As for results, there is no doubt that the Ocean Cleanser delivers on its promise to clean and hydrate. The combination of skin balancing oils (like cypress and juniper) and exfoliating acids (lactic acid) really deliver a deep clean. At the same time, seaweed, jojoba oil, and sesame oil work to replenish hydration and balance oil.

Product Effectiveness Summary

Works Best For: Dry Skin, Mature Skin, Oily Skin, Combination Skin, Congested Skin, Acne-Prone Skin.

Official Usage Instructions: Apply to damp skin and massage gently to activate light foam. Rinse with warm water. Use morning + night. Follow up with toner, serum, and moisturizer of choice.

Ease of Use: Easy to incorporate into an existing routine as a cleanser. Even though it is a lightly-foaming cleanser, it works quickly to break up dirt, oil, and makeup.

Most Notable Results

  • Non-drying cream formula
  • Contains no harsh soaps (very light lather)
  • Mild exfoliation (keeps pores clear)
  • Controls excess oil for combination skin
  • Visible hydration and moisture
  • Softens dry skin
  • Refreshing all natural scent

Claims Not Met

  • None: This product does not make claims of effectiveness that we did not experience.


We analyzed 1181 customer reviews for the Osea Malibu Ocean Cleanser from 7 different online retailers (including stores like Detox Market, Amazon, Credo, and Follain). Across all seven retailers, the Ocean Cleanser earned an average customer review of 4.7/5 stars–earning a grade of “A” for our Online Customer Review Score. Overall, customers rave about this cleansers ability to leave their skin feeling “clean” but not “dry.” Other positive notes include the cleansers “silky smooth” consistency, “refreshing” scent, and “non-irritating” formula. On the critical side, a small minority of online reviewers experienced some form of breakout or sensitivity, others were critical of the cleanser’s price, and a few others reported defects with the product’s pump dispenser. See Pros & Cons below for a full summary.

Customer Review Summary

Reviews last evaluated: 01/02/2020

  • *Osea Malibu: 369 Reviews | Average Score: 4.8 Stars
  • *Amazon: 25 Reviews | Average Score: 3.8 Stars
  • *Detox Market: 45 Reviews | Average Score: 4.7 Stars
  • *Credo: 59 Reviews | Average Score: 4.7 Stars
  • *Aillea: 4 Reviews | Average Score: 5 Stars
  • *Petit Vour: 416 Reviews | Average Score: 4.5 Stars
  • *Follain: 263 Reviews | Average Score: 4.8 Stars


  • Made with all natural & organic ingredients
  • Cleanses without causing dryness
  • Great for all skin types including dry, oily, and combination.
  • A very lightly-foaming cream cleanser
  • Refreshing and uplifting natural citrus scent
  • Removes dirt, oil, and makeup well
  • Mildly exfoliates with natural lactic acid


  • Not the best at removing heavy eye-makeup.
  • A few customers reported experiencing issues dispensing the product through the pump.
  • Very rarely, customers reported some form of sensitivity (such as a breakout) after using this product.

This Product Was Made By...


website: OSEA Malibu Website | year founded: 1996

OSEA is an organic skin care brand that has been committed to non-toxic skin care for over 20 years. OSEA was the first company to sign the Environmental Working Group’s “Compact for Safe Cosmetics” pledge and has lead the charge ever since. The line is totally plant-based, vegan, and free of synthetic ingredients. Responsibly sourced organic seaweeds are the star ingredients in nearly all of OSEA’s products.


This Article Was Written By...

Diane Elizabeth K., Founder at SkinCareOx.com

Diane Elizabeth founded Skin Care Ox in 2016 after her personal struggle to find truly clean, natural, and organic products. Leveraging her background in biomedical engineering, scientific research + analytics, and entrepreneurship, she created Skin Care Ox to be an easy-to-use resource to find real clean beauty options. Since then, her articles have been read by over 3 Million people and have helped millions choose cleaner alternatives. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband and growing family.
Review Standards & Process

Skin Care Ox product reviews are 100% brand neutral. Skin Care Ox does not accept compensation in exchange for reviews. Additionally, there are no paid advertisements on Skin Care Ox. From time to time, brands will submit products to our team for review. Whether we procure the products ourselves or they are submitted to our team for review---our reviews remain honest and neutral.

Skin Care Ox is primarily funded through affiliate commissions. Meaning, when you purchase a product via a link from our website, we earn a small commission on the sale from the retailer (at no additional cost to you). Skin Care Ox is a member of numerous affiliate networks representing hundreds of cleans beauty brands and retailers. Because of this, no single brand or company has control over our review decisions.

Finally, every product we review undergoes our Research and Review Process. This includes faithfully trialing the products for a minimum of two weeks, rigorously researching each ingredient, and consolidating real user reviews from across the web.



The product contains only natural ingredients (non-synthetic or lab created). It does not contain anything artificial or synthetic.



The product has been formulated with 100% organically sourced and/or certified organic ingredients.



This product does not contain ingredients which have been genetically modified.



All of the ingredients contained in the product are free from gluten, wheat, and ingredients which are commonly contaminated with gluten.



The product is made without animal products or byproducts such as beeswax, honey, milk, eggs, etc.



The product has received an official organic certification from a third party organization such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA Certified Organic), ECOCERT, Australian Certified Organic, and others.


*OSEA Malibu – Blemish Balm Organic Moisturizer ($48)

Acne skin types--say hello to your new favorite moisturizer! We gave this organic moisturizer for acne to five testers with various kinds of acne and blemish prone skin types and they all rated it 10/10. It's ultra-lightweight, making it great for oily skin types, but it is also packed with hydrating organic algae for drier skin. It is also made with a great blend of acne-fighting ingredients like tea tree oil, rosemary, thyme, and juniper essential oil. Truly a must-try for acne skin types!



40 Best Organic Face Washes & Cleansers of 2021

An organic face wash is a great addition to any skin care routine. Whether you have dry, sensitive, acne-prone, aging, oily, or normal skin, there is an organic face wash out there that’s sure to work wonders for your skin. We tirelessly researched hundreds of organic brands, their claims, ingredients and their products to create this list of over 40 (actually) organic face washes.