Organic Surge Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser – Is natural always better?

I am a scientist at heart.

Even though I am well aware of the limitations they have, I love studies and case reports and all the neat little numbers and diagrams that come with them.

That being said, I do understand that man-made may be scary for some.

But is natural always better? Or, to put it that way: Is natural always safe?



Organic Surge brightening hot cloth cleanser
Organic Surge Brightening Hot Cloth cleanser


I don’t think so. Natural ingredients are just that: Grown by nature. That makes them neither better nor worse than man-made stuff. Especially when it comes to adverse reactions.

Preamble aside, let´s talk about Organic Surge Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser. I will explain what my point is further down the line.


What Organic Surge claims:

Our natural brightening hot cloth cleanser gently removes dirt and impurities, harnessing the highest quality essential oils and moisturisers to care and clean to fully rejuvenate skin.

Suitable for sensitive skin and for use around the eyes.



The product comes with a pump, contains 150 ml and retails for 18,67 € on the website here or in stores. Organic Surge is „Proud to be made in Britain“, not tested on animals, certified organic, natural and suitable for vegetarians as stated on their website.

I need two pumps for my face and neck, it feels creamy and thick and stays that way after application, no melting on the skin in this case. While the texture may be surprising if you are used to balm cleansers, it gives a good amount of grip for a facial massage.

Looks like a cream, feels like a cream - is a cleanser!
Looks like a cream, feels like a cream – is a cleanser!


The thing I noticed right away is the very intense rose scent. It isn’t unpleasant, but much stronger than I would have expected.

When it comes to removal, you really need to be thorough with the flannel. I guess it is due to the beeswax and the shea butter, but a quick wipe will leave you with a residue still on your face. It took me a little scrubbing to remove everything, but it did take away any trace of makeup left on my face.

After using it around five times a week as my second cleanse for three months now I still have product left (I cant tell you how much though, there is no way of telling from the packaging). I didn’t try it as a first cleanse/ makeup remover, because despite the claim „safe to use around the eyes“ it has a warning: „Avoid contact with eyes“ printed on the bottle. And quite frankly, after reading the ingredient list I had no desire to rub it on my eyes anyway.

Favorable ingredients:

  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: Anti-inflammatory, soothing
  • Shea Butter: Moisturizing
  • Glycerin: Moisturizing
  • Cocoa Seed Butter: Rich in fatty acids
  • Bees wax: Soothing, antibacterial
  • Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil: Balancing sebum production (and mimicking rose scent)
  • Cymbopogon Martini Oil: Balancing sebum production
  • Orange Peel Oil: Brightening, prevents acne
  • Rosa Damascena Flower Oil: Toning, improves texture (and of course the smell!)

Unfavorable Ingredients:

  • Benzyl alcohol: skin irritant
  • Several essential oils, some with skincare benefits, all of them potentially irritant to the skin
  • Fragrance (five different, all from natural origin)

Does it live up to its claims?

Half of them.

It is a natural cleanser that removes dirt and contains a lot of essential oils. But that is part of the problem. I completely disagree on the „Safe for sensitive skin and use around the eyes“ part.

In fact, my skin is far from being sensitive, but after a day spend outside in the cold and wind even my skin reacted to all the fragrance and essential oils in there, getting all red and hot, and as mentioned above I would never put anything like that near my eyes!


Will I repurchase?


I feel the cleanser is more suitable for dry skin, and all in all I prefer my balm cleansers.


Who do I recommend it to?

If your skin is dry, but not sensitive, this might be a lovely cleanser for you.

If you love anything rose scented, you will adore the smell.

But if your skin is sensitive, stay away!


Back to the point I wanted to make in my introduction: Even a certified all-natural, all-organic product can be a powerful skin irritant. The fact that all the oils and fragrance are purely natural doesn’t make any difference.

Always remember: The dose makes the poison.


What is your take on natural versus man-made ingredients?

And are you obsessed with anything rose scented?


If you want to read more about skincare, please check out the „Skincare Reviews“ category in the side bar.
This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are honest and my own.


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  • I am with you on this. Just because a product is made from natural ingredients, it doesn’t mean that we should over-use it. It can be as damaging as a bad ingredient. I am not sure this cleanser would be good for me as I have a very sensitive skin, so the answer will probably be no.

    And I really don’t like rose scents, especially if they are stronger ones.

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • They seem to be so popular, but they are not my favorite scent either.

  • That happens to me ALL the time. Even the gentlest formulas often turn my eye area red and tingly, so I have to be really careful with what I use there…

  • As I have a sensitive skin, I will pass on this one, yet I do agree with you that natural and man-made ingredients can both cause reactions, in fact I always struggle to explain that to my friends when they say: it’s a 100% natural ingredients product as if that meant it is the best and safest product I would ever be able to find on the market!

    • That is a common misconception. People don’t seem to understand that many plants out there are plain toxic, without any scientist ever touching them.

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    My skin is super oily, so I doubt that this product would be suitable for me. I do really like the fact that it’s rose-scented, though. I’m one of those rare people who really enjoys scented skincare products! x


    • I don’t mind scents in my skincare, but I prefer them to be less strong.

  • Interesting! Loved your take on this product. I agree with you just because it says natural sometimes doesn’t mean that it’s gentler or better. This applies to supplements too you just have to be so careful! Gemma x

    • You really have to be careful with supplements, couldn’t agree more.

  • This was a great and helpful review. I have read more than a few times about how irritating essential oil-heavy natural products can be. Just like with more artificial products , it is always wise to consider how certain ingredients will work with your skin before purchasing.

    • Absolutely. Educate yourself about the ingredients and that will be the safest way to go.

  • Surbhi Suri

    thanks for sharing a detailed one. this sounds fab for my skin, only thing is to find it here.
    New Post on my blog, do drop by soon ,<3

  • The rose scent would have turned me off this alone – I’m not a fan of floral scents really.

    I agree with you, natural or man-made you can have too much of a good thing. Just ask people who are allergic to peanuts! They’re natural! haha. My skin is really sensitive so I try to keep it simple with what I use and while I do try stick to natural products, I’d much rather they be natural products without a lot of ingredients.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • I really enjoy natural skincare as well.
      The peanut allergy is a great comparison, I will use it to explain what I mean to people that claim „Natural is always safe“.

  • Madalena Dantas

    Lovely product, I would like to give it a try! Ikr, the Melted in the colour Ruby is so beautiful, that’s why I’m giving one away in my blog.. Why don’t you try your luck?
    Have a great day,

  • I agree with you. It’s not because it’s natural that it is perfectly safe. Everybody will react differently to the product.
    It might be a great product for me because I have dry skin. I will check this brand.

    • I like the no animal testing, vegetarian and organic part a lot, and I am sure you will enjoy if your skin is dry. What do you normally use to remove the makeup?

  • I’ve never tried this type of cleansers before. I really want to try a balm cleanser for removing make-up.
    Stella from a Looks & Travels

    • What do you usually use? I can recommend the Clinique „Take the day off“ one or the Chamomile one from The Body Shop if you are on a budget, both are lovely cleansers.

      • I wash my face with a LaRoche Posay gel/cleanser and remove makeup with Micellar water

        • I haven’t tried the La Roche Posay one yet. Do you recommend it?

  • Great post! i totally share your view, specially having dry-ish sensitive skin myself I’ve learned the hard way to stay away of essential oils, natural fragrance and of course alcohol based ingredients. I do trust man made more than nature for skin care! The only problem I see is that we haven’t yet found how to produce „without waste“ as nature does 🙁

    • Yes, that is a big problem, the waste and the pollution do leave me concerned as well, and the recent discussion regarding micro beads has shown that this really is a problem.

  • That’s true! Natural/organic-labeled products don’t always have to be safe. They are actually scarier because of the ingredients. IDK. I read before since they have limited amount of preservatives, they have a short shell life and they decay quick so you really need to throw them away when it’s past due.


    • OMG, AND ALL In CAPS! I will check it out immediately, dear Laarni.

  • I think it’s pretty obvious that natural doesn’t mean safe, I mean, just think of food allergies… Natural ingredients might be safer for the environment, though.
    I’m not a big fan of floral scents, but the main thing that puts me off this cleanser (besides the ingredients) is the fact that it leaves a lot of residue.

    • You can remove it completely, you just have to be thorough with your wash cloth, which is probably great for drier skin. But as a fellow oily skinned girl I prefer the ones that wash off completely as well.

  • I just got a bottle of this stuff.. you have me worried now! I do love rose, however, so hopefully I will get on okay with it…
    Becca | theBeautyInbox

    • It is a very nice product, with lovely ingredients, so no need to worry. Or do you react easily to skincare?

  • I do like natural products however I’m not a fan of rose scents, I got a very potent one once and it was too much.

    I wouldn’t really be keen to use alcohol in a skincare product because it really is drying to the skin.

    Loving natural skincare, I recommend Tropic Skincare to you for natural products, the scents are not over-powering at all, but they aren’t faint either.

    Laura xx

    • I do enjoy natural, organic products as well, I just get annoyed when people claim that „it can´t be an irritant, it is all natural“.
      And thanks for the recommendation, I remember reading about that brand on your blog, am I right?

  • Just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean it is good for the skin. These signs on the products can be quite annoying, I really don’t know what to believe in.
    I am not a fan of scented skincare products, so rose scented product wouldn’t be my first choice.

    Ela BellaWorld

    • I dont understand why people always seem to believe that natural equals gentle…

  • My skin is so sensitive! I bet if I put that in my face it will flare up and maybe the rose scented smell will itch my nose. Very thorough review!

    Styleccentric Fashion | Current post >> Baby It’s Still Cold Outside | BLOGLOVIN

    xo, Alyssa

  • Rosanna Briguglio

    Sounds great for me as I have dry skin at the moment!
    Have a lovely weekend:)
    Rosanna x

  • Dressed With Soul

    Liebe Anne, das könnte ja ein richtig guter Cleanser für meine Haut sein, denn meine Haut ist trocken. Ansonsten teile ich Deine Meinung in Bezug auf organische Produkte 🙂 Wünsch Dir einen schönen Start ins Wochenende und hoffentlich geht es Euch gut.

    • Was hast Du denn bis jetzt so benutzt? Wenn Deine Haut nicht empfindlich auf essentielle Öle reagiert, dann ist der sicher gut geeignet.
      Dir auch ein schönes Wochenende!

      • Dressed With Soul

        Jetzt habe ich extra nachgeschaut, was ich verwende, weil ich das natürlich wieder nicht auswendig weiß: also es nennt sich „PREMIUM HERBAL – ANTI AGING – ÖL“ von Ich finde es total klasse! Wünsche Dir einen wunderbaren Abend 🙂

  • Molly Hogan

    Great review! I have pretty sensitive skin so I’m not sure I could use this..thanks for the heads up 🙂


    • I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive skin, not without testing, that is.

  • This sounds like the same concept as the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser which I similarly wasn’t all that fond of. This cleanser seems like it smells nicer though. I’m not sure if natural ingredients are always better but I do like going for clean ones.

    • I haven’t tried that one (yet), but I have heard the ingredients don’t live up to the claim.

  • I love products that smell of roses, but im not a fan of cleansers that are difficult to shift, its suppose to help remove products from your skin not add more to the whole situation! I’m an Oskia renaissance cleansing girl for all eternity I think. And that’s organic and natural.

    • I do like them for a facial massage, you do need a little bit of grip for that one.

  • I’m so not a science person, but this was very interesting! Natural is often amazing, just maybe not this product lol


    • I didn´t want to bash natural products, I do enjoy them, but I think it comes down to ingredients more than origin.

  • I agree with you that not everything natural will be the best, some natural ingredients may be great irritants, like you said. I believe in science and chemistry (I’m chemist, haha) and we should take advantage from both sides, the natural and the well developed in laboratories 🙂 I’m not a big fan of heavily rose scented products so this cleanser doesn’t appeal to me. x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    • Absolutely agree with you. Why not take the best of both worlds?

  • Yikes, I hate that. My skin has been being super sensitive lately. Not out of know where but even before the house fire and the product irritation I had before I’ve been getting more and more sensitive. Mostly to cleansers.

    • You wrote about that on the blog a few posts back. I hope things will be back to normal soon.

      • Yeah, I’m still over sensitive it seems but I’m back on the acids train without too much trouble. A few weeks before all that muck happened many cleansers were giving me trouble too. Now sure why.

        • My skin rarely acts up, but if it does it is almost impossible for me to find out the reason. Rarely any relation to weather, hormonal changes or something similar I can see.

  • For me many times natural products marketing is just b*llshit, I’m like „venom is also natural and it will kill you“. It’s a shame that instead of using less irritant ingredients they prefer fragrance and that kind of alcohol *facepalm*.

    • There are lovely, natural products, I just don’t like that people claim they are superior just because they are natural.

  • Overall this sounds rather nice! I personally prefer more natural products, but you’re right. Not all man-made ingredients are necessarily horrible (and sometime natural things can be worse.) I’m very turned off by rose scented products so I’d have to pass on this unfortunately! Great review though, too bad it wasn’t great for you.

    • I don’t mind natural or organic products, there are lovely things out there, I just dislike the claim that they are better just by being natural.

  • Beauty Blog Studio
  • Such a great review. I love what you said about natural ingredients. Although I would like all of them to be safe, I know not all are.. -Maireem

    My Fair Autumn | Instagram

    • There are so many toxic things out there, so why shouldn’t that apply to natural ingredients? I love organic products as much as anyone else, and I would love to only use them, but I feel like I sometimes need man-made.

  • A really interesting question. I am a lover of natural products, but definitely not all of them! Above all I like skincare with good ingredients, and I’ve found that natural products that I like using tend to be on the expensive side. I’ve always found the cheaper brands very potent and somewhat too much for my skin, which isn’t sensitive either. I still prefer products that are more on the natural side but it is important to always check the ingredient list. Does that make sense?

    Inma x

    • It makes a lot of sense! I prefer shopping by ingredients, and if I get the opportunity to go all organic/natural, I happily do, but sometimes I feel the need for something different, or I just don’t find an all organic product that I am convinced by.

  • Fifty Shades Of Pink

    I’ll definitely stay away from this one since my skin is really sensitive.

    Followed you on instagram and bloglovin! 🙂

    Instagram: @sarafqueiros

  • Hmmm my skin is sensitive too so I don’t think this is my sort of product, thanks for the honest review x

  • I also have sensitive skin so not sure this is going to be for me but great review!

  • ja da muss man dann leider wirklich vorsichtig sein 🙁 schade dass da sprodukt für deine haut nicht wirklich gut war. Dennoch eine super beschreibung die einigen helfen wird sich für oder gegen das produkt zu entscheiden 🙂 Ich würde es nun auch nicht ausprobieren wollen 😀

  • I have to agree with this argument. I’m not a person having a healthy life style or always choose organic products but most of the time, yes, I prefer. Of course, sometimes it might not be possible for beauty care products to be completely organic but at least they are not tested on animals. I think when we compare pros and cons, the pros of organic products seem more. They might not be perfect but I think they are still better.


    Nazlıgül | on my own way

    • I enjoy using organic products, I just don’t feel like they are superior to man-made per se. And organic doesn’t equal not tested on animals, just like man-made doesn’t mean it automatically has been tested on animals, this is a common misconception.

      • Yes, that is true. But most of the time, they are not.

  • I love your analysis of this product, and totally agree about your point on natural vs man-made ingredients. I have been learning more about the science behind my skincare recently and it’s really interesting! Thanks for reviewing this product x

    Margarita Chi | MARGARITACHI.CO

    • If you understand the ingredients, your skin will really benefit.

  • This product really isn’t ideal for my face as I have a type two skin that tends to go more for the Oily side of everythingg. And I agree with you – while I try to be and live as healthy as I can, not everything that’s natural is good for you. I think it’s half and half when it comes to Natural vs. Manmade and it really depends on what the manmade version has decided to use on their products. And then it really depends on the kind of skin you have. Not everything adapts the same to different types of skin.

    I’ve really been learning so much about skincare with you, it’s definitely one of my favourite things about you. Thank you so much for always being so honest with your reviews and well, always chosing the best things to review on.

    Ella Pinto xx

    • Haha, I just review what I actually use, there is no master plan behind that! I am just a very curious person, so I will happily slather anything and everything on my face at least once.

  • I like the idea of organic products, but sometimes they don’t always do the job. This one sounds like it would be too fragrance-y for my liking. I find that fragrances can really irritate my skin. Thanks for sharing your review, wishing you a happy Friday 🙂

  • Brenda Brooks

    Thank you for being so honest with the review, to be honest natural is not always better, years ago I tried using homemade face masks and my skin couldn’t handle it, it was terrible, but using Clinique products were always the right ones, I can’t even take other brand. I think it depends on every single person the products they can take to take care of their skin. Have a great weekend! 😀

    • Absolutely, listening to your skin is the most important part!

  • Arya Elsa Jose

    I love your analysis of this product, and totally agree about your point on natural vs man-made ingredients. In the end I just go for the best product and don’t bother withh the ingreedients:)

    • Just choose what works best for your skin and you are on the safe side.

  • The rose scent would most certainly put me off, but my sensitive skin wouldn’t be able to take the irritation!

    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

    • SO maybe that scent is a warning scent for people with sensitive skin? Like a „dangerous“ color?

  • It’s funny that it says it’s suitable for sensitive skin, because I have sensitive skin and can’t go anywhere near scented products! Thank you for your detailed and honest review, as always.

    • It is strange that it claims to be safe to use around the eyes while containing a warning: Avoid eye contact as well. Somehow marketing and reality did quite tie in here…

  • Sara Meireles

    Great review , I didn’t know that product , but now I’m curious
    new post

  • Das ist etwas was ich mich auch schon gefragt hatte, ob natürliche Produkte immer die bessere Wahl sind. xxx

    • Sie sid auch nicht zwingend eine schlechtere Wahl, ich denke, man sollte einfach immer schauen, was zur Haut passt

  • Sounds great! Nice post

    kisses Adela Acanski

  • I’ve heard such good things about this cleanser, it’s lovely to hear your balanced review! I am always dubious about claims of „natural“ products – like you say, the dose makes the poison, and half the time you’re better with a a controlled dose of synthetic product. I think I’ll be giving this one a miss as my skin is definitely more oily than dry!

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

    • I guess no matter the origin, it is important to tailor the ingredients to your skin and don’t listen to marketing claims so much.

  • The idea that „natural“ means „gentle“ and „safer“ is such a common misconception! I’ve heard sooo many people say that you can’t be allergic / have a reaction to product X „because it’s all natural“ or „it’s organic“! And I have to say that when I was younger, before I started paying attention to what skincare contains, I also believed that natural necessarily meant better.
    I think brands understand that and instead of clarifying the facts, they play on the ignorance of the consumer and add „all natural“ stamps on their products to sell more and gain trust.
    The truth is that essential oils are some of the most irritant substances you can put on your face and many people have reactions to them. So the fact that this cleanser is full of them but marketed as „suitable for sensitive skin“ is outrageous…

    • I am completely with you on that: Brands take advantage of the fear people have when it comes to man-made ingredients ans try to participate in the organic food trend, claiming that just like with food, „processed“ equals „bad for your body“. Now don’t get me wrong, I like organic and natural cosmetics as much as I like organic food, but like you said: It isn’t safe just because it grows on a tree.

  • Kiki Rampone

    I doubt I’ll be purchasing this, even though I do have dry skin. Thanks for such a thorough review, your reviews always cover every detail of the product and it’s super hepful!
    xo Kiki

  • Nicole

    Great review! I’ve been curious about this product so thanks for sharing your opinion on it 😉

    Girl About Town blog

  • i like the fact that it is organic so i would love to try it even so it is not your fav .

    • Just because it is not my fav doesn’t mean it is a bad product. Everyones preferences are different.

  • Love your honest review! Thanks for sharing this! xx

  • I love rose scented products but this doesn’t sound like its for me. My skin can be reactive at times. I’m don’t mind man/natural made as long as the product works for me.

  • Great review, honest and well written.

    Jenn |

  • I have dry skin but no so sure I would be keep on the rose scent. Plus the fact that it may make sensitive skin reacts is another thing that puts me off considering it’s branded as natural x

    Beauty with charm

    • Many potent irritants are natura, in fact as many as man-made things, which is why I pointed it out. Natural has man benefits but being non-irritant or non-toxic isn’t one of them, against common misconception.

  • thefashionsalt

    I find that a lot of natural, organic products irritate my skin; though I always think they are better than the man-made products for some reason. Just like I think organic corn is much better than GMO corn, but there is no concrete reason or rather substantial evidence behind my thinking. I love that you brought up this point. Great review and questioning!

    • I think organic food is better most of the time, but natural cosmetic isn’t always. It has many benefits, but you should really consider your skin and the ingredients it likes/needs more than who made it.

  • Eleanor Hughes

    This is a great review, so detailed and informative!
    The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe

  • Yulia

    It’s true that there is a lot of fuss about „natural“ or „organic“ products in beauty industry going on today, and quite a few of us give preference to these labels without going into the details. My skin irritates quite easily, so I usually stick to regular skincare brands that still use some essential oils (i.e. Kiehls, etc.). Thank you for this review and have a great Sunday!

    • As long as you know what irritates your skin there is no reason not to use certain essentials oils, they are lovely.

  • Wow, Linda! Is that available in the Philippines?

    – Seyra x

    • See the homepage, they do ship internationally, but I don’t know where to exactly or at which cost.

  • OOO I would love this, rose scents for dry skin- sign me up please! Your reviews are always so organized!

    • Thank you. They need to be, otherwise I´d be rambling for hours without getting to the actual point…

  • I love the fact that it is rose scented though not so good for sensitive skin.
    Great review Linda.

  • I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the contradiction is strange, as it is pretty obvious. I would have figured someone at PR would notice…

  • I am with you 100%. Natural doesn’t always mean better in skincare!!! xx
    Gyudy @ Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

  • It is never to late to get back into it, I guess. If you want to, of course.