Nov 04 2016

Battle of the Cleansing Sticks | Tarte, Boscia & Belif


Cleansing in Stick form? I was more than just a little intrigued by the presumed convenience of it all. Being a new mommy, I’ve grown to appreciate products that can potentially simplify my beauty routine. And since it’s been a while since I’ve done a “Battle of…”, I decided to purchase a few to compare. This Battle of the Cleansing Sticks includes: the Tarte Frxxxtion Stick Exfoliating Cleanser, Belif The True Tincture Cleansing Stick Chamomile and Boscia Charcoal Deep-Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment.

Cleansing Sticks Review


Cleansing Sticks ReviewCleansing Sticks Review
Tarte Frxxxtion Stick Exfoliating Cleanser

The Tarte Frxxxtion Stick Exfoliating Cleanser is described as a twist-up, three-in-one exfoliator, cleanser, and face mask all in a portable, solid-to-suds hypoallergenic gel stick that promises to address oiliness, pores and uneven texture/dullness. According to Tarte, it is formulated with a clarifying cleansing gel powered by the Rainforest of the Sea™ complex and suspended diatomaceous earth microexfoliants to draw out surface oil and reduces shine, while purifying pores. It can be used as a daily exfoliating cleanser or left on as a treatment mask. This product is hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested and vegan-friendly. Free of parabens and phthalates.


Cleansing Sticks Review Tarte FrxxxtionCleansing Sticks Review Tarte Frxxxtion


Tarte’s Frxxxtion is the smallest of the three cleansing sticks containing just 1 oz of product. But it’s also the least expensive. Housed in a bright purple twist-up tube with gold lettering, the black solid inside contains very fine granules that act as a physical exfoliant. The cleanser does not lather but as it’s applied to the skin becomes creamy lightening to a deep grey. Because the solid maintains it’s structure quite well (stays solid) stick to skin application is quite easy and I just massaged it directly onto my face. You can definitely feel the product exfoliating but the grains are extremely fine and gentle. During my use of the product, I did not experience any irritation at all. What’s best, it leaves my skin feel really soft and smooth. Tarte’s Frxxtion small size makes it ideal for travel and on-the-go use. Retails for $22.00 USD at Sephora.

Boscia Charcoal Deep-Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment

The Boscia Charcoal Deep-Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment is described as an innovative stick that allows for targeted application of concentrated deep-pore cleansing actives to help draw out dirt, oil, and impurities. Designed to address enlarged pores, dullness and uneven texture, and oiliness, it is infused with activated charcoal, glycolic acid, and artichoke leaf extract that claim to absorb toxins and impurities for the appearance of a smoother, healthier, brighter complexion. Dermatologist tested and free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, preservatives, artificial fragrances and colors, gluten, and ethanol alcohol.

Cleansing Sticks Review BosciaCleansing Sticks Review

Similar in color to the Tarte stick, the Boscia version is also a deep black, reflecting the use of charcoal as a primary ingredient. First, off I have to note that this product does not, in my opinion, lend itself to stick form. Once it becomes wet for the first time, the texture quickly transforms from a solid to a tacky, thick paste like consistency. As such, it made application directly from the stick difficult as the paste had a tendency to cling to the skin in uneven clumps. In the end, I would use by scooping out some of the cleanser with my hands and applying it to a wet face. It makes me wonder why Boscia didn’t just house the product in a traditional tube.

Anyway, once making contact with water the charcoal cleanser becomes creamy but does not foam. After several weeks, I did not noticed much difference in the condition of my skin. However, towards the end, I decided to change the way I used the cleanser. Instead of applying to wet skin, I would apply on dry face with dry fingers and leave it on for about 5 minutes like a mask before eventually adding some warm water to massage in and rinse off the face. This method work much better to clean and unclog dirt from the face. Retails for $28.00 USD at Sephora.

Belif The True Tincture Cleansing Stick Chamomile

The Belif The True Tincture Cleansing Stick Chamomile is described as an aromatic cleansing stick that provides a delicate and soothing lather to melt away impurities and cleanse the skin. It is intended to address dullness and uneven texture, redness and dryness. Formulated with a unique blend of apothecary herbs, including chamomile extracts, it promises to enhance skin’s vitality levels by supporting natural blood circulation and skin texture. Furthermore, the brand claims that the neutral pH formula makes it less alkaline than most other bar soaps—providing a soothing and gentle facial cleansing experience. Dermatologically tested and free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oils, petrolatum, synthetic preservatives, dyes, and fragrances, and animal origin ingredients.


Cleansing Sticks Review Belif True Tincture Chamomile
Cleansing Sticks Review
Cleansing Sticks Review


Despite being very different from the previous two cleansing sticks, I think the Belif is my favorite of the three. There’s a lovely, calming herbal scent that momentarily transports me. You can see the apothecary herbs suspended in a semi-translucent white base. Although the cleanser does develop a very mild foam when lathered, it is by no means foamy making it very gentle on the skin. A good one for neutralizing redness with a neutral pH that does not disrupt the skin barrier too much. This was a nice one to use in the mornings for a gentle cleanse. Retails for $28.00 USD at Sephora.


Cleansing Stick

Size Price Pros/Cons

Tarte Frxxxtion Stick Exfoliating Cleanser

1 ounce

$22.00 USD

Gentle and convenient physical exfoliating product. Least amount of product.

Boscia Charcoal Deep-Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment

2 ounces

$28.00 USD

Best packaging (smoothest twist mechanism). Messy application.

Belif The True Tincture Cleansing Stick Chamomile 2.82 ounces $28.00 USD

Most amount of product and est value. Gentle. Neutral PH.




Do you think that cleansing sticks are any  more convenient than traditionally packaged products or are they just a gimmick?





The product(s) mentioned were purchased with the author’s own money. The thoughts and opinions expressed are the author’s alone. For more information see Disclaimer here.






Beauty Isles Signature    

All items featured in this post were purchased by the author unless otherwise noted. Any products or services provided as PR will be marked with an asterisk "*". This website uses Skimlinks and this post may contain affiliate links.


Skip to comment form

  1. I think these would be great for travelling so no accident with cleansers spilling in the luggage (talking from experience here). Not sure I would buy for day to day though but definitely interesting.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  2. Great battle / review! I was interested in the SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick, which is a cult favourite but always sold out. I’d imagine these would be really gentle and great for travel. I’ve been hearing a lot about the brand Belief – I noticed that The Face Shop carries that line – I guess they’re affiliated? I might try that one out rather than tracking down the SU:M37.

  3. I have never seen or heard of a cleansing stick before, strangely! I love balms but don’t know how I’d feel about a stick however curiosity might get the better of me! xx


  4. I’ve actually never come across a cleansing stick but love the concept! I was most drawn to the Boscia one so it’s annoying that it doesn’t quite work as a stick cleanser because I think I’d want it to be a really quick and easy option, not something that would get messy

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  5. This is the first time i have heard of cleansing sticks. They do look travel friendly and i do love charcoal in my cleansers.

  6. I don’t think I´d enjoy them for everyday, but maybe for traveling? And out of curiosity of course.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • sassypout on November 14, 2016 at 11:37 am
    • Reply

    I love how gentle Belief stick js & that scent is so soothing :)) I also tried one from SU:UM skincare (rose petals inside) & it’s soooo perfect

Share your thoughts with us!

%d bloggers like this: