Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser with little cartoon girl illustration by Joana Miranda

In my quest for optimum health, I’ve actually been paring down many of the beauty products I use. To be honest, I’ve discovered that less is more – especially when it comes to ingredients. As a result, I’ve purged my side of the medicine cabinet of any products containing sodium laurel sulfate, parabens, phthalates and silicones. So when I came across this healthy jelly cleanser (a Sephora freebie for having accumulated Insider points) I was curious and eager to try it out. I’m even more excited to offer this jelly cleanser review now!

The Joana Miranda Studio jelly cleanser review:

(As you can see, when I discover a new product I like, my little cartoon characters get excited and want to get in on the action, too. )

Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser with little cartoon girl illustration by Joana Miranda

Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser by the new skin care brand Drunk Elephant is free of all of the potentially toxic ingredients I mentioned above. Even better, it even gets a very good score from the Environmental Working Group! The cleanser has a clear, unscented gel consistency which lathers nicely upon contact with water. I’ve found it to be very effective at cleansing and removing makeup. I’ve taken to using the jelly cleanser at night to clean off “the day” before I crawl into bed. My skin feels clean and soft, but still moisturized. A little of the cleanser goes a long way, too, so this sample will last a long time. That said, when I run out, I’m already planning to purchase more of it.

By the way…

I also got a sample of Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Creme which is pictured above along with the jelly cleanser. The Protini creme is a protein moisturizer designed to help reduce lines, wrinkles and signs of sun damage. To be honest, I’m not sure its made a big difference yet – Spackle might be the only thing that helps fix my forehead worry lines! – but I do like the rich, non-greasy feel of the creme and have not had any adverse reactions to using it.


I still LOVE using my tried and tested First Aid beauty cleanser, moisturizers and Cannabis Dry Oil, too. Which just goes to show you that a girl can have TWO besties!

How about you? Do you have any natural beauty products you love that I should know about? I’d love to hear…


  1. Helen Reich says:

    If you’ve never tried it, you will love a salt oil scrub during the winter. And better yet, you can just make it yourself, for cheap! I use cheap Brand X salt (oh, you can use Dead Sea salt if you really want to), walnut oil (olive oil is also fine), and some essential oil, such as lavender (again, it’s not necessary to use the highest grade; most of this is going to end up on the other side of your sink or bathtub drain). So. I put some salt into a coffee mug. Then, I pour in a little walnut oil. You can make it dry or gloppy, as you wish. Dry is just as good as gloppy, so I make mine on the dry side. Then add as much essential oil as you want, maybe 10-20 drops. Stir. Use it to scrub away dry skin, rinse, apply moisturizer. Use on hands and other body parts. Since I started using it, the finger cracks I used to get all winter long are now a relative rarity.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,
      I’m so glad you reminded me about this scrub! Do you think I could use Epson salts for the scrub? Or should I just stick to either regular salt or Dead Sea salt? I love essential oils. Ironically, one of the claims for the Drunk Elephant brand is that they are essential oil-free as well. I guess some people have issues with essential oils. Fortunately, I don’t. 🙂 I use a Frankincense/Jojoba mixture and a Rose Otto/Jojoba mixture on my face everyday. That’s my moisturizer. Then I top it with a mineral sunscreen that I like. (Actually, my sunscreen is made by a former cellist from my Eastman days – she has a skincare boutique in NYC now.)
      Dry skin in the winter is a real problem for me, so I will try your scrub recipe in the winter for sure. Thanks for the recipe!
      Tomorrow I start rehearsals for an opera at Rose Hall/Lincoln Center. It’s a new opera commemorating the Stonewall riots. It’s only 23 pages long (with lots of whole notes marked “menacing” and “with feeling”…you get the picture, right. 😉

      xox – Joana

      • Helen Reich says:

        Not sure it would be a good use for the Epsom salts. I’d say, try first with the cheapest salt you can find.

        Short opera? What’s not to like?

        • Joana says:

          Hi Helen,

          Yah, I think my lavender Epson salts have other ingredients in addition to the salt. I will use a cheaper basic salt for my first foray into salt “scrubbing.” 🙂 The Stonewall Opera is only 75 minutes long – no intermission – which is a nice surprise. I’m also glad to see that the entire opera sounds more complex than what’s in the viola part. (Well, that’s usually the case, isn’t it? Hee-hee!) However, since we have a LOT of whole notes, I was skeptical that it would add up to something more interesting. NPR is doing a piece on the opera and apparently there will be advertising for it in all NYC cabs this week. I’m famous….NOT!

          xox – Joana

  2. Products from Brickell (anti-aging stuff), Jack Black (beard oil in particular), and V76 (face cleanser, hair clay) are my go-to’s. Well worth the price, though I do wait for sales! I did try the piperwai clay deodorant, it was nice, but did not stop me from sweating, and changed my sweat chemistry (if that makes sense).

    • Joana says:

      Hi Braintomahawk,

      Thanks so much for your comment and for the recommendations! I’ve purchased Jack Black products for my husband, but I didn’t know about Brickell and V76’s product lines. I will definitely pass that information on to my husband – I know he’ll be interested. On the deodorant front, we’ve both experimented with various different natural lines. I thought Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant (Mountain Spring) for men was a winner, although my husband quickly abandoned it. However, I’ve found it’s less effective for me in the summer. Lately, I’ve been really liking Arm & Hammer Essentials in “Fresh” (free of aluminum, parabens and phthalates) and my husband has been using the same product but in the “unscented” version. It’s cheap and readily available at our local Duane Reade. (Some people have problems with baking soda on their skin; I am fortunate in that I don’t.) I’m pretty sure that there are no natural deodorants that are antiperspirants. Also, it seems that some people need to switch up their natural deodorants every now and then because they find that the deodorant stop working after a time (or the body chemistry changes?)

      Hope you have a great week!

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