Awhile ago, I posted about the Muji sensitive skin cleansing oil, still one of my favorites. Since then, I have gone through three different bottles of it (in various sizes) and have noticed that there are (at least) two versions. After cross-referencing the English ingredients (provided on stickers applied to the bottles), it seemed that the key difference was that one version contains octyl palmitate, and the other contains ethylhexyl palmitate. The version I preferred (thicker, darker in color, heavier olive oil scent, cleanses & washes off better) had an octyl palmitate sticker and so I made a mental note to check the stickers and buy that one in the future. I also told everyone else (on reddit, instagram, who knows where else) to do the same.
However, when I was at Muji earlier this week, I noticed ALL of the bottles had the same ingredient stickers, which made me realize trusting the stickers was a mistake. UGH.
It’s hard to tell in this (crappy, Instagram story) photo, but the cleansing oil in the 200ml (middle) bottle is slightly but noticeably darker than the other two bottles. Based on this, it seemed reasonable to suspect the oils are different.
I searched the bottles for Japanese ingredients, and found them printed on the plastic. I can’t more than like 10 words in Japanese, but visually the lists looked completely different, so I took a picture, went home, and resolved to GET TO THE BOTTOM of this debacle.
The ingredients for the bottle on the left are:
Hydrogenated polyisobutene, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, Ethyl oleate, Sorbitan oleate, Olive oil, Jojoba oil, Hybrid sunflower oil, Dipropylene glycol, Orange flower water, Water, Butylene glycol, Tocopherol, Peach leaf extract, Apricot juice, Glycerin, Propylparaben, Butylparaben
The ingredients for the bottle on the right are:
Olive Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Oleate, Water, Pentylene Glycol, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, Glycerin, Portulaca oleracea extract, Polyquaternium-51, Grapefruit seed extract, Tocopherol, Butylene Glycol
If we were to trust the Japanese text, that would not only confirm that the formula in the 400ML bottle (left) is different from the formula in the 200ML bottle (right), but also the ingredients on the sticker does not match EITHER ingredient list printed on the bottle. I really don’t like this because does that mean that there is a THIRD versions of the sensitive skin cleansing oil? WHY make it this unnecessarily complicated and confusing to buy cleansing oil? WTF Muji. Get your act together.
The point of this post is this:
- Be cautious of stickered ingredient lists
- If you’re trying to figure how to distinguish the two versions of the sensitive skin cleansing oil, it is NOT by reading the sticker, which I have previously recommended. Your best bet is to:
- If there are multiple versions in store, look for the darker version (in the Hollywood store in LA that seems to consistently be the 200ML bottle)
- Check to see that the Japanese ingredient list (printed on the bottle, not the sticker) matches the second set of ingredients above
- Cross your fingers and hope for the best
Now I need to figure out how to condense this post into an email of reasonable length so Muji’s customer service doesn’t immediately delete it. Wish me luck!