I’ll admit it: Washing my face is the least enjoyable step in my skin-care routine. After a long night out or on an early morning, I’d much rather skip to the part where I’m massaging my skin with an aromatic face oil or using a face mask. Often, cleansing my skin can feel more like a chore than a ritual of self-care. However, I’ve finally found a cleanser that’s made me want to rush to the bathroom sink with genuine excitement: Ilia’s The Cleanse Soft Foaming Cleanser ($32).
While any “good” cleanser is adept at cleaning your face, many have the tendency to leave skin feeling dry and tight after you use them—especially those with foaming formulas, which have traditionally been not-great for dry complexions. But! Though The Cleanse comes with a beautiful froth, it’s made with ingredients like pentavatin, a natural sugar complex that hydrates the skin, and barsolve, which gently breaks down makeup, dirt, and oil without any dehydrating side effects.
The issue with most foaming cleansers is that they contain surfactants (aka the stuff that makes them lather) that disrupt the skin’s natural pH balance. The Cleanse avoids this by using plant-based surfactants, which work with the skin instead of against it, and don’t leave behind any sort of residue. The formula is so gentle, in fact, that it can be used twice a day—which makes its luxury price point feel a whole lot more worth it.
While the ingredient list, in itself, is exciting, what matters most to me (obviously) is whether or not the cleanser actually delivers on its promises. And, in short, it did—and actually exceeded my expectations. The foaming wash felt gentle on my skin and left it feeling silky smooth and refreshed. I typically (begrudgingly) double-cleanse, but I wanted to see if The Cleanse could whisk away makeup on its own, and was shocked to discover that it removed a full face of foundation with ease. While my skin isn’t necessarily temperamental, it will tell me quickly if it doesn’t like something, and reacted perfectly to the cleanser. The brand touts the product as “feeling like nothing while doing everything,” and I can confirm that that’s absolutely true.
At $32, The Cleanse feels slightly pricey in comparison to my tried-and-true, $17 La Roche Posay Hydrating Cleanser, but the soft foam made the process of washing my face a lot more enjoyable. Plus, its two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser properties are especially convenient for when you’re feeling lazy. If you’re in the market for a new face wash, or looking for one that is suitable for dry and sensitive skin, I would give this one a try. While I was lucky enough to try the product before its release, I’ll definitely be repurchasing when mine has run out.
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