The Gentle Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover by Sulwhasoo is a lightweight oil for all skin types that claims to remove waterproof makeup and impurities without leaving residue while keeping the skin balanced. This is to be used as the first step in a double cleanse routine.
Directions: Massage two pumps onto dry skin, gliding fingertips over the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin until makeup and oil are dissolved. Emulsify with lukewarm water and rinse until clean. Follow with a cleanser. Directions on the box state to avoid direct eye contact.
I have oily/combination and dehydrated skin and have used this nightly for about a month, using two pumps for the face and neck. The cleanser has a nice herbal scent. It glides very smoothly across the skin and removes sunscreen, foundation, eye makeup and oils quite easily. After rinsing, the skin feels clean and soft with no residue left. The oil is not drying, like some cleansing oils, and over time I have noticed that my skin has gotten softer and smoother. I had not used a cleansing oil for a couple months previous and using the Sulwhasoo oil, the T-zone area looks cleaner and less congested than usual.
Interestingly, the directions do not mention using this on eye makeup and the box states to avoid contact with the eyes. I used this on mascara and eyeliner anyhow. The oil does sting the eyes a lot and makes the vision blurry, but takes off eye makeup really well. So long as I close my eyes pretty tight, cleanse with the oil, rinse and use my second cleanser without opening my eye, I can avoid the stinging.
Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover feels really nice on the skin, removes makeup and sunscreen well and helps the skin feel soft and clean, but stings the eyes. I really like this cleansing oil (it has become a new favorite) and will repurchase, despite the potential irritation to the eyes.
E-Rase by Drunk Elephant is a micellar water with a milky texture that claims to gently and thoroughly remove makeup, sunscreen, pollution, dirt and bacteria from the skin (no rinsing needed) without causing sensitivity or irritation and makes the skin feel clean and soft.
To remove oil, dirt and makeup at the end of the day, I usually use The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser. I have not used a micellar water previously, so have nothing to compare Drunk Elephant E-Rase to, but I see the Bioderma and Garnier micellar waters being used a lot online that are much less expensive than E-Rase.
E-Rase has a micellar blend, gentle surfactants that attract and capture dirt, debris and pollution which are then wiped away; a ceramide blend that helps soothe and balance moisture of the skin and protects against water loss; watermelon oil that soothes, moisturizes and provides a protective barrier; vitamin E and plant oils.
Directions: E-Rase can be used as a cleanser and makeup remover. Shake before use and gently smooth over face, eyes, and lips with a soft cotton pad, holding for a few seconds on heavily made-up areas. Do not scrub, tug or rub the skin. E-Rase can be used anytime, and in between cleanses. No rinsing needed.
Going through some Instagram comments, Drunk Elephant says that E-Rase, if not rinsed, will not break down any actives or prevent absorption of actives and other products applied on top (this was my worry; if I use a serum or oil-containing product after E-Rase that the micelles would attract and break down some of the product). According to Drunk Elephant, it can be used before a traditional cleanser or after (similar to how I would use a toner, though E-Rase is not marketed as a toner and if I remember correctly, Drunk Elephant feels toners are unnecessary). They say not to skip the usual nighttime cleanse as an important step to remove makeup, product, pollution, oil and bacteria (so I gather this means E-Rase is more of a light or first-step cleanser not meant to replace a regular or thorough (double) cleanse routine).
E-Rase is a white, slightly thick-ish, slippery liquid with a smooth texture and no scent. It does not feel heavy or greasy when left on the skin and does not leave a film. Throughout my review of this product, E-Rase is not drying or irritating; the skin feels soothed and lightly moisturized and has not caused breakouts, blackheads or congestion.
I purchased E-Rase mainly for my kids to get them interested in skin care (they don’t particularly like splashing the face with water and love the name Drunk Elephant), but wanted to try it for myself as well. I have oily but dehydrated skin prone to breakouts and congestion. I have used E-Rase for 10 days thus far, trying it a few ways (morning cleanse, evening cleanse when not wearing makeup, as a makeup remover before my usual evening cleanse, before and after working out and as a toner/moisturizer). I apply with Klairs Toner Mates. The textured pads do not absorb much product and are great at helping remove makeup and debris, and the sponge pads dispense product back to the skin and can be held over the eyes or areas of heavy makeup to help dissolve and remove product.
Above, I cleansed the face and neck in the morning with E-Rase. I was surprised at the dirt accumulated on my face while sleeping and my skin gets pretty oily over night. My skin does not feel oily after using E-Rase, so it works well to remove oils. In the after photo above, there is no residue or film over the skin and the redness looks calmed down (though may be due to difference in lighting). The skin feels soft and lightly moisturized where I do not feel the need to use another moisturizer (my skin is oily and the weather hot at the time of this review).
Drunk Elephant does not advocate cleansing the skin in the morning (other than with water), however, the above is a good indication for why I want to. I usually use NIOD Sanskrit Saponins as a morning mask/cleanse.
For the last couple mornings, I have been cleansing with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator, which makes my skin shiny, tight and dry, so I have been applying E-Rase as a moisturizer which has been soothing and hydrating and makes the skin soft.
I use E-Rase before working out to cleanse off any makeup and sunscreen, and then after to get rid of sweat, dirt and oils.
For the above photos, I used E-Rase as a makeup/sunscreen remover in the evening, shaking product on to the textured Klairs cotton pads and sweeping over the face, as I wanted to see how easily makeup was removed. I held the cotton pads over the eyes and lips for a few seconds to help with removal. This is a light, everyday makeup. Products used:
I used four cotton pads, applying E-Rase to each, and swiped a toner over the face for the fifth. There was still a bit of makeup residue, indicating, as mentioned by Drunk Elephant, that a second cleanse is needed. E-Rase takes off the mascara well. There is a bit of eyeliner around the bottom lashes and a bit of lip color left. The face makeup and sunscreen were taken off well. E-Rase is not irritating to the eyes. Touching the skin, I do not feel any makeup or sunscreen residue. Using E-Rase this way uses quite a bit of product and a number of disposable cotton pads (I should have used both sides). With a full coverage, heavy makeup even more product and cotton pads would need to be used. My skin was also a bit red and irritated using this number of textured pads, particularly as I have been using Retin-A in the evening.
For the above photos (using the same sunscreen and makeup products), I patted E-Rase all over the face using one Klair’s sponge pad (alternatively, I could pat it on the skin with my fingers) and let sit for about 15 seconds, swiping off with the textured pads (cleanse 1, 2 and 3). For cleanse 2 and 3, I applied more E-Rase to the pads. Dabbing product on the face first with the fingers or the sponge pad worked better to cleanse the eye and lip makeup and was less irritating to the skin.
Finally, I tried E-Rase as a I would a cleansing balm, applying to the face and massaging in for 30 seconds, concentrating on the eye and lip areas, then rinsing. Most of the product seemed to be absorbed into the skin as I was massaging. While rinsing, I could still feel the sunscreen on my face. As shown in the photo above, after rinsing with water, I swiped toner over the face to see how clean the skin got. If I cleanse this way again, I would apply more E-Rase to a cotton pad and swipe over the face, as there was still quite a bit of makeup left and I could still feel sunscreen residue on the face (not really unexpected as E-Rase is not made to emulsify as a balm would, but needs to be wiped away).
E-Rase would be handy to have while traveling or camping when unable to take along a whole skin care routine (but a screw lid with a small hole at the top of the bottle would be preferred, I foresee the pop top opening in a bag).
Drunk Elephant E-Rase Milki Micellar Water is soothing, moisturizing and does not leave a film on the skin. It is not drying or irritating. It is relatively versatile, used as a makeup remover, cleanser, toner and moisturizer and works very well at softening and removing clay masks. It does remove makeup, however, not as well as a cleansing balm or oil would, needing multiple cotton pads and an excess amount of product (I was impressed by its ability to remove eye makeup, however). I prefer E-Rase to Drunk Elephant’s Slaai cleansing balm.
I probably would not use this as my main daily makeup remover (I prefer The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser), but would consider purchasing again for camping trips, for those mornings or evenings when I am in a hurry and do not have a lot of time to do a whole routine, as a quick refresh before and after working out and in a minimal routine as a toner/moisturizer.
The Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser by Youth to the People is a daily “green juice” cleanser for the face with cold-pressed antioxidants from kale, spinach and green tea that claims to remove makeup and prevent buildup in pores without being drying. In addition, on the Sephora website, it claims to help with concerns of fine lines, oily skin, dullness and uneven texture.
Kale is rich in phytonutrients and vitamins C, E, and K to strengthen and leave skin glowing. Spinach has cooling properties and conditioning essential fatty acids. Green Tea is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that keeps skin clear.
Directions: Use in the morning and evening on wet skin. Pump onto wet hands, rub together into a light lather, and massage into face and neck for 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly.
For best makeup removal, massage one to two pumps into slightly damp face and neck. Add more water gradually as you massage for one minute. Rinse thoroughly.
This is a light green gel-like cleanser that has a sweet, green scent. On wet skin, this lathers into light bubbles. Above, after I rinsed the cleanser, my arm had a couple blotchy red itchy patches which is an odd reaction for me. This did not happen to my face.
I have oily skin now that the weather is warmer, prone to breakouts. I got the mini sizes of this cleanser and was able to use for a few weeks, morning and evening.
I do not find this to be a very effective cleanser. Wearing a medium to full coverage foundation and following the instructions for makeup removal, then patting the skin dry and using a toner, as in the photos above, there was a lot of foundation left on the skin after the first cleanse and still some slight color after the second (there are little fuzzies on the toner pad after patting the skin dry with a facecloth). The first cleanse did not form as many bubbles as the second. When wearing makeup and/or sunscreen I usually do two cleanses anyway or use an oil balm cleanser as a first step, however, that is a lot of makeup left on the skin for a first cleanse.
After using the Drunk Elephant Happi Scalp Scrub on my face, which left an oily layer behind, I used the Youth to the People cleanser and still felt the oily layer (albeit a bit less); the same can be said for sunscreen left behind.
I did not find the cleanser to be drying on the skin and did not get increased breakouts. I do not expect a cleanser to be effective for fine lines (which this was not), nor did it particularly help with small breakouts along the jawline. This cleanser took a lot of extra time and water to rinse off and I still felt residue from the Superfood cleanser on the skin after rinsing which made me want to use a different cleanser to wash off the residue.
The Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser is not very effective and does not rinse well. I would not repurchase.
Sanskrit Saponins (SS) from Deciem’s NIOD is a pH-balanced, concentrated cleansing balm formulated with arginine and Ayurvedic plant surfactants. By deep-cleansing, SS claims to clean pores, clean dead skin cells without peeling and gently remove the skin’s own oils encouraging “natural recycling” of the oils. With continued use, SS is said to target build-up, congestion and blemishes. Claims are made that from the first use, SS leaves skin looking “pore-free,” clean and radiant.
Directions: This is to be used once every other day in the morning or evening, but can be used more often if desired. SS is not intended to remove makeup or sunscreen, so cleanse the skin using another cleanser as a first step. Wet face and lather SS into a paste in the hands for a few seconds. Apply and massage gently, avoiding the eyes, then rinse.
I have oily skin prone to breakouts and blemishes and often get build-up and congestion, especially in the T-zone. I’ve been using this on and off for a long while, and have purchased three tubes thus far.
SS is a light tan/beige color with a thin, cream-like consistency. It smells rather yeasty, which I don’t mind. It doesn’t lather or foam on massaging into the skin.
This is a product that I didn’t realize was doing much of anything other than a nice cleanse until I stopped using it after a few weeks. I then started using again and realized it had helped with clearing dead skin, making the skin smoother, and skin appeared clearer and less congested around my nose and forehead. I have since been using this as a morning mask and cleanse (with much better results than using as just a cleanser), putting a rather generous amount on dry skin, letting it sit while brushing my teeth or showering, then massaging with a bit of water and rinsing. Using it like this, my skin is immediately smoother and more radiant-looking from the first use. With continued use, I don’t feel like my pores look smaller, but my skin is generally clearer, cleaner, less oily and feels less bumpy. SS helps small breakouts along the jawline and whiteheads on the forehead. For bigger pimples, I’m not sure they are cleared up any sooner than the usual healing time, but seems to help with redness and irritation of these larger pimples and helps prevent these breakouts. This has no effect on the blackheads around my nose. SS is also nice to use with the Foreo Luna. SS rinses well and is not drying.
SS comes in a metal tube and once punctured, product runs out on opening the lid for the first few uses. I then have to try and close the lid really fast while product continues to leak out around the lid. There have also been some inconsistencies in the formula between the three tubes I have bought. In one, the SS was thicker, one was thinner and the last tube I bought had some small, hard particles in it; these were not uniform like in a scrub and were rather sharp on the face, but seemed to dissolve slightly in water while massaging the cleanser on the face.
Sanskrit Saponins has become one of my favorite morning masks/cleansers. It provides the results claimed (except for the skin appearing pore-free) and I will continue to purchase.
To go over some ingredients – Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine and sodium cocoyl isethionate are mild surfactants derived from coconut oil. Disodium coco-glucoside citrate is a mild surfactant. Cocoyl proline is a mix of coconut fatty acids and the amino acid proline used as a hydrator and conditioning agent. Sodium levulinate is used as a preservative and skin conditioning agent. Alfalfa leaf extract is said to soothe skin and help make skin look brighter.
Directions state to dampen skin, massage a dime size amount into a light lather and rinse.
This is a gel cleanser that forms a light lather. On rinsing, the cleanser itself doesn’t leave the skin feeling oily, but does leave it feeling a bit dry (though not as drying as Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser), which is surprising given the addition of squalane oil. It took a bit more effort and more water to rinse than other cleansers (I found this to be the case as well with the Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser; perhaps that’s the nature of gel cleansers?). The Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser smells nice; a herbal scent, which I’m guessing is the tea tree oil (I don’t think I’d used anything with tea tree oil previously).
I have oily skin that is prone to breakouts, blackheads around the nose, congestion and redness. One of the reasons I chose this cleanser – for probably about 5 or 6 years I had gotten pimples on the right side of my face in one area on my lower cheek above the jawline; no idea why and I couldn’t get rid of them. One would break out, start to heal and a couple days later, the next would break out, until I had about six in various healing stages. About a year ago they disappeared; no idea why. Three months ago, the breakouts started again, in the same manner as before. I thought I’d give this cleanser a try, as tea tree oil is said to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties that can target acne.
The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel is able to cleanse light coverage foundation, but for heavier full coverage foundation, heavier eye makeup and mineral sunscreen, needs two uses.
Having changed nothing else in my skincare routine (other than an eye cream; I’ve been using the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel), I’ve used the Biossance gel cleanser for a month. As above, throughout the month, the breakouts have healed nicely and I haven’t gotten any new ones. My skin looks generally less congested with a bit less redness. My skin is perhaps a bit less oily overall (though salicylic acid works better to balance oil). I noticed at day 16 I had less blackheads on my nose, but by day 30, there were more. My skin doesn’t feel any softer.
I’m happy with the results of this cleanser, but I have to wonder if the cleanser itself provided the results or if, by some coincidence or other variable, the breakouts have stopped. Being a rinse-off product, I’m generally skeptical of a cleanser providing results beyond cleansing makeup and sunscreen from the skin.
I’ll continue to use the Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser (and would repurchase) and will update here if the breakouts start again with continued use or on switching to a new cleanser.