I’m a commitment-phobe when it comes to skincare.

I love and hoard skincare products. Nothing brings me more joy at the end of the day than perusing my collection and deciding on that day’s skincare cocktail. Some days it’s an acid toner paired with a lightweight moisturizer and others it’s a retinol and face oil combo. It’s rare I use the same thing two days in a row.

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Although some might call me a skincare slut, freedom of choice makes me feel powerful. In a world where so much feels out of my control, I can control what goes on my face during these 10 minutes of my day. On the flip side, it’s also made me afraid to commit to a product because I always think, what if there’s something better out there?

This is especially true when it comes to cleansers. I was of the belief that cleansers don’t really do anything, aside from removing makeup, SPF, and prepping your skin for the next steps. I had no preference in a cleanser. I thought I was destined to bounce around from cleanser to cleanser for the rest of my life, never settling down because I thought they were all the same – until I met The One.

La Roche-Posay’s Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is the only cleanser—maybe even the only skincare product—that I’ll ever commit to. We’ve been in a long-term (mostly) monogamous relationship for nearly four years. This domestic partnership has lasted longer than any boyfriend I’ve ever had. Our loving and supportive relationship has basically cured my commitment issues both in skincare and IRL.

The brand

Before we jump into what makes this cleanser so special, let’s talk about where she comes from – France. La Roche-Posay is a French brand that’s recommended by over 90,000 dermatologists around the world. It’s heavily backed by science and clinical trials, but it’s still considered “clean beauty” because of the quality of their ingredients. You can find La Roche-Posay inside French pharmacies, but if you’re stateside, they’re just as easily accessible at Targets across the nation.

The brand is beloved by people with sensitive skin, as well as people with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. All of their products follow strict safety guidelines and are allergy-tested in clinical trials. If there’s even a single case of an allergy, the product gets reformulated. Needless to say, the entire line is safe for all skin types and the brand has received worldwide recognition for the quality and effectiveness of its products.

My skin type

My skin is a true combination of oily and dry. My T-zone is oily, but my cheeks often have dry patches. My skin also changes with the seasons, leaning more oily in the summer and drier in the winter. The changing seasons really have an effect on my skin. I’m lucky in that I don’t suffer from acne.

In skincare, I’m looking for products that cater to my true combination skin and don’t veer off into the extreme end of either spectrum. My skin doesn’t react well to really strong acids like salicylic acid, and conversely, anything that’s too thick can clog my pores. I need products that are gentle but effective, hydrating but clarifying, and won’t strip my skin. Basically, my skin is Goldilocks and a needy b*tch, but she does have great taste.

Ingredients

La Roche-Posay’s Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is part of their Toleriane line, which is specially designed for normal, dry, and sensitive skin. The entire line is allergy-tested, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, oil-free, and paraben-free. It contains:

Ceramide-3: Ceramides are found naturally in the skin, so using this cleanser helps replenish this essential ingredient. They also work to prevent moisture loss and helps restore the skin’s moisture barrier. You would think a cleanser can’t do much to moisturize your skin, but if you’ve ever experienced that tight sensation after washing your face with an alcohol-heavy cleanser, you’ll understand the importance of ceramides in a cleanser.

Niacinamide: Niacinamide is one of Very Good Light’s favorite skincare ingredients, and for good reason. It does everything. It’s anti-aging, oil-reducing, pore-smoothing, brightening, and helps retain moisture.

Glycerin: Glycerin is the unsung hero of skincare ingredients. It doesn’t get enough credit. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture to the skin and is great for those with dry skin. It’s also hygroscopic, meaning that it’s able to absorb water from the air, like a freaking magician. Glycerin absorbs its own weight in water over the course of a few days, helping to leave skin moisturized and hydrated.

La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water: Every one of La Roche-Posay’s products contains prebiotic thermal water, which comes from a spring found in central France. It has a neutral pH and contains selenium, a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells from oxidative stress that makes skin appear red, dry, tight, and flaky.

The review

The first thing I noticed and loved about this cleanser was the size. The bottle is 400 mL (13.53 ounces for us Americans) and comes with a pump. I love a pump, especially in the shower. My shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottles are all pumps, so this cleanser fits in perfectly with the fam.

It’s noticeably larger than most cleansers and extremely reasonably well-priced at $15. Each bottle lasts me around six months, and I use it at least twice a day. I love using this cleanser after a sweaty workout because it doesn’t strip my skin at all. I can wash my face with this ten times in a day and my skin wouldn’t be angry with me.

The texture is milky, which is my favorite texture for a cleanser. It’s incredibly soft and doesn’t have any smell. I love using this as a first AND second cleanse. The milky texture works great at removing makeup, and the second pass helps remove any of the leftover residue sitting on your face.

This cleanser is one of those products that you fall more in love with the more you use it. It might not blow you away the first time you use it. It’s a cleanser, not an active serum, so you won’t notice any crazy changes in your skin texture and tone. You might even go back to your old cleanser or try something new because you think this cleanse is nothing special.

But then you’ll find yourself missing what this cleanser brought to your skincare routine, which is balance. It’s not flashy, it’s not potent, but that’s what makes it so great. It cleanses your skin without stripping it and actually manages to deliver some hydration so you don’t experience that tight, dry sensation immediately after using it. It’s a skin stabilizer, cleanser, and conditioner all in one. The quality of ingredients, affordability, and function of this cleanser is what puts it in holy grail status for me.

I will always continue to enjoy experimenting with different skincare products, but this cleanser will always be a grounding part of my skincare routine. La Roche-Posay, je t’aime.

TLDR;

La Roche-Posay’s Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is the only cleanser you’ll ever need

– It contains a ton of hydrating ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, glycerin, and prebiotic thermal spring water

– The bottle contains 13.53 ounces of product for only $15

– The cleanser comes in a pump bottle and lasts about six months

– Perfect as a first or second cleanse (or both!)

BUY or BYE

This cleanser is a definite BUY over and over again. I’m on my fifth (or sixth?) bottle and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Buy HERE at La Roche Posay or HERE at Target.

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