Reviewed: The SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser Calmed My Breakouts

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SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser

Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser

Celeste Polanco/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Effectively removes makeup

  • Can help with reducing breakouts

  • Gentle, milky consistency

  • Leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated

What We Don't Like
  • Strong citrus fragrance may irritate sensitive skin

  • Not Byrdie Clean

Whether you're experiencing acne or just looking for another strong option for washing your face, the Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser may be worth a try. It soothes irritated skin with both hydrating and antioxidant properties, leading to a soft and clean result and potentially reduced breakouts over time.


SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser

Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser

Celeste Polanco/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put the SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

Adult acne has messed with my confidence ever since I started experiencing it in college. As my breakouts increased, I turned to makeup to make my skin look more clear and even, but recently, I've challenged myself to go bare-faced more often.  Allowing my skin to breathe and adopting a more natural beauty look has been a transformative experience. But while embracing my skin has been empowering, it’s also meant finding a good skincare regime. 

Finding a good cleanser has been key to keeping my skin happy. Cleansers are the foundation to clear skin, as a good one balances out any oiliness or dryness while keeping your skin clear of dirt, dead skin cells, and pesky breakouts. I’ve been using the SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser, and it has done an impressive job of minimizing breakouts while making my skin feel soft, clean, and hydrated overall. Keep reading for my full review.

SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser

Best for: All skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin.

Uses: A mild daily cleanser that minimizes breakouts, removes excess oil, and keeps skin hydrated.

Hero ingredients: Orange oil, glycerin, other skin conditioners and emollients.

Byrdie Clean? No; contains PEGs.

Price: $35

About the brand: Born from decades of skin cancer research, SkinCeuticals is a clinical skincare brand whose products use science-proven methods to optimally deliver potent actives into skin.

About My Skin: Dealing with maskne

My skin used to be clear as day, and then the stresses of college and adulthood happened. Hormonal acne began to take over my entire cheek area, and I felt as if I was going through puberty all over again. I immediately tried everything out of desperation: I made DIY face masks (the skincare kind), I changed my diet, and eventually, I refrained from wearing makeup altogether. With none of that having completely eliminated my newfound breakouts, I knew I needed a cleanser that wasn’t afraid to get into my pores without stripping my skin of its moisture. 

This is where the SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser came in and calmed my pores like no other product could. I began to use SkinCeuticals when my face was at the height of sensitivity, and I refused to watch another breakout come into fruition. I figured there was no better time to review a product. I went into my beauty cabinet, grabbed the cleanser, and watched my face transform. 

The Feel: Gentle and milky

Confession: I love to try new skincare regimens and shamelessly have many more products in my bathroom than what would fit into a regular routine. I have an abundance of toners, exfoliants, moisturizers, serums, and you guessed it: cleansers. Often skin cleansers can be either too harsh and over-drying, or so gentle that they don't seem to thoroughly do their job. I can say this isn’t the case with the SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser. This face wash gets deep down into pores and even removes eye makeup, which left my acne-prone skin feeling fresh and well-cleansed. 

The cleanser has a milky consistency that will leave your skin feeling extra soft. For those with oilier, acne-prone skin, I would highly suggest cleansing the skin twice to ensure your pores are free of anything that may trigger a breakout or two. Those with drier or more sensitive skin types may want to stick to a single cleanse, but do whatever feels best for your skin. Before cleansing, rinse your face with warm water to open the pores, then rinse with cold water once you are done. 

My only concern with the SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser is the fragrance. Due to the orange peel oil, the cleanser has a strong fruity scent, which could be a concern for those with sensitive skin. Those with conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema may see their skin worsen, so be sure to check out the full ingredients list and to patch-test if you decide to take the plunge.

The Ingredients: Gentle yet effective cleansing agents

I have to be honest that I haven't always been attentive to the ingredients in my products in the past; I usually just cross my fingers and hope for the best. For the sake of this review, though, I did my research and discovered a list of gentle yet powerful agents that helped to balance out my skin.

One of the main ingredients in the SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser is glycerin, which improves your skin's hydration properties for a nourished and smooth result post-cleanse. You'll also find orange peel oil, which acts as an antibacterial ingredient for the skin. This explains why the cleanser was able to control my acne-prone skin while still keeping it hydrated. 

The Results: Clear and hydrated skin

Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser Results on Celeste Polanco

Celeste Polanco/Design by Cristina Cianci

After about a week of using the SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser twice a day, I was finally back to being acne-free. My skin looked and felt hydrated, too, as the product didn't strip my skin. I was amazed by how a gentle cleanser could take over my stubborn acne so effectively.

The Value: Might be worth the investment

The SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser is $35 for a 6.8-oz. bottle, which can be an investment for a face wash, but I honestly think it isn’t bad for how much product you’re getting. A little bit does go a long way with this product. To put it in perspective: after using it twice a day for a week, I had only used about 10% of the bottle.

Similar Products: You've got options

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser: Dermatologist-recommended skincare brand CeraVe's hydrating cleanser ($14) will truly put your skin in its place. I especially love it during the winter when I need to keep breakouts under control while also minimizing seasonal dryness.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Facial Cleanser: This accessible cleanser from Aveeno ($11) will truly bring your skin back to life. I use this cleanser when my skin is looking dull and could use a reviving boost of nourishment. This cleanser helps improve skin texture and tone, including reducing hyperpigmentation, to leave you clear and glowing.

Cetaphil Extra Gentle Scrub: This gentle exfoliating cleanser from Cetaphil ($14 for a pack of two) may be the most affordable product on our list, but it doesn't skimp on effectiveness. This daily scrub works on all skin types, including sensitive skin, as its hypoallergenic formula buffs away dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells without irritation.

Final Verdict

The SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser significantly calmed down my acne, and to say I love it would be an understatement. I now consider this product to be my miracle worker, and definitely plan on keeping it in my regular rotation thanks to the results I saw. If you also experience stubborn breakouts and have yet to find a product that really helps to calm and clear your skin, this cleanser is a must-try.


  • Product Name Gentle Cleanser
  • Product Brand SkinCeuticals
  • Price $35.00
  • Weight 6.8 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Aqua/water/eau, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, glycerin, propanediol, cetyl alcohol, methyl gluceth-20, neopentyl glycol dicaprate, PEG-100 stearate, glyceryl stearate, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, phenoxyethanol, citrus aurantium dulcis oil/orange peel oil, limonene, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, capryl/capramidopropyl betaine, caprylyl glycol, polysorbate 20, allantoin, sodium hydroxide, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, disodium EDTA, polyquaternium-39, sodium chloride, PEG-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, trideceth-6, glycolic acid, sodium benzoate.

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