I've said it once or twice before, but I love a good cleanser. As I wear make up almost every single day, I'm very particular about the way I get it all off and how I treat my skin afterwards. I find cleansers and masks also a a great way to get familiarised with a new brand, as they're usually less of a splurge compared to serums and creams. I was generously sent this cleanser for review from January Labs, and gave it a good test for a couple of months before writing this review.
January Labs Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel
Currently the Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel is the only cleanser in January's line. It's designed for all skin types as a 1st cleanse to dissolve dirt, make up and sunscreen without leaving the skin feel stripped. The cleanser retails £23/$32 for 236ml/8 fl. oz on Cult Beauty or January Labs website. £23 is about 26,95€ and got to say it's a very decent price for such a big bottle.
Using the cleanser
The websites recommend multiple uses to the gel: refreshing morning cleanse or removing make up in the evenings - except for eye make up. I've put this cleanser in the use both morning and evening, 1st cleanse (taking of your make up) or 2nd cleanse (cleansing the face), sometimes removing the gel with a hot cloth or just rinsing. The gel is a bit stiff and clumpy when it comes from the bottle but smoothly on damp to wet skin. The gel lathers a bit I wouldn't call it a proper foam. I tend to alternate this product as my 1st and 2nd cleanser, but usually I gravitate towards 2nd just because my face is already damp after emulsifying my oil/balm cleanser. Honestly I think you can do both or even double cleanse with the gel if you're in a pinch. Thanks to its make up melting abilities I find it a bit 'wasteful' to use it as my morning cleanse and I tend to spare it for the evenings.
Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodiumlaureth Sulfosuccinate, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Ppg-2 Hydroxyethyl Coco/Isostearamide, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Natural Salt, Grape Seed Extract, Vitamin E Acetate, Willow Bark Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Vitamin A Palmitate, Bark Extract, Phospholipids, Sunflower Seed Extract, Licorice Extract, Papaya Fruit Extract, Vitamin C Palmitate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate Lauryl Glucoside , Corn Derived Preservative, Sodium Benzoate, Glycerin, Sodium Pca, Lime Oil, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Citric Acid.
The ingredient list is both cleaning agents and botanicals with soothing and brightening properties. I was worried if the gel-to-foam formula contain any skin stripping ingredients like Sodium laureth sulfate, but according to COSDNA there is little to none low acne/irritation causing ingredients. The only warning flags are the Vitamin C Palmitate and Vitamin A Palmitate, which are both forms of antioxidants that have brightening benefits. If you're sensitive, I recommend patch testing, but I don't think the cleanser is on your skin long enough to cause irritation. There is lime oil in the formula, in the case you're sensitive to citrus ingredients. Other notable ingredients are soothing aloe extract, antioxidants like grape seed extract with anti-inflammatory white willow bark and licorice root extracts.
Researching for this review, I was surprised to read online the cleanser wasn't for removing eye make up and eyes should be avoided. Lesson learned, the cleanser does sting if you open your eyes while washing. Keeping my eyes closed I have had no problem and irritation and I'm tempted to use it all over my face as the cleanser destroys my non-waterproof mascara, eyeliner and other make up effortlessly. I was dubious if a gel texture would suit my dry skin, as I often associate gels for oilier skin types, but the Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel leaves my skin feeling clean, soft and balanced. No redness, dryness or that notorious 'tight' feeling you could experience with gels or foams. The scent reminds me of papaya and lime (both used ingredients). According to the meter I use, the pH is nicely acidic 5.4 which won't disturb skin's acid mantle and makes it suitable for acne prone skin (like mine).
January Labs Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel is a great multipurpose 'workhorse' cleanser for both taking of your make up and washing your face in a gentle, non-irritating way. It's rare to find a cleanser that is both effective yet non-abrasive with a clean ingredient list. The low price point for a high end brand and big packaging size is top notch. This cleanser is something I would certainly take with me on a trip or in my gym bag.
If you've seen my January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream review you'll know I'm smitten with this Californian beauty brand founded by January Olds. I had a moment of panic when I ran out of the cream and had to purchase a new one in an instant. I'm telling you, this is a brand to keep an eye on as the products are very cleanly formulated with science and 'green beauty' hand in hand. The Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel is something I'll 100% repurchase once I'm finished with the bottle.
This post contains product(s) that were generously provided for consideration. Regardless, my opinions are my own honest and unbiased views. The links are for your convenience and do not contain ads.