The Cleanser I Would Have Loved To Have In High School

by Gio

clean and clear gentle hydrating daily wash

My, how my skin has changed!

I still remember the days when my skin was covered in grease and a new pimple sprang up on my chin every week. Isn’t adolescence awesome?

These days, everything is a little drier. Almost no shine. No pimples. They’ve been replaced by crow’s feet. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

That’s great, but… I had to overhaul my entire skincare routine. What did wonders for me back then isn’t working so well now. Case in point: Clean & Clear Gentle Hydrating Daily Wash.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

First things first: Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is NOT Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).

SLS is harsh as hell. Don’t put it anywhere near your skin. SLES is ok in moderation… if you have oily skin.

I’ve used cleansers with SLES on hot Italian summers when my skin was pumping out way more oil than I needed and they did wonders. Here in London, where my skin has gotten a little drier, daily use for me is too much.

SLES works by helping water mix with the dirt, impurities and the excess oil on your skin so they can be rinsed away.

FYI, it doesn’t do the job alone. Lauryl Glucoside, another gentle cleansing agent, gives it a helping hand.


How do you prevent surfactants like SLES from stripping too much moisture from the skin and drying it out?

Enter humectants: they’re a bunch of moisture magnets that attract water from the environment into your skin.

Clean & Clear Gentle Hydrating Daily Wash has two main humectants: glycerin and honey. They keep your skin soft and hydrated while the surfactants do their cleansing job.

Related: What The Heck Are Humectants And Why Are They In My Skincare Products?

Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion

Clean & Clear Gentle Hydrating Daily Wash has a thickish gel-like texture that foams a little when you mix it with water.

It does a good job at cleansing skin: it removes all traces of dirt, the little excess oil I still sometimes have on my t-zone and even a good bit of makeup. But I prefer to use oil and balm cleansers for makeup so I use Clean & Clear Gentle Hydrating Daily Wash in the morning.

The first few days, everything went well. But then I started noticing that my skin was getting a little drier on my cheek area… 

That’s always been the driest part of my face so I’m not surprised it was the first to feel the drying effects of the cleanser.

Don’t get me wrong, this cleanser is NOT harsh or drying. It’s just not suitable for my skin type. I do think you’ll appreciate it a lot more if you have oily skin.  

I’m sure my skin would have loved this as a teen in sunny Italy. Now, it’s time for me to switch to something gentler. That’s all. 🙂

Available at: £3.00 at Boots and Superdrug


What’s your fave cleanser for young, oily skin? Share your picks in the comments below.

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Glucoside, Mel, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Sarcosine, Capryloyl Glycine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, o-Cymen-5-ol, Parfum, CI 14700, CI 17200

PR Sample. Affiliate links



Barbara July 7, 2018 - 10:56 am

Omg, Gio! Thanks for clarifying between SLES and SLS. I do notice think I ever noticed / remembered the difference.

Gio July 21, 2018 - 9:51 pm

Barbara, you’re welcome. Glad you found it helpful.

Vanessa July 15, 2018 - 10:31 pm

You mentioned that you like to use oil and balm cleansers for make up. What do you recommend?

Gio July 21, 2018 - 8:04 pm

Vanessa, you can find my cleanser recommendation for every category and skin type here:


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