estee lauder advanced night micro cleansing foam review

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam is a night-time cleanser. Doesn’t it have the word “night” in the name? Estee Lauder designed it to remove makeup, which is most definitely a night-time activity (unless you work at night and sleep during the day).

And yet, I find it way more suitable for my morning cleanse. Curious to know what that is? And how should YOU use it? What’s going on with this cleanser? Here’s everything you need to know about this foaming cleanser.

Key Ingredients In Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam: What Makes It Work?


If you’ve ever tried to wash a greasy pan without soap, you know it won’t work. Oil and water don’t mix. That’s where surfactants come in. This family of ingredients allows water and oil to come together, so they remove all impurities and dirt from your face.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam opted for two of the gentlest surfactants out there: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate and Lauramidopropyl Betaine. Both derived from vegetable sources (the former comes from coconut oil), they’re so gentle, even sensitive skin can use them. They don’t irritate skin or dry it out.

The catch? They’re not strong enough to remove waterproof or longlasting makeup. If you’re wearing a full face, opt for an oil-based makeup remover instead.


Glycerin is a moisture magnet that attracts water from the air into the skin. What is it doing in a cleanser? It makes the cleansing process gentler. Doesn’t matter how gentle your cleanser is, the cleansing process is always a bit traumatic for skin. By ensuring your skin has all the moisture it needs during the process, your end up with softer and suppler skin afterwards.

Related: Why Is Glycerin In All My Skincare Products?!

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Water\Aqua\Eau: The main solvent and ingredient in the product.
  • Butylene Glycol: A humectant that draws moisture into your skin, keeping it hydrated for longer. It’s also a solvent that helps dissolve other ingredients in the product.
  • Glycol Distearate: It makes skin softer and smoother and also thickens the texture of the product.
  • Sucrose: A type of sugar with water-binding properties that keeps skin hydrated for hours.
  • Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract: Derived from watermelon, this extract is rich in antioxidants like lycopene that fight premature wrinkles. Unfortunately, it ends up down the drain when you cleanse.
  • Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract: Derived from lentils, it has hydrating and antioxidant properties. It makes skin softer during the cleansing process, but the antioxidants won’t work here. They just end up down the drain.
  • Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract: A rich source of antioxidants that sadly ends up down the drain, so they can’t help your skin. Antioxidants need to stay on the skin to work.
  • Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: A white powder that enhances the texture of skincare products.
  • Silybum Marianum (Lady’S Thistle) Extract: It has antioxidant properties that, once again, are wasted in a cleanser. It’d need to stay on the skin to work its anti-aging magic.
  • Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract: It has powerful soothing properties that make the cleansing process easier on your skin.
  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil: It helps cleanse skin. Like attracts like. Coconut oil attaches to the oils in your makeup and on your skin, so they can be rinsed away. It also moisturises skin during the cleansing process.
  • Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil: A moisturising oils that helps prevent dryness during the cleansing process.
  • Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil: It makes the cleanser smell good, but can be irritating and cause allergies in sensitive skin.
  • Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract: It has antioxidant properties and can even fight dark spots. Or, to be precise, it could do that if it were left on your skin long enough. Sadly, it ends up down the drain within a few minutes.
  • Caffeine: It has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals – when it stays on skin, not when it’s rinsed off.
  • Cholesterol: A natural component of your skin’s protective barrier, it counteracts the drying effects cleansers can have.
  • Ceteth-20: A fatty, moisturising alcohol that enhances the texture of skincare products. It also helps the oily and watery parts of the cleanser from separating.
  • Sodium Pca: It helps the upper layers of your skin to draw and retain moisture for softer skin.
  • Algae Extract: A catch-all term for any algae used in cosmetics. They have antioxidant properties, but again, in a cleanser, they won’t do much.
  • Polyquaternium-10: It helps to adjust the texture of products.
  • Sodium Lactate: It’s used to adjust the pH of skincare products.
  • Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides: It helps the oily and watery parts of a product from separating.
  • Sodium Chloride: A.k.a. common table salt, it’s used to thicken skincare products.
  • Lauric Acid: A fatty acid used as an emulsifier and cleansing agent.
  • Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate: It helps to thicken the texture of skincare products.
  • Methyldihydrojasmonate: It’s a fragrance ingredient with no known benefits. But it can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate: A form of Vitamin E, it has antioxidant properties that help the other ingredients stay stable and last longer.
  • Ethylhexylglycerin: It hydrates skin and has preservative-like properties that help skincare products last longer.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: It helps to adjust the pH of the cleanser.
  • Potassium Sorbate: A preservative that inhibits the growth of bacterial and fungi in your skincare products.
  • Disodium Edta: It binds to the metal ions in the water and neutralises them before they can spoil the formula.
  • Bht: A synthetic antioxidant used to help stabilize skincare ingredients and make them effective for longer.
  • Phenoxyethanol: A preservative that prevents bacteria contamination, making the cleanser safe to use for longer.
  • Linalool: A natural component of lavender. It’s what gives it its beautiful floral scent but can cause allergies and irritations. That’s why it needs to be listed separately on the label.
  • Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891): A mineral UV filter, it’s here to give opacity to the cleanser.


Although it is called Micro Cleansing Foam, this cleanser has a creamy texture that feels more like a lotion/milky cleanser. It spreads easily on the skin and feels pleasant to use.


The cleanser smells like herby lavender that’s taking a bath. In other words, more than herbal, the lavender here smells like soap. I guess Estee Lauder was trying to recreate that refreshing soapy smell that reminds you of cleansed skin. If you like that, cool. Personally, I’m not a fan of fragrance in skincare. Lavender, in particular, can irritate sensitive skin. Do a patch test before using this.

How To Use It

It’s a cleanser, so you can use it morning and night as the very first step of your skincare routine. Gently massage it over damp skin. Rinse well with lukewarm water. Avoid the eye area. If your cleanser ends up into your eyes, rinse well.


Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam comes in a white tube with a gold cap. It looks elegant and releases just the right amount of product you need, so that none gets wasted. I just don’t particularly like the white colour as it gets dirty quickly.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I have mixed feelings about Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam. Let’s start with the good: this low foaming cleanser has a lightweight texture that spreads easily on the skin. It’s super gentle, too. It doesn’t strip away too much sebum or leave your skin a tight mess. But it’s not as heavy duty as I need it to be. It’s ok when I use only a dab of concealer and a dusting of blush. But I need to use a lot of product to remove longlasting foundation.

If you’re wearing a full face of makeup a la Kardashian, forget it. This may work well as a morning cleanser for you, but it’ll take a lot of product, time, and elbow grease to take everything off. FYI, you can’t use it on your eyes. You’ll need a separate makeup remover for your eyeliner + mascara anyway.

estee lauder advanced night micro cleansing foam

How Does Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam Compare To Other Estee Lauder Cleansers?

Not sure if Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam is the best cleanser for you? Curious to see how it compares to the other cleansers in the brand? Let’s take a look now:

  • Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask ($30.00): This cleanser contains a small amount of clay to absorb excess oil. It’s not my fave. I prefer to separate cleansers from clay masks for maximum effectiveness. But if you’re pressed for time, it could work for you. Available at Boots and Estee Lauder.
  • Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Creme Cleanser/Moisture Mask ($30.00): A milky cleanser that uses petrolatum to remove makeup and other impurities from skin. Estee Lauder claims you can also use it as a hydrating mask, but there are better ones around. This is best suitable as a cleanser for dry skin. Available at Boots and Estee Lauder.
  • Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Cleansing Gelée/Refiner ($30.00): A foaming cleanser with exfoliating beads to remove dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells. I personally don’t recommend scrubs like this because they can be irritating and they’re not as effective as exfoliating acids anyway.
  • Estee Lauder Nutritious Super-Pomegranate Radiant Energy 2-in-1 Cleansing Foam ($32.00): A gentle foaming cleanser for oily and combination skin. Estee Lauder says you can also use it as a 2 min purifying mask, but skincare products can’t purify skin (what does that even mean?). Instead, it’s loaded with antioxidants that fight premature wrinkles, but you’ll need to leave it onto your skin for way more than 2 mins to see the benefits. Available at Boots and Estee Lauder.
  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm ($48.00): This luxurious balm uses safflower oil to melt away makeup and moisturise skin at the same time. But the lavender extract may irritate sensitive skin. Available at Boots and Estee Lauder.

What I Like About Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam

  • Creamy, easy-to-spread texture
  • Gentle, doesn’t dry out skin
  • Removes dirt, impurities, and light makeup

What I DON’T Like About Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam

  • It has fragrance, which can irritate sensitive skin
  • Struggles to remove makeup

Who Should Use This?

This cleanser is best suitable for women with combination or oily skin who don’t wear much makeup. If you have dry or sensitive skin, opt for a fragrance-free balm or milky cleanser

Does Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam Live Up To Its Claims?

This conditioning formula transforms into a soft, airy foam that removes makeup and impurities, including pollution, as it purifies deep within skin’s surface to improve your overall healthy look.It never turns into a foam, removes only non-longlasting makeup, and can’t purify deep within the skin’s surface.
The high performance formula rinses easily and leaves skin feeling clean, soft and refreshed.I wouldn’t call it high performance, but it does leave skin clean and soft.

Is Estee Lauder Cruelty-Free?

Nope, Estee Lauder is NOT cruelty-free. Although they do their best to minimise animal testing, they do sell in countries where animal testing is still required by law.

Price & Availability

$33.00/£28.00 at Boots, Estee Lauder, Harrods, Look Fantastic, Net-A-Porter, Sephora, and Ulta

The Verdict: Should You Buy it?

Not really. It does the job, but there are better cleansers out there.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Clinique Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam ($22.00): A foaming, pH-balanced cleanser that removes dirt and impurities. It’s gentle enough even for sensitive skin. Available at Boots, Clinique, and Sephora.
  • Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser ($16.00): A jelly cleanser that effortlessly removes all traces of dirt and makeup without drying out skin. Available at Boots, Cult Beauty, and SpaceNK.


Water\Aqua\Eau, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Butylene Glycol, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Glycerin, Sucrose, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Silybum Marianum (Lady’S Thistle) Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Caffeine, Cholesterol, Ceteth-20, Sodium Pca, Algae Extract, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Lactate, Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium Chloride, Lauric Acid, Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Disodium Edta, Bht, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891) <ILN42230>