ZO Skin Health Effects Hydrating Cleanser review

I’ll admit it. There are some products I wouldn’t try if they weren’t handed to me by PRs. ZO Skin Health Oeffects Hydrating Cleanser by Zein Obagi, MD, is one of them.

It’s not because the formula is so bad, I wouldn’t touch it with a five foot pole. In fact, this stuff is not bad at all.

It’s not because it doesn’t work. It does.

It’s because of the price. I know $39.00 isn’t super expensive. Heck, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend that much on an antioxidant serum or glycolic acid exfoliant. I know they deliver and help my skin stay healthy, so it’s a good investment.

But, a cleanser stays on my skin for a minute or so. There’s no point in putting anything but cleansing agents in there. All other goodies just end up down the drain…

But if you don’t mind spending more on an ordinary cleanser, this gets the job done. Here’s how:

What’s In ZO Skin Health Effects Hydrating Cleanser?


Don’t let their names scare you off.

Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, and Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate are three mild surfactants.

That’s jargon for “ingredients that help water mix with oils and dirt,” so they can be rinsed off down the drain. They’re powerful enough to do the cleansing job, yet gentle enough not to irritate your skin in the process. Phew!


Hyaluronic acid is a humectant. That’s a fancy way of saying it draws moisture from the air into the skin, keeping it supple and hydrated.

The best part? It’s so powerful, it holds up to 1000 times its weight in water. Impressive, isn’t it? Here, it keeps your skin soft and hydrated while the cleansing agents do their job.

Related: The Complete Guide To Hyaluronic Acid In Skincare: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It

Need help creating the best skincare routine for you dry skin? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Dry Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).




It smells gorgeous – think grapefruit.

How To Use It

Morning and night, it’s the first step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

ZO Skin Health Effects Hydrating Cleanser does what it says on the tin. It easily takes off dirt, impurities, and even some makeup. I say some because it struggles a bit with waterproof makeup, which is why I prefer to use it in the mornings.

It’s also more suitable for dry than oily skin. That’s because ZO Skin Health Oeffects Hydrating Cleanser is every bit as hydrating as the name implies. If you have dry skin, I think you’ll like it a lot because its creamy texture cleanses skin without stripping the natural oils that keep it naturally moisturized.

So, yeah, it’s pretty good. And fairly basic. And terribly overpriced. I love to use it, I just don’t think I’m getting all my money’s worth.

But if you’re struggling to find a cleanser that doesn’t dry out your skin, then maybe the premium price won’t bother you as much. Everything is relative.

Related: The Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin

zo skin health oeffects hydrating cleanser

Who Is This For?

Dry skin.

Who Is This Not For?

Oily skin.


A white tube with a blue cap. Simple, but practical.

Does ZO Skin Health Effects Hydrating Cleanser Live Up To Its Claims?

Dual action cleanser for normal to dry skin that cleanses and hydrates the skin, minimizing dryness and irritation for sensitive skin.True.
Helps retain moisture during the cleansing process.True.
Rids the skin of dirt, oil, and makeup without leaving a greasy residue.True.
Calms and soothes the skin.No, it can’t do this.

Price & Availability

$39.00 at Obagi Skin, dermatologists, and pharmacists

Do You Need It?

It’s not a must-have, but it’s a nice-to-have, if you don’t mind the little splurge.

Dupes & Alternatives


Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG­100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Glycol Distearate, Palmitic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Acrylates Copolymer, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Urea, Sodium Hyaluronate, Trehalose, Polyquaternium-51, Triacetin, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Linalool, Sodium Hydroxide, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Red 33 (CI17200), Yellow 6 (CI 15985)