Short and sweet. This is a simple, non-foaming cleanser that does not strip the skin of natural oils, however, I can't say I noticed any "hydration" going on. I used it to wash my face in the mornings in my shower and when I got out and dried, my face didn't feel dry and wasn't red/irritated at all like some other stronger face washes I use at night to remove my makeup. Because of this, I will probably purchase a similar product at the drugstore that is cheaper but, as I had just finished using the sample size, can't validate the expenditure of a lot of money. Good product, gentle, and smells nice but expensive and a cheaper comparable product will probably do just as well.
Also, in general, face washes are on your skin for only a minute or two. My personal belief is to spend less on a wash and more on products that you put on skin to absorb indefinitely like moisturizers/treatments/etc. :)
Am I using the same cleanser as everyone else? The description and the picture match the product in my bathroom, but I am seeing mixed reviews here.
I actually received the full-size for free along with purchasing my Clarisonic Mia a few years ago. I didn't decide to start using this cleanser until maybe a few months back, and surprisingly, I like it! It is a VERY gentle cleanser that complements my Clarisonic. My skin feels so soft after and my pores feel clean. I have not used this cleanser by itself before, always with my Clarisonic in the shower so I cannot comment on its functionality alone. I definitely don't use this for makeup removing, because I find that this is a GENTLE cleanser for a morning and/or mid-day wash, when you don't have makeup on, just extra oil from the night before. However, I am quite frugal when it comes to skincare and seeing as there are so many cleansers available for $5-10 in the drug stores, I would not purchase this again due to its higher price ($25 on Clarisonic.com).
I'd like to start by saying that I use this product with a manual facial scrub brush instead of that over priced clarisonic "system". This product works great for my acne and paired with the scrub brush, it really gets my face clean and removes all of my makeup. The two downsides are the drying effect afterwards, and the smell. To me, when I smell this product, it has vomit undertones. It has that warm, acidic smell that vomit has, and it did elicit a gag like response from me the first time I used it. Rather than throwing it away, because it is pretty expensive, I decided to give it a chance to work it's magic. After using it for about a month, I've gotten over the scent for the most part.
Now normally I don't buy a product with a 2.8 out of five but I was desperate. I use Retin a & my skin is dry & sensitive. I use Clarisonic & for a while I had been using purpose. My skin was so dry, too dry I had to change things. So I thought about buying this stiff when I picked up a new brush head for my clarisonic but the reviews were pretty bad. The review below got my attention though. I'm glad it did because this stuff is a godsend. I have acne prone skin & use Retin a, (sometimes u use benzoyl peroxide) so my skin is pretty dry. Granted it probably doesn't work with out the clarisonic, I'm still happy. My make up comes off at night with this & it cleanses my skin gently in the morning when I need to clean off the Retin a. I use an eye make up removed before I wash my face. Skin feels soft afterwards, not dry & tight like before.
EDIT:10/14/12 I wanted to add an update after I used it for a week. Still loving it & it does seem to work well with out my clarisonic. I am so happy I found this. I think it is meant for people with very, very dry & sensitive skin. continued >>
I have oily, acne prone skin. I also use Retin A which makes my skin peel like crazy. However, I use the gentle hydro cleanser along with my Mia, and it really helps slough off the dead skin. It is by FAR the best cleanser I have ever used while on Retin A. Many other cleansers make eyelids swell up and my face burn and sting. Not the Gentle Hydro cleanser. It is gentle and effective. I have tried numerous other products and this one is the best for my skin -- hands down. I admit it does smell weird but I am willing to live with that. It is a bit pricey, though.
I had read in so many places that this cleanser was awful that I was about ready to throw it away. I have been using my Clarisonic Mia for a few months with Burt's Bees cleanser and/or Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, both worked well. I was going on a trip and couldn't find my tiny travel bottle of baby shampoo, so I grabbed the 1 oz sample that came with my brush expecting to break out and have a rash. To my surprise my skin was incredibly silky soft and the right amount of clean vs. moisturized. No very tight areas, no greasy areas. I have dry skin that is moderately sensitive and this is great. Outperforms my burt's bees one by a lot! If I break out it's probably going to be from touching my face so much since it's so incredibly soft, but so far I've experienced way fewer breakouts than normal.
Also this does smell bad. Kind of like a mildewed towel. However, it works so well that I don't care.
Update: I've been using this for two months now and the results are AMAZING. I have had little bumps on my forehead that won't clear up, ever. I started using a retinal cream and it helped a little, but it was always bumpy. However, since using this cleanser my forehead is completely smooth. It hasn't been bump-free since middle school, and now it is. This cleanser is HG for me. My skin is so smooth and soft, I cannot believe it. I know it's the cleanser's "fault" because nothing else in my routine has changed. Same brush, same moisturizers, same sunscreen, same foundation. I am so glad I tried it!
I'm wondering if part of the reason it has such horrible reviews is that people generally use it rig when they first start the brush? There is a purging period at the very beginning and it might seem like the cleanser's fault. If you are wanting to try this, wait until you've been using the brush for a few months to give it a fair chance.
This came free when I purchased the Clarisonic MIA, so I decided to try it as my morning cleanser. It smells weird / bad, and doesn't seem to do anything but leave a film of residue on your face. It doesn't emulsify at all, and leaves my skin feeling just about as dirty/oily as it did before cleansing with this. Glad I didn't waste my money on this.
I have oily, acne-prone skin, but my skin is not sensitive. This is the first cleanser I have ever used that actually caused my skin to break out, and I mean really break out--serious, cystic acne. The acne started to clear up as soon as I stopped using the product. I also found the smell rather unpleasant--it has a chemical odor. I will never buy this again!
Not a great product compared to what is currently out on the market now, (I'm in love with LUSH- it truly cured my adult acne, along with using my Mia) Trying it on and off now for a year its pretty "blah." Doesn't help exfoliate my skin at all even with using my Mia or give my skin a fresh and clean feel. Right now 'm using LUSH's Herbalism with my Mia which is awesome and LUSH's Fresh Farmacy which is another kick ass product. I think Clarisonic's Gentle Hydro Cleanser is to help the Mia glide gently over your skin- nothing more nothing less.
Despite that you get a ton of product and it has a lot of natural ingredients it just burns, itches and irritates my skin and does not feel good in combination with the clarisonic.