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Cleansers - Aquanil cleanser

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rated 4.3(57 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.3
  • 84% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.9
  • Price: $$

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 5/7/2014 8:38:00 PM More reviews by mmherman

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Green

A good basic cleanser without some of the yucky stuff. It doesn't irritate my skin, which is worth a 5, but it gets a 3 because it doesn't remove all the makeup off my face. I usually have to do two or three washes with this. I wear a lot of makeup so I can see why that is, but it isn't my favorite thing in the world to do. I have used other washes that clean my face better, but I think this is a good product.


I think for others who don't wear as much makeup or have sensitive skin this is better than cetaphil. So I would suggest it to others and i will probably purchase again, but it doesn't win any prizes for removing makeup completely.


I'd follow this with a toner if you wear heavy founation like I do. I will update if my opinion of this product changes over time.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 3/4/2014 1:07:00 AM More reviews by junomacguff

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine Eyes: Green

This is a great cleanser for sensitive skin. It doesn't foam but also doesn't leave a film. The texture is similar to Cetaphil cleanser but doesn't irritate me the way Cetaphil does. My derm rec'd this cleanser years ago to use in the mornings since Cerave cleanser had been stinging my face. I've been using it off and on for a decade at lesat. Love it!

*This is also paraben-free and lacks formaldehyde releasing preservatives like phenoxyethanol for those of you that are sensitive to preservatives like myself.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 10/13/2013 7:10:00 PM More reviews by kyl77

Age: 36-43 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Green

I am in love with this soapless cleanser. Free of dyes and perfumes, it's so gentle. I apply a generous amount to dry skin, massage my face for about 30 second, and then rinse. Afterwards my skin feels soft and clean without even a hint of dryness. I kind of over did it with some anti-aging products recently, so this cleanser has really been a Godsend. I would recommend this to anyone with sensitive skin. Keep in mind it won't remove heavy makeup. You'll need a seperate makeup remover for waterproof mascara for example. However, it removes my light everyday makeup just fine; I just cleanse twice. The only downside is that it's hard to find. Sometimes I can find it at my local mom n' pop drugstore. Otherwise, I have to order it from the internet, but personally I think this small hassle is worth it.

Edit: I just started using cold cream at night, and I can't believe how much makeup comes off. I don't wear heavy makeup by any means, but it was just unreal how much more was on the wash cloth versus when I use Aquanil. I think that modern makeup is just meant to cling better. Long wearing foundation is especially hard to get off, and Aquanil just isn't going to touch it even if you double cleanse. Don't get me wrong. I still think Aquanil is a terrific cleanser, but I would reserve it for A.M. cleansing only unless you aren't wearing any makeup.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/11/2013 9:53:00 AM More reviews by stace06

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

I don't rave but I will for this cleanser. This is the best thing since sliced bread...I have gone through countless brands and textures - foamy, liquid, soap, oil and from cheap to expensive and I have always preferred the squeaky clean feel until I came across this cleanser.

My Dr referred me to this brand after I suffered hormonal acne from coming off the pill. My face was red and covered in break outs and my usual Clinique 3 step stopped working. I went onto Cetaphil and QV both I found useless. Then I tried Asian brands - Kose and the famous JuJu but they all stripped my skin of oil sending my already fragile skin into panic mode.

But only 1 week after using the Aquanil cleaner - massive bottle which was dirt cheap, my skin completely calmed down. I didn't like the feel of it at the beginning as it doesn't give the squeaky clean effect but I have learned to love it because it does not strip my skin and after 3 months I am delighted with the results. Even when I use a harsher cleanser (Clinique Liquid Soap in mild) which works miracles for getting make up especially eye make up off, I use the Aquanil cleanser immediately on top. It's definitely my HG and I am just so happy my super sensitive / acne prone and thin skin tolerates it.

EDIT: After 3 bottles, I am still very happy with this product.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/30/2012 10:28:00 PM More reviews by happymerlot

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Grey

This and CeraVe cleanser are my two favorites right now. This one skews a little drier than the CeraVe, so I'll probably use it more in the summer.

It doesn't have fragrance, dyes, or any irritating essential oils. No lather (which is actually a good sign). I have very dry, very sensitive skin, and this does the job without making my skin hurt or feel stripped. I use just a little of this on my hand in the shower as a body wash, and as a face wash (though I don't wash my face every day, it just seems to cause irritation and acne so I just leave it alone).
Also works nicely as a shaving soap.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/22/2012 3:08:00 PM More reviews by geektastic

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Black

This is one of my biggest HG's. Although I generally have pretty oily, resistant skin (I can use fairly strong acids and peels w/o issue), it's become dreadfully sensitive to all cleansers. Basically, any gel, surfactant-type cleanser, no matter how gentle, just doesn't really agree with my face.

I used Aquanil for a long time a few years back, but since I am very acne-prone, I stopped using it in fears it was contributing to my cloggy skin. I've now come to accept that my skin is just really clog-prone, it will never be perfect... after frustration with more gel cleansers, I have started using Aquanil again and it definitely hasn't worsened my skin in terms of acne, but my face is sooo much happier.

Aquanil is really gentle (so it's not going to really remove anything) but is perfect for lightly cleansing and normalizing your face. I can use it all day everyday and it will never dry me out, but after each time I use it, my face is just soft and comfortable - not squeaky clean, but it's clean. Mostly I use it in the mornings and after cleansing oil at night (which I use to take off makeup and sunscreen), and anytime in between.

I'll use it before I'm doing my makeup for a big night out so I have a nice, clean palette to work on. I'll even use it AFTER I use a gel cleanser to alleviate its drying effects - after a heavy workout, I'm not about to use an oil cleanser, nor do I trust Aquanil to really clean all the sweat and grime off my face, so I will use a gel cleanser then follow up with Aquanil - instead of feeling tight and dry, my face feels soft and comfortable.

Aquanil is such a godsend for me! Whenever cvs or drugstore.com have a sale, I tend to buy 2 bottles so I will never be without it...

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 10/30/2010 10:28:00 PM More reviews by OhsnappitsEm

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Blue

After suffering with sensitive skin for a few years I figured I would at least give this a try since all other gentle cleanser ive tried have given me a rash or left my skin itchy. This is one of the best I have tried. It has a milky consistency and only a little bit is needed. It leaves my skin soft and does not irritate my skin I also really appreciate the flip top that it has. The only thing that is a bit annoying is that this can only be purchased online where I live, but it does last quite a while. Honestly this is alot better than Cetaphil and gentler as well.

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/21/2010 3:29:00 PM More reviews by altar_keene

Age: 36-43 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

I love this cleanser. It is perfect for removing my light layer of mineral makeup and blush. I use a separate eye makeup remover to remove my waterproof makeup. I don't wear tons of makeup or mineral sunscreen, so I don't really need a super powerful cleanser in the evening. This is just perfect to remove whatever didn't come off when I removed my eye makeup. I just moisten my skin and rub a few drops of this over my skin and wipe off with a dampened microfiber cloth. Works great. A lot of people complained about the cap coming loose. The pump on my first bottle came loose, but it popped right back on and I was able to use it. No big deal. The new bottles don't seem to have this problem, so I think they must have improved the pump dispenser, as my newer bottles are not breaking.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 6/27/2010 12:08:00 PM More reviews by josiecat

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Hazel

This is very gentle and non-drying. It is much better than Cetaphil. I use this in the morning and on no makeup days. I normally don't use it as an evening cleanser because it does not remove makeup or sunscreen and it may not remove excess oil if you have oily skin.

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/12/2010 1:18:00 AM More reviews by othatdanielle

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I used Aquanil on the recommendation of my dermatologist (she said it is what she uses at home), and I LOVE IT. I use a prescription acne medicine (epiduo, <3) and so I don't feel like I need anything crazy out of my face wash. Aquanil leaves my face feeling so soft and calm. It never stings, and doesn't leave my skin feeling tight. I definitely prefer it to Cetaphil. My only issue is that it's not the greatest at taking off eye makeup, so I use grape seed oil on a q-tip for that. But otherwise, it's awesome! and you can use it without water (hence the name), so it's great for the winter when you are already so dry. And it comes in a huge pump container which is very convenient and lasts forever. Hooray!

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