Very good cleanser for my combination/oily, sensitive skin. My favourite is Avene's Cleanance, but I keep this on hand as a backup. I also use this as a shave gel. I appreciate that it is unscented. Much nicer than the similar Cetaphil.
Edit May 30, 2011
Still keep on hand! Have switched from Cleanance to Eucerin's Hydrating Cleanser for my every eve's needs.
Me: 22, combination skin - dry cheeks/forehead, oily nose/chin. Red & sensitive.
The product: $12 will get you a 16 ounce bottle of Aquanil, but I emailed Person & Covey, the manufacturers, asking for a sample. They very generously sent me two 1 ounce samples of Aquanil. This is a very slimey liquid cleanser, not thick at all (it's the xanthan gum) with no scent. It reminds me of Cerave in texture.
My experience: I used this in the morning and attempted it on both wet and dry skin. Neither way worked; it left my skin dry and tight. There was no film, like my old morning cleanser, but I can't use a cleanser that leaves me feeling like I need to moisturize RIGHT away. After a couple days I started getting a patina of whiteheads, so I think I'm probably sensitive to SLES on top of everything else. I ended up giving the Aquanil samples to my little sister.
Ingredients: Water Purified, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Xanthan Gum continued >>
This is the best cleanser that I've found for my combination skin. It's pretty much an HG for me. In the past 5 years, I've tried over 30 different cleansers, and none of them have been as good as this one. If Cetaphil didn't work for you, give this one a try! The only downside to it is that it doesn't remove makeup very well, but I don't wear a lot so that isn't much of a problem for me. It's still, overall, a great, gentle facial clenaser.
Great gentle cleanser. My skin felt so soft and smooth, and looked calmer and less red. I like it better than Cetaphil. I have occasional sensitivity, so I don't need this all the time. I can't comment on breakout potential and build-up. It can't remove sunscreen or water-resistant m/u. I tried using this first, then washing with my regular cleanser to remove any traces of makeup. It worked well for me. The Aquanil was like a buffer. My skin was clean, but not red at all. Very soothing. I'd buy this again.
This product did not work for my oily, acne-prone skin. Despite the fact that I also used Fancle oil-based cleanser beforehand, I broke out from this cleanser, even while I was on Accutane. I am not sure whether I broke out because of one of the specific ingredients or because it did not cleanse anything off my face, but I would guess the later. I do not recommend it.
I enjoyed this cleanser. My friend gave me a sample one day and it felt so nice and not harsh on my face. It is better than Cetaphil. I get mine off drugstore.com and it lasts a while. I am not currently using it that much unless I feel my face needs a break from all the other things I try.
This is a fantastic alternative for those of us with sodium lauryl sulfate sensitivity. Cetaphil would burn like the fires of hell around my nose, eyes and chin (I'm prone to perioral dermatitis), but I always thought "It's Cetaphil -- it's gentle."
Did a little research, and now I've cut out all SLS and my scalp, face, body, and even gums (!) feel so much better. I used to think that products had to feel a bit uncomfortable if they were truly cleaning -- eyelashes are supposed to feel like they're falling out, right? -- when really SLS is in so many products it was hard to see the forest for the trees.
This does clean well, but I have to use it twice: once all over face and eye makeup, removed with warm, damp washcloth; and a second time massaged and rinsed. Supersoft, calm skin, and pain-free.
This is a fantastic cleanser for those with sensitive skin. It's 100 times better than Cetaphil. The one caveat is that you have to use something else to remove your makeup and sunscreen first, or you'll end up breaking out or constantly feeling like you've got residue left on your face (because you will - it's not powerful enough to remove makeup).
VERY GOOD FOR SENSITIVE SKIN, BETTER THAN Cetaphil
This might finally be my HG cleanser, or at least the closest I'll come. When I first started using it, I thought it left a slight residue that irritated me. But I think that was due to it not thoroughly removing m/u and sunscreen. Now, I pre-cleanse with safflower oil at night at then follow with Aquanil, and I'm left with super soft skin. I have never had a cleanser I could use both morning and night without being dry, but this one is working just fine for twice daily use (I've used it twice a day consistently for about a month now). Even though I've started using retinoids, my skin is still less dry now than it was with less harsh treatments and my old cleanser. I also really like the feel of this stuff on my skin, and the price is certainly right.
The reason I'm giving it a 4 and not a 5 is because it would really be ideal if it also removed makeup well, but I'm kind of thinking there's no such thing as a cleanser this gentle that also removes makeup. Oh well! All things considered, I'm really happy with Aquanil.