Very gentle and cleans my face nicely. I recommend pairing this with an acne fighting product after cleansing your face with this product (I use Neostrata Toning Solution) and my skin has been clearer than ever! I recommend this!
* ABOUT MY SKIN *
My skin is oily but dehydrated. My t-zone is an oil slick, but I also tend to get flaky around the nose and forehead. I have dark acne scars and hyperpigmentation on my chin. Any active acne tends to be extremely red and my cheeks get very red/flushed as well. I am no longer extremely acne prone after changing my diet, but I do still break out if I eat certain things I shouldn't.
* PACKAGING & PRICE *
Spectro Jel comes in a few different packages/sizes. I have used the small 200ml bottle for travel, and this is about $7 (CDN) at Wal-Mart. I usually purchase the 500ml pump bottle, which is around $11 from Wal-Mart. I have read that this is available in a 900ml size pump bottle from Costco as well! I have seen this at most drugstores such as Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall but I do prefer to buy this at Wal-Mart because it is cheaper there. The pump bottle is great, but you will have to open it when it's almost empty to get every last bit out. One full pump gives you quite a bit of product. The pump bottle itself is a sturdy, opaque white bottle with purple labelling. Both me and my SO use this once a day and a 500ml pump bottle lasts us almost 6 months.
* MY THOUGHTS *
I use this once a day at night. I use one full pump. I massage this in with my fingers for at least 30 seconds, usually more. I also like using this with my Olay Pro X face brush. When I am using the brush, I rub it all over my face first and then apply half a pump to the brush itself. This is a VERY gentle cleanser. It is NOT meant to remove makeup, so if that's what you're looking for, I would NOT get this. I pre-cleanse with jojoba oil, baby oil or even Pond's Cold Cream to remove makeup. You can apply this wet or dry. If you want to apply it dry, just put some in your hand and rub it on your dry face, then tissue or wipe it off. Spectro Jel has a fairly thick, gel-like consistency. Also, this does NOT foam up at all, as it is free of SLS and other sulfates, which is great. It is also free of dyes, lanolin, parabens and it is pH balanced to skin. Both the fragranced (blue bottle) and fragrance free (purple bottle) versions of the Blemish-Prone cleanser smell like alcohol to me. It is fairly strong and you will notice it when it's on your face, but it doesn't linger. I don't even notice it anymore because I've used this stuff for so long! This makes my skin feel SO nice after cleansing. When I first started using this as a VERY acne-prone teen, I was so put off because it seemed so boring and had no beads or colour and wasn't glamorous. I had tried what seemed like every cleanser for my acne, not realizing they were so harsh, and was so frustrated. I had used Neutrogena, Cetaphil, Olay, Aveeno, Biore, Clean & Clear, Dove Sensitive soap, Garnier, Phisoderm, Oxy, ProActiv and probably more that I can't think of off the top of my head. This is the ONLY cleanser that has never dried me out or stripped my skin, nor has it ever made me breakout, even when my acne was at its worst. It is the GENTLEST cleanser ever. Even though I am oily, most cleansers make my face feel very tight and dry afterwards. This cleanser makes my skin feel... normal! No, it doesn't have any fancy active ingredients or anything, but I prefer adding actives to my routine after cleansing, since you're just going to wash cleanser off anyways! And no, this did not singlehandedly resolve my acne, but I think that it helped by not irritating my skin or exacerbating any other skin problems I was having.
* FINAL POINTS *
My HG cleanser. Hands down. I LOVE it. It's about time I review it too, considering I have been using this for probably around 7 years! It was amazing on my acne-prone sensitive skin and it is STILL amazing on my oily, not-so-acne-prone, dehydrated skin. If you are looking for a very basic, gentle cleanser that makes you feel clean without feeling dry or stripped, try this. I have strayed from time to time and ALWAYS come back to this. I think it is well formulated, cheap (considering how long it lasts!), and non-irritating. It is just the perfect basic cleanser for me, and I will never stop buying this!
I think people don't understand what this cleanser is supposed to do. It's not supposed to take off makeup because if you have a cleanser that does that it is far too harsh for your skin. It's not supposed to clear up acne hence how it has no acne fighting ingredients in it. What it is supposed to do is gently clean the skin and give it a good base for acne products so that your skin is not further irritated. Anyways I am a spectro gel lover. Been faithful to it for 3 years. I have sensitive acne prone skin and other cleansers always irritate me. When I went to the dentist I saw that they had bottles of spectro gel everywhere to wash hands and face. Thought that was a good sign that the medical industry is using it. So buy! Definitely good basic cleanser. If only their moisturizer was upto snuff!!
I used to use this product and felt that it did nothing for me.. Now I realized it was because I wasn't massaging in the product for 30 seconds!
After reading reviews on MakeupAlley about spectrogel, I went out and purchased the acne prone bottle (purple label) for sensitive skin. Boy, am I ever glad I did!
Although spectrogel does not get ride of current acne, it helps minimize it and stops further acne from developing! It made my skin softer and has really cleared up some of the redness I was experiencing.
However, this product does NOT take off existing makeup therefore you must use another product before you use spectrogel. It is very gentle on my sensitive skin. I took the advice of another MakeupAlley contributer and I first rub the gel in circular motions on my DRY face. After doing this for a couple of seconds I wet my fingers and continue the circular motion for about 30 seconds. Than I wash off with water.
I purchased the bottle without the pump, therefore I feel that the packaging is a little awkward and comes out quickly. I have really noticed a difference and it is super cheap! Will buy again:)
Spectro Jel does not get the attention it deserves. My doctor recommended me to use this brand 8 years ago to treat my acne-prone skin during junior high school, and I have never turned to another cleanser since.
In truth, I usually use the Combination-Skin version, but Costco only had the Blemish-Prone one on sale, so I bought 2 of them in fairly large containers. It took a while to get used to the different smell, but just as I expected, it worked just as wonderfully. The gel is a smooth, no-nonsense cleanser that gets you CLEAN. No foaming and bubbles to irritate any sores or other problems on the skin - it is incredibly gentle. Though I've used this cleanser as part of a rigorous routine, it is the foundation of what I do twice everyday, and is gentle enough for whenever I feel oily. Make sure to massage it well into your skin for about a minute to feel really refreshed - the gel-based cleanser makes it so it's not such a chore :)
Fairly-priced and gentle for nearly any skin type. DEFINITELY will repurchase again. It's a staple cleanser that should be a part of any daily routine.
I love Spectro and I feel like these gels do not get enough attention- I hardly hear anyone talk about them. I have this cleanser currently in the acne prone skin version but I have owned the sensitive skin version before and both I feel preform equally well. I really like that since I have acne prone skin I can use the cleanser that is mean for acne prone skin because the cleanser is so gentle. I'm not really sure whether or not this helps with acne but for sure it does not break me out which is of course excellent. I also love that the cleanser comes in a huge bottle for around $10 that lasts you forever. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the scent of the cleanser. It is fragrance free but the smell of the ingredients is not particularly pleasant but it doesn't smell bad. My bottle is a bit old but SLS is not listed in the ingredients which is amazing and so hard to find. I'm sure I will continue to purchase this forever.
HG. Forever and ever. I have used this for the past 15 years, and every time I stray, I regret it. My skin is sensitive, acne-prone, easily clogged, dehydrated and oily, and over the years I've tried countless products- most of which address only one of these concerns, at the expense of the others. Not Spectro.
This is a non-foaming gel cleanser, which a lot of people have a hard time getting used to, but I personally find very nice. I wet my skin with warm water, and massage about a quarter-sized dollop into my skin. As the instructions say, give your face a good 30 second (I tend to go longer) massage with your finger tips. I remove with a warm washcloth, then splash with cooler water. Never leaves me tight or dry, never aggravates breakouts, and doesn't leave any weird film on my skin. Occasionally I do need a dab of moisturizer at night (I generally don't wear night cream) but that is only in the deepest, darkest of winter, and no cleanser can ward that level of evil off! I can't, however, speak for whether this removes make-up, as I don't wear anything on my face. If I am wearing heavier sunscreen in the summer, I tend to do a quick double wash.
I don't expect miracles from cleansers, and overly complicated ones are usually just that. Spectro IS basic, but consistently dependable and effective. I do use the "Lightly Scented" version, whose scent is really negligible, and have found little difference between that one and the fragrance-free version. I generally just buy which ever one is in stock. The large pump size easy to keep in the tub or on the counter, and convenient for filling travel containers.
Loyal for life. Please don't ever change the formulation!
I have very sensitive dry skin. Unfortunately, I have had an increasing tendency for breakouts. I am so glad I reached for this last time I was at the pharmacy. It is exactly what my dry irritated skin needed. It doesn't strip you skin or contain parabens, SLS or other irritating ingredients. It gives you a clean feeling (unlike cetaphil) without the tight dry feeling. It's perfect! My breakouts/skin coloured bumps have calmed considerably when I started using this and my skin is looking better and better. All of this and it is CHEAP! I paid under 7$CAN. I really couldn't tell the difference between the breakout prone version or the sensitive version, but I went with breakout prone just in case.
Two downsides which I am willing to overlook:
1. Because it is unscented, people will say it smells bad. Which is true. But I'll take that over potentially irritating fragrances any day.
2. The packaging is pretty ugly to be honest. But, hey, it's just sitting on your shower shelf or medicine cabinet. A small price to pay for happy skin.
I truly truly love this product. It is very different from most other cleansers in that it uses a glycerine base to cleanse your skin very gently and to not upset your skins' PH which I've learned is hugely important.
Your skin has it's own natural acid mantle that protects against bad bacteria. Most harsh cleansers strip your skin of this acid mantle, allowing bacteria to invade your pores and wreak havoc on your skin. Most people that are aggressively washing their faces are actually worsening their skin problems. Since I have started using Spectro Jel, my skin has been smooth, healthy, clear, and my overly oily skin now acts "normal". I cannot see myself straying from this cleanser anytime soon and before this I was very loyal to my Bioderma Sebium. If I do get a breakout, they are very small and superficial and are gone in a day tops. This will remove your makeup if you wipe this off with a wet washcloth. I wear foundation, bronzer and blush daily and have no problems with removing my makeup. You must follow this instructions and rub it in for 30 seconds tops.
As someone with very dry scare prone acne skin, this non-foaming, SLS-free, and fragrance-free cleanser is a life saver. It has literally been my HG cleanser for 6 years!
When I properly use this cleanser and moisturize my face, I am relatively acne free except for the one or two due to my monthly cycle. This cleanser has a thick gel consistency that isn't runny like a serum, but rather has a thick hold so you don't have to worry about it running and streaking down your neck.
I find this cleanser is most effective when you apply it to a dry face, massage it like you would any other cleanser, wet your hands a bit, massage some more, and continue this cycle for two three more times until most of the product has already been rinsed away. Then just rinse your face and finish up your routine as usual. With this method I find that most the icky stuff comes out without leaving my face dried and tight.
Word of caution: this product is not meant to remove makeup or mascara. When wearing makeup, I always wash once with Shu Uemura cleansing oil first then follow up with this gel cleanser.
UPDATE: Jan 2013, i think Spectro had a bad batch or changed the formula as my bottle was super runny and smelled different from the old batch. I'll repurchase again in a month or two's time to see if it is really a new formula. If so, I will discontinue purchasing as this new runny formula has done NOTHING for my skin :(