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 :(
I got this for dry skin, amazing!!!! does not bother eyes,excellent for removing all makeup, no scent, calming and skin very clear now, non drying and priced very well at I think $6.99
Holy-grail cleanser. I see little difference between the various Spectro Jel formulas, so I use the problem-prone one just in case, but once or twice I've bought the other formulas and don't see much difference. I like that this one is completely fragrance-free, though.
This is INFINITELY better than Cetaphil. Cetaphil leaves me with ever-increasing clogged pores. Spectro just leaves me with clean skin -- no residue, no extra dryness. Just skin.
It does NOT totally remove a ton of makeup or anything waterproof. You'll need eye makeup remover if you wear waterproof mascara, and you'll need a washcloth or maybe a brush if you're trying to use this to remove heavy foundation. Instead, I use this to remove any traces of residue from oil, and to "reset" my skin in the morning in the shower. Wouldn't go without it!
My skin condition summary:
Acne-prone (clogged pores, whiteheads, cystic hormonal, PCOS)
Hyperpigmentation from past acne on cheeks and chin
Darker forehead and around mouth with slightly lighter cheeks
I wish there was a "maybe" option under the "would you buy this product again". Anyway, I've been using this cleanser on and off for years but mostly back when I still believed that dermatologists had the answers for curing acne (they don't). It's a very gentle cleanser, which was a plus, considering that all the other products I used (toner, treatments, exfoliating) were harsh enough. So to balance the equation, it was good to have something gentle. I never relied on this to take off makeup---I precleanse with a cleansing oil first and then used Spectro Jel. It doesn't take care of acne at all, much less the giant cystic ones I get around my chin and mouth at the time of the month. You have to use stronger, more potent things for your acne. But I like that it doesn't dry my skin out. However, after I finish a bottle, I usually move on to other things to find better. I may come back to it or I may not.
My sister said she had great results after using this on her skin because it was really gentle... but I did not gain the same results. We both have troubled skin and I really did not like using this product.
My face did not feel clean after I washed it and I broke out even more cause I kept on touching my face - it felt dirty and itchy. Because this product is a gel, it doesn't foam and the package claims that you can lather the product on and just wipe it off without water. DO NOT DO THIS! It clogged up all my pores and got my face all congested! I will stick to salicylic acid foaming cleansers for now and stay away from gels.
I'm surprised this gets such great reviews. My skin is extremely dry and sensitive to winter conditions. Since using this (about a week now), I have noticed a few blackheads, which doesn't ever happen. My face has been flakey, which is nothing new in the winter, it's just that this hasn't helped whatsoever. Also, I find the smell terrible and toxic - like there is alcohol in it, which should never be in a dry skin product.
Will not be buying again.
Best Cleanser i've tryed, i used it last night and i can already see some improvement. Its the best! Try it :)