I don’t use the term “life-changing” lightly, but this cleanser has, indeed, changed my life.

By Liz Steelman
Updated March 29, 2017
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Kakadu C Brightening Daily Cleanser
Credit: ulta.com

I’ve only recently been sucked into caring about skin care. In high school, I never took my eye makeup off or washed my face before bed and rarely even moisturized. It always felt like a chore. Yet now as a twenty-something, I’ve found that there’s something quite enjoyable about maintaining a daily and nightly skin care routine.

I’ve become obsessed with my nighttime routine, but there is one part I don’t love so much—taking off my eye makeup. I’ve tried countless remover wipes, oils, and liquids. It seems that even if I thought I removed all of my eye makeup, I would still wake up with some remnants of the day’s mascara or eyeliner under my eyes. Also, even the most gentle removers would have drying effects. So I found myself either just dealing with dry under eyes or skipping it altogether and embracing the slight raccoon look.

That is, until I started washing my face with Dermadoctor’s Kakadu C Brightening Daily Cleanser ($36, sephora.com) every night. I came across it at a beauty sale last summer here at the office and somehow convinced myself to put it in my tote. Little did I know it would change my life in a very small, but noticeable way. It might have been the second best beauty decision I’ve ever made (wearing sunscreen every day is the first!)

This cleanser removes everything from my skin without over-drying. It removes all traces of mascara flecks with one simple wash. I don’t even have to rub—I just put it on and my makeup magically disappears. It feels entirely too good to be true and has made me believe in the power of beauty products. I recommended it to my sister, who has always been more into skincare and makeup than me, and she loved it so much she immediately went to the store and bought a bottle of her own. I think I've even convinced her that I’m some sort of beauty guru now.


Even though I love my skincare routine, I’m not very brand loyal. I’m terrified of committing to certain beauty products. My bathroom drawers are filled with half-used bottles of moisturizers, serums, zit-zappers, and scrubs. To me, it seems that there’s so much on the market. Even if I love what a product’s doing to my face at the time, I’ll still look for something else when it’s time to refill. It's rare that I love a product this much.

I still have the original six-ounce bottle I got before Memorial Day last year. It doesn’t seem like it’s running out any time soon, even though two people are washing with it nightly (my roommate is a recent convert). I also never, ever spend more than $11 on a beauty product. So committing to spend $36 on a cleanser is very uncharacteristic indeed. But this one, I’ll admit, is worth every penny.