Mild but effective is exactly what I look for in a daily face wash.

By Maggie Seaver
January 22, 2021
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My skincare routine is pretty minimal and practical, and I've always been a drugstore-find sort of gal (I love Cetaphil and Cerave when it comes to facial cleansers and moisturizers). But I have to hand it to Glossier—its best-selling Milky Jelly Cleanser is an ideal wash for a face like mine: sensitive to harsh products, acne-prone, dry (especially in the winter!), and low-maintenance on the makeup front.

This product isn't new—it's been both a Glossier cult favorite and a staple on Real Simple's list of best face washes for a while now—but even though I'm late to the game, I'm hooked. I use the Milky Jelly Cleanser every morning and sometimes at night (I'll switch to a more powerful foaming cleanser if I'm trying to remove a full face of waterproof makeup, post-workout sweat, or a day's worth of sunscreen). 

The best way to describe this cleanser is like a purifying conditioner for skin. You can apply directly to dry skin for optimal removal of makeup and daily grime, or massage onto wet skin for a general refresh. It doesn't foam, which might be a turn-off for those who want to feel like they're truly scrubbing away the past; but as someone who's always on the lookout for non-irritating products that still do the work, I so appreciate its ultra-creamy gel consistency. As I lather, I can tell it's melting away dirt and makeup, refreshing my complexion, and seriously softening as it cleans. It doesn't tingle, clog, or irritate my skin at all, so I'm sold.

And it doesn't just feel like it's doing all this—it's actually formulated with a mild but potent cleaning agent, poloxamer, that's also found in contact lens solution. So if it's gentle and effective enough for eyes, you know it's good enough for skin. I'm also a huge fan of this cleanser's clean, natural, and barely-there scent of rose water, which soothes as it ever-so-lightly perfumes my face and hands, without any overwhelming, synthetic, or irritating fragrances. Best of all, a little goes a long way, so it lasts for months. I've used my bottle for almost a month now and have barely noticed a dent. 

If you're looking for an everyday cleanser for dry, sensitive skin, I highly recommend hopping on the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser train.


To buy: $18,; or $29,