Review: Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse

By Voxy  

dermalogica precleanseYes, you read that correctly. It’s a cleanser that you use before you cleanse. That I did not notice this oxymoron when I was forking over hard-earned dough for this product can only be explained by the fact that I was in a state of blissed-out post-massage-and-facial delirium at the time.

(Dermalogica does have, IMHO, one major win among its products, and another one that’s pretty good, but neither of them is this product.)

Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse is an oil blend (olive and apricot oils) that you use before using a regular cleanser. According to Dermalogica’s website, this cleansing oil “gently liquifies sebum and oil-based debris from the skin’s surface.” So it helps to remove those things that are hard to get off with a traditional cleanser. It sounded alluring at the time.

This is, for me, one hundred percent “meh.” You apply it to your dry, makeup-covered face and rub it in gently. It’s colorless and light, and it has a nice skin-feel. When you’re ready to remove the pre-cleanser and go on to the actual cleanser, you take a little bit of warm water and massage it into your face. The pre-cleanser turns from clear into a milky white emulsion, and you can rinse it off. Then you go on to your regular cleanser.

I’ve used this product maybe 10 times in the 2+ years I’ve owned it. It seems to serve the same function as an oil-based makeup remover, although it’s more sophisticatedly formulated (and also many times the price). If you have a good cleanser, you can just wash your face twice and get the same results. (If you have a really good cleanser, you can just wash your face once.) It doesn’t ever seem to have clogged my pores or made me oily, and when I went on to using the cleanser, the cleanser washed away the traces of pre-cleanser left on my face. It just seems like an unnecessary product to me.

I’ll finish the bottle I have, which at my current rate of use means I might be done with it by 2015, but won’t be purchasing it again.


Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse: $34 at ULTA

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): I guess I have to say “poor,” since I just feel the product isn’t necessary.

Purchase again? No, thanks.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)

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One Comment

  1. avatar Inthelab
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    You can use a cold cream to remove your makeup as well, before cleansing. Me, I just want to cleanse. Or wash. Whatever happened to wash, by the way?


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