Sunday, 27 March 2016

Honest Beauty Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser

What is it?
A gel cleanser. (I know: obvious.)

Who is it for?
It makes no skin type specific references, but after using it I would suggest it's better for the slightly more combination skins. It wouldn't be my first choice for dry skin types.

What’s in it?
Water (Aqua, Eau), Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Saponaria Officinalis Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Abies Sibirica (Fir Needle) Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palma Rosa) Oil, Pelargonium Graevolens (Geranium) Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Lauryl Glucoside, Gluconolactone, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

What's not in it?
SLS, SLES, sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde carriers, PEGs, MCI/MI, steareth-n, synthetic fragrances, dyes

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
essential oils

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?

How does it smell?
Fresh, not particularly strong.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
The instructions say to 'Dispense 1-2 pumps of cleansing gel. With water, rub hands together to create a gentle foam. Massage onto wet face. Rinse and pat dry.'

I prefer to put 1-2 pumps (they're generous pumps, so usually 1 is sufficient) onto fingers and apply it directly to dry skin, then add a teeny bit of water to 'spread' it out. Massage into skin, remove with flannel in the usual way.
I've tried it the other way, I prefer it this way.

How long before you should see results?
It's a cleanser so you're good to go with one try. :)

How long did I test it for?
On and off for a few weeks.

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
$18.00 for 150ml. Difficult to say exactly, but if you use this every morning, it should last you at least two months/ten weeks, so I would guesstimate around 24-30 cents a use? If you're careful with it and don't use it to remove makeup, but as a morning or second cleanse, that would probably reduce by half.

What’s good about it?
This is a perfectly acceptable cleanser and a good one to check out for those of you that love gels, but obviously don't want to dry your skin out with ones laden with SLS. If you prefer to splash off in the mornings or don't like to overuse flannels, this would also work. It does rinse away well without the flannel.

What’s not so good about it?
I personally wouldn't use this to remove makeup. It's certainly not great for heavy eye makeup. I'd use it as a morning or second cleanse.

Works well with?
Works well as a second cleanser after an oil-based first cleanse as the mild soap element removes any remnants of oil.

Would I repurchase?
Yes, but probably for Ava. The lack of heavy-duty chemicals* and the light texture would make it great for teens/young skins.
*I cannot bring myself to use the term 'non-toxic'.

What’s the website like?
It's what I would call 'nice-looking basic'. It's pretty to look at, has some video content and lists the ingredients, but there's scope for more. Q&As would be good, more info on the background of the company etc. Still, it's early days.

Similar products?
REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel
NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly
OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Honest Beauty Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser is $18.00 for 150ml and available from

Not a sponsored post. No affiliates. Full information can be found here:


  1. Hi Caroline!

    I know this isn't exactly related to this product in particular, but more about your product reviews in general, but something I would love to see is what age group a product is appropriate for. I have read some concerning statements from dermatologists (I believe including Dr. Marko Lens) about peptides being damaging for skin in the 20s age group, but it seems like everything I see has peptides! So basically I would particularly love to see the age group a product is good for, and who it would be potentially harmful/damaging for, in addition to the skin type. I would really find this helpful, as I would hate to go spend £££ on something that isn't going to do anything, or worse, do something harmful.

    Also, I noticed you said you were having some issue with product from the States. I am located on the East Coast right now and have done a bit of shipping to the UK, so if you are interested in perhaps slightly more expedited shipping/accessibility to the products that don't ship there currently, I am happy to help out.

    Thanks so much for all the work you do for us on this blog! You've really helped my understanding of skin outside of the typical prescription solutions for skin problems, and I don't think there's a single person who wouldn't be able to learn something from you. Thanks again!

  2. It's all great and lovely, but why won't companies disclose the pH of their cleansers?

    1. Even when they do, it sometimes isn't accurate. :p

    2. Mia, sadly that's true, too.
      Or they act surprised and claim they don't know when you ask them.

      Having said that, Caroline, you'd be doing all the gods' work if you decided to include pH in your cleanser reviews.

  3. Happy Easter to you and your family!!! Xxx

  4. Thanks as always Caroline! It's nice to see how some of the more "green" formulations hold up against the real heavy hitters. If you're looking for a fabulous SLS-free gel cleanser for morning/second cleanse, give OSEA's Ocean Cleanser and Indie Lee's Brightening Cleanser a try! Both give just the the right amount of exfoliation for daily use, smell absolutely scrumptious, and the brands have really solid back stories and commitment to their products. Happy Easter from America!

  5. I´ll stick with the chemicals as well, being out of my teenage years for, well, years.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  6. How did you find KS Goat milk cleanser? Any details of when it will available & if they'll be (bloody, finally) back in the UK?? :)

  7. Dear Caroline,
    Sorry to threadjack, but as an avid and very regular reader, I was so upset I missed the review follow-up comments! So I will keep it very brief in hopes of a brief (if unlikely) answer.
    1. Skinceuticals c e ferulic. Worth the money?
    2. Glamglow. Worth the hype?
    A very happy Easter to you and your family!

  8. I don't know what to make of this brand some of the products interest me but it seems something always crops up at the moment when it comes to ingredients they say x y and z is t in there then they are tested buy someone and it turns out to be incorrect. Also the way they delt with the sunscreen controversy was beyond ridiculous

  9. Thanks Caroline! I find the listing of a few similar products really useful too as I can see if it's like a brand/product I've used previously before shelling out. Made that mistake with eve lom (and also didn't research properly) and it took me MONTHS to get my skin back to normal. Luckily eve lom works for my mum's skin so she's getting eve lom products for every gift for the foreseeable future. Yep, I really went to town without trying first...!

  10. I'm very sorry to write this here but the other comments are closed and have just heard of a new (I think) Alpha H product called Beauty Sleep Power Peel and would love to know your thoughts before I consider buying

  11. hi caroline! i know this comment is deviated from the topic you've posted. but, does apple cider vinegar really works for exfoliating toner? will it harm the skin? i've been searching for it on internet and people say it works, but those statement isn't enough for me to try apple cider vinegar.

  12. Random comment Caroline, but as a woman who loves her packaging have you seen the hermetic packaging of the La roche posay toleraine ultra eye contour?

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  14. Hey Madam Hirons! Your mention of NUDE in the similar products section reminded me to ask if you have any idea what's happening with the line in the US. NUDE has been pulled from Sephora, but the NUDE website still says that Sephora is their exclusive stockist in the US. Thought maybe you would have the insider goss--I will build myself a deep grave if I can't get ahold of their purify cleanser! Joking, joking...mostly. xx hope you've had a lovely Easter.

    1. I've heard that NUDE will soon be sold @ Target, though no idea re: any timeline. Hope that helps!

  15. I must say that I don't trust this company. About a week ago, they had to admit that their detergent was falsely labeled and does, indeed, contain SLS. So that makes me wonder about all the rest of the product line. Coming after the sunscreen fiasco, I have decided that this is one brand I'll be staying away from.

  16. Exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately they don't seem to ship products outside of the US... a lot of browsing on the website and wasted time for nothing... :(