“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” -Gwyneth Paltrow

Shiseido The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam

Image Courtesy of Me!

I'm an avid sunscreen user. Currently, I'm using Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF 55 PA+++. Just about anyone will tell you that sunscreen is imperative for the prevention of skin cancer and premature aging. However, what they won't tell you is that sunscreen can very easily clog your pores, especially if it's waterproof. It takes more than just your average cleanser to completely break down and remove a waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen. One of the things I do every day to make sure my face is absolutely, perfectly clean is to use a 2-step cleansing program in the evening to remove makeup and my sunscreen and cleanse my skin. First, I apply an oil-based, water-rinseable cleanser to remove all traces of makeup and to break down and remove my sunscreen. Then, I use a foaming face wash to be sure I've also removed every trace of the oil-based cleanser. I know it sounds a little redundant, but it works. I almost never break out, I don't have clogged pores, and I never wake up with "raccoon eyes." I have several good oil-based cleansers, including those made by Clinique, MAC, Bobbi Brown and Origins. I've had good results from every one of them. I'm debating whether to bite the bullet and try the famed Shu Uemura version as well. 

What I haven't always had good results from are foaming cleansers. Since my skin leans toward the dry/very dry side, many of the foaming washes strip my skin, leaving me feeling as if I'm one step away from turning into a mummy. There have literally been times when I've washed my face and then been afraid to move a muscle for fear that my skin will crack right then and there. Seriously. Very scary stuff. 

Now, I could simply use the oil cleansers on their own, as they are water rinseable and it's perfectly acceptable to use any one of them on its own without the need for a foamy follow-up. However, I'm really meticulous about my skin and need that second step--plus, I love the feel of a foamy, creamy lather washing my face every night. 

Shiseido's The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam

I received this cleanser as part of a Gift with Purchase, and I was really excited to try it because I've had some success with Shiseido cleansers in the past. Well, I'm just going to come right out and say it...this stuff is righteous!! It's extremely thick, coming out of the tube the consistency of toothpaste, yet it's whipped and easy to work with. It's one of the few products I've tried where it's actually true that you only need a pea-sized dollop. It foams up into a beautiful, creamy lather and spreads exceedingly well over the skin into a thick foam. It rinses off cleanly and completely. Most importantly, it doesn't leave my skin feeling Sahara-dry after use. I still definitely need moisturizer, but I don't feel stripped after rinsing and patting dry. 

I would recommend this for any and all skin types, as it leaves my skin feeling completely clean and refreshed with no residue, yet it does not dry my skin. For the purposes of this review, I even tested it alone to remove my makeup, and it did an admirable job. I did find that in order to remove all of my eye makeup I needed to use more than just a pea-sized amount, but not much more. If you're going to use this for nighttime makeup removal, I suggest using an eye makeup remover with it. I also ended up going back with my oil cleanser because I was wearing Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Cream which requires an oil-based cleanser, but if you don't have that issue, this could work as your singular cleanser. But you really should be wearing sunscreen every day. Every day. No matter what. Because if you don't use sunscreen every day, you'll end up old and wrinkly before your time, not to mention the skin cancer. And most good sunscreens really need an oil-based cleanser for proper and thorough removal. So really, you NEED to use it as I do, as a second step in your routine and in the shower in the morning. Just trust me on this one.  

In conclusion: Finally, I have found a bubbly, frothy, foamy cleanser that works for me without sucking the very life out of my face! It's like finding a little piece of skin care Nirvana.

Overall grade: A-


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