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Glossier cleanser
Courtesy of Glossier

An honest review of Glossier’s new face wash Cleanser Concentrate

We give you the lowdown on the brand’s first cleanser since Milky Jelly

Back in 2015, Emily Weiss posed a question to the readers of Into the Gloss – what’s your dream face wash? The answers came in their thousands and helped to build one of Glossier’s most beloved products and the brand’s first cleanser, Milky Jelly. Gentle, creamy, conditioning, and safe on the eyes, Milky Jelly epitomised Glossier’s simple, dreamy, pastel pink philosophy. But, everything could have been completely different. The brand could have gone down a second path.

“When we asked our community ‘What’s Your Dream Face Wash?’ the responses were interestingly, quite split. While many people asked for a gentle, pH-balancing, and makeup-removing cleanse, others were craving that deep, pore-level clean,” says Chenaya Devine-Milbourne, Glossier’s senior director of product marketing and development. While ultimately the brand decided to go with the former, in the back of their minds they knew at some point down the line there would be a second dream face wash.

Five years later and that time is now. Introducing Cleanser Concentrate, a clarifying, exfoliating face wash for everyone who likes that deeper clean. Promising to give a smoother, brighter, more even-looking complexion and visibly refine pores, Cleanser Concentrate is fragrance-free and packed with naturally-derived actives including fruit extracts, grape ferment, and conditioning calendula. 

“Thanks to all of our community insights, we knew what our community wanted in an exfoliating cleanser - no gritty substances, no added fragrance, no drying or stripping side effects, but instead, something that was deeply cleansing, energizing, and lightly foaming,” says Devine-Milbourne. “We couldn’t be more excited to share Cleanser Concentrate.”

But what does it actually feel like to use? I’ve been testing the product out for the last two weeks and here are my thoughts.


Over the years, Glossier has become synonymous with the pale pink hue that dominates most of its branding so opening up the (pale pink) box only to be met with the warm amber cleanser was a surprise, although not an unpleasant one. Housed in a recyclable glass bottle, the cleanser looks like rich honey and has a light-weight, gel-like consistency. It will definitely look good in your bathroom cabinet and gives you a luxe feeling that isn’t reflected in its price of £18. 


Glossier advises you to massage one to two pumps of the cleanser onto wet skin for 60 seconds in order to allow the ingredients to fully activate on skin. My first thought as I started to massage it onto my skin on that first day was that we didn’t have a clock in our bathroom. Quick in a pinch, however, I solved the problem of marking a minute by quietly singing Happy Birthday to myself three times. The cleanser emulsifies very slightly, foaming enough to be satisfying but not too much to be drying, and overall the time flies by. After rinsing with warm water, my skin always feels clean and very soft but never dry or tight. 


My skin is oily and acne-prone so I do love a cleanser packed with AHAs, although I have learned the hard way that my princess and the pea skin doesn’t take kindly to daily exfoliating. So, I personally used the product a few times a week and alternated with a more gentle, non-exfoliating cleanser on the other days. For those with oily skin that isn’t such a sensitive drama queen, you can work up to using it twice daily. For anyone with dry skin, Glossier recommends sticking with Milky Jelly as your daily wash and using Cleanser Concentrate a few times a week. 

After using the cleanser a few times a week for a couple of weeks, I would say I’ve been very happy with it so far. It’s too soon to tell if the claims around brightening and refining pores will prove accurate but what I can say is that it does a great job cleansing my skin of daily oil and dirt and my skin always feels very soft after using it. I have officially incorporated it into my regular routine and will continue to keep using it and recommending it to anyone looking for an exfoliating cleanser.