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The Gentle — But Effective — Cleanser Steph Has Been Swearing By

It gets skin really clean without leaving it feeling stripped.
Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser, $28, available here.

Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser, $28, available here.

At first glance, you might not think there's anything unique about this face wash. I didn't, if I'm being honest. The clear gel has a faintly herbal scent and a nice, viscous texture, but to me it seemed fairly standard at first — and I was even a little wary of it, given how drying and stripping I find most gel-based "deep" cleansers to be. But during a recent press event with Peach & Lily founder Alicia Yoon, she mentioned that despite the fact that it does get a bit sudsy and foamy, the formula does so without traditional sulfates, instead relying on two non-irritating cleansing agents (one of which is derived from coconuts). That means it doesn't mess with the skin's moisture barrier in the way ordinary gel cleansers might, making it far more gentle.

Combine that less-harsh cleansing power with calming ingredients like cica, chamomile and camellia, plus brightening licorice root extract and a dose of hyaluronic acid, and it's quite a unique cleanser, indeed. This becomes evident in the way skin feels after using it: It's very, thoroughly clean (though I'd recommend using a makeup remover or oil cleanser first for the eye area), but not tight or parched in the slightest. Given that my winter skin default is to be battling breakouts beneath flaky, inflamed dryness, it's pretty much exactly what I need to get things balanced out.

Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser, $28, available here.

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