Review: L’OREAL Purifying Gel Wash

L'OREAL Purifying Gel Wash

Happy Friday! To round the working week off, I want to talk about a product that I recently realised I haven’t actually reviewed yet… This is the L’OREAL Purifying Gel Wash, which I remember picking up during my 3rd year of uni… Considering I graduated back in 2015… Yikes, time has flown! I’m not sure if this is still available on the market anymore, but for the chance that you happen to find it and want a review, this is who this review serves to benefit.

This is a product that sat in my Benched Skincare Box for quite a long time, mostly forgotten, but I pulled this out to use in my Project Pan that I’m currently working on, as it’s a non-cruelty-free product (at the time of writing, come on L’OREAL!). My attitude as an actively cruelty-free consumer is to work through my remaining non-cruelty-free products that are in my stash before my cruelty-free options, so I can gradually purge them out of my routine. So with this in mind, this is definitely not a cruelty-free option.

The product itself is a gel-based cleanser, which I use exclusively before I shower. For me, I shower every other day, so this isn’t an everyday cleanser for me. I alternate between this cleanser on shower-days and my water-based cleansers that sit on my vanity.

I’ll talk through my process with this cleanser a little bit further into the review, but let’s talk claims first. On the front of the bottle it claims:

“Removes impurities and helps unblock pores

Reveals clean and fresh skin

No soap”

As it’s aimed at normal and combination skin types, this is designed to work relatively well with my oily-sensitive skin, at least in combating some of the symptoms of the oily aspects of my skin type. My skin is prone to dehydration and congestion, and handling both of these issues without over-doing effort for either symptom can be a bit of a juggling act. It’s so easy to over-dry my skin in an attempt to relieve congestion, and it’s easy to over-do hydrating my skin and clog my pores in the process. Never mind the fun of hormonal imbalances, and so on. This stood out to me at the time as a potentially good option for me, because I knew I wasn’t going to use this as an everyday cleanser, so I’d limit myself from over-drying my skin while still working to clear my pores over time.

The back of the tube also has claims, which are as follows:

“SKIN PERFECTION, designed for normal to combination skin, is proven to remove make-up and impurities and reveal a better skin texture.


The transparent gel wash, infused with purifying actives, deeply removes impurities for an intense fresh sensation.


Beyond a clean feel, the Purifying Gel Wash reveal crystal-clear and fresh skin.”

I haven’t used this to remove makeup, so it’s a claim I can’t really dispute. As I described above, this is my pre-shower cleanser, and for me that makes this cleanser a first-step in my morning routine. So I use this when I don’t have makeup on my skin (I hope…)

As far as revealing a better skin texture goes, I use this with a rubber exfoliating brush (I bought an 8-pack of them from Amazon, which you can view here, not an affiliate link), so the cleanser acts like a cleanser and a mild exfoliator in one step. Because I don’t use this alone, I can’t tell if the ‘better skin texture’ that I get is purely from the cleanser or the teamwork from the two. As far as ‘better skin texture’ goes, it’s nothing extraordinary, but it does prepare my skin wonderfully for my next pre-shower step, which is when I apply face masks. So just for cleansing my skin, this has worked great for my skin.

The second paragraph says “intense fresh sensation” and I’m not sure if I’ve just gotten used to the cleanser, but I wouldn’t describe it as “intense”. My skin does feel fresh and clean, but it’s not quite “intense” for me. For me, this is a positive thing, as I don’t usually like very stark reactions to my skincare, even if it’s not negative reactions like irritation, allergies, etc. For me those intense reactions can be alarming and unnerving even if it’s a good reaction.

I don’t find this does an impressive job of clearing my pores on its own, but as part of my current shower routine, where it works alongside my face masks, my in-shower exfoliator (this is currently the Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub, which I’ve reviewed and is another Project Pan product), my skin does feel taken care of. I have normal to large sized pores, with my largest pores being on my nose and my cheeks. My pores on my nose are typically the ones that get clogged the most often, and is where I really notice the difference in my shower skincare routine. My chin also sees a lot of clogged pores – particularly whiteheads, but I don’t find skincare does a lot of work on them, they typically just need to be extracted as the pores on my chin are smaller.

L'OREAL Purifying Gel Wash

As far as the packaging goes, it’s a simple tube with a small hole dispenser, which you squeeze the product out of. I don’t really have anything special to say about the packaging, as it’s very conventional. I haven’t noticed that it’s prone to leaking, but I’m also not confident I’d want to travel with it either as the plastic tube itself is easy to crush.

L'OREAL Purifying Gel Wash

The formula itself is a thick clear gel, and lathers up into a soft foam when damped on my rubber exfoliating brush and then rubbed in circular motions over the skin. It takes a few circular motions to get the foam to start to build, but once it starts to foam, it’s easy to smooth over the rest of the face. This isn’t a product that creates an overbearing foam, I don’t have to worry about breathing in the foam through my nose or anything like that. I’m not a fan of foam-based cleansers, as they tend to be over-drying, but because this is gel based, I find this is gentle and soft enough that it cleanses my skin while not suffocating my face in foam.

Overall this is a decent cleanser, particularly for the routine I have at the moment. I don’t think my skin would agree with it as much if I used it every single day, but used only a few times a week, it works well for my skin. Because this isn’t a cruelty-free brand, I’m not really excited to buy more from this brand now, but I do excitedly await the day when L’OREAL do become cruelty-free. So with that in mind, I try not to look down on brands that aren’t cruelty-free yet, or zone them out, but watch their progress and embrace them if/when the day comes. As this product is part of my project pan, I will be using this up to completion unless it expires before then, and I can’t wait to go back to my Superdrug Calm Skin Skincare Soothing Facial Cleanser, which is sat in my Skincare Benched Products Box for the time being.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it means the world to me to receive your support. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.

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