Monday, January 30, 2012

La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel & Milk Review

La Roche-Posay is an European based brand focused on dermatological skincare using thermal spring water. Originally designed as complementary products intended for use with doctor prescribed treatments for skin disorders such as acne or eczema, La Roche-Posay has in it's 30 years of existence branched out into consumer end skincare, while still focusing on dermatologically developed products.

La Roche-Posay sent me two cleansers for review - the Physiological Cleansing Gel and the Physiological Cleansing Milk. I have been testing both cleansers over the last month. Both cleansers retail for approximately $22.00 CA/200 ml bottle.

 La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel

This product is designed to clean normal/combination sensitive skin. The brand claims it can effectively remove waterproof makeup, has a physiological PH (PH equivalent to that of skin), is soap/alcohol/dye/paraben free and non-comedogenic.

This cleanser reminds me of Cetaphil - both are non-foaming gel cleansers for sensitive skin. Where this cleanser differs from Cetaphil is in it's texture and it's ability to remove makeup. La Roche-Posay's Physiological Cleansing Gel has a viscous (slightly sticky) texture which makes it a lot thicker than Cetaphil. Although this stickiness may sound unappealing, the texture helps it cling to the skin and really allows you to massage the product into the skin without the fear of tugging. I find that this product is also strong enough to remove most makeup - although if I wear heavy eye makeup (primer, MAC Paint pots, waterproof liner/mascara etc.) I would still remove those products with a dedicated eye makeup remover like Lancome's Bifacial before cleansing.

While I don't have sensitive skin by definition, my skin is drier and more sensitive to the environment in the winter. Edmonton has a pretty unforgiving climate (dry, dry and drier) and in the winter I like to turn to non-foaming cleansers in an effort to stave off dryness. Having used this at night for the past month, I would definitely recommend it. It manages to leave my skin feeling clean but not stripped of it's moisture. In comparison to Cetaphil, I find this product leaves my skin feeling cleaner especially if I've been wearing makeup. Another aspect of this cleanser I love is the smell, which is clean and not overwhelming.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Milk

This product  is designed to clean dry/very dry sensitive skin. Like the gel cleanser, the brand claims it can effectively remove waterproof makeup, has a physiological PH (PH equivalent to that of skin), is soap/alcohol/dye/paraben free and non-comedogenic.

This cleanser is much richer than the gel version, and you can definitely feel a layer of moisturizer left on your skin after cleansing with this product. Just as I don't technically have sensitive skin, I also technically don't have dry skin. However, due to the aforementioned climate of Edmonton in the winter, I will often use cream cleansers in the morning. My rationale for this practice is that in the absence of a day's accumulation of dirt and makeup, my skin only requires the gentlest cleansing. Having that extra layer of moisture on my skin really helps my skin stay supple throughout the day. At first I was worried I might get really greasy in my t-zone or break out because of it's very rich texture. However, I didn't find my t-zone to get any greasier than if I used another cleanser. 

I also encouraged my boyfriend to use this product. In my opinion my boyfriend definitely qualifies as having dry sensitive skin. His skin is prone to redness, flakiness and irritates easily - so much so that he often doesn't wash his face complaining that cleansing makes his skin drier. He's been using this cleanser since I received it and he does report less dryness. I too notice an improvement in his skin's texture when he cleanses with this regularly.

General Thoughts

I think both of these cleansers are excellent choices, especially in the winter months. La Roche-Posay is a brand completely new to me, and these first products I've tested have impressed me. My skin is such that I can generally get away with using most cleansers - so I tend not to be too choosy either way - but I can say that I love the gel cleanser and would definitely purchase and recommend this product.



  1. My mum just bought me the milk and toner. I'm a bit confused on how to use it. the milk doesn't say to wet the face first. So I was wondering if its a given to wet the face first? Also I hardly ever wear makeup, do you think its give to use the milk still?

  2. Hi Anonymous

    Wetting your face before cleansing is fairly standard as the water will help the cleanser emulsify any of the dirt/oil on your face. Think of it like trying to wash your hands with hand soap - works much better when your hands are wet right? The few exceptions to this rule are cleansing oils and cleansing water.

    Although you don't wear makeup it is still important that you cleanse your face, so yes I would recommend using the milk cleanser daily.

    Hope that helps! J