Photo:Courtesy of Versed
It's no secret—balanced, amply hydrated skin is the undeniable gateway to supple, dewy, youthful-looking skin. (Trust me—my 73-year-old dad looks ten years younger every time I force a hefty dollop of face cream on him.) Oddly, however, so many popular skincare products are working very much against us in that department. An alarming number of cleansers are overly harsh—stripping essential moisture from our skin and throwing our skin's delicate microbiome into precarious imbalance, and don't get us started on toners... many of which are notorious for being far too acidic and biting for our dew-starved winter skin.
Photo:Courtesy of Versed
Of course, not all cleansers and toners are the devil incarnate for sensitive complexions, but as beauty editors, we pass on plenty more than we should due to unfavorable ingredient lists that we know will only dehydrate our skin. Therefore, we couldn't have been more excited when our non-toxic, sustainably-made sister skincare line Versed announced their newest launch: a milky, dreamy, plush-as-silk cleanser that not only effectively detoxifies and deep cleans pores, but pays it forward by reinvigorating skin with a hearty dose of nutritious moisture. Below, we're sharing everything you need to know about Versed's new Gentle Cycle Milky Cleanser ($15) in addition to sharing a handful of our editor's honest reviews and favorite complementary products from the brand. Keep scrolling!
Why You'll Love It
Photo:Courtesy of Versed
This isn't your average cleanser, folks. Heck, this isn't even your average hydrating cleanser. Instead, think of this no-suds face wash as a five-for-one gem that effectively cleanses with the same finesse and TLC as the gentle cycle you'd use on your most-treasured delicates. It's pH-balanced to protect your skin's delicate barrier while simultaneously quenching its thirst with lush, high-quality nutrients for optimum hydration levels and a silky-smooth finish. It's great for all skin types (even acne-prone!), but it's especially clutch for anyone with particularly dry or sensitive skin. Or, you know, just anyone currently dealing with the inevitable winter-skin scaries. That's all of us, right?
Additionally, double cleansers and non-double cleanser alike will fall for the marshmallow-esque texture and how easily it melts into your skin to effortlessly lift away built-up residue, grease, makeup, and dirt. We have a feeling that you'll also appreciate that the packaging is made with 50% PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic, and like all of its brothers and sisters in the Versed family, the formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. (To get into the nitty-gritty, of what "non-toxic" means to Versed, you most definitely won't find any of the below in the safe-for-skin recipe: artificial fragrances and dyes, parabens, silicones, sulfates (SLS/SLES), added phthalates, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde-releasing agents, PEGs, NPE, BHT, triclosan, triclocarban, petroleum, coal tar, mineral oil, talc, micro-plastics, hydroquinone, and more.)
Editor's note: Please recycle! Remove the pump, and throw it away with all of its pieces. Be sure to rinse out any remaining product residue and toss the bottle in your recycling bin. (Versed shares that The PCR PET is a #1 plastic and widely accepted by municipal recycling facilities.)
Photo:Courtesy of Versed
Oat Milk: Fun fact, colloidal oatmeal is known as one of the most soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients you can treat dry, irritated skin to. And, lucky you, Versed's Gentle Cycle Milky Cleanser is chock-full of the stuff. In addition to its aforementioned soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, it's also loaded with other calming skin benefactors like lipids, beta-glucan, fatty acids, and antioxidants. It's like a velvet-lined cradle for your face.
Probiotics: By now you've likely heard how great probiotics are for your skin. (And if you haven't, check out our write-up, here.) Essentially, these healthy bacteria help balance off-kilter skin while promoting skin clarity, and keeping breakouts at bay. You'll likely also notice a downtick in redness.
Marula Oil: This rich, moisturizing plant oil hydrates parched, dry skin while handily evening out rough texture or redness. According to Versed, it's a wealth of dew- and elasticity-enhancing fatty acids, and it even contains naturally-occurring antioxidants like vitamin E.
Blackberry Vinegar: We love when products contain cool, super-effective ingredients you don't see every day, and we're especially excited about this one which acts like a natural, skin-hugging astringent. It helps restore balance to the skin while nixing pimple-causing bacteria, and it plays especially well with the cleanser's probiotics to keep your skin's microbiome calm, cool, and collected.
How to Use It
Photo:Courtesy of Versed
This is the fun part because the sky is the limit as far as the cleansing options you get with this cleanser. As we mentioned above, this is not a foamy, sudsy, frothy cleanser, so don't expect a face full of bubbles once you start massaging it into your complexion. (Psst! This is a good thing—it will never leave your skin feeling tight, itchy, dry, or stripped!)
Using circular motions, the brand recommends gently working a quarter-size amount into dry skin, adding in a little bit of water with your fingertips, and continue to massage for a full minute. (The more product you use, the creamier and milkier it will get on your face.) Then, rinse well and follow up with the rest of your skincare routine whether you're using it AM or PM. Feel free to use it on its own or as the first step in a double-cleansing routine to easily liquify and erase makeup and/or daily grime.
Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor
Skin type: Combination.
Major skin concerns: Acne, uneven skin texture, pigmentation, sensitivity.
The review: I never really cared about cleansers or gave them much thought until I realized that lots of the new formulas coming out (especially natural ones) really irritate my skin and trigger my acne. Even though cleansers are only on your face for a few minutes tops, the ingredients are getting deep, down into your pores, and now I'm hyper-aware of the formulas I choose. In general, I steer clear of cleansing oils, balms, and yes, even milks, because many contain too many oils or coconut derivatives that my clog-happy skin just can't tolerate. So even though I'm always looking for a face wash that is hydrating and won't strip my face, I was a wee bit wary to try something as rich as this new one from Versed. As much as I want to love a skincare product, my pores usually have their own separate agenda.
I do have to say that while I probably wouldn't use this cleanser every day, I love how lotion-like and calming it feels as you work it into your skin. (I also like how easily you can customize how milky it gets on your skin by how much water you add to it while you massage.) My complexion definitely felt cleaner, softer, and brighter afterward, and unlike so many cleansing milks I've tried, I detected zero residues after I washed it off. Prior to trying it, I was convinced I'd have to wash my face with my go-to gel formula, but that was so not the case. In fact, my skin felt so good afterward I was tempted to skip the rest of my skincare routine. (Also, look how much it reduced my redness!) It has a totally natural, neutral scent, and I appreciate that I couldn't really smell anything as I washed. If anything, I detected something reminiscent of oatmeal (which wasn't unpleasant!), which isn't too surprising since calming colloidal oatmeal is one of the starring ingredients. All in all, I'm super impressed.
Trust me—I have access to clean, physical scrubs like this one that are 10 times the price and ten times less effective. I've become increasingly obsessed with everything about this yummy formula—from the fresh, invigorating scent to how sparkling, smooth, and even it makes my bump-prone complexion.
Honestly, this eye cream should be so much more expensive than it is, but I'm definitely not going to be the one to tell Versed that! It has a light touch of ethically sourced mica so it really brightens up my stubborn dark circles, but it's also exceptionally hydrating so I feel like I'm packing a major punch in the anti-aging department. Plus, it doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes like so many other natural eye creams do.
Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY
Skin type: Normal to dry.
Major skin concerns: Dryness!
The review: Since my biggest skin concern is dryness, I prioritize cleansers that won't dry my skin out or strip it of its natural oils. I really love gel cleansers because they feel so soothing on my skin and are normally good at keeping my skin moisturized, without feeling oily.
I was so excited when I found out that Versed was coming out with a milky cleanser. I already love the gel cleanser and use it daily, so I was intrigued by this creamier option, which I thought would be helpful during the dry months of winter. It felt so smooth and soothing when I massaged it onto my face. When I rinsed it off, my skin felt clean, but not that type of "squeaky" clean that often feels like all the moisture has been zapped from your face (aka it was a good thing!). In fact, my skin felt softer and more moisturized––you can kind of see in the before and after that, even my lips came out looking a little less chapped at the end! This is definitely the type of cleanser I could use daily because it doesn't irritate my skin at all.
Weekend Glow is one of my favorite everyday toners. It exfoliates my skin and gets rid of any dullness, but it doesn't dry it out or leave it red. I would pair this with the cleanser for my morning routine.
I'm normally wary of trying new retinol, but when I tried this one, I was pleasantly surprised and breathed a sigh of relief. It didn't irritate my skin at all and it's easy to use daily. I'm planning on applying the retinol after using the milky cleanser at night.
Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor
Skin type: I have combination skin with dryness around the mouth, especially during the winter.
Major skin concerns: Moisture retention and texture refinement are my top concerns at the moment.
The review: I've been steering clear of any cleansers that draw too much oil out of my skin. To that same point, I'm loving cleansers that can grip makeup and sunscreen without leaving skin ultra-tight in the process. I'm not afraid of a double-cleanse, but the products that can get the job done in one step get bonus points from me.
As an avid mascara and liquid eyeliner wearer, I've been duped by more than my fair share of gentle cleansers claiming to have makeup removing superpowers. There's nothing worse than furiously rubbing suds into my eye makeup only to rinse and emerge looking like a soggy raccoon. On the other hand, melting away makeup at the expense of a layer of oily film that needs to be washed off with yet another cleanse isn't exactly ideal, either. The fact that this cleanser can do everything I need it to, without foaming and without leaving gunk all over my face is an actual miracle. I'm not ready to part with my beloved Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm ($18) for those days when I'm in the mood to double-cleanse, but for those more frequent occasions when I need to get it done fast and without a follow-up, this is the bottle I'll reach for. I was legitimately amazed that it removed every stitch of makeup without the need for any harsh scrubbing or tugging to get off even my stubborn mascara. On top of the exceptional single-step cleanse, it leaves the skin so soft and supple without skewing greasy. Just wow.
For an even deeper cleanse, a quick spin with this trusty acne cleanser is just the ticket. On its own it can be a little drying, but paired with a balm or oil-rich cleanser like Gentle Cycle Milky Cleanser, it's perfect.
Dry winter skin is no match for this thick cream.
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
Skin type: Combination.
Major skin concerns: Dryness and occasional breakouts.
The review: I want my cleanser to be a luxurious experience so that I actually don't mind washing my face. Whether it's a lovely scent or a super foamy or creamy feel, I like to feel like I'm getting a premium clean. Like everyone, I also look for something that actually cleans (mascara is always the ultimate test!) and doesn't leave my face feeling overdried.
I love the category of milky cleansers because they feel a bit more hydrating and gentle than gel cleansers but aren't so oily, like cleansing balms, which always secretly leave behind buildup that blocks my skincare. They're the perfect middle-ground cleanser to me, which is why I'll reach for this one again and again. There isn't really a scent to it, which is definitely preferred over artificial fragrances. As for how well it works, it stripped off my mascara equally as well as my cleansers that are three times the price. It's low on frills, but that's why I like it. The big bottle seems like it will last a long time, too.
This toner is my favorite product to use following a Versed cleanser. It prepares my face for my skincare routine, and rebalances my face post wash.
I haven't bought new cotton pads in over a year thanks to these!