Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser Review

For those that don’t know, Glossier is a beauty brand borne out of Emily Weiss’s blog, Into the Gloss, which features close looks at the beauty routines of beautiful people. This blog frustrates me for the same reason it fascinates me – regardless of what I put on my face, I’m never going to look like any of these women. I also suspect if Jourdan Dunn ditched her expensive, luxury routine for her old clean and clear cleanser, she’d still have perfect skin. Essentially, I read Into the Gloss as an aspirational source of distraction (and also because I love Emily), not as an actual source of skincare knowledge.


And so when Glossier launched their crowd-sourced Milky Jelly Cleanser, I was cautiously excited. On one hand, this method seemed to have identified a lot of problems I also had with cleansers, but on the other hand this wouldn’t be the first cleanser that worked well for seemingly everyone else that wouldn’t work for me. Ultimately, what convinced me to give this cleanser a try was that it was cheaper and easier to get my hands on than the Dr.Ci:Labo one I also had my eyes on. That and it comes with stickers. I LOVE stickers!


The Claim
One face wash to rule them all. This is the ultimate daily face wash: use on dry skin to dissolve away makeup and grime, or on wet skin as you start your day. The pH-balanced, creamy gel formula is made with a blend of five skin conditioners so your face is left feeling healthy and soft, never tight. Its cleansing power comes from the same gentle cleaning agents you’d find in contact lens solution, so it’s tough on impurities and still safe to use on your eyes. You’ll see.

Where does it fit in your routine?
This can be used as either a first cleanser or second cleanser. I tried using this as a first cleanser and didn’t like it, so I use it strictly as a second cleanser.

Size, Price, & Where to Buy
177ml or 6 oz for $18 on Glossier. You can get 20% off your first order by using this link

This comes in a translucent plastic bottle with a pump dispenser. I’m about halfway through the bottle and have only had issues with the pump getting stuck once or twice so overall, no complaints here. Also, Glossier gives you stickers that you can use to decorate the bottle!

This cleanser smells like fresh roses. It’s a very natural rose fragrance, but of medium intensity.

Color and texture
This cleanser has a translucent, white, gel-like texture.


Makeup removed: Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen, a bunch of Tosowoong Makeon liners, Nars Blush in Luster, Memebox X Pony Lipstick in Rose Garden

What’s in it?

    1/4 of the water content in this cleanser is rose water, which doesn’t do much except provide fragrance. If you like the scent of roses though, the rose water is a nice addition.
    These are the cleansing agents in this cleanser. According to Glossier, Poloxamer 184 is the surfactant used in contact lens solutions, so it is supposed to be gentle. PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate and Polysorbate 80 are both non-ionic surfactants (non-ionic surfactants are, in general, the least likely to irritate skin) and emulsifiers.

Acne Triggers & Irritants
Cosdna identifies Isopropyl Myristate (5) and Benzoic Acid (2) as acne triggers and Isopropyl Myristate (3) and Benzoic Acid (3) as potential irritants.

Full Ingredients
Water/Aqua/Eau, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Propanediol, Isohexadecane, Poloxamer 184, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Xylitylglucoside, Betaine, Allantoin, Glycerin, Panthenol, Symphytum Officinale Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Anhydroxylitol, Polysorbate 80, Xylitol, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Isopropyl Myristate, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide 


I’ve used a lot of cleansers in the past couple of months, and as a general rule have found that the tradeoff for the gentleness my skin needs is effectiveness in cleansing. I have a couple of cleansers in my rotation that suit my skin’s needs, but the problem with all of them is that none of them really feel like they make my skin cleaner. This cleanser breaks that rule.

You see, this cleanser has a lot of friction, both on dry skin and wet skin. On dry skin, I can feel the gel drag along my skin as I apply it. Yes, this cleanser removes makeup but I have to use a lot of product and even when I do, the gel tugs at my skin more than I would like when I’m applying it. After a few attempts, I quickly deemed this to be a second cleanser only, to be used after I’ve used an oil cleanser to remove any makeup and sunscreen.

As a second cleanser, I apply this cleanser on wet skin. The friction is still there, but greatly reduced, and actually becomes a good thing. It may be entirely psychological, but it seems like this cleanser is, well, cleaning! I feel like the gel is mopping up and sucking up any residue on my face that the first cleanser missed. I haven’t experienced this from any other second cleanser before, and I quite enjoy it!


pH looks like 5 to me, although the second square from the left looks like it might be even lower.

This, along with the rose scent, should make this cleanser a slam-dunk except that it is a tad bit stripping on my skin. This is not a harsh cleanser at all. This cleanser also has the skin-friendly pH of 5.0, and as mentioned, the surfactants used are all non-ionic, which as a group have the lowest irritation potential. However, on some days after using this cleanser, I sometimes notice my skin texture displaying the tell-tale rubberiness of freshly stripped skin. However, my skin is likely on the extreme side of dry, and I doubt normal, oily, or combo skin types would have an issue with this.

The Takeaway

I don’t like using this as a standalone cleanser, but as a second cleanser, it is very, very good. It is sufficiently gentle yet still feels like it’s actually cleaning. Likely suitable for all but the driest skin types.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Disclaimer: This product was purchased by me. This post contains an affiliate links. Purchasing an item through an affiliate link does not add any cost to the customer but does help support this site’s upkeep.

14 thoughts on “Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser Review

  1. emilysdaily says:

    I absolutely love (natural) rose scent anything. I always find it hard to have a cleanser that can do it all: cleaning without stripping the skin. My skin doesn’t seem to do well with anything besides double cleanse. Your review is so thorough! Now I am so tempted to try it even though I have a box of cleansers to “finish”. I can imagine starting my oil cleanse with Recipe’s Rose Oil cleanser following with this. Mmmm roses galore~!

    Liked by 1 person

    • V. Rex says:

      I had a friend stay with me for a few days and she literally pulled me into my bathroom and was like “we need to talk about your cleanser problem” LOL. I had to explain a bunch were rejects that I use for hand soap and cleaning makeup brushes, but I totally understand the frustration. Why do cleansers always last so long??


  2. Luxe and Lacquered says:

    Wow, this review is so thorough! Amazing! I ultimately decided (with your help) that this was not the product for me since I have another gel-y cleanser that works well for my super dry skin but this was a ton of fun to read. xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

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