This Gentle Foaming Cleanser Banished My Body Acne (and My Face Is Looking Pretty Good, Too)

  • Value: 19/20

  • Functionality: 20/20

  • Quality: 20/20

  • Aesthetics: 18/20

  • Speed of skin improvement: 18/20

  • TOTAL: 95/100

One of the perks of writing about beauty is being sent samples of new or best-selling products to test for yourself. After a while, though, it can become difficult for any one product to really stand out from the pack—all the moisturizers do a pretty good job of keeping my skin happy, there are a multitude of masks that succeed in deep cleaning my pores and cleansers all seem to cleanse just fine. I’d never really found any one version of these three skincare staples that I felt was worth buying repeatedly or that might cause me to swear off ever using anything else again. And then I tried Skyn Iceland.

The tube of Skyn Iceland’s Glacial Face Wash with White Willow Bark came alongside a box of the brand’s new Dissolving Microneedle Eye Patches. It wasn’t the focus of the care package, just an additional top-seller added to the mix and consequently sat under my bathroom sink for a month before my old cleanser ran out and it was time to crack open a new one. I squeezed out a small dollop into my hand in the shower and was immediately impressed with the gentle foam texture and how it felt being rubbed into my skin. As it turns out, a little goes a long way, so I used the excess to wash my shoulders, chest and upper back rather than let such a luxe-feeling cleanser run down the drain unused.

I was pleasantly surprised by how fresh my face felt after washing. Unlike whatever I had been using before, this left my skin feeling really and truly clean. The foam isn’t nearly as bubbly or, for lack of a better word, foamy as many of the other cleansers I’ve tried. And the addition of white willow bark, a naturally occurring for of salicylic acid, helps lift and remove dead skin cells for a gentle exfoliation. I continued to use it in the shower every evening on both my face and my upper body (it felt too good to limit to just my cheeks) and after just two weeks, I couldn’t help but notice that my skin looked good. Like, really good. Better than it had in a long time.

I’d been using Clearly Basics to combat persistent acne on my cheeks and jaw line, and while it definitely worked wonders on my pimple-prone skin, I still had the occasional flare up and more than occasional bout of bacne (and chest and shoulder acne). These all but disappeared completely with the use of the Glacial Face Wash. The paraben- and silicone-free cleanser (it’s also vegan) is formulated to refresh and soothe stressed out skin, whether that be from pollutant-heavy air, hormone changes or, you know, combating the realities of a global pandemic. And while I maintain the star of the show is the white willow bark for its incredible ability to exfoliate my skin without ever leaving it feeling raw, irritated or totally stripped of moisture, the real MVP might be the Icelandic Complex.

This blend of natural ingredients, unique to Skyn Iceland’s products, is comprised of pollution-free Icelandic glacial water, six essential minerals to hydrate and detoxify skin, arctic cloudberry and cranberry seed oils (the so-called “super fruits of the Arctic" which are rich in potent antioxidants) and pure molecular oxygen, which can go deep, deep, deep into the skin for a glowy boost from within. This is what gives your skin a supple, dewy look after every wash…and for hours afterward, too.

While I wouldn’t consider my skin to be sensitive, I do think the incredibly gentle ingredients that make up the Glacial Face Wash would work well for someone more prone to irritation than I am. Reviewers agree, with multiple self-described sensitive skin users raving about how calming and effective it is on their skin. While I’ll definitely continue to test drive any face masks or moisturizers that come my way, when it comes to cleansers, I’m pretty sure I’ve found my one true love.

Buy it ($30)

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