La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel


The phrase “came across my desk' is often used on the site as a politer way of saying, “a nice PR representative sent me this (for free).” Getting free product is a perk of working in beauty, as I enviously imagine that it is in other lines of work like for hotel reviewers and whoever gets to take all the Hot-N-Ready pizzas home at the end of the day from Little Caesars. I’ve heard tales of people related to flight attendants and, from what I gather, immediate family members use Delta like a regular person might use Uber.

I’m grateful for the endless generosity, without which I wouldn’t have come to know and love many of the things I use every day. Yet, there’s an emptiness. Once shopping is removed from the equation, the art of self-discovery and the high of good ol’ fashioned economic exchange go with it. I want to give my money to the purveyors of the finest glitter flake eye shadow (Stila), and also to Amazon seller COLORS OSAKA for the discontinued concealer that Jenna Lyons said is supposed to be really great. Some purchases are more out of necessity because my moral inclination says that if I use something until it’s gone, I should probably buy the next round rather than request it from those benevolent PR offices.

And thus, I’ll jump right into The One Thing: the (or one of the) products that was so irresistible at the CVS end cap, whose e-comm copy was so enticing, whose formula is just that damn good, that I purchased it for myself this week. It's a form of nitty-gritty market research on my end that feels more genuine than plucking things from the product closet (which isn't to say that there aren't merits to that form of discovery, too—there are many more indie brands I would have never heard of had they not reached out—but, you know what I'm saying).

Today I'd like to recommend La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel, my third purchase after sucking the two previous pumps dry of that milky, pudding-like goodness. Put simply, it's the best cleanser I've ever used.

My skin is pretty temperamental, I get cystic bumps due to stress or putting my grubby subway fingers on my face, or not being thorough enough when cleansing (which is what I suspect is the ultimate issue). The thick, creamy gel really sticks to the skin as you apply and swirl about your face, pulling out the griminess from within your pores and even melting away mascara while leaving, and probably enhancing, your natural moisture. I've found the more effective makeup/grime removal that the Physiological Cleansing Gel provides is a better route for acne prevention than using a makeup remover followed by an acne cleanser, which will usually leave me feeling tight with a red flush. It's non-invasive, if that makes sense. The boy scout of face wash—it leaves the area better than it was when it showed up. No need to immediately chase it with a toner to finish the job or a moisturizer to remedy any drying effects.

It feels luxurious to use but I can get it at CVS, making me happy to drop $22 once a month, and this week in particular.

—Annie Kreighbaum

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Cleanse thy face with this 10-minute guide to a thorough wash.