L'Occitane Aqua Gel Cleanser - review


I reviewed L'Occitane's cleansing oil recently (see here) and really liked that, and I'm back today to review this gel cleanser. I bought them both at the same time last year and introduced them at the same time, and I'm pleased to say that I'm enjoying both of them.

Note, though, that while I do really like using this gel, it contains both sodium laureth sulphate and parfum, so I wouldn't buy it again because I prefer avoiding those kinds of ingredients in my skincare. Still, it's been working well for me so I'll enjoy it while I have it. 

L'Occitane claims/product details:

  • A gentle face cleanser that lifts away impurities and leaves skin clean, soft and comfortable
  • Like splashing cold water on your face, this cleanser will invigorate your skin
  • This cool gel transforms into a light, supple lather
  • Works to remove impurities, excess oil and makeup residue, leaving your skin feeling refreshed, hydrated and clean
  • Added glycerin will hydrate and calcium will help protect your skin while retaining moisture
  • The unique texture feels like a soft jelly that melts onto your skin and transforms into a light moose while delicately cleansing your skin
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • RRP $32 AUD for 195ml


I'm really enjoying this cleanser, but the ingredients list has concerned me a bit so I wouldn't buy it again.

It's a blue gel with a marine-like scent, and I suppose the texture does feel a little like jelly, although before I read that in the claims I would just have described it as a normal gel.

It lathers nicely and the lather it creates feels rich, velvety and cleansing - but it doesn't foam like crazy or feel astringent on my skin. Do note, though, that the third listed ingredient is sodium laureth sulfate and the last one is parfum, so this does contain things that may irritate the skin and I would test it first if you're prone to sensitivity - or just avoid it completely.

On that, I tested the pH this morning and it's coming in at somewhere between a five and a six, so despite the SLES, it's not too alkaline or astringent and it doesn't feel too harsh on my skin. Nevertheless, I wouldn't buy it again due to that ingredient. Better safe than sorry. While SLES is meant to be somewhat less irritating than its sister, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), I prefer to avoid both so although I'll enjoy this product while I have it, it's not a repeat purchase for me.

What I love about this product, however, is that it cleans my skin nicely and doesn't feel too harsh or irritating - nor does it feel like it's stripped my skin or dried it out, despite daily use. I use it every morning as my second cleanse and I love it for that purpose, and it also removes makeup well so you could use it for that if you wanted to.

On the claims: yes this lifts away impurities and leaves skin clean, soft and comfortable; yes it feels like splashing cold water on my face; yes it transforms into a light, supple lather; yes it removes makeup; and yes it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and never dry or stripped.

Overall I think this is a lovely cleanser and I'm really enjoying using it, but I'm disappointed about the ingredients and I wouldn't buy it again for that reason. Otherwise I really can't fault it: it's not too expensive, it works and it also comes with a pump, which always makes things easier. Nevertheless, it's better to avoid nasties like SLES and that's what I'd recommend doing.

Lovely, but not perfect.

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