Hey, it’s yet another skincare review! Between trying to downsize my makeup collection [with less success than I would like, alas] and taking care of a baby, I’ve been buying & wearing less makeup than I used to – which has led to an increased interest in skincare. Today I’m going to talk about internet cult brand Glossier’s very popular cleanser, Milky Jelly.
I purchased all products featured in this post. All referral and affiliate links are individually marked; unmarked links are not referral or affiliate.
First, let me be frank – Glossier [referral link] is not my kind of brand. I don’t appreciate that they push an “effortless” [but actually very carefully managed] look as best. That look is fine as an aesthetic choice, and I even go for it sometimes, but I find the way Glossier holds it up as superior to other styles really offputting. That said, they have some appealing products and I don’t dislike the brand in a way that makes me avoid using it; I just give it some side-eye while I do. Glossier gets a lot of press, most of it glowing, but not actually assessing the products. For additional honest and thoughtful reviews of Glossier, check Auxiliary Beauty, Bad Outfit Great Lipstick, and fanserviced-b.
[Okay, so I wrote all of the above last week, then listened to an interview of Glossier founder & CEO Emily Weiss on the podcast Fat Mascara – this episode. While I am definitely not Glossier’s target demographic and still have many critiques of the brand and the products, Weiss’s sincere enthusiasm and love for Glossier really came through in the interview and I do appreciate both her goals and the brand a bit more for listening.]
All that aside, let’s talk about the product. Milky Jelly is (true to the name) a milky / translucent nonfoaming gel cleanser. It sort of reminds me of CeraVe Hydrating cleanser which I use and like, though they’re not very similar in texture. Milky Jelly is a thick gel, and the CeraVe cleanser is significantly thinner / less viscous. Both cleansers are translucent, but the Glossier is almost transparent and the CeraVe is almost opaque.
Glossier claims that Milky Jelly 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” that leaves your face “feeling healthy and soft, never tight.” They specify that it is not intended to remove waterproof makeup. It doesn’t have any added fragrance, but contains rosewater which gives it a light scent. I also smell something sort of plastic-y or glue-y with the rose, but it’s not strong enough to bother me.
Overall, I really like Milky Jelly. It really is gentle and never leaves my face feeling stripped or tight. It doesn’t irritate my eyes or make my contacts cloudy. It’s a great morning cleanser any day, and I also sometimes use it at night as a second cleanser or alone if I’m not wearing makeup. Though Glossier claims it removes makeup, I don’t like using it for that purpose. It does an okay job of removing face makeup and eyeshadow, but doesn’t really remove even non-waterproof eyeliner or mascara without a lot rubbing. This is identical to my experiences with the CeraVe cleanser. As you can see from the first photo in this post, I have repurchased Milky Jelly – which I actually did because it’s my wife’s favorite. (She is very much not a skincare junkie – before we met, her entire skincare routine was washing her face with bar soap. Her current routine is AM: wash face, usually use sunscreen – PM: wash face.) I probably wouldn’t have repurchased Milky Jelly on my own, but since it’s around I do find myself using it pretty much daily.
If you’re looking for a gentle nonfoaming cleanser that is pleasant to use and in nice packaging, and you don’t mind spending a bit on the brand name, you’ll probably enjoy Milky Jelly. If you want something cheaper, CeraVe Hydrating cleanser is functionally similar, albeit texturally different and with less pretty (but still functional) packaging. Milky Jelly is $18 for 6oz; CeraVe Hydrating cleanser is usually about $15/12oz in store, but is available for about $8/12oz on Amazon [affiliate link], which is less than 1/3 the cost per ounce. The CeraVe also comes in 8oz and 3oz sizes if you want to test it out.
Honestly, the way I feel about Milky Jelly pretty much sums up my thoughts on Glossier products generally – good quality for what they are, but not as innovative as Glossier claims. While I dislike the marketing, I actually think the pricing is fair. Sure, there is absolutely a markup because of the name, and you can get similar products for less money from the drugstore – but that’s true of
pretty much every product Sephora carries.
Glossier products can be purchased on their website. If you use my referral link to purchase, you’ll get 20% off of your first purchase and I’ll get a $10 store credit. I purchased all the items featured in this post and do not have any relationship with Glossier – anyone with an account can create a referral link to share.