Dermalogica : Special Cleansing Gel

76 Reviews

Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Hexylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract (Lavender), Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf, Quilaja Saponaria Bark, Essential Oil of Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender), PPG 5 Ceteth 20, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Items marked with orange can be irritating and over-drying, especially to acne-prone skin.

The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.


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July 13, 2018
Absolutely horrible
I have a history of cystic acne that cleared up with Accutane 2 years ago. My skin still wasn't nice enough that I felt I could go without make up, so decided to try a new regime. The regime caused me to break out in very small whiteheads, so I switched to this product. My skin looked better - for about 3 days. I then got my cystic acne back full blown. I'm absolutely hideous and broken out in painful fluid filled cysts all over my face again after TWO YEARS. I've had to go back on medication and restart my skin clearing regime from square one again. I shouldn't have even bothered trying to improve my skin more than it was.
August 5, 2017
acne is gone but not because of this stuff
I was hoping this would be the product that finally really cleared my skin. I wouldn't say that I had bad acne per se before I started using it but I had uneven skin tone, lots of blackheads on my nose and just kind of bumpy skin. It never felt beautiful. I bought the whole set when my cousin recommended it to me. So I am not really sure which of the products made my skin wig out. I got this stuff, the clearing lotion, the moisturizer and the mask. Anyway, I never felt a positive difference in my skin. My face never felt clean when I used it and about 3-4 weeks of use, my skin went nuts. Instead of the bad skin I thought was bad all my life, I suddenly had cysts, the 'volcanos' I call them but they never burst, just painful and so so ugly. At first I thought it was hormonal and because it was my time of the month but things just got worse after another 2 weeks. I literally didn't want to go out of the house. I was so embarrassed. I ended up giving my stuff to my cousin because it seems to work for her but I didn't want to touch it. The second I stopped using it, my skin got less inflamed but somehow it just triggered this cystic acne I had never had before. So those kept popping up and I was getting desperate. I went to the dermatologist and was expecting them to tell me to get on meds but she surprised me and asked me if I knew of a brand called Ninja that a lot of her clients had been telling her about. Of course she offered to write me a prescription but I wanted to avoid that if possible. I called Ninja right away and actually spoke to a real person!! Had about an hour phone call with them. I really couldn't believe how long they were willing to talk about my skin with me. They gave me a list of products they would suggest for me, I bought them right away. And now, 5 months later, I finally feel beautiful. My skin isn't bumpy any more, I don't have blackheads and thank GOD my cysts are completely gone. Oh and did I mention I am now 3 months pregnant?! I fully expected to have a monster breakout but it never came and now people are telling me I am 'glowing' which is wonderful to hear with my bad skin past. It's like a miracle really. So back to Dermalogica - try it at your own risk. I am sure it is ok for some people but it did absolutely nothing for me but bad things.
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8 user(s) found this helpful

October 31, 2018
There's nothing wrong with Special Cleansing Gel. It wasn't for you that's all. The stuff is awesome IMO
April 29, 2012


Smelled nice


Caused severe cystic acne around mouth
Made skin itchy and dry
My skin was far too sensitive for this product

I used this product along with the moisturiser and oil control lotion - Within three weeks of use I broke out and it just kept escalating from there. The combination of using all three caused my light/moderate acne (as in, a few pimples every few weeks) to ruptured into painful pustules and huge, painful cysts all around my chin, mouth and cheeks. I'm talking cysts the size of 20 cent coins... they took MONTHS to go away. I had always been acne prone, and this was when I was 16 so I'm sure hormones also contributed to it - clean and clear made me break out some years before. But it was NOTHING like this. I didn't want to leave the house, look anybody in the eye, it was horrid. I'm sure this product will work for some people, but I will never touch this stuff again.
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5 user(s) found this helpful

July 18, 2011


Soft fragrance
Foams easily


Caused severe breakouts

I never suffered from any breakouts and I only purchased this product to combat my oily skin. Within the three-week time frame that I used this product, my face broke out in very large, painful pimples that at first were isolated on my forehead, moved down to my nose, then around my chin. After I stopped using this product I had to aggressively treat my skin with BP for over four weeks to finally get my skin back to something that resembled 'normal'.
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2 user(s) found this helpful

May 23, 2009


They have a strong reputation and there are specialists available to map your skin


I never had significant acne, or pus and open breakouts until I used their products. I have been left scarred after 6 months use. After followup consultations they told me that it would improve. My skin only improved when I stopped using the product

I would not recommend this product to anyone. To add insult to injury they refused to help or refund the £400/$700 of products that I have bought based upont heir recommendations... I have been left scarred and was told I was stupid to keep using their products if they had hadd an adverse effect - I bought into their ideology and philospohy and continued to use the products because I beleived in them. I have no doubt that their products may woprk for some - but I would NEVER RECOMMEND and am seeking to esculate the issue further.
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22 user(s) found this helpful

December 12, 2007




everything about dermalogica

My skin has never been awful and it has become this way after using this and other dermalogica product. My cheeks are flaking and breakouts are all over them under my skina nd i've got redness. I look horrible. I am not satisfied at all. :(
November 7, 2007