by Melissa D.
I'm a sucker for a good facial cleanser. As someone who has a love/hate relationship with makeup (I both love and hate to wear it) I always look forward to cleansing at night and end the day with a clean yet energized face. So when asked to test and review a product that was both a cleanser and a toner I have to say I was rather intrigued. I am in my 30s and have combination skin that can be prone to acne under the right circumstances.
Upon receiving the Dr. Dennis Gross All-in-One Cleanser with Toner ($30 in the shop) I squirted out a bit to give it a sniff and feel what the consistency was like. There isn't much in the way of scent. There is a very light, faint crisp smell, certainly not overpowering. I was interested in the consistency because the directions state to massage onto a dry face with dry hands. The cleanser is like a very light lotion, somewhat lotiony and gelly. It goes on like lotion and does not lather or foam at all. This was interesting as there are several ingredients that are noted as "foaming agents" however these same ingredients were also noted as cleansers so my thought is that was the main purpose of adding them (Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Lauro amphoacetate, and CocoGlucoside to name a few). This took a few days to get used to but once you've used it a few times the application just becomes normal.
Overall, I liked this as a cleanser. It did a great job of removing makeup however I did need to use an eye makeup remover (coconut oil) as I use a waterproof mascara and gel eyeliner. It left my skin feeling super clean and soft, not at all tight or squeaky as some soap-based cleansers would. Jojoba, chamomilla recutita oil and flower extract and avena sativa kernal extract are just a few of the skin conditioning/moisturizers in this product. There are also a few other ingredients (retinyl palmitate and vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil) that act as a sort of exfoliant to help remove dead skin cells and also help with anti-aging. Since using this, my skin seems smoother and I have not experienced a single break out!
There are a handful of ingredients that offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties such as green tea extract, which fights free radicals, and witch hazel, a healing plant that soothes irritated skin. These are typically what you would find in a separate toner. I did feel I still needed a separate toner, after all a toner is supposed to stay on your skin and give it that extra oomph when you let it soak in the goodness that it offers. It seemed that in rinsing this off some of that benefit was lost.
While there are a few low-risk ingredients according to Truth in Aging and EWG, the risk is just that — minimal. At a price point of $30.00 for 6oz, this is good buy. It takes about 2 pumps per wash and after 6 weeks I'd say there is still about half of the bottle left. I would recommend this for a daily cleanser and toner if you're ok with washing your toner off!