As a near-daily runner with a fair complexion and a family history of skin cancer, I’m diligent about my workouts—and my SPF 50. For the past few years, I’ve been desperately searching for a daily cleanser that’s potent enough to remove all that sunscreen and sweat but gentle enough to not completely dry out or irritate my sensitive, mature skin, which is prone to perimenopausal breakouts. And I found it in Laneige Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser ($34), a favorite of Euphoria actress and Gen-Z spokesmodel Sydney Sweeney.
Yes, Sweeney is nearly half my age and may not replicate her character Cassie Howard’s three-hour beauty regime in real life. But during a late-night Instagram scroll, I stumbled upon an article with a list of her go-to beauty products, including the buzzy Korean-founded brand’s cleanser, and was influenced. Maybe I was secretly hoping using a famous 20-something’s favorite product would give me that same dreamy, dewy skin. Maybe I was just in the mood for some online shopping. But I quickly smashed the add-to-cart button. At $34 for a 6.7-oz bottle, it wouldn’t completely drain my bank account, unlike other impulse skincare purchases that turned out to be all fancy packaging and clever marketing with no substance.
But Laneige delivered—not just a gorgeous, minimalist bottle with soft baby blue font and an easy-to-use pump dispenser, but in giving me that dewy, fresh-faced look I was desperately chasing. So many other cleansers are too greasy or too drying, but this one is just right: creamy and cooling, a balm after running outside in Atlanta’s hot and humid summers (and springs and falls—thanks climate change). The fragrance-free, low pH formula contains white leaf tea water, a natural anti-inflammatory that soothes and supports the skin barrier, essential for protecting skin from pollution, sun, and other external stressors. The cleanser is also super gentle and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin if I need to do a quick wash multiple times a day or have one of those pesky hormonal breakouts. It even eradicated residual redness from an unfortunate bout of contact dermatitis I developed last summer from ill-advisedly wearing a pre-pandemic era concealer.
And yes, Laneige Cream Skin it’s soothing and calming, but it’s also extremely effective at washing away sweat and grime. The mildly acidic, oil-based cleanser melts away light makeup (that is not past its expiration date) without leaving oily residue or stripping moisture from my skin. Although for the rare days I wear heavier makeup like full-coverage foundation and waterproof mascara, I use it as the second step of my double cleansing routine, following a generous slathering of Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Cleansing Balm ($29) and a cool rinse with one of Kitsch’s Ultra-Soft Microfiber Makeup Removing Towels ($8).
And while at 47, I’m not getting any younger, incorporating this cleanser into my skincare has me looking bright and fresh-faced, with everyone from my chic French facialist to a coworker 20 years my junior complimenting my youthful, dewy glow and wanting to know my go-to products. Now, who’s the influencer?
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