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The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Updated: Feb 6

Most often my problem with choosing a cleanser is getting a product that will not dry me out. Cleansers are usually formulated with surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can irritate and dry out the skin. This means bad news for dry and sensitive skin types, so I was rather excited to lay my hands on this squalane-based cleanser.

Hand holding The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser tube

With all the hype around The Ordinary products, I tested this cleanser for you guys, and in today’s post, you will discover if this product delivers on its promises.

This cleanser can be resumed in 3 words; effective, gentle, and affordable. If you have dry and sensitive skin I can bet you anything that you will fall in love with this cleanser just like me. But what makes this product stand out is its star ingredient SQUALANE.

My Experience With the Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

This cleanser is a cream-to-oil-like product that is applied on dry skin and then rinsed off. Based on its texture and method of use I had a few reservations because it was the first time I was applying a cleanser on dry skin.

However, the first thing I noticed and appreciated was how soft and smooth it felt on my skin. I immediately felt it melt impurities as I gently rubbed it on my skin. I felt it cleansing my skin despite the lack of water.

A photo of The Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser tube being pressed onto someone's fingers.

I was also scared it was going to have a greasy feel, but surprisingly no. It just melts and you feel instant hydration upon application. Once I rinsed it off, my skin was smooth, decongested, and supple. Not to mention the subtle glow. There was no product residue after the rinse and my skin felt and looked immediately hydrated.

I love how immediate the effects can be felt. I remember using it on my sister who at the time had very bumpy skin around her neck. Upon her first application, most of the bumps disappeared and I had to hide my cleanser to prevent her from stealing it from me lol. It is that effective.


  • Effectively removes makeup and large impurities on the skin

  • Leaves the skin feeling smooth and moisturized

  • Washes off without leaving an oily film on the skin

  • The cream turns into a lightweight oil-like nonsticky lotion

  • Works for all skin types

  • It is detergent/soap-free

  • Fragrance-free


  • Not a con and this did not bother me but not everyone might like the scent of this cleanser. Personally, it smelt neutral but for people who love scented products, this may be disappointing.

How to Use the Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser

  1. Apply a peanut-sized amount of cream to your palm. A little goes a long way with this product. No need to overdo it.

  2. Rub in between your palms until the cream melts into an oil.

  3. Apply and massage on skin in gentle circular motions for 60 seconds.

  4. Rinse off with warm water.

What is Squalane?

Squalane is a lipid, derived from plant and animal sources used in skincare to keep the skin properly moisturized. It has strong emollient and antioxidant properties that help lock in moisture in the skin and protect the skin from aggression.

Squalane vs Squalene

Squalane should not be confused with “squalene”.

The former has a similar chemical structure as the latter. However, “squalene”, is a natural lipid found in human skin and some fishes notably shark liver. Squalene in the human body helps keep the skin moisturized but its production reduces over time. As such squalene is used in skincare as a substitute. Originally, squalene was obtained by killing sharks to obtain the emollient from their liver. Squalane on the other hand is derived from plants such as olive oil, a more sustainable source.

Squalane Cleanser Benefits

  • It hydrates the skin and prevents transepidermal water loss. This is great news for dry skin types.

  • Has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin irritations.

  • Has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays.

  • It is non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores. Making it great for oily skin.

  • It is gentle and non-irritating even for sensitive skin.

Final Thoughts

I used this cleanser for a little over 2 months, day and night `and trust me when I tell you my skin loved it. My skin looked super hydrated which to me is the ultimate goal for healthy skin.

Will I purchase it again? Absolutely! I recommend this cleanser for anyone with dry, sensitive, or very congested skin. I also added The Ordinary Squalane Oil, which is a facial oil, to my routine. It greatly improved my skin's hydration, improved my skin's barrier, and texture. Highly recommend too.

Where to Purchase the Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser

Purchase online

Here are some other products I have reviewed from The Ordinary for you to check out.


What is The Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser Good For?

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is the perfect cleanser for dry skin that needs more hydration.

Can I Use The Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser Everyday?

Yes! The Ordinary Squalane cleanser is a gentle cleanser suitable for daily use.

Is Squalane Cleanser Good For Acne?

Squalane is a non-comedogenic oil that has anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit acne-prone skin. However, there is a risk for this cleanser to be too greasy for oily skin.

Is Squalane or Hyaluronic Acid Good For Acne?

Squalane and Hyaluronic acid do not directly improve acne. However, these actives can act as support to strengthen the skin’s barrier and reduce inflammation On the skin caused by acne.


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