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Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel Ingredients Explained

Face Cleanser
5.0   (1 ratings)
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Updated on April 21, 2024

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Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 25 ingredients

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for dry skin and brightening skin

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Dermalogica is from United States. This product is used in 177 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Face cleanser with 25 ingredients

Quick info

ph level
5.5

You should know

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 25

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate Cleansing, Foaming
May cause irritation Icon
May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is a cleansing agent made from a mixture of long chain sulfonate salts. It can also help produce foam.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is a cleansing agent and emulsifier. It is a surfactant derived from sarcosine, and a common source is coconut oil. As a surfactant, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate helps lift dirts, oil, and other molecules to be washed away. In leave-on products, this ingredient is used as an emulsifier. Emulsifier help prevent ingredients such as oils and waters from separating.

Disliked Full details ->
Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Hydroxyethylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Lavandula Angustifolia Oil Masking, Tonic
Oil IconEU Allergen Icon
OilOil Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Lavandula Angustifolia Oil is more commonly known as lavender essential oil. Lavandula Angustifolia is known as the English Lavender and famous for creating purple fields in Provence, France.

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Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming

We don't have a description for Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Citrus Limon Peel Oil Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance IconOil IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Citrus Limon Peel Oil is created from the peels of the lemon. It is used to add a lemon-scent to products. Lemon peel oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. However, it may also cause phototoxicity and sensitize skin.

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Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconOil Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon

Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil is the oil from the bergamot orange. This bergamot is native to Italy.

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Citronellal Masking

Citronellal is the major component of citronella oil. It is a fragrance with a distinct lemon scent. Citronellal is a known EU allergen and causes contact allergies.

Unknown Full details ->
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine Cleansing
May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Cocoamphoacetate Cleansing, Foaming

We don't have a description for Sodium Cocoamphoacetate.

Disliked Full details ->
Hydroxyacetophenone Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Hydroxyacetophenone is antioxidant and helps with skin conditioning.

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine Cleansing, Skin Conditioning

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is a synthetic cleansing agent, though it is derived from coconut oil.

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1,2-Hexanediol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

Propanediol Solvent

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

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O-Cymen-5-Ol Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

O-Cymen-5-Ol is a preservative.

Unknown Full details ->
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

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Ppg-5-Ceteth-20 Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Ppg-5-Ceteth-20.

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Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

Sodium Benzoate Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Disliked Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

5
4
12
4
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 25 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Cleansing, Foaming
Very Disliked

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is a cleansing agent made from a mixture of long chain sulfonate salts. It can also help produce foam.

This ingredient may be drying. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming
Disliked

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is a cleansing agent and emulsifier. It is a surfactant derived from sarcosine, and a common source is coconut oil. As a surfactant, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate helps lift dirts, oil, and other molecules to be washed away. In leave-on products, this ingredient is used as an emulsifier. Emulsifier help prevent ingredients such as oils and waters from separating.

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is also commonly found as a foaming agent in shampoo, toothpaste, and shaving foam. It is amphiphilic, meaning it loves both water and fats.

Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Mixed

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Hydroxyethylcellulose helps stabilize products by preventing ingredients from separating. It can also help thicken the texture of a product.

This ingredient can also be found in pill medicines to help our bodies digest other ingredients.

Learn more about Hydroxyethylcellulose
Masking, Tonic
Very Disliked

Lavandula Angustifolia Oil is more commonly known as lavender essential oil. Lavandula Angustifolia is known as the English Lavender and famous for creating purple fields in Provence, France.

Lavender imparts a scent and may sensitize skin. It contains linalool, a known allergen.

While lavender essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress, more research is needed to confirm this.

However, lavender essential oil has shown to have anti-inflammatory activity due to its prostanoids and histamine content.

Lavandula Angustifolia Oil is the volatile oil obtained from the flowers of the Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, Labiatae. ISO 8902:2009

Learn more about Lavandula Angustifolia Oil
Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming

We don't have a description for Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract.

Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Very Disliked

Citrus Limon Peel Oil is created from the peels of the lemon. It is used to add a lemon-scent to products. Lemon peel oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. However, it may also cause phototoxicity and sensitize skin.

Lemon peel oil contains limonene, a skin sensitizing ingredient. Another component is furanocoumarin, which induces phototoxicity in skin.

Furanocoumarins bind and destabilize your DNA to increase the rate of sunburn.

Most reputable companies will remove furanocoumarins from their formulations.

Learn more about Citrus Limon Peel Oil

We don't have a description for Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract.

Masking, Perfuming
Very Disliked

Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil is the oil from the bergamot orange. This bergamot is native to Italy.

Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil is used to add fragrance to products. It contains limonene, linalool, and linalyl acetate.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term. For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance.

When used topically, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil is a photosensitizer due to its furanocoumarins. Photosensitizers make the skin and eyes much more sensitive to sunlight. Photosensitizers are linked to skin cancer.

However, more cosmetics using Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil are removing the furanocoumarins.

Bergamot oil was also found to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Learn more about Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil
Masking

Citronellal is the major component of citronella oil. It is a fragrance with a distinct lemon scent. Citronellal is a known EU allergen and causes contact allergies.

Studies show citronellal has antifungal and mosquito repelling properties.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
Cleansing
Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a surfactant and cleanser. It helps gather the dirt, pollutants, and other impurities in your skin to be washed away. It also helps thicken a product and make the texture more creamy.

Being created from coconut oil means Cocamidopropyl Betaine is hydrating for the skin.

While Cocamidopropyl Betaine was believed to be an allergen, a study from 2012 disproved this. It found two compounds in unpure Cocamidopropyl Betaine to be the irritants: aminoamide and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine. High-grade and pure Cocamidopropyl Betaine did not induce allergic reactions during this study.

Learn more about Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Cleansing, Foaming
Disliked

We don't have a description for Sodium Cocoamphoacetate.

Antioxidant
Liked

Hydroxyacetophenone is antioxidant and helps with skin conditioning.

Antioxidants help fight off free-radical molecules. These unstable molecules may damage your skin cells. By helping stabilize free-radicals, antioxidants may help in anti-aging.

Hydroxyacetophenone boosts the efficiency of other preservatives.

Learn more about Hydroxyacetophenone
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is a synthetic cleansing agent, though it is derived from coconut oil.

It is used to enhance the texture of products by boosting lather and thickening the texture. As a cleanser, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is mild.

Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

In products that are water-based, this ingredient can help stabilize perfumes and fragrances. It can also help make the texture of products softer and more smooth.

Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

It is a common ingredient in many products, especially those designed to hydrate skin. The primary benefits are retaining moisture, skin softening, and promoting a healthy skin barrier.

Though Caprylyl Glycol is an alcohol derived from fatty acids, it is not the kind that can dry out skin.

This ingredient is also used as a preservative to extend the life of products. It has slight antimicrobial properties.

Learn more about Caprylyl Glycol
Solvent
Liked

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Propanediol is not likely to cause sensitivity and considered safe to use.

It is derived from corn or petroleum with a clear color and no scent.

Learn more about Propanediol
Buffering, Masking
Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and even out skin tone.

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
Antimicrobial, Preservative

O-Cymen-5-Ol is a preservative.

Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
Emulsifying
Disliked

We don't have a description for Ppg-5-Ceteth-20.

Buffering
Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
Masking, Preservative
Disliked

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate

Reviews

5.0
from 1 rating
Manchita99's avatar

Manchita99

10 months ago Β· Oily Skin
Review

Gentle cleanser

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