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Hero Cosmetics Gentle Milky Cleanser Ingredients Explained

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Published on September 10, 2022 Submitted by Harkirat

Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 37 ingredients that contains ceramides, exfoliants and PHA

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, dry skin, sensitive skin and better texture

Free From

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

Fun facts

Hero Cosmetics is from United States. This product is used in 35 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.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

PHA
Exfoliators (3)
Ceramides (2)

Benefits

Hydrating (6)
Redness Reducing (3)
Reduces Irritation (2)
Skin Texture
Anti-Aging (3)

Concerns

Drying
May Worsen Oily Skin
Acne Trigger (2)
Rosacea

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1
Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
3
Solvent
4
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
0-2 / 0
Oil IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
5
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
6
Cleansing, Emulsion Stabilising
7
Skin Conditioning
PHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
8
Abrasive
Exfoliant Icon
9
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
10
Abrasive, Absorbent
Exfoliant Icon
11
Abrasive, Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Exfoliant IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
12
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
13
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
14
Antimicrobial, Emulsifying, Preservative
Preservative Icon
15
16
Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
17
Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
18
19
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing
20
Emulsion Stabilising, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
21
Buffering
22
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
23
Emulsifying
24
Solvent
25
Cleansing, Emulsifying
26
27
Buffering, Masking
28
Absorbent
29
Emulsifying
30
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness Icon
31
Buffering, Masking
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
32
Skin Conditioning
33
Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
1 / 0
34
Skin Conditioning
35
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
36
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
37
Preservative
Preservative Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 37 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: 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. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

Cetearyl alcohol is an emollient. Emollients help soothe and hydrate the skin by trapping moisture.

Studies show Cetearyl alcohol is non-toxic and non-irritating. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

This ingredient is usually derived from plant oils such as palm, vegetable, or coconut oils. There is debate on whether this ingredient will cause acne.

Due to the fatty acid base, this ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis safe.

Learn more about Cetearyl Alcohol
3
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: 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
4
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

This ingredient is the fixed oil extracted from seeds of the desert shrub Jojoba. It is more commonly known as jojoba oil. The seed oil is liquid wax ester from the plant. It is non-comedogenic.

Jojoba oil does not contain fragrance and has many fatty-acids, making it a great soothing ingredient. Jojoba contains Vitamin E, a great moisturizing ingredient. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect your skin against free-radical damage. This may help in anti-aging.

Jojoba seed oil is a humectant, meaning it helps draw moisture from the air. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

While jojoba has antibacterial properties, it is only able to kill some bacteria. It has also been shown to help in wound healing. Indigenous cultures have used jojoba as a moisturizer and to help treat burns.

It is found to be similar to natural human skin sebum, so it has a great effect on dry skin. Jojoba oil may even help with regulating sebum production.

Although jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, we recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient if you have any concerns.

Jojoba oil may not be fungal acne safe. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Jojoba is native to the southwestern US.

Learn more about Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil
5
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate is a surfactant and helps cleanse skin. It is created from the fatty acids of coconut oil.

Surfactants help rinse oil, dirt, and other pollutants easily from skin. It has a faint fruit-like scent.

6
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Mixed

Decyl Glucoside is a glucose-based surfactant. Surfactants help clean the skin by trapping oil, sebum, and dirt to be washed away.

It is created by reacting glucose with the fatty acids from plants.

Decyl Glucoside also helps stabilize the ingredients in a product by preventing them from separating.

This ingredient is biodegradable and non-toxic. This ingredient is commonly found in baby shampoos.

Decyl Glucoside is sometimes used to stabilize the UV filter Tinosorb.

Learn more about Decyl Glucoside
7
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Gluconolactone is a PHA. PHAs have a larger structure than AHAs and BHAs and are more gentle. It is an created by reacting gluconic acid with an alcohol.

When applied, Gluconolactone has the same affect on skin as AHAs such as lactic acid. It helps dissolve the dead skin cells in the top layer of your skin. This helps improve texture and brightens the skin.

Gluconolactone is a humectant and helps draw moisture to your skin. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

PHAs are more gentle than AHAs due to their larger structure. They do not penetrate as deeply as AHAs and take a longer time to dissolve dead cells. Studies show PHAs do not cause as much irritation.

PHAs also exhibit antioxidant activity by neutralizing free-radical molecules. This can help with anti-aging.

In a 2004 study, Gluconolactone was found to prevent UV damage in mouse skin cells. However, we still recommend wearing SPF especially after using exfoliating ingredients.

Learn more about Gluconolactone
8
What it does: Abrasive
Community Rating: Liked

Avena Sativa Bran Extract comes from oatmeal. The bran is the shell covering the oat.

This ingredient is an abrasive, meaning it exfoliates the top layer of your skin.

9
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol. It is a hydrating and moisturizing agent created from the reduction process of glucose.

Most sorbitol is usually made from potato starch. It is also found in fruits such as apples and pears.

As a humectant, Sorbitol helps draw water to the skin. This helps keep the skin hydrated. Sorbitol also helps create a thicker texture in products. You might find sorbitol in your toothpaste and other gels.

It is a non-irritating ingredient that is great for those with dry skin.

Sorbitol is a prebiotic. It helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria on your skin. The bacteria on your skin form a microbiome. This microbiome helps protect your skin from infection and harmful bacteria.

Learn more about Sorbitol
10
What it does: Abrasive, Absorbent
Community Rating: Loved

Oatmeal flour is created by grinding down the kernels of oats. Oatmeal helps sooth, hydrate, and protect the skin.

Learn all about the skin benefits of colloidal oatmeal here.

11
What it does: Abrasive, Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Avena Sativa Kernel Extract is is derived from colloidal oatmeal. It is formed from grounded oatmeal and a liquid base.

Besides being a healthy breakfast, oats have many benefits in skincare too.

This ingredient helps sooth, hydrate, and protect the skin. The starches in colloidal oatmeal are able to bind water, keeping the skin hydrated.

The cellulose and fiber in colloidal oatmeal help reduce inflammation. This can also help the skin feel softer.

Colloidal Oatmeal is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants help stabilize free-radical molecules. These molecules may damage skin cells.

Avenacins found in colloidal oatmeal have anti-fungal properties. The saponins have a cleaning affect.

Overall, colloidal oatmeal is great at providing the skin with moisture and help sooth irritation. It also protects the skin in various ways.

Learn more about Avena Sativa Kernel Extract
12
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide NP is a type of ceramide.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin.

Ceramides are an important building block for our skin barrier. A stronger barrier helps the skin look more firm and hydrated. By bolstering the skin ceramides act as a barrier against irritating ingredients. This can help with inflammation as well.

If you would like to eat ceramides, sweet potatoes contain a small amount.

Read more about other common types of ceramides here: Ceramide AP Ceramide EOP

Learn more about Ceramide NP
13
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide AP is a type of Ceramide.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. Having a strong skin barrier leads to more firm and hydrated skin.

They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin. By bolstering the skin ceramides act as a barrier against irritating ingredients. This can help with inflammation as well.

If you would like to eat ceramides, sweet potatoes contain a small amount.

Read more about other common types of ceramides here: Ceramide NP Ceramide EOP

Learn more about Ceramide AP
14
What it does: Antimicrobial, Emulsifying, Preservative
Community Rating: Liked

This ingredient is a preservative, antimicrobial, and emulsifier. It is often used in cosmetics for its ability to cleanse, condition, and reduce static.

Cetrimonium chloride is a quaternary ammonium salt, meaning it has a water-soluble structure.

15
What it does:

We don't have a description for Polyquaternium-73.

16
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Community Rating: 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
17
What it does: Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

This ingredient has many purposes in skincare: thickener, emulsifier, and exfoliator.

You'll most likely find this ingredient in cleansers where it is used to create a gel-like texture. As an emulsifier, it also prevents ingredients from separating.

There is much debate on whether this ingredient is comedogenic. The short answer - comedogenic ratings don't tell the whole story. Learn more about comegodenic ratings here.

The concensus about this ingredient causing acne seems to be divided. Research is needed to understand if this ingredient does cause acne.

Scrubs may use salt as the primary exfoliating ingredient.

Learn more about Sodium Chloride
18
What it does:
Community Rating: Mixed

In cosmetics, vinegar is often used to help adjust the pH of a product. It is also a light exfoliant. The pH of your skin is important to maintain a healthy skin barrier.

Vinegar is created by the process of double-fermentation. It is an aqueous solution consisting mostly of water and acetic acid. Typically, vinegar contains anywhere from 5-8% acetic acid.

Other components include small amounts of contains small amounts of tartaric acid and citric acid. Depending on what is used to ferment the vinegar, it can have traces of flavoring as well.

Types of vinegar include sugar and fruit vinegars. Some types of vinegar include apple cider, raisin, brown rice,

Learn more about Vinegar
19
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing
Community Rating: Loved

Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide is a prebiotic. It prevents harmful bacteria from growing on skin by keeping the skin's microbiome in balance.

Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide also has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

20
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Extract comes from the peels of the bitter orange. This orange is native to Southeast Asia. It is commonly used in foods such as marmalade.

Citrus peels are often made up of mainly limonene. Limonene is a fragrance with a citrus scent. They also contain flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

21
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: 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
22
What it does: Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
23
What it does: Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Didecyldimonium Chloride.

24
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Methylpropanediol is a synthetic solvent and humectant.

As a solvent, it helps dissolve other ingredients, helping to evenly distribute ingredients throughout the product. This ingredient has also been shown to have antimicrobial properties which makes it a preservative booster.

Methylpropanediol is able to add a bit of moisture to the skin. It also helps other ingredients be better absorbed into the skin, such as salicylic acid.

Learn more about Methylpropanediol
25
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Polyquaternium-80.

Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate is a chelating agent. Chelating agents help prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps prevent unwanted effects and reactions from a product. These metal ions may come from water and are found in miniscule amounts.

Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate can also help other preservatives be more effective.

27
What it does: Buffering, Masking

We don't have a description for Sodium Acetate.

28
What it does: Absorbent
Community Rating: Loved

Cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls. It is used as an emulsifier, absorbent, and texture enhancer.

This ingredient has many functions:

Fun fact: Cellulose is the most abundant form of organic polymer on Earth.

Learn more about Cellulose
29
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is the lauric acid sodium salt of lactyl lactate.

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is an emulsifier and surfactant.

Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. They do this by preventing ingredients from separating, such as oils and water which do not mix naturally. Surfactants reduce surface tension, making it easier to rinse pollutants off skin.

Due to its relation to lauric acid, it may provide antimicrobial benefits.

Learn more about Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
30
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
Community Rating: Liked

Cholesterol is a class of organic molecules called lipids. It helps hydrate your skin and is essential to having a healthy skin barrier.

Our skin naturally contains cholesterol in the outermost layer. Besides cholesterol, it also contains ceramides and fatty acids. Cholesterol makes up about 1/4 of your skin's outer layer and barrier. Your skin barrier is responsible for keeping allergens and microbes out. Having a healthy skin barrier is also responsible for keeping your skin firm and plump.

Our bodies use cholestrol to create vitamin D, steroid hormones, and more.

Learn more about Cholesterol
31
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

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

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.

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 look more even.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
32
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Phytosphingosine is a phospholipid naturally found in our skin. It helps moisturize, soothe, and protect skin.

Phytosphingosine is already present in our skin. On our skin, it is a building block for ceramides.

Phytosphingosine tells our skin to increase its natural moisturizing factor (NMF). The NMF is responsible for hydration, a strong barrier, and plasticity. Our NMF decreases with age. Increasing NMF leads to more healthy and hydrated skin.

Studies show products formulated with NMF ingredients help strengthen our skin's barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier reduces irritation and increases hydration. Our skin barrier is responsible for having plump and firm skin. It also helps protect our skin against infection, allergies, and inflammation.

Phytosphingosine is also abundant in plants and fungi.

More ingredients that help boost collagen in skin:

Learn more about Phytosphingosine
33
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Community Rating: Disliked

Carbomer is a polymer of acrylic acid. Its main role is to create gel consistency within products.

Carbomer is commonly found in many types of cosmetics products. It is found to be safe in concentrations up to 15%. However, a high amount of carbomer can cause pilling or balling up of products. Most products contain 1% of less of carbomer.

34
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

35
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: 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
36
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
37
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Potassium Sorbate is a preservative used to prevent yeast and mold in products. It is commonly found in both cosmetic and food products.

Potassium sorbate is potassium salt derived from sorbic acid. Sorbic acid is a natural antibiotic and effective against fungus.

Potassium sorbate and sorbic acid can be found in baked goods, cheeses, dried meats, dried fruit, ice cream, pickles, wine, yogurt, and more.

Potassium sorbate is often used with stronger preservatives.

Learn more about Potassium Sorbate
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 37 ingredients in this product ✨

43% are loved or liked
19% have mixed ratings
24% are disliked or very disliked
14% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Hero Cosmetics Gentle Milky Cleanser. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Gentle Milky Cleanser ->
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The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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Reviews

5.0 /5
from 1 rating
Clover's avatar

Clover

11 months ago · Dry Skin
Review

HOLY GRAIL for dry acne prone skin
From the first time I used this I knew I was going to give it 5 stars, but I forced myself to use it for a...

HOLY GRAIL for dry acne prone skin
From the first time I used this I knew I was going to give it 5 stars, but I forced myself to use it for a couple months first to really give it a fair review. Finding the perfect cleanser for dry acne prone skin had been a struggle. I wanted something that never irritated or dried out my skin, but I also wanted something with actives to help combat both my dry flakes and my acne. This is the perfect cleanser for my needs! With ingredients like oatmeal, jojoba, and ceramides, my skin feels soothed and never dry (I can even leave this cleanser on my skin for several minutes with zero irritation or dryness). The milky formula of this cleanser is non-foaming and gentle, which for me makes it enjoyable to massage into my skin. This also contains PHA as its active, which isn’t the strongest exfoliator out there but personally I find it’s best to keep my cleansing step gentle, and if desired I can incorporate a stronger active later in my routine. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin, so I can’t say whether or not it will irritate someone whose skin is sensitive, but for other dry acne prone folks out there like me, I highly recommend giving this cleanser a try.