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Skin care

Discover an effective facial cleanser, Le Cleanser by Doré

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Words by Amandine Paniagua

Published July 31 2023

I’ve used liniment as a no-rising facial cleanser for my combination-type skin for a few years. However, I still enjoy purifying water splashed on my face, paired with the occasional brush exfoliation, plus I wear tinted sunscreen daily. So I needed a facial cleanser for a deeper, still gentle clean for my PM routine. I discovered Le Cleanser by Dore, which has been my go-to for a few months, and here’s why.

Doré is the brand venture of ex-superstar blogger Garance Doré and her long-term business partner Emily Yeston that launched post-covid in 2022. I’ve followed Garance and Emily’s work for over ten years, and I trust their vast experience in everything related to beauty, so last year, when I had the opportunity to get Doré products, I didn’t hesitate a minute. What attracted me to Doré is their “super-simple skincare” concept, inspired by some classics of French beauty, including balm and micellar water, a la Bioderma. The range is based on minimum routine steps, focusing on quality ingredients with relevant certification, and it is made in France.

Only some people feel the need to wash or cleanse their face daily. To be honest, if it wasn’t for my tinted sunscreen, I would probably clean my face only once a day. Call me lazy, but in everything-related beauty, I am a believer that less is better! Yet there is nothing wrong with removing city grime and other impurities from the skin before bed. Washing your skin can help manage its PH levels, mitigating hydration and product retention, all simple habits to maintain a healthy skin barrier.

Along this line, Le Cleanser by Dore claims to be a gentle, non-drying formula that would clean the skin while hydrating your completion, not over-drying the skin. Suitable for all skin types, this clean-beauty facial cleanser goes from gel to milk texture at the contact of water and is easy to apply. In addition, this cleanser is devoid of an array of questionable substances, including parabens, silicones, sulphates, fragrance or gluten. It is also vegan and cruelty-free. The tube is made of recycled and recyclable plastic, plus the brand is low packaging, with no outer box. It is also worth mentioning that the Dore range is EWG verified*, meaning that their products underwent a strict, scientific evaluation for transparency and health.

In practice, I find using Le Cleanser is uncomplicated. Directions advise a splash of water to dampen your face, a pea size squeeze of gel to gently massage on your face, a rinse, pat dry with a clean towel, and you are done. Personally, my application differs in the sense that I keep my skin dry but wet my manual facial brush, adding the gel to it and massaging my face in a circular motion for a few minutes. I found the gel to milk becomes more foamy that way, and I get a complimentary, light exfoliation. A quick rinse, and I go along with my life. Don’t ask me if it is beneficial; I simply like the sensation, and my skin hasn’t shown marks of discontentment so far. In any case, don’t forget to thoroughly wash your hands prior to touching your face, always!

A closer look at the ingredients list of this facial cleanser reveals a formula primarily packed with antioxidants, including Vitamin E, for anti-inflammatory and skin-alleviating properties. Le Cleanser antioxidants help repair and correct skin’s visible damage through star ingredients Witch Hazel Leaf Water, White Lily Extract and Goji Berry Extract, assisted by Cornflower Water and other multipurpose ingredients such as Sunflower Seed Oil (antioxidant + emollient) and Coconut Oil Glycerin aka Caprylic triglyceride (antioxidant + preservative). As a facial cleanser, Doré’s formula also includes water as a solvent to remove impurities, Citric acid for some light exfoliation properties, and Glycerin to help mitigate oily skin while increasing hydration. We find Sucrose Palmitate and Sucrose Laurate, emulsifying ingredients for product texture (gel to milk), and the latter is also an emollient for additional moisture trapping and skin softening. The rest of the ingredients list encompass preservatives, here to prevent the contamination of the product by yeast, bacteria and mould. We want our (hard-earned) clean beauty skincare to last a minimum once opened, do we?

In practice, does Le Cleanser live up to its claims? I have been using this facial cleanser for a solid seven months and can confirm that it is a gentle cleanser. I’ve never experienced irritation or skin breakout after using this product. I find it leaves a light “stripped away” sensation, a “super clean” effect, more by using it with a face brush, but I do like this. Some don’t. It is also fast and easy to remove, making my complexion smooth and velvety. I haven’t found that my skin was more or less dry since I started using this product because my skin already tends to be dry on the chicks. Reading others’ reviews, I would still recommend moisturising after cleansing.

Now, is Le Cleanser able to remove all makeup? I do not 100% agree with this. I’ve tried once for makeup removal, which consisted of light coverage, some mascara, Violette_FR Liquid Eye Shadow and lipstick. It took me a few attempts, mainly for the eyelids and mascara, which wasn’t waterproof. Also, Le Cleanser stung my eyes. In all fairness, I have sensitive eyes and never came across a cleanser, soap or shampoo that didn’t irritate my eyes, despite opposite claims, so maybe it’s on me, and Le Cleanser won’t do much to your eyes.

Beyond my opinion, I took some time to browse the recent product’s review section. Skincare is a complex topic, as every skin is different and will react differently depending on genetics, lifestyle and environment, our personal situation—this is why I find it hard to give a blanket response to a product review. For Le Cleanser, I noticed two trends. Most reviews came from 40+ y/o, and the overall tendency is positive. However, a few people with drier skin did not appreciate this facial cleanser, while those with sensitive, reactive skin and rosacea seemed quite happy.

Overall, I’ve been pretty satisfied with Le Cleanser from Doré. It has swiftly merged into my evening shower routine and does the job I need this product to do without bothering my skin. I also love its packaging, a mix of retro lines in a bright green colour—something cool and different in skincare, finally. And it is affordable. I like trying new products but commit to finishing everything I buy. As I am not a serial buyer, I won’t get Le Cleanser straight again, but I will repurchase later without any doubt. I believe Le Cleanser by Doré has a legitimate space in your clean beauty shelf. It is effective, easy to use and respectful to the skin—a staple for anyone looking for a super simple skincare routine.

*[While researching what it means for a brand to be endorsed by the Environmental Working Group, Google tells me that the EWG faced some controversy regarding the accuracy of their reports and statements by being too alarmist and exaggerating the risks of some chemicals. The fact that a pro-organic food lobby funds the EWG group could explain why they have this conservative approach and push for organic ingredients. In my opinion, I prefer organisations that tend to overstate the risk of chemical components, promoting higher standards, so I appreciate that a product has been deemed “safe to use” by the EWG, particularly if it is for my skin. Read more about the controversies here.]

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