The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

(Not sponsored. No affiliate links.)

What is it?

The latest addition to The Ordinary family and the first ever of The Ordinary cleansers. Star ingredient is squalane, an emollient and a moisturizer derived most commonly from olive oil, sugar cane or rice. Although squalane looks like an oil, has the oily texture and acts like an oil, it isn’t one per se. It is actually just a hydrocarbon, a substance found in oils. I reviewed The Ordinary Plant-Derived Squalane here.

This odourless and colourless, non-comedogenic liquid is not to be mistaken with squalene, squalane’s older brother (from whom is squalene derived) which is highly comedogenic.

The Ordinary made I would say their first cleansing cream. If you can remember, I reviewed one here. The Ordinary Squalane cleanser acts the same way and provides very similar result.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Here is how DECIEM (The Ordinary’s mother company) describes their new squalane cleanser:

A gentle cleansing product formulated to target makeup removal whilst leaving the skin feeling smooth and moisturized. The formula incorporates Squalane, alongside other lipophilic esters that are gentle, moisturizing, efficient in dissolving makeup and facial impurities and increasing the spreadability of the product. When rubbed between your palms for approximately 10-30 seconds, the product undergoes an important textural change from a balm-like consistency to a clear oil-like consistency. This allows the emulsifying sucrose esters in the formula to trap and blend the dissolved makeup and facial impurities with water for rinsing. Being non-comedogenic and soap-free, this formula is designed to be gentle enough for daily use, without over-drying the skin, making it suitable for all skin types. /DECIEM/

This product comes in 50 ml / 1.7 fl.oz. plastic tube container, the same one as every The Ordinary cream/suspension is packed into.

Here’s the size comparison with The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (30 ml / 1 fl.oz.):

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Yes, you are right, 50 ml / 1.7 fl.oz. is definitely not enough for the cleanser especially given price of 7.20 EUR (6.20 £ or 8 USD) which puts it in not so affordable cleansers.

This product is as I said a few rows above, a cream of white colour and no distinctive scent. Actually, no scent at all. Very spreadable and turns into oily texture when rubbed enough.

How to use it?

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Dispense product into hands. Rub together to warm the product, allowing it to melt into an oil. Massage well onto dry face and rinse with warm water. If irritation occurs, cease use and consult a physician. Use only as directed on unbroken skin. Patch testing prior to use is advised. Keep out of reach of children. /DECIEM/

The question is: can this cleanser be used as the only cleansing step? Can you finally ditch double cleansing?

The answer is both yes and no. Read further.

I wrote post on how to properly cleanse skin. The same rule given there apply here.


The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Ingredients

Squalane, Aqua (Water), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Sucrose Stearate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Malic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin

Totally cleanser. Totally non sensitizing, totally skin friendly. Except you’re avoiding esters in your skin care products. Then it’s a no for you.

Rosacea safe?


Who is it for?

All skin types

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Does it work?

Here is how it worked for me:

  1. No foundation, yes sunscreen and sun block, e.g. NIOD Survival 20. No eye makeup:

I applied The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser to the dry skin, rubbed it to the point of oily mess, add a few drops of water, emulsified it and then washed it off. No washing cloth. Dang! Still a little of yellow on a test cotton pad with micellar water. Not good. Need double cleansing. Foam cleanser, and everything is finally off.

  1. Sunscreen, sunblock, foundation/BB cream eye makeup with L’Oreal Unlimited Mascara on and Colourpop Lux Lipstick:


Same story: apply to the dry skin, rub, emulsify, USE WASHING CLOTH this time. Dang! This cleanser removed EVERYTHING. Including stubborn L’Oreal mascara, not a waterproof one, but if you tried it, you know how difficult it is to remove without proper eye makeup remover. Not a trace of anything on test cotton pad. No need to double cleanse.

  1. Sunscreen, sunblock, water resistant foundation/BB, lip tint, waterproof mascara:

You know: apply to the dry skin, rub, mess, emulsify, USE WASHING CLOTH (aka flannel). And: Yes! Yes! Yes! All gone! Including The hardest, the most stubborn ever mascara that is so resistant to all eye makeup removers that Etude House had to make a special mascara remover for it. Yes it is Etude House Curl Fix Mascara.

The thing to mention is that the skin is not feeling stripped after cleansing. No breakouts and no redness afterwards.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review
My favourite type of washing cloth

So what is the conclusion. Like all cleansing oils, creams, emulsions, this one requires washing cloth to properly remove every trace of makeup, even the waterproof one. Without washing cloth it is just a first cleanser that needs a follow up with a foam cleanser to reach completely clean skin. I use it in the afternoon when I get home, and remove all of my makeup to enjoy my home face, and then use some of my foam cleansers when I prepare my skin for the night skincare routine. This is how it works best for me.

I can only suggest common sense to how you will use this cleanser. If you feel and your cotton pad shows that your skin isn’t yet clean, then use the double cleansing method. If you use washing cloth with this cleanser, the chances you will need another cleanser are very slim.

Face wash
Use washing cloth 🙂 (Photo source: Reddit)

Thumbs up?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s