Skip to Content

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

The Ordinary skincare products are formulated to be simple and effective while also incredibly affordable.

While The Ordinary is known for their fantastic serums and treatment products, they also offer a non-foaming cleanser: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser on a blue background.

I have been using this The Ordinary cleanser in my morning and evening skincare routine for several weeks.

In this post, I will discuss my thoughts on The Ordinary’s only facial cleanser in this The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser review.

This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is a facial cleanser that is formulated to gently remove makeup, dirt, and oil while leaving the skin feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated.

The cleanser is made with squalane and lipophilic esters to help dissolve makeup, dirt, and other facial impurities while moisturizing the skin. It is designed to be suitable for all skin types.

The cleanser is formulated at a pH of 5.50 – 6.50, non-comedogenic, soap-free, vegan and cruelty-free.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Key Ingredients

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser handheld on a blue background.

Squalane: The most concentrated ingredient in this cleanser is squalane. Squalane is a saturated hydrocarbon that is a stabilized version of squalene (with an e), a natural lipid found in 13% of human sebum.

Squalane has several benefits for the skin, including being an effective emollient and moisturizer. It helps restore the skin’s natural barrier function and prevents transepidermal moisture loss.

Squalane is gentle on the skin, making it ideal for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin.

Squalane is also a non-comedogenic ingredient, so it won’t clog your pores. This, in addition to its lightweight texture and non-oily finish, makes it an excellent oil for those with combination, oily, and acne prone skin.

Additional ingredients include:

  • Glycerin: Glycerin is a natural humectant that helps the skin to retain moisture. Glycerin also helps to soothe the skin and shield it from irritation.
  • Tocopherol: This pure form of vitamin E provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage from environmental factors like UVB rays. Vitamin E is also an emollient, which means it softens the skin.
  • Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone: A synthetic molecule that is an antioxidant and anti-irritant, and it is supposed to boost hyaluronic acid in the skin.
  • Malic Acid: A natural fruit acid that helps to slough off dead skin cells, malic acid brightens the complexion and improves the look of wrinkles and fine lines. Mandelic acid is gentler on the skin than other exfoliating acids, such as alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, and is a great acid alternative for those with sensitive skin.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser tube and sampled on hand on a blue background.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is designed to be an all-in-one cleanser, but I like to use it in the evenings as a makeup remover instead of a cleansing balm and then follow with a water-based cleanser to remove any residue or leftover makeup.

It is packaged in a gray tube with a flip cap, making dispensing quick and non-messy.

Due to the easy-to-use packaging, this cleanser would be great for travel, as it is much more convenient to use than a tub of cleansing balm.

Before melting it in my palms, the texture reminds me of rich cleansing cream. It quickly melts into my skin, and you don’t need to use a lot.

It washes away clean and doesn’t leave any residue behind.

This face wash leaves my combination skin feeling hydrated, soft, and smooth without any tightness or dryness. It’s one of the more moisturizing cleansers that I’ve ever tried.

The pH level is between 5.5-6.5, and I’ve never had any issues with it causing any irritation or sensitivity. Like the rest of The Ordinary products, it is free of artificial fragrance and colorants.

I like to use this cleanser when I test out potent actives like retinol or exfoliating acids, which can cause flakiness and irritation.

It’s a very gentle cleansing product, so it doesn’t irritate my skin, and the squalane soothes redness and my dehydrated, flaky skin.

I think it would be an excellent option for those with dry skin, as it supports a healthy skin barrier and does not strip the skin. (Pair it with The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides for extra nourishment.)

It’s also ideal for sensitive skin, as it is a gentle cleanser that is fragrance-free and non-irritating.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Drawbacks

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is not a good choice for those looking for a foaming face wash since it doesn’t foam or have any bubbles.

Also, it may not completely remove a full face of heavy makeup, including eye makeup and mascara, so you may need to cleanse twice with it or follow with another cleanser to remove all traces of makeup.

The price of the smaller tube is very affordable, but you only get 1.7 oz. There is a larger 5.0 oz. tube, priced at almost $20, making it not the most budget-friendly The Ordinary product.

The Bottom Line: While this facial cleanser works well for my skin, there are many other first-cleanse options for makeup removal that are more affordable, so I’ll probably save this cleanser for when my skin is dehydrated and sensitized and in need of extra moisture.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser flatlay on a blue background.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Conflicts

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser does not conflict with any other products in The Ordinary’s line-up.

How To Use The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

Be sure to rub the cleanser between your palms for about 10-30 seconds before applying the cleanser to your dry face.

This will change the cleanser’s texture from a balm to an oil-like consistency that allows the emulsifying sucrose esters to attract impurities for a better cleanse.

Then massage the cleanser into your skin, add warm water to emulsify it, and rinse. The cleanser does not foam. Instead, it turns into a milky, creamy cleanser that dissolves makeup, dirt, and oil.

Follow with any treatments/serums, and a moisturizer, and don’t forget sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher in your morning skincare routine.

The Ordinary recommends patch testing this and all new products before applying them to your skin for the first time.

Where To Buy The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

You can purchase The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser at Ulta, Sephora, Target, and The Ordinary’s website.

Is The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Good For Acne?

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is good for acne because it’s non-comedogenic, soap-free, and gentle on the skin, which should appeal to you if you have an oily skin type prone to breakouts.

It doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients that can strip the skin or aggravate acne-prone skin.

Additionally, the non-comedogenic squalane in the formula helps to soothe and hydrate the skin, which can help to restore a damaged skin barrier.

A healthy skin barrier keeps out irritants and bacteria that can cause breakouts and blemishes.

Pair The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser With The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser.

The Ordinary has launched its newest cleanser: a foaming cleanser!

The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser is a water-based cleanser that pairs perfectly with Squalane Cleanser as part of a double cleanse.

Use Squalane Cleanser to remove your makeup and SPF, and follow with Glucoside Foaming Cleanser to remove any remaining dirt and oil. Its foaming properties make it ideal for combination to oily skin.

For more details on this new cleanser, check out my The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser review post.

Pair The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser With The Ordinary Glycolipid Cream Cleanser

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and The Ordinary Glycolipid Cream Cleanser.

The Ordinary has also launched a cream cleanser: The Ordinary Glycolipid Cream Cleanser.

This non-foaming cream cleanser contains a plant-derived glycolipid cleansing agent that cleanses without stripping your skin, making it ideal for dry skin.

You can use Squalane Cleanser as the first step of your cleansing routine to remove makeup and sunscreen and follow with The Ordinary Glycolipid Cream Cleanser to clean your skin.

For more details on this cream cleanser, please see my The Ordinary Glycolipid Cream Cleanser review post.

Final Thoughts: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

If you’re looking for a gentle and effective oil-based cleanser, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin, I would recommend The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser, one of The Ordinary’s best sellers.

It is a little pricier for the large 5 oz. version, but the smaller tube is very affordable if you want to give it a try.

If you are looking for an alternative to cleansing balm, The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser could be an excellent option for you.

Thanks for reading!

Noura Sabry Shaheen

Friday 7th of April 2023

Thank you So informative Just asking if u please, how does it smell? Or is it odorless


Friday 21st of April 2023

It's fragrance-free, and I don't notice any scent at all. Thanks for reaching out!