Review: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Last month, I spent a week in New York City. While there, I visited the beautiful showroom for Glossier.


Every product is laid out neatly for visitors to test, organized roughly by function. Moisturizers, primers, serums, and balms at one; powder, foundation, and concealer at another; and lip, cheek, and eye products at another.

At the back of the showroom, there is a washbasin, surrounded by their skincare products. One such product is the infamous Milky Jelly Cleanser.


Of course, by the time I got a chance to test out the cleanser, I had quite a collection of swatches on my hand.

First Impressions

First, the ingredients:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Propanediol, Isohexadecane, Poloxamer 184, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Xylitylglucoside, Betaine, Allantoin, Glycerin, Panthenol, Symphytum Officinale Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Anhydroxylitol, Polysorbate 80, Xylitol, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Isopropyl Myristate, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that there is no fragrance added. It does smell faintly of roses due to the inclusion of the rose water (Rosa Damascena Flower Water), so be aware of that if you are very sensitive to fragrance or just really dislike the scent of roses.

The cleansing aspect of it is performed by the addition of a polymer (Poloxamer 184), which helps water to mix with oils and other products on the skin, letting them be rinsed away.

The product feels… well… very jelly-like. It’s a really unique-feeling cleanser in that way. I can’t think of any other cleanser that has its texture. It is more viscous that typical cleansers, which are more runny, but spreads easily and feels very “clean.” In that way, it’s more like a silicone makeup primer, but without the powderiness that usually accompanies primers due to the addition of silica (for oil-absorption).

The consistency of the Milky Jelly Cleanser. From Glossier’s Instagram.

I used it for about a week in place of my normal makeup remover, and I must say — it lives up to the claim of being a pretty effective remover. It spread easily and worked just like all of the videos that Glossier has posted on their social media, removing my concealer, eye makeup, lipstick, and most of my mascara with ease. I did not try it with more waterproof formulas, like MAC Face & Body or a waterproof mascara.

A post shared by Glossier (@glossier) on


After use, it left my skin smooth, soft, and clean-feeling. It did not feel stripped, even after multiple days of usage. It also did not bother my rosacea or make me pinker than usual.



The Milky Jelly Cleanser has been a bit of a cult favorite for awhile now, and with good reason. It removes makeup pretty well (though I’d still use a makeup remover for any makeup beyond the light, concealer/mascara/lipstick days), cleanses great, and doesn’t leave skin stripped. Bonus: it lacks fragrance and typical surfactants that can leave skin stripped and tight.

Unfortunately, it broke my skin out after a couple of days usage, but I am also incredibly acne-prone. After just a couple days, my skin had closed comedones all over. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA cleared this up within just 2-3 days of nightly usage.

This doesn’t make me less likely to recommend it however, as it is a great, no frills cleanser and I imagine that a bottle would last about 2-3 months of daily usage.

You can purchase Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser on their website for $18 USD + tax and shipping.

Note on Glossier’s returns: Glossier’s customer service is amazing. After I contacted them to let them know that I purchased this product in store, but was back home in LA without a way to return it, they responded with a friendly note to let me know that they had passed my feedback along and issued me a full refund, no returning of the product needed. 



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Game developer by day. Real-life gremlin. Amateur photographer. Mental health advocate. Skincare lover and science devotee. In 2011, I began a journey into skincare that became a life-long passion. I've written numerous articles on on skincare and helped hundreds of people as they begin their own journey into a better understanding of their skin. I am an advocate for science-based skincare, and want to help others achieve their goals of better skin.

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