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I work hard and long hours by rights of simply being employed in New York City, and most nights the absolute last thing I want to think about is the act of removing my make-up. Face-washing, sure, but nothing’s more obnoxious after a 12-hour workday than also having to think about how you’re going to clear your lashes of clumpy mascara gloops, which are still intact because you use a 24-hour waterproof mascara, because you work hard and long hours in New York City.

For most of my life my face-washing ritual was an annoying struggle with multiple products and, in the winter, slathering on loads of moisturizer to try to make up for the stripping of my dainty combo skin. Then last August, I was introduced to Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser (a “3 in 1 cleansing gelée”) via a Sephora sample and since then, I cannot imagine my evenings without it.

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First and most crucially, the softening, honey-and-citrus-scented cleanser totally replaced my need for any make-up remover: rub it on as a gel and as it melts into an oil right into your face, as well as seeming to literally melt off your make-up—even the most industrial mascara slabs. This is a miracle in itself, but as a fun person who is also extraordinarily finicky about the feel and texture of a make-up remover—I loathe the feeling of oil-based removers, but water-based removers tend to dry out my skin—it is important to note that the formula is super moisturizing, but doesn’t leave that oily residue that makes you feel like you’ve just rubbed your face with tannins.

After transforming from a gel to an oil, interaction with water turns it into more of a milk. It’s not all that visible when you’re washing it from your face for various reasons (such as: your eyes are probably closed), but recently I spilled some water in the jar and saw a bit of it transform before my very eyes. Milk is its third incarnation and, I’m assuming, the cleansing aspect of the triad. At this point, I’m left with skin that feels extremely clean and fresh but also baby soft, even in winter—and it’s an oil that, miraculously, does not leave my T-zone with zits, which is frankly fucking insane. If we’re being honest, using this cleanser has made me feel a little bit more like an adult woman who knows how to take care of herself. I realize that sounds like a specious and overwrought claim but really, when you’ve had shitty skin and day-old mascara flaking off into your morning coffee for most of your life, a hydrated and scrubbed visage goes a long way to making you feel like a capable person.

Oh, and apparently it’s got ingredients like Vitamin C, Rose Hip Oil, and Virgin Cherry Oil that are supposed to brighten your skin, but I haven’t noticed any difference in that arena and I don’t really care anyway. My face is clean. I’ve had the same $35 jar for over a year and I’ve got a good month’s worth left. Winter is coming and this shit is my Dragonglass.


Contact the author at julianne@jezebel.com.

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Image via Ole Henriksen