Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel review : Acne-prone skin

I must have used tens of different face washes and cleansers in my lifetime. For years, I couldn’t find one that I particularly liked or felt hyped up about — until now. Here’s my Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel review… the only cleanser that has ever truly suited my sensitive, acne-prone skin.

Avene Cleanance cleansing gel review


My experience with acne

I had moderate-severe acne for around a decade until I managed to clear it up with a round of spironolactone and, later, Roaccutane. I totally understand how much of a struggle acne can be. I ended up with really low self-esteem. Finding products that work feels like a minefield at times — that’s why I always make to shout about the ones I find that work… like this one!

I’ve been off Roaccutane for about a year at the time of writing this review. Although my acne is nowhere near as severe, I’m still very acne-prone and have come to the conclusion that my acne is very hormonal. I can control it to an extent with products like this, but I think I’ll always be a little bit acne-prone.

Read more about my acne journey…

My skin type is combination (an insane mix of dry and oily areas), pretty damn sensitive and acne-prone. Hopefully, that’ll help you find out if this product will work for your skin too!

Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel review

As I said, I’ve used so many cleansers and face washes over the years. I eventually decided they all did the same thing and got into the habit of buying any ol’ bottle in the supermarket; products like the Simple Moisturising Face Wash or the Tesco’s own equivalent.

Don’t get me wrong, they always did the job of removing my makeup — but when I discovered Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel, I realised a good, gentle, acne-targeted face wash could play a big part in keeping my skin clear.

Product benefits + claims

Avene claims that their Cleanance Cleansing Gel is…

Avene Cleanance cleansing gel review

  • SOAP-FREE: Cleanses skin without drying it out
  • PURIFYING: Gentle cleanses the skin your skin to leave it feeling refreshed
  • REGULATING: Regulates excess oil and mattifies the skin#
  • SOOTHING: Instantly soothes the skin
  • EASY TO USE: Boasts a simple dispenser cap
  • RECOMMENDED FOR: Blemish-prone and oily skin


The results

The Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel does exactly what it says on the tin and more.

In terms of cleansing, it removes my make-up really well in just one wash. I typically use long-wearing makeup products and remove only my mascara with micellar water before using this cleanser. Every speck of my base makeup glides off like a dream. I do tend to double-cleanse anyway, especially if I’ve had a lot of makeup on.

What I love most about this cleanser is how gentle it is, despite providing such a thorough cleanse. It’s soap-free, meaning it respects the pH of the skin and helps to restore the protective barrier. I find it crazy that it’s soap-free, yet somehow has such strong cleansing power.

When you have acne, I know it can be tempting to raid the Clean ‘N’ Clear or Clearasil aisles, but trust me when I say they do more harm than good. All they do is strip your skin, dry it out and cause your skin to produce more pore-blocking oil. You need to be gentle with your skin if you have breakouts — give it the best possible chance of healing without scars. Trust me, I’ve learnt this the hard way!

Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel gives you that ‘clean feeling’ without drying out or irritating your skin. My skin is fairly sensitive and the wrong product will leave it red and angry. This cleanser leaves my skin looking — well — normal. Just calm and clean, but not stripped or dry.

Would I say it cleared up my skin? No, but no product — literally no product ever — has ever cleared up my skin. Only medication has truly cleared up my skin. But I do know it probably prevents build-up and prevents my breakouts from getting worse. As many products cause my acne-prone skin to break out even more, that’s a huge compliment.


The consistency

The Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel is a light, blue, gel (well, duh). It’s not thick, but not so thin that it’s hard to use. It spreads pretty easily over the skin and foams up very slightly, allowing you to have a good ol’ cleanse. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea how else to describe it. It just feels like a classic face wash!

The packaging

The Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel comes in a sturdy, plastic bottle with a white, twist-shut cap. I really like the cap as it feels super secure. to shut, it simply does not leak, making it great for travelling.

Avene Cleanance cleansing gel twist cap
It doesn’t have a pump, so you do not need to turn it upside down and give it a bit of a squeeze when you use it. It’s always fairly easy to get some product out though, even towards the end of the bottle.

The product is available in 100ml, 200ml, 300ml and 400ml. I’ve always gone for the 200ml, simply because it’s easier to take from place to place (I visited my family home a hell of a lot). However, I’ve read reviews claiming this is a great cleanser for body acne, so the 400ml might be a better option for those of you looking to use it for that purpose.


The price

The Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel typically costs £12 for the standard 200ml bottle, but is often on offer for £10-11. I normally purchase mine from Superdrug, but it’s also available from Boots, Amazon and LookFantastic.

If you’re looking for the 400ml bottle, it’s normally cheapest on Amazon,  if you live in the UK (I’m not totally sure of the situ in Europe and the US, so have a shop around). Considering the 200ml costs around £12, yet the 400ml is available for £15, it’s definitely the best way to get the most bang for your buck!

While the Avene Cleanance Soap-Free Cleansing Gel is a little more expensive than your bog-standard face wash, it’s not exactly exorbitant. I definitely feel the difference in my sensitive skin using this, so I’d say it’s well worth it if you can budget for it. The 200ml also tends to last me at least 3 months.

Good for, bad for…

I’d recommend the Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel for anyone with acne-prone or oily skin who wants a thorough cleanse, without stripping or drying out the skin. Trust me when I say that a soap-free product like this will do much more for your skin than an uber-drying Clearasil-style cleanser!

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this product for anyone with particularly dry skin, purely as it’s recommended specifically for oily skin. It contains Monolaurin, which regulates excess sebum and mattifies the skin — and I worry that this could be slightly drying.

How to use Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel

  • Wet your face and ensure it’s damp.
  • Apply a small blob of the product to your face and work it into a lather.
  • Gently rub the product all over the face in small, circular motions.
  • Rinse off with water.
  • If you wear makeup, repeat the steps above in order to ensure your face is completely cleansed.
  • Pat dry gently, with a clean towel.
  • Follow with your AM/PM skincare routine.


Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel ingredients

AVENE THERMAL SPRING WATER (AVENE AQUA). WATER (AQUA). SODIUM LAUROYL METHYL ISETHIONATE. ZINC COCETH SULFATE. POLYSORBATE 20. SODIUM COCOAMPHOACETATE. CETEARETH-60 MYRISTYL GLYCOL. PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL. GREEN 5 (CI 61570). CITRIC ACID. DISODIUM EDTA. FRAGRANCE (PARFUM). GLYCERYL LAURATE. SODIUM BENZOATE. SODIUM HYDROXIDE. SODIUM SULPHATE. YELLOW 5 (CI 19140). ZINC GLUCONATE.

Avene Cleanance cleansing gel bottle
I took a look on cosdna (a website which allows you to see whether a product is potentially comedogenic/irritating to the skin) and none of the ingredients were flagged. Unless you’re allergic to any of these specific ingredients, the Avene Clenance Cleansing Gel is highly unlikely to irritate your skin.


Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel review: Worth the money?

You can probably tell I love this product already — so yes, IMO, it’s absolutely worth the money!

It’s obviously a bit pricier than your bog-standard face wash, but if you’ve got the budget, I do think it’s worth spending that little bit extra. As I’ve said, it cleanses my skin really well without leaving it irritated, red, dry or stripped. While I can’t say it’s cleared my skin (only medication has), I do suspect it’s helped to prevent build-up and clogged pores and therefore helped to keep my acne at bay.

Have you tried Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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