Sensitive Hungarian Water Essence Calming Liquid Cleanser
“Inspired by” Hungarian Water Essence isn’t the same thing as actually containing Hungarian water, but even if Olay’s Sensitive Hungarian Water Essence Calming Liquid Cleanser did contain “special” water, your skin wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Aside from Hungarian water, this facial cleanser has merit for normal to dry skin, but there’s one aesthetic issue that we suspect many people won’t like. The amount of emollient petrolatum this cleanser contains leaves a filmy feeling on skin after its rinsed. Olay has done well with this ingredient in their moisturizing body washes, so we’re surprised by it. It’s not a subtle sensation, and you might not mind it if your skin is dry to very dry, but it definitely won’t feel great on oily or acne-prone areas.
The good news is that this pump-dispensed cleanser feels silky and creamy in use; in fact, the lather is downright luxurious and rinsing leaves skin noticeably softer, not dry or tight.
More to love is how well this removes dirt, excess oil, and makeup but we could do without the fragranced formula’s risk of irritating skin and eyes (especially since this is marketed as being “gentle on skin”.
Specific to sensitive skin, we’re disappointed to see this cleanser contains the sensitizing preservatives methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone. Although neither is typically considered a problem in rinse-off products, we’re concerned that some may remain on the skin due to the petrolatum residue.
Bottom line: This isn’t one of Olay’s better cleanser efforts. You’ll find those achievements on our list of best facial cleansers.
- Silky, creamy lather feels luxurious.
- Leaves skin noticeably softer.
- Effectively removes dirt, excess oil, and makeup.
- The high amount of petrolatum leaves a filmy feeling on skin.
- Fragranced formula poses a risk of irritating skin and eyes.
- Contains preservatives that can be sensitizing due to the residue this leaves.
Olay Sensitive Calming Liquid Facial Cleanser, inspired by Hungarian Water Essence, is soap-free and dye-free, so it’s gentle on skin. This soothing face wash rinses away toxins and drenches skin in hydration. Inspired by Hungarian Water Essence, this sensitive skin facial cleanser is infused with essences of aloe and cucumber which work with Olay’s gentle skin formula to help fight dry skin at the source.
Starting decades ago with the now-classic Oil of Olay, this brand now offers an extensive range of skin-care products sold at drugstores and mass-market stores. Today's Olay lineup for those concerned about staving off the effects of aging skin is impressive, comprising their Regenerist, Pro X, and Total Effects lines. All of these (and several other Olay products) contain the B vitamin niacinamide. As you might expect, the claims made for it are inflated, but niacinamide is a very helpful ingredient for all skin types, capable of exerting multiple benefits.
In fact, perhaps the biggest complaint about Olay is that there are a number of repetitive formulas within and between the sub-brands make this line confusing and tricky to shop! Still, there is a lot to like about this drugstore stalwart, with its main drawback being a few formulas containing fragrance or other ingredients that have the potential to cause irritation.
For more information about Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 285-5170 or visit www.olay.com.
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The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.