This Is The Only Cleanser That Doesn't Give Me Hives

Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm or Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous and have devoted, loyal followings. While we love many of these, we've been wondering why others have been quietly flying under the radar. With that in mind, meet our series, Cult Classics, in which we'll introduce you to the products you should really, truly know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand-new, but trust us: They've got staying power.

Having sensitive skin is a real pain in the ass. To put it mildly, my face has a temper that flares up in response to most new products I try — which makes my job writing about beauty challenging, to say the least. And it's not just my face: From skin care to makeup to body products, my epidermis does not discriminate. My reactions range from slight irritation to full-blown hives.

Luckily, a few years ago, I discovered something amazing: a cleanser that my skin absolutely loves. Thanks to help from a particularly knowledgeable Sephora salesperson and a previous recommendation from one of my favorite YouTube beauty gurus, I finally found a reliable piece to my skin puzzle. (Thanks again, Missglamorazzi, a.k.a. Ingrid Nilsen!) Here's why it's great.

This cleanser isn't only for sensitive skin. Instead, it's a simple, no-frills formula that anyone could benefit from, since it's free of common irritants such as fragrances. It's also free of additives, such as parabens and sulfates — because, as any derm will tell you, the more basic the product, the less likely you'll have a negative reaction.

The word "gentle" doesn't cover how comforting, soft, and deep-cleaning this facial wash makes me feel after I rinse. Typically, I clean my face with a micellar water, makeup wipe (when I’m lazy), or cleansing balm; then, I double up and use this now-holy-grail product as a final cleanse. The key part? It’s allergy-tested and safe for someone with temperamental skin, exactly like mine. Goodbye hives, hello calm skin.

I haven’t stopped using it since, and I even brought two bottles of it with me when I studied abroad — it’s that good. The moral of the story? It worked for me, and it may just work for you, too.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser, $20, available at Sephora.

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