One of Sephora’s Best-Selling Cleansers Just Got a Sensitive-Skin-Friendly Upgrade

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Take a peek at Sephora's list of best-selling skin-care products, and you'll consistently find Farmacy Beauty Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm ($34) ranking at the top of the list. It's beloved for its ability to melt away makeup in a single swipe, and its gentle exfoliating properties have made it a longtime favorite for people with oily, dry, and combination skin. But for people with sensitive or reactive skin, the formula's inclusion of fragrance (a known irritant for these skin types) has made it decidedly less appealing. Now, after three years and upwards of 300 lab samples, the brand is launching an entirely new version of the cleansing balm: Farmacy Beauty Clearly Clean ($34).

"After listening to feedback from our community, it was clear there was a need for our number-one, best-selling cleansing balm in a fragrance-free version specifically for those with sensitive or reactive skin types," says Kseniya Popova, Farmacy Director of Research and Development. "It's made without natural and synthetic fragrance, essential oils, PEGs, or colorants or dyes. In terms of fragrance, specifically, Clearly Clean has no harsh cleansing agents or allergens that would cause irritation or aggravate the skin."

Just like the original Green Clean formula, Clearly Clean is made with sunflower and ginger root oils, which effectively get rid of even the most stubborn eye makeup without stripping your skin. "Sunflower oil is natural, rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and is extremely effective in cleansing acne-prone skin as well as irritated or sensitive skin types," says Popova, adding that it also has emollient properties that help skin retain moisture. "Sunflower oil is a great source of vitamin E and isn’t too heavy on the skin."

What makes Farmacy's cleansing balms stand out from others on the market, though, is that aside from their makeup-removing prowess, they also offer gentle exfoliating properties. "The exfoliating element comes from the papaya enzymes in the product and is not the primary benefit but is a plus to cleansing," says Popova. "With this minor exfoliation, it ensures a thorough cleanse in terms of removing all dirt, SPF, makeup without the harsh exfoliation that typically damages the skin barrier."

I had the chance to test out the Clearly Clean Cleansing Balm for an entire week before it hit the shelves, and I'd go so far as to say it's even better than its predecessor. A single swipe of the stuff removes every inch of makeup from my skin, and it doesn't leave behind the usual "squeaky clean" feeling that derms say you should avoid (pro tip: that's a sign your cleanser is stripping your skin). Thanks to the papaya enzymes, it leaves my skin looking immediately more radiant, and I've found that it's so effective that I often use it as my sole cleanser instead of using it as the first step in a double cleanse. As the weather starts to shift and my traditionally dry complexion becomes more sensitive than usual to the elements, this stuff has earned a permanent spot in my daily skin-care arsenal.

For more tips on how to treat sensitive skin, check out the video below. 

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