Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser

Step up to the sink with confidence. We've got a face wash for the most sensitive skin. It calms and soothes skin, reduces redness and irritation.
Item #: 105
  • Anti-Aging, Eczema, Extra Sensitive Skin, Redness, Rosacea, Wrinkles
  • Dry/Very Dry Skin
  • Great for rosacea

Our new and improved Skin Recovery Cleanser formula is thicker, creamier, and feels more cushiony on sensitive skin while still calming and soothing skin as it cleans.

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Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser

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Customer Ratings:

88 out of 100
(Based on 161 Reviews)
Page of 7 Next »
  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Monday, October 20, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent makeup remover, yet so gentle.
    • I have acne prone skin (incl. cystic) that has begun to dry out with age and use of Differin. I have always used Moisture Boost in the winters, but my skin started getting dry early this year, and it wasn't cutting it. This cleanser is fabulous - so incredibly gentle (no lather), yet it gets my face substantially cleaner with less product than the Moist. Boost or the Skin Balancing cleansers. No breakouts, and my skin feels noticeably less taut. Highly recommend!

  2. wc
    Reviewed on Sunday, October 19, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    milky consistence
    • I've used Moisture Boost cleanser, however found it drying..so tried Skin Recovery and while it didn't dry out my skin as much as Moisture Boost I found the consistency very milky and seems like I had to use twice as much in order to cleanse my face. The scent is also odd. Will go back to Moisture Boost even though it is drying for my skin.

  3. VALORIE C.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Not a thorough clean
    • I have used PC cleansers in the past with much success. For some reason, this cleanser is not working well for me. After use I am finding residue left on cotton pad with toner--a noticeable uptick in this since I started using the SOFTENING CREAM CLEANSER. Now I have to wash twice to feel really clean and I wear a light coverage makeup (all bases covered)!! Did the formula change?!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Thanks for your review! Yes, the formula did change for this product. We felt (and our panel testers agreed) that it was a change for the better, including for makeup removal. Please contact us if you'd like to arrange for a refund or exchange.

    —Admin
  4. M J K.
    Reviewed on Sunday, October 12, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Very Sensitive
    • I have extremely sensitive skin. I tried many different cleansers for sensitive skin. However, with prolonged use my face would start turning red after I washed it. It was like my skin was being slightly burned by these products. When I found Paula's Choice website I was impressed that you could order samples of all the products first. I've used this cleanser almost two years and my skin looks great. I haven't experienced any redness, just a healthy complexion. I've even received compliments.

  5. Y. L.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 08, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good cleanser
    • This cleanser is nice. But it's a bit drying. I have an oily skin and even it dries. I'll continue the bottle, but suppose not to re-purchase it. But it works well with Recovery Toner.

  6. Stephanie H.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 30, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Good product; awful smell
    • This cleanser DID NOT make the cut for me, mostly due to the smell. It reminds me of slightly watered down Elmer's glue. Gross. I understand Paula's commitment to not adding fragrance, but this cleanser seriously needs it. It did help repair my damaged acid mantle, so it's not all bad. But since I don't have this issue anymore I won't use again & will probably return.

  7. Bobbie J
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 28, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Leaves skin smooth and not tight
    • I gave it 4 stars, as it left my nose pretty dry but not the rest of my face. That left me a little perplexed! I order a sample, to make sure that this would be the cleanser for me before I bought the large size. I have african american skin, very acne-prone with dark scars from past acne. My skin suffers from eczema in both summer and winter & i have very allergic eyes. So what I wash my face with is very important, as most cleansers sting. This one didn't.

  8. WZ
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 14, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Odd Scent
    • I ordered the cleanser about 2 months ago and just started using it today. When I received the product the bottle was very warm to the touch, since here in Texas the temps are usually 100 degrees or over, I was not sure the cleanser was safe to use after opening the bottle and noticing a odd odor. I'm not sure if I should continue using it or not? The product does not dry out my face, so that is good. Please comment customer service. Thank you.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, September 15, 2014

    This cleanser should be fine to use, as all of our products go through extensive stability testing that includes long-term exposure to high heat. If you remain concerned, please contact us.

    —Admin
  9. Christina E.
    Reviewed on Monday, August 25, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great cleanser!
    • LOVE both this & the Moisture Boost cleanser so much! Both are creamy, but the Moisture Boost works into a rich, low-suds lather compared to this one. After years of trying bad OTC cream cleansers, I was convinced they weren't for me. They never removed all my makeup, & left a film on my skin. Now that I've used these, I'll never go back to foaming cleansers! Both leave the skin soft & clean & remove makeup well. I prefer the MB solely bcuz of the rich lather. Otherwise, it's a draw!

  10. OIivia H.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 21, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Perfect for Dry/Sensitive Skin!
    • I was really impressed by this product from the very first use. Never had I ever used a cleanser that didn't make my skin feel at least a little tight. After cleansing my face with this product my face felt quite soft, I was really surprised. However, this is not a product that will remove all your makeup. I highly suggest using a cleansing oil or makeup removing wipe to remove makeup before washing your face with this at night.

  11. Kristina B.
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 17, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Excellent cleanser
    • After getting frustrated with drugstore sensitive skin cleansers that either dried out my skin, left a residue, or simply failed to remove makeup, I gave in and ordered this. It doesn't lather or foam, but it still rinses clean without residue. It doesn't dry me out. When I dry my face with a white towel, there are no little telltale mascara marks. It seems to completely remove my mineral sunscreen and makeup as well. Worth the expense, even for something that you rinse right off.

  12. HEATHER E.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great for Sensitive/Irritated Skin
    • I've used (and loved several PC cleansers over the years, but this and Earth Sourced are my favorites. This one is essential when my skin is irritated from treatment products, allergies, rosacea, or environmental factors. It removes every bit of my makeup and leaves my skin soft and soothed. I like the consistency and only need a little each day, making the large bottle a very economical choice.

  13. Jane
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Fantastic for Rosacea!
    • Great cleanser for those of us suffering from Rosacea. It is ultra gentle, mild and non-irritating. Absolutely happy with my purchases, as I am on bottle number 3 having just received the 16 oz version.

  14. ItsAllGood
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 27, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE IT!
    • I LOVE this Cleanser. I know, really? It's a cleanser. Well, it's so gentle but so effective at cleaning extra sensitive rosacea affected skin like "I" have! Honestly, I am not sure which is better, Paula's Choice products or her amazing customer service representatives. Bravo Paula and Bravo Customer Service representatives. This cleanser cleans your skin but it's like getting a facial in a bottle. My skin feels so good, I actually look forward to cleansing my skin! Seriously!

  15. Lucy
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Made me break out
    • I have normal/dry skin and Rosacea. Unfortunately this made my skin break out within a day or so. I contacted Paula's Choice and they gave me a refund right away. So, the product gets 1 star but customer service gets 5 stars.

  16. Cynthia T.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    So awesome it should be illegal!
    • A cleanser that cannot clean makeup is not a cleanser. I wore heavy duty MAC primer, foundation, concealer, blush etc.. etc. This took off ALL of it. I've checked a few times with a makeup wipe to make sure it was all off and yup! No remaining makeup! I also love the larger size. I could not BELIEVE how big it was when it came in the mail! For a few seconds I thought they had sent me a shampoo, its HUGE! I wish I had more than 500 characters to rave about this product! You won't regret it!

  17. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 06, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great
    • I do a double cleanse at night with this and it doesn’t leave my skin tight or dry. The first cleanse gets off the makeup and the second cleanse really gets my skin clean. It was so hard to find creamy water soluble cleanser that takes off makeup, washes away without residue, and is fragrance free until I found this. I'd rather it have a pump and maybe an oil like castor, safflower, evening primrose, or borage instead of mineral oil, but those are minor issues to me.

  18. Alexis S.
    Reviewed on Friday, July 04, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Perfect cleanser
    • Found Hydralite cleanser too drying so the great customer service people replaced it with this. Am super happy with it. Cleanses well, but doesn't dry and leaves my skin feeling soft. Would highly recommend

  19. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 28, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Too runny!
    • I was looking for a cleanser that cleans make up well and isn't too drying. This cleaner is really runny and it doesn't clean make-up! I tried using it with my Clarisonic, but it runs everywhere! It did not clean make up at all. I wiped my face with a towel after washing my face and there was still a lot of make up left on my face! Will be returning this product.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, July 01, 2014

    Thanks for your review! This cleanser contains severla ingredients capable of removing makeup, so we're not sure why it didn't work for you. Regardless, we're happy to provide a refund or exchange for another cleanser! Just contact our Customer Care Team and they will be happy to take care of you.

    —Admin
  20. Olivia N.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 18, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Saved my skin
    • This is by far the best cleanser I have tried. I have extremely sensitive acne prone skin and it helped make it much smoother and gave it the perfect dewey look I have been striving for.

  21. Jean L.
    Reviewed on Monday, June 09, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Had no idea...
    • I had no idea that a cleanser could make such a difference in my skin. It left it looking and feeling brighter and softer. Very glad I gave it a try.

  22. Amanda C.
    Reviewed on Sunday, June 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best Cream Cleanser to Date!
    • I'm calling this cleanser the best because for me, it 1000% is! I am a natural redhead with pale, sensitive skin. This product has helped my face look so much better in such a short amount of time! I was very skeptical to use this at first because so many products have hurt my face before. My face feels and looks so clean after using this. It feels very soft, moisturized, there's NO redness/irritation, and no tightness or flakes. I LOVE THIS! I cannot go without this product.

  23. Kate
    Reviewed on Monday, May 26, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Easy on your skin
    • Very nice and mild facial wash. Does not dry out my skin. But you definitely will need a make up remover to use before washing as this is so mild that it does little for dissolving eye make up. Otherwise great facial wash.

  24. Jai P.
    Reviewed on Thursday, May 22, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Great for Acne-Free Dry Skin
    • This cleanser is incredible for dry skin, always leaves my face soft and cleansed of all makeup. However, it does not seem to be cleansing as thoroughly as I need; my pores become congested very easily while using this cleanser alone. I find following it up with the Hydralight Cleanser combats this problem but the double cleansing can be a little drying at times. I have found my perfect match in the Skin Balancing Cleanser, but my non-acne prone friend loves this stuff so I'll pass it onto her!

  25. Andréa Görl
    Reviewed on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Wonderful!
    • I will give it four stars, the only reason for that is... I dries me juuust a tad out. Nothing major. But still. It's a some what thick creamy cleanser, smells nice even though it's a perfume free one. Takes away makeup like a charm. AND I have to give a shout out to costumer service for the UK section (I live in Sweden), asked if I could add a sample of the mask in the same line to my order. It was too late to add it to the existing order so they sent me one for free! VERY NICE!

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What makes this product unique?
Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser is a rich, intensely hydrating cleanser that rinses easily with water. Designed for dry to very dry skin, the creamy lotion texture glides over skin while it cleanses and removes makeup. Works throughout the cleansing process to keep dry skin supple while actually improving skin's softness and adding moisture. This cleanser is also an excellent option for truly sensitive skin, including those with rosacea.

This cleanser is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free.

Who is this product for?
Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser is formulated for those with normal to very dry or sensitive skin.

Sources to support the claims made for Skin Recovery SOFTENING CREAM Cleanser

Cutis, March 2005, pages 17-21; March 2004, pages 183–187; and December 2001, Supplemental, pages 12–19; Skin Research and Technology, February 2005, pages 53–60; Dermatologic Therapy, 2004; 17 Supplemental 1, pages 26-34;  Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 16–25; Skin Research and Technology, July 2001, pages 49–55; and Contact Dermatitis, June 1999, pages 310–315.

Key Ingredients: oat beta-glucan, Chamomilla recutita flower extract, Glycine soja oil, cocamidopropyl betaine

Product Ingredients:

Water, Hydrogentated Polydecene, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Glycine Soja (Soy bean) Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 80, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Chamomile Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Oat Beta Glucan, Mineral Oil, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Laureth-4, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.

DIRECTIONS: Splash the face and eyes generously with tepid to slightly warm water. Apply a small amount of cleanser to your face and eye area with vigorous yet gentle circular motions. Rinse well. Repeat or use with a clean washcloth to remove heavy makeup. Follow with the appropriate Paula’s Choice toner to give your skin a generous amount of potent antioxidants and skin-renewing ingredients. Next, apply your Paula's Choice exfoliant, serum and/or moisturizer.

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skincare Routine article.

Do I still need to use an eye or face makeup remover?

It depends on how much eye or face makeup you are using or if you are wearing waterproof mascara, waterproof makeup, or other hard-to-remove makeup. Otherwise, this cleanser effectively removes most types of makeup. If you feel you need an a separate makeup remover, Paula's Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover is ideal.

How does Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser differ from the other Paula's Choice Cleansers-how do I know which one is best for me?

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser is slightly more emollient than Moisture Boost One Step Face Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin, which makes it preferred for someone with dry to very dry skin. It is also more emollient than Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser, though both the Resist and Skin Recovery Cleanser are great for dry skin of any age.

I have normal to dry skin on my cheeks but my T-zone is oily - would Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser work for me?

While it is an option, your best bet would be to try Moisture Boost One Step Face Cleansers for Normal to Dry Skin first. If you prefer a gel cleanser, consider Hydralight One Step Cleanser for Normal to Oily/Combination Skin.

I have normal to dry skin that gets noticeably drier in the winter - would Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser be a good seasonal choice?

Yes! This would be a very good choice for normal to dry skin during the winter months.

Will this cleanser make me break out?

This cleanser is extremely unlikely to cause blemishes. However, normal to oily and blemish-prone skins will likely find this cleanser too emollient for their skin type.

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