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Six Reasons This $36 Cleanser Is Worth Every Penny

From its unique texture to its overachieving formula, the Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel is not your boring, run-of-the-mill, utilitarian cleanser. Find out what makes it a standout in any medicine cabinet – and worthy of its price tag – below.

We recently waxed poetic about the Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm, which has been racking up the beauty industry awards of late. We would be remiss not to also shine a spotlight on the cleansing balm’s double cleanse counterpart, the Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel ($36).
It’s also an award recipient – it was just named Best Cleanser (Face) by Brides magazine for the publication’s 2019 Brides Beauty Awards – and is a Klog and Soko Glam team favorite.
RELATED: The Best Cleansing Duos For Your Skin Type
Sure there are cheaper cleansers out there, but with an ingredient list packed with natural, skin-benefitting goodness and a formula that provides a luxe, sensory experience, this one is truly a step above. Here, we breakdown why it’s a staple in our routines.

The most concentrated ingredient in the formula is not water or filler, it’s rice ferment filtrate.
Rice water is poised to become one of the biggest beauty ingredient trends of the year thanks to its many skin and hair benefits. You’ll find the fermented form of rice water (sake!) in the number one spot on the cleanser’s ingredient list, meaning that the formula contains more of it than any other ingredient.
Rice ferment filtrate excels at brightening and is also rich in nourishing enzymes and amino acids.
It has an optimal pH so it won’t dry or strip your skin of natural oils.
According to Then I Met You co-founder Charlotte Cho, it’s not easy to create a low pH water-based cleanser that has a transparent gel texture, which is why formulas can be drying and make skin feel tight. Despite the challenge, she was able to work closely with the R&D cosmetic chemist for the brand to achieve a pH of 6, an optimal number for keeping skin happy while still being effective.
It has a unique jelly texture.
Charlotte was inspired by melted Korean taffy when conceptualizing the formula’s stretchy and bouncy texture. And it’s not just for show – ultra-hydrating agents sorbitol and glycerin lie within the polymer complex that gives the cleanser its texture and makes the agents more effective at moisturizing.
Its list of benefits go way beyond cleansing.
In addition to rice ferment filtrate, the formula features another brightening ingredient, licorice extract, plus healing centella asiatica, and antioxidant-rich green tea. Gluconolactone, a gentle chemical exfoliant (a PHA), and tea tree leaf also help prevent acne.
It’s free of stuff you don’t want to put on your face.
The formula is vegan and doesn’t contain parabens, artificial colorants, or fragrance. The cleanser’s subtle herbal scent comes from licorice root and citric acid.
A little goes a long way.
It’s designed to effectively remove impurities with just a pea-sized amount, so the tube will last you for a while. Charlotte recommends activating the recommended amount with water by applying onto wet hands, lathering, and then massaging on skin before rinsing.

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