COMPARISON: First cleanser from The Ordinary vs. The Inkey List - The Moisturizer
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COMPARISON: First cleanser from The Ordinary vs. The Inkey List

Header The Moisturizer - COMPARISON: First cleansers from The Ordinary vs The Inkey List
You don’t double cleanse yet? It’s a key part of your night skincare routine, but if you haven’t found an inexpensive oil-based cleanser yet, this comparison between The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm will certainly help you decide which one is the better choice for your skincare needs and preferences.


Before talking in detail about each of these cleaners, it is important for you to know what a first cleanser is, what its function is and when you should use it. So what is a first cleanser? It is an oil-based cosmetic with which we make the first phase of our PM skincare routine. At night it is convenient to do what is known as double cleansing, in which we first use an oil-based cleanser (such as the ones I have included in this comparison) and then a water-based cleanser (such as the foaming gels that we are more used to). Normally, the first cleansers are found in the form of cleansing milk or cleansing oil (lighter ones) or cleansing balm (with greater density).

And why do you need a double cleanse? Because with it, you can better remove makeup, sunscreen and other oil-soluble particles that have deposited on your skin throughout the day. For a better facial cleansing, once you rinse this first cleanser, it is advisable to use a water-based cleanser, which will help you to properly remove the possible remains of the first product and other water-soluble particles that are on your skin. If you want to continue learning about how to improve your facial cleansing, I recommend you to take a look at my article on the 8 most common mistakes when washing your face.

And now you know the benefits that double cleansing can bring to your night routine, I’m sure you’re looking forward to know what the Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary and the Oat Cleansing Balm from The Inkey List are like (and which of them is the best for you), let’s see it!

This graphic aims to help you understand in which part of your skincare routine you should use each product.
You don’t need to do all the steps from this routine (but you should always cleanse, moisturize and use sunscreen).
Remember it’s key to do a patch test every time you consider adding new products to your skincare routine.




As you can see on the product review, and as its name indicates, this first cleanser from The Ordinary has squalane as its main ingredient. We can find it in two formats: 50ml and 150ml, I prefer the second one (which, in fact, is the one I bought), since it is more durable and cheaper, although the smaller version is ideal for traveling. Its color is whitish and it does not have a prominent scent (it does not contain perfumes or essential oils in its composition, something that I consider positive).
The texture of this cleanser is creamy but not heavy, like a light balm or heavy cleansing milk. To apply it, we must take the product and massage it slowly with the palms of the hands so that it warms up and progressively turns into oil, at which point we can apply it on a dry face. The sensation when massaged on the skin is very pleasant and relaxing, which makes the experience very positive. Upon contact with water, once we rinse the product, it becomes lighter and is easily rinsed.

And is this first cleanser effective? Without a doubt, it effectively removes the particles that settle on the skin, although I must admit that when it comes to removing make-up, it is not the most powerful cleanser, so with certain make-ups you have to insist a little and use more product than usual to achieve an ideal cleanse.

This cleanser is a great solution to use daily and remove sunscreen, so if you don’t use waterproof or heavy makeup it may be the right choice for you. It’s affordable, comfortable, and does its job well, which is why I love it on a day-to-day basis.

You can get this The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser on DECIEM (recommended) and on SkinStore.

Squalane, Aqua (Water), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Sucrose Stearate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Malic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin.



Although I have been using this first cleaner from The Inkey List for a long time, I thought it would be more interesting to present it compared to the one from The Ordinary that I just talked about, since this way you will be able to assess which of them best suits your habits, your preferences and the needs of your skin.

In this case, the cleaner can be found in a single 150 ml format, very durable and practical. If we look at its composition we can see that the main ingredients are sweet almond oil and oat kernel oil (this second one is common in some cleansers for sensitive skin). As with The Ordinary cleanser, it does not include perfumes or essential oils among its ingredients, so it has a neutral scent that does not stand out. The color of the product is pale yellow.

Regarding its texture, something very curious happened to me, and that is that in the first uses the product was very, very dense when it came out of the container, but little by little it became lighter. As soon as I appreciated the change in texture, I got into the habit of shaking it before each use, and I have the feeling that the formula must have separated at some point and that is why the thickest part remained in the part of the container closest to the nozzle. If we stick with the middle ground (which in the end is what I have used most of the time), the product has a smooth texture and somewhat denser than in the case of The Ordinary, in contact with the skin it is pleasant. I did not like too much that the sensation on the skin once the product is removed is slightly greasy, so the need to continue with the double cleaning becomes more urgent.

When applying it, we must take into account that it must be done with a wet face (according to the manufacturer’s instructions), so we must rinse it with warm water before cleaning. Next, we must take the cleanser, warm it up between our hands and gently massage it all over the face, at which point we will see how the texture is transformed and becomes more liquid.

And is this Oat Cleansing Balm from The Inkey List effective? I must admit that it is a very, very good product, provides excellent cleansing and is capable of removing makeup without difficulty. It is a good cleanser for daily use, the only exception I can find is that slight oily residue that remains on the face (although, after all, since it is a first cleansing we already have the basis that you have to use a second cleanser afterwards).

If you wear makeup regularly, I would opt for this cleanser compared to The Ordinary, since it is somewhat more effective in that area, although as I said it is also a very good product if you simply want to remove the sunscreen and other particles that have deposited on it. your skin.

You can get The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm on Cult Beauty.

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Candelilla Cera (Cire de candelilla), Silica, Sorbitan Stearate, Tribehenin, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Aqua (Water/Eau), Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Lecithin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil.


Now that you know better the Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary and the Oat Cleansing Balm from The Inkey List, which one do you prefer? Which one best suits your preferences and the needs of your skin? Have you already tried any of them? Let me know in the comment section!


If you liked this article and want to continue learning about the best cosmetics to take care of your skin, surely you are interested in reading these posts:

Do you want to learn to take better care of your skin? You can see an index of all my informative posts here

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The Moisturizer

I’m Nacho and I’m passionate about skincare. I really enjoy learning and sharing my knowledge about skincare and I read scientific papers so you don’t have to. I want to break stereotypes because I believe skincare has no gender: skin is skin.  

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