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Robb Recommends: The Moisturizing Cleanser That Helps Banish Dry Skin

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Winter’s unrepentantly dry, cold air can force even the oiliest-skinned among us to confront dry, flaky, irritated faces. And when all the serums and moisturizers in the world couldn’t help me from looking like Mother Nature had taken a Microplane to my cheeks and the area under my chin, I started looking for ways to augment the rest of my routine. And fortunately, a friend I trust recommended Prequel’s Gleanser.

That’s not a typo, but a portmanteau. The Gleanser is so named because this cleanser has a high proportion of glycerin, a deeply moisturizing ingredient that helps skin pull water from the air and keep it there, bolstering barrier function and protecting the skin from a range of environmental stressors. Prequel uses 50 percent glycerin in this formula, which is remarkable—most cleansers (and in fact most skincare products period) are mostly water.

Review: Prequel's Gleanser Helps Defeat Dry Winter Skin
Review: Prequel's Gleanser Helps Defeat Dry Winter Skin

Prequel Gleanser

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Using the Gleanser has helped me cut down on dryness and flakiness, even when I’m using high-powered actives such as Vitamin C and retinol, which are infamous for causing irritation. Its makers claim that washing your face with it twice a day can help the skin retain more moisture for up to 24 hours. I’m not sure whether that’s true, but I do know that after about a week of using it, I saw fewer signs of dry skin staring back at me in the mirror.

But a word of caution: This product, which is blessedly unscented, can be tricky to emulsify the first few times you use it. I found myself experimenting with amounts of Gleanser and water to find the right balance. Too little water and the resulting foam has a gluey, tacky texture that’s not pleasant to rub against your face. Too much and you don’t get as much of a benefit from the titular ingredient. So long as you’re willing to find the right balance, though, you’ll be rewarded with supple skin all winter long.

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