Kao Japan Curel Makeup Cleansing Gel review/ swatch

"Curel" is a Japanese drugstore brand, it's a product-line under the Kao Japan group (which is a major cosmetic/ skincare group, also owns various famous brands including Kanebo/ Sofina/ Asience hair line/ Biore, Goldwell (haircare), John Frieda/ Molton Brown etc.

I've read about the Curel line for years on various beauty blogs. It's sort of a low- key and low advertising brand in Taiwan for many years, until it was introduced one or two years ago.  It has a really simplistic packaging featuring usually white bottles with blue accents, which is in-line with its brand philosophy/ target audience - a line tailored for dry, sensitive skin, and ceramide as the key active ingredient (not so much advertised so in cleansing items but more in terms of moisturisers).

I'm reviewing the Makeup Cleansing Gel first. There is surprisingly no cleansing oil in the product line (at least in Taiwan), this is the main makeup remover product from the line. The only other cleansing product is the mousse cleanser which is a normal facewash rather than a makeup remover.

The full size is 130g. (Retails about 18-25AUD depending on which Asian country). You can often find Curel skincare kits to try out before you buy any item in full size. The travel kits are great prices and I highly recommend you trying to buy a travel kit from online before buying any full sized products from the line. 

The cleansing gel comes in a squeeze bottle. It says suggested application is 2cm diameter dollop. (even has an indicator on the back of the tube to show suggested size).

The box below does say at night time, after the cleansing gel, follow with foaming cleanser. 

Flip open packaging. 

Here is my standard test- trying to use it to remove makeup based on my existing makeup bag.

I'm using the below, Shu Uemura blush in M Pink 33E, Armani Designer shaping foundation in shade #4, MAC Brow finisher in shade "Wheat", and Eyeko London curvy brush mascara curl & hold in black.  (The eyeko mascara is ok, not worthy of a good or bad review. The Armani foundation I'm still testing it and will write separate review, MAC brow finisher in wheat is quite nice and so is Shu Uemura blush in M Pink 33E).


Applying a dollop of the makeup cleansing gel as per instruction. (Use on dry skin, then massage in small circles for a few times until makeup melts, then rinse with water). It's a bit like the cleansing oil concept other than you don't really need to gradually add water to emulsify.

The gel also sort of melts slightly once in contact with body temperature. It's a nice gel consistency, not oily but has great slip and spreadability, yet doesn't drip easily like most cleansing oils.

Massaged in: you can see how it almost slightly emulsifies just with the massage and melts the makeup. I did not add any water.

Rinse with water and pat dry. You can see it removes all traces of makeup other than waterproof mascaras. (Which is expected- mascaras nowadays are getting really tough, I'm yet to really come across many makeup remover products that is mild enough and can do the whole face without needing a specific eye makeup remover).

When using on the face I usually follow with a foaming cleanser (either by Curel or other brands) just for double clean. However, this cleansing gel does not seem to leave much residue or oily feeling even if you just rinse with water. The trick is to use on dry skin though (if you use on damp skin it does not cleanse as well and may leave a residue sort of feeling).

I used to never really believe the whole thing about cleansing oils causes congested skin which I've read repeatedly on various Asian newspapers or beauty magazines. I think usually only either bad quality cleansing oil products or oils that doesn't suit your skin or bad cleansing regime (e.g. not emulsifying and rinsing off properly) would cause congestion.  However, during my recent holiday abroad for a full month, I forgot to bring a cleansing oil and bought a Curel skincare kit which included this makeup cleansing gel, I actually found my skin to be clearer overall (less blackheads, less random small bumps under the forehead and less irritated/ sensitised looking skin after cleansing). 

It's a very slight improvement, however the improvement is there so I'm sticking with it.

I do still use cleansing oils occasionally when I'm lazy or when I'm wearing heavier makeup, but for usual light makeup days, this Curel cleansing gel is fantastic and I think I will be sticking with this for a while. (It reminds me a bit of Philosophy purity made simple cleanser- excellent makeup removal property yet easy to rinse off).

Rating is 5/5. The full retail size tube would last a few months easily, which means this doesn't really cost more than using a normal cleansing oil.

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