The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser Review

Review of The Ordinary’s New Glucoside Foaming Cleanser and the Science Behind it’s Benefits

Finally something new from The Ordinary- The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser. The brand has been going through some changes recently, we’ve seen Deciem split into The Ordinary and NIOD, it has lost Hylamide, Hair is Fabric, Hand Chemistry and all the other mini brands. Some of these products are so well loved (SubQ Eyes, I miss you already), so hopefully they will be bringing some of those formulations back under The Ordinary. If you have a look at the site, there’s a new section called “O lab“, which is their nickname for the formulating lab, and there is a promise of 6 new products awaiting launch. We’re all guessing what they might be- Alpha Lipoic acid could be making a comeback maybe?

The future of Deciem/The Ordinary is surely bright, so hopefully we will see some positive developments and maybe The Ordinary will become a better rounded skincare line. Which brings us to the current release. The Ordinary already has a cleanser- Squalane cleanser which is an excellent balm style second cleanser, so it makes sense that there would be a water soluble foaming cleanser to go with it. To read more about cleansing and how to do it properly, check out my mega guide to cleansing. I have been sent a sample of The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser to review in advance of it’s release on the 6th December.

The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser Review- tube
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser Review

I had better introduce myself and give you some credentials. I’m Nia, I’m a 43 year old clinician and medical aesthetician. I am a podcaster over at Skincare with Friends, I moderate The Ordinary subreddit and The Ordinary and Deciem Chatroom on Facebook. I am passionate about skincare and science. I do this for fun but I would love you to support my work by following me on Insta, TikTok etc and also by clicking the links in this post, which are affiliate, this means I get a small percentage back if you click and spend.

The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser- the Facts

This is what The Ordinary have to say about their new release.

The Glucoside Foaming Cleanser is a gel-like foaming cleanser that effectively helps remove dirt and environmental impurities. This formulation helps maintain the skin’s moisture barrier, while also improving the look of skin clarity, skin texture, skin radiance, and suppleness with continued use. 

The Ordinary

The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser-

  • Plant based surfactants
  • pH 5-6
  • Is silicone, alcohol, nut and gluten free
  • Peta approved cruelty free and vegan
  • Shelf life- 12 months after opening
  • $12.50 USD, £11.10GBP, $14.80 CAD, $19.70 AUD for 150ml tube. 365 day return is available if you have any issue with the product
  • To be used twice a day before treatments, moisturisers and spf

The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser- The Science

The ingredients list is this-

Aqua (Water), Decyl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Phytic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

The Ordinary

The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser Review the ingredients
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser Review

The ingredient list is short and simple. There is no fragrance, this is good especially for people who have sensitive irritable skin. It’s water based, which makes this a good second cleanse.

If you haven’t heard of double cleansing it’s basically a concept of using two cleansing phases, to reduce the amount of time that cleanser is in contact with the skin, as cleanser can be very stressful for the skin, while leaving the skin super clean but not stripped of all of it’s moisture. Double cleansing is only really necessary at the end of the day if you have been wearing sunscreen and makeup. The first cleanse is an oil based and lifts the sebum, makeup and spf from the skin. This is then rinsed off or removed with a warm damp cloth, then a second water based cleanser is used to remove the last traces of dirt. You should choose non drying cleansers and it’s important that your skin doesn’t feel tight afterwards. Immediately move on to the hydration portion of your routine.

The pH of your cleanser is also really important. The skin is naturally slightly acidic- around pH 5, and water based cleansers should match that or be more acidic. Raising the skin’s pH damage the skin’s defence mechanism and can leave the skin sore and dry. The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser has a pH of 5-6, which is good.

The cleansing ingredients in The Ordinary’s Foaming cleanser are Decyl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside. These are mild non ionic foaming cleansing ingredients and are often used in products for people with sensitive skin and for babies. They are derived from Coconut and are environmentally friendly. Lots of foaming cleansers on the market contain sulphate based foaming ingredients (sodium laurel and laureth sulphate), these are known to be very drying and irritating, thankfully sulphates are nowhere to be seen on this ingredient list. Glucosides are much less likely than other surfactants to cause irritation and contact allergy.

In this study by Bárány et al, 1999, they compared several different surfactants (aka cleanser ingredients) on 12 humans and examined the effects on the skin for 15 days. The Glucoside cleansing ingredient produced very little irritation, and almost no transepidermal moisture loss. This supports The Ordinary’s claim that the cleanser improves skin suppleness.

What is The Ordinary’s New Glucoside Foaming Cleanser Actually Like

The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser Review- tube and bubbles
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser Review

The Glucoside cleanser comes in a classic plain The Ordinary squeeze tube with a card box. It is a runny gel in texture. It has no fragrance and kind of has a plain chemical smell. It foams up pretty easily to a gentle lather. I found it cleans the skin well, removes the last traces of my oil cleanser and leaves my face well cleansed. My skin doesn’t feel tight afterwards.

At the moment I am in the middle of a chilly Welsh winter, plus I use Tretinoin, so my skin is generally dry. I’m tending more towards using balm cleansers, I couldn’t put anything that makes my skin dry or sore near my face. I often find foaming cleansers to be quite irritating. Luckily The Ordinary’s Glucoside cleanser hasn’t made my face sore at all in the few days I’ve been using it. I haven’t had the product for long, so we’ll see in the fullness of time whether anything changes, but at the moment my skin is happy with the new addition.

The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser- the foam
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser- The Foam

All in all, I think that The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser is a good addition to their range. It has a simple ingredient list and low irritancy cleansing ingredients. If you’re looking for a utilitarian foaming cleanser, this is a good choice. I think it would work for all skin types, including sensitive and irritable skin.


  • $12.50 USD, £11.10GBP, $14.80 CAD, $19.70 AUD for 150ml from The
  • Simple ingredient list with low irritant foaming cleanser ingredients
  • A good basic cleanser to follow an oil cleanser in the evening or for a morning cleanse
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Leaves the skin clean, but not dry or tight


Bárány, E., Lindberg, M., & Lodén, M. (1999). Biophysical characterization of skin damage and recovery after exposure to different surfactants. Contact Dermatitis40(2), 98-103.

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