My Dry, Sensitive Skin Says ‘Oui’ to La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser

Published in: Product Reviews, Skin Care

la roche posay toleriane dermo cleanser

Dude, I don’t know when it happened, but somehow, somewhere, I turned into a 30-something chick. In my teens and through my 20s, I thought I looked young for my age, but at some point over this past year, I started feeling like I look, well, my age. I decided to step up my anti-aging game with the help of Retin-A.


I’ve been using it for about a month so far, and overall I like the results, but in that time my face has been flakier, drier and moodier than it was when I was 14. Even skin care products I’ve known and loved for years have started giving me grief, like my usual go-to face wash, Philosophy Purity Made Simple. When it left my cheeks dry and tight one day, I knew something had to change.

I scanned through reviews online and came across La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser ($22 for a 6.76-oz. bottle), which I remembered reading about on Dr. Cynthia Bailey’s skin care blog (which I found via the fabulous 15 Minute Beauty).

Dr. Bailey recommends La Roche-Posay to help mitigate the drying effects of Retin-A, and after reading more glowing reviews on, I took the plunge.

First, a little background about La Roche-Posay: The company hails from France and boasts a bevy of face and skin care products, but the thing they’re probably best known for in beauty circles is their Anthelios Sunscreen, which many of my beauty friends consider the crème de la crème of sun protecting products.

But back to the cleanser! 🙂 La Roche-Posay designed it to gently cleanse and remove makeup from dry, sensitive and/or delicate skin. It’s unscented, non-foaming and feels to me like a thicker, richer version of Cetaphil.

la roche posay toleriane dermo cleanser

la roche posay toleriane dermo cleanser

la roche posay toleriane dermo cleanser

When I gently rub it on my face, my skin just laps it up. After patting dry or rinsing (I usually rinse), a moisturizing layer of product gets left behind, and I think that’s a good thing in this case because it means more moisture.

I’ve been using it for a few weeks and really like my results so far. It definitely alleviates some of the peeling I was seeing before I started using it, doesn’t sting, and hasn’t caused any breakouts (knock on wood!).

Yet it would be even closer to perfect if it removed makeup as well as Philosophy Purity Made Simple. It’s very close, but no cigar. If I’m only wearing powder, blush and lipgloss, then I think it works fine, but anything more than that and I feel like I need a dedicated makeup remover.


I’ve started incorporating MAC Cleanse Off Oil, which I use first to thoroughly remove le war paint, and then follow that up with Dermo-Cleanser. It’s an extra step, sure, but it seems to be working well for me.

Ladies with dry, sensitive and/or moody skin might want to give Dermo-Cleanser a try. Oh, yeah, I’ve also read that gals with rosacea like it, too. 🙂

PRICE: $22 for a 6.76-oz. bottle
AVAILABILITY: Limited availability in stores, but it’s readily available online

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 39 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Nina says:

    i should check that out. im starting to think that purity made simple is a bit too spendy for my tastes.

  2. Crystal says:

    i have to check this out, this might be a lifesaver for me in the winter when my skin gets all dry and gross.
    Crystal recently posted … Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara

  3. gio says:

    My skin gets dry in winter too and I think this could be helpful then. I will check it out, thanks for the review.
    gio recently posted … QOTW: Do you wear a swim cap?

  4. Erica K says:

    Thanks for this review. I have eczema & while its not really on my sking, it shows up every once in awhile & leaves my skin dry & tight. I havent found many cleansers that work with my skin, so I may give this one a try!

  5. Vijaya says:

    I adore La Roche Posay! Thanks so much for the review!
    Vijaya recently posted … I’m Getting Sunburned

  6. Ele says:

    I LOVE La Roche Posay stuff. Their lip balm is the only one that works for my dry lips.

  7. Debbie says:

    I love this cleanser to death. After having a terrible reaction to Cetaphil, this was the only thing gentle enough to get my skin back to normal.
    My local CVS sells this so not having to pay for S&H is a bonus.

  8. Ms.VanCartier says:

    Oh my god thank you so much Karen, for posting this. I’ve been searching for a moisturizing face wash for quite some time now as I’m on a similar skin treatment system.
    Thank you, thank you, Thank Youuuuuu!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ms. Van Cartier,

      You’re very welcome. I hope that this works for you! My dry skin loves this stuff. 🙂

      What other products are you using these days?

  9. Ruchita says:

    Thanks for the review! I just had my 34th bday so lately I’ve been trying to incorporate more anti-aging products into my skin care routine. I haven’t started using Retin-A just yet but I know I will be using it in the future. It’s good to make note of other products I may need to use in conjunction with drying products like Retin-A.

    P.S. I ordered my tube of EvRev today. 🙂

  10. Kate & Zena says:

    I’ve heard of La Roche-Posay and have been thinking about trying their sunscreen or some other product. I’m always hesitant when trying a new product, especially one that expensive, because of my hypersensitive skin!

    Thanks so much for the review! I might actually have to try them now!

    P.S. How’s your day been going?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kate,

      You’re welcome. 🙂

      My day was pretty good, thanks for asking. I just got back from the farmers’ market. El Hub and I grabbed dinner from a southern barbeque place we like; afterwards we walked around, listened to live music and then did some shopping (raspberries, blackberries and strawberries).

      How was yours? Good, I hope.

      P.S. Give Baby Z. a hug for me!

      • Kate & Zena says:

        Hi Karen,

        Mine was pretty good. I was hunting for a book at Borders (everything’s 50-70% off because it’s closing. So sad!) but I didn’t find it which is sad. Nothing ruins my day though when I know I’m seeing a ballet with my mom. I see them so rarely (they don’t come here often, well, aside from the annual Nutcracker which we try to see yearly) that when I know I’m seeing one, I’m slap happy most of the day. I don’t have the tickets yet as they don’t go on sale until tomorrow at 10 am, but I’m, like, “WOO HOOOOOOOOOO! BALLET!!!”

        I had a feeling you’d say that so earlier I gave her one and she gave back sleepy kisses (which tend to be warm and sloppy.) She’s been rather bratty the last few days because it’s been warm and she wants to sun. We really wish someone would invent a doggy door for screen doors so we wouldn’t have to keep opening the door for her!

  11. Isabelle says:

    I love this product but I could not believe my eyes when I saw the price… 22 dollars!
    Here in France it cost about 9 euros!!!
    On the other hand, we pay much more than you do for MAC, Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier 🙁

    La Roche Posay is a very popular brand here, as well as Avene. They are not very expensive, are excellent for sensitive skin and dermatologists often recommend them.

  12. steph b says:

    I was stunned when I hit mid-30s and had to suddenly figure out how to deal with dry skin (while still having breakouts – arrrrgh). Cerave’s hydrating cleanser is my go to. I need to use another remover for heavy duty eye stuff, but it takes care of everything else. Doesn’t leave my skin tight or break me out. I also think of it as a thicker, more powerful Cetaphil.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Steph,

      I’ve used that in the past and liked it… it’s good stuff.

      What are you using to treat your breakouts?

      • steph b says:

        Right now I am alternating Neutrogena’s 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and Paula’s Choice 1% BHA gel. I’ll switch to a retinoid in winter when I don’t have to worry as much about sun sensitivity. I’m thinking of asking my doc for some retin-a micro.

  13. Vy says:

    Thanks for sharing! I have super sensitive skin and I get flare ups from my eczema. I’ll give it a try.

  14. Anita says:

    ooh, I should try this. I have rosacea too and everything and anything makes it go nuts lol.

  15. Sandra L says:

    Hi! This is my holy grail cleanser for more than 10 years. It’s the only cleanser my skin tolerates. I have combination to oily skin and it works just as great as in dry skin, it doesn’t make it oilier or cause any breakouts and I rarely rinse it off, just remove it with a cotton disk.
    I don’t know about other skin problems but I have psoriasis and calms my skin instantly. Since I started wearing it I’ve hardly had any lesions on my face, and the ones that appear are not noticeable and go away fast.
    I was shocked by how much you paid for the small bottle, I pay much less than that for a 0,5L one here in Portugal. Their other products are great too. I’ve never used anything from them I didn’t like (except for a matt foundation which looked terrible on me). The Anthelios (sun-screens) products are great, and so is the self-tanner. You really should try the other products.

  16. NeenaJ says:

    Like you, when I started on Retin-A, my already dry skin turned into the Mojave! Two things helped:
    1. Building up a tolerance to the Retin-A. I backed off nightly application and did twice a week, gradually coming up to every other day. I don’t expect to be able to graduate to nightly application before 6 months of getting used to it.
    2. Ditching my Cetaphil for a home-made rinse-off oil cleanser used at night.

    The difference has been amazing. Haven’t seen a flake in months. Although, who knows what winter will bring!
    Hope you have a great weekend! I’m in NC and will be hiding from Irene.

  17. I’m thrilled that my Toleraine Cleanser info has helped tip that wonderful balance in your skin so that it’s not dry and tight feeling. It’s a lifesaver for making RetinA and other powerful, but strongly exfoliative anti aging products easier to use . The most common reason that I see someone’s skin struggling with these products is that their cleanser is too drying, Cetaphil included! Switch to a hydrating, SLS-free, non-foaming cleanser and poof like magic the struggle disappears and the skin is happy. Great photos of the product too!

  18. So glad you reviewed this! I use Purity Made Simple in the summer, but in fall/winter/spring it is too drying, even without Retin A. Speaking of which, could you review Retin A? I’m thinking about trying it (in my early 30s) but I’m scared!

  19. Joy says:

    This is a good recommendation for people who have sensitive skin or delicate skin.

  20. Gemma says:

    I LOVE LRP but I can’t believe it’s so expensive! It costs about £11 here and you can get it in pretty much all chemists (drugstores). Having said that, it is worth splashing out on; their products give you great skin. I have very oily, acne-prone skin and I use their effaclar range which is effective but very, very gentle. Another brand worth trying is Avene. It’s around the same price point and has similar properties (thermal water etc) but I find their products to be a little more potent on me. They have a practically identical range, so if you can’t find or don’t get on with LRP you should give this a go. My french housemate swears by it and has beautiful skin (which is damn hard to achieve in filthy old London!). Oh, and their micellaire lotion (make-up remover) is to DIE for – LRP and Avene.

    No, I don’t work for either brand =]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge