Sample Stash Quickie: Etude House Milky You One Step Cleansing Foam Review

My Sample Stash Quickie Reviews are pretty much just as they say on the tin – reviews where I try out sample(s) of a product and then give my basic, initial thoughts. They obviously won’t be as in-depth as reviews where I’ve been able to use a product for weeks or even months, which I usually prefer, but my hope is that they will still be helpful to people who are looking for any information and thoughts on the reviewed product.

Today’s sample is one that I’ve actually received quite a few packets of from various eBayers – Etude House’s Milky You One Step Cleansing Foam!

The product’s claims:

The Cleansing Foam cleanses in just one step, instantly melting away dirt, impurities, and makeup for moist and smooth baby skin.
Containing milk from New Zealand, the milk ceramides keep your skin moist and the colostrum helps maintain healthy skin.

So it can supposedly be used in place of the double cleansing method to fully remove your makeup/sunscreen and clean your skin all in one step, thus the name. It says it will do this without drying out your skin, rather, it presents itself as a moisturizing/hydrating cleanser.

Milk (in beauty products, at least) is usually associated with moisturizing, soothing, gentle effects as well as giving a “milky white” complexion that is soft and pure of blemishes – I’m sure this is the general idea that Etude House is trying to encourage in consumers when they see this product.

Etude House Milky You One Step Cleansing Foam

Even the packaging tries to imply moisture by way of the tube looking like it’s a glass being poured full of milk. The simple-yet-cute design of the package and the blue/white/gold color scheme is very calming (remember, milk is associated with being soothing!) and appealing!

I’m not sure that I would agree with this marketing in regards to this particular cleanser, unfortunately. No, my Etude House Milky You One Step Cleansing Foam review will not be quite so gentle as the milky-soft impression of this product that Etude House has tried to give us!

Read on if you’re curious as to why.

First, here are the things that I did like about this cleanser:

  • It has a light, really pleasant milk scent – reminds me of the sweet cream that I put in my coffee, actually!
  • It foams up very easily and feels nice when you’re massaging it on your face
  • It definitely cleans, I don’t think it left behind any oil or dirt or residue
  • Packaging is simple and cute, the aesthetic sticks to the marketing idea of a creamy, milky, pure feeling

Unfortunately, this has two gigantic (to my mind) strikes against it – and they are almost certainly related:

  • My skin felt stripped, tight, and dried out after using this cleanser
  • I measured the pH and it was somewhere between 8 and 9 (I used two different types of strips, and there was slight variance – one read it at 9, another one more near 8). After reading this post about protecting your skin’s barrier and the acid mantle – particularly important for oily-but-dehydrated, sensitive types like myself – I’m shooting for 5.5 – so as you can see, it’s way past my ideal range
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So with those two points in mind, there’s no way that I would repurchase this cleanser, even if it does smell good. It’s way too harsh, I didn’t like how uncomfortable my skin felt afterwards, and the pH is way too high for me to feel comfortable using it beyond this one sample.

I was going to go through and do a test with my water-resistant tinted sunscreen and a waterproof eyeliner to see how well it actually lived up to that claim – but after using this on my face and testing the pH, I just don’t see the point. My face felt so tight and dry even after using all my toners and serums and even a sleeping mask – I really don’t recommend this cleanser. Even if it did a fantastic job at makeup removal, there are so many other products that can remove spf/makeup without leaving your face feeling like it’s doing it’s very best ancient papyrus impression.

My opinion: don’t bother with this cleanser. If you really MUST satisfy your curiosity and try it yourself (I can’t judge, I’ve been there too – I’ve been so enamored of a product’s marketing that I ignored multiple bad reviews and bought it anyway), I’d recommend buying samples rather than a full bottle – that way, if you come to the same conclusion as I did, your wallet/face won’t be giving you that “Mairi told you so, wtf” side-eye.

I generally really like Etude House products, but this one is just a big bummer for me – all marketing and cute packaging, but no substance and, to me, the product presents itself as something very different (hydrating! moisturizing!) from what it actually is (stripping! drying!). No bueno.


  • Starting at $4.92 for 10 sample packets @ eBay


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