HYDRALIGHT One Step Face Cleanser
Based on 427 reviews
A unique gel cleanser that easily removes excess oil, impurities, and makeup while leaving skin feeling refreshed and smooth.

HYDRALIGHT One Step Face Cleanser

Based on 427 reviews
A unique gel cleanser that easily removes excess oil, impurities, and makeup while leaving skin feeling refreshed and smooth.
  • Mild cleansing promotes healthy, luminous skin
  • Lightweight but concentrated gel formula
  • Use as the first step in your AM/PM skincare routine
Skin Types:
Sensitive Skin, Combination Skin
Skin Redness


    237 ml
    473 ml
Why is it different?
HYDRALIGHT One Step Face Cleanser is an exceptionally gentle gel cleanser that effectively removes impurities and makeup while delivering a refreshed, refined complexion without dryness or residue. Even the most sensitive skin types can use this carefully formulated cleanser.
What does it do?
Skin replenishing ingredients along with mild, but effective cleansing agents preserve skin’s vital moisture barrier leaving skin free from impurities. Skin will feel refreshed and comfortably clean.

How to use

Wet face and apply a small amount of cleanser to your face and eye area with vigorous, yet gentle, circular motions. Rinse well. To remove heavy makeup, repeat or use with a clean, wet washcloth.

Show details

Biochemistry and Pharmacology, June 2007, pages 1,786-1,795

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2007, pages 124-135

Contact Dermatitis, June 2006, pages 303-312

Skin Research and Technology, February 2005, pages 53–60

Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 16–25

Cutis, December 2001, Supplemental, pages 12–19

Skin Research and Technology, July 2001, pages 49–55

Contact Dermatitis, June 1999, pages 310–315

Product Ingredients

Water, Glycerin (skin-replenishing ingredient), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (gentle cleansing agent), Sodium PCA (skin-replenishing ingredient), Sodium Lactate, Glycine, Fructose, Urea, Niacinamide, Inositol (water-binding agents), Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Lactic Acid (water-binding agent), Allantoin (soothing agent), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-replenishing ingredient), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate (texture enhancer), Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (stabiliser), Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (gentle cleansing agent), Xanthan Gum (texture enhancer), Triethanolamine (pH balancer), Carbomer (texture enhancer), Benzophenone-3 (stabiliser),Methylparaben, Propylparaben (preservatives).

Ratings & Reviews

The Most Amazing Cleanser For Super Sensitive, Combo Skin!


I have very sensitive, combination skin, plus I'm on Retin-A, and Hydralight One Step Face Cleanser works perfectly for me. Since most skin care products cause some form of redness on my face, my morning routine consists only of shaving, cleansing using this product, liberally applying Hydralight Shine-Free Mineral Complex SPF 30, then a thin layer of a Neutrogena tinted, waterproof mineral-based SPF 50. This gel cleanser has no trouble removing the sunscreens at the end of the day, also removes excess oil without drying and causes no redness or irritation! Please do not discontinue this product line again. I will never use anything else!


Asheville, NC


Thank You For Bringing This Back!! Best for Sensitive Skin!


I was running out of my stock pile that I purchased when I saw that this was being discontinued and just now saw it available realizing that it had been brought back. Thank you! I kept worrying what I would use when I finally run out. I have eczema on my face, sensitive-finicky skin besides the eczema, skin that is very prone to drying out from even mild cleansers, oily T-zone/inner cheeks (so combo skin), clogged pores on the nose/T-zone area. In my most sensitive irritable state, this cleanser will never irritate or dry out my skin even with vigorous and rinse and repeat cleansing. If my skin is flaring or irritable I always feel better after cleansing with this, cool water and a basic moisturizer. It's very soothing. I have a super weak skin barrier (especially with my eczema) so that even if I just rinse my skin even without cleansing my skin becomes dry and tight without a lot of moisturizer, so of course even some mild cleansers are too drying for me (like Simple Moisturizing Cleanser), but this makes my skin feel better, it softens and moistens my skin. I can only speak for myself but this is a HOLY GRAIL cleanser for me. It's soothing, it cleans it really well (I cleanse messaging well, rinse and repeat with it and use no other cleanser or make up remover and it removes my sunscreen and makeup), and it never irritates and it's super affordable. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for bringing it back!!! I love the brand and what you're about, I love how you have slight variations for all of us to find what exactly works for us. Thanks for listening to those of us that feel we NEED this product. It's hard finding sensitive skin friendly products ESPECIALLY cleansers which can be so harsh. Sensitive skin and dryness go hand in hand feeding each other and this is a double punch.






BEST CLEANSER EVER... Thank goodness you brought this product back!!! I LOVE HYDRALIGHT because it totally washes away the oil (without being harsh or irritating), it's fragrance free, and it doesn't cause me to break out. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... NEVER discontinue HYDRALIGHT One Step Face Cleanser!!!!!!! My face was a total MESS without it!!! I actually have scars, on both my face and jawline/neck area, from breaking out so horribly, because HYDRALIGHT cleanser was no longer available. FYI: I'm a 46 year old woman, who, due to very sensitive skin, has never worn foundation/makeup (except for concealer, on occasion). I believe I started using HYDRALIGHT cleanser ~ 1999, and continued to use it, until it was discontinued. Thank goodness Paula decided to make this product available again, and I'm now back to using the HYDRALIGHT cleanser I've loved all these years (~18 years). I have extremely oily, congested, sensitive, acne-prone skin (inflamed pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, hormonal cysts that intermittently pop up, etc...) However, even with all of my unfortunate skin issues, HYDRALIGHT cleanser became my "lifesaver", and over the years, it really helped to "manage" my skin, keeping things "under control". During the time that HYDRALIGHT was discontinued, and no longer available, I spent an absolute FORTUNE, on a TON of other cleansers, desperately trying to find something suitable, and/or similar, to HYDRALIGHT. However, NOTHING even came close, and my skin looked horrendous... Red, irritated, tons of acne, etc... I was really starting to "freak out"!!! Please know that I am so VERY THANKFUL that Paula listened to her customers, and brought this wonderful cleanser back!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I seriously cannot live without this cleanser... It's the ONLY cleanser on the market that doesn't cause my skin to "freak out". I've been stockpiling this cleanser, as I NEVER want to be without it, ever again!!!


Oceanside, CA




I use this after first using a cleansing balm for removing my makeup and sunscreen. It works fantastically! The only cleanser I've found without a strong scent, which does not irritate my skin or leave a residue.


Santa Clara, CA


Now bring back the rest of Hydralight, namely the toner!


This is the only Paula's cleanser I can really use - my skin is ultra sensitive, tending simultaneously toward very dehydrated and easily congested, and the products I use have everything to do with exacerbating or fighting those tendencies. It's a tricky balancing act. I have tried to like any of the other cleansers and had to give up after my skin resisted my efforts to be flexible. All the drier skin formulas leave my skin and especially my pores feeling less than clean; all the oily-combo skin cleansers leave my skin unbalanced, parched, or with a tight residue feeling. Hydralight leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed, and not the slightest bit dried out or irritated. I've noticed that many Hydralight items are coming back and I am encouraged that Paula's Choice listens to customer feedback: now we need the TONER returned! My experience with Paula's toners have been similar as with cleansers: Hydralight fits the bill. There is a significant portion of loyal Paula's customers who will or cannot make the switchover to the Calm for Oily line, or the Resist for Oily or Skin Balancing lines. Please bring back the full Hydralight line -- we are really only missing the toner now! Please also continue to offer the Hydralight products that have been reintroduced and don't discontinue them again! Thank you.




Like this very much- perfect for me


I use this daily, especially at night before my bedtime routine. I have rosacea and dry patches- On my skin, this is far better than the redness relief cleanser, which may clean my face but also intensifies the dry scaly patches. Current night routine: cleansing with this, then Resist Advanced Replenishing toner, then Skin Perfecting 2% BHA, then a variety of bedtime moisturizers (Resist intensive repair cream, most often. Sometimes CeraVe PM mixed with Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster, sometimes Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. I love this one- red container- but it is very expensive) (well, it all is, really- but worth it for my skin transformation) So I have no idea which of these has made the most difference overall-- but this cleanser never leaves my clean face feeling tight, dry or scaly. Perfect for me, anyway.

Knit doctor



Best Cleanser I've Found


I use this product every single morning (I probably should also at night, but I typically don't). When I first got it about year ago I noticed improvement of my acne, fading of old acne redness, and fading of general redness within 24 hours. I ran out of it eventually and switched to another supposedly gentle cleanser to save money since it was given to me as a gift (it was a clinique product which I now realize every single clinique product I have ever used just DOES NOT work on my skin. It always makes it worse.) However after using that my skin broke out and was weirdly dry in places but also an oily T-zone/cheek area and acne prone? Thats basically how my skin is without use of any product. I only used that product for a couple weeks hoping it might clear up eventually but, I gave up and finally decided to get this product again and once again within 24 hours my skin saw improvement. Now its about a week into using this product (plus the spf moisturizer) and my skin has had no new breakouts, a general reduction in redness, and a clearing of older breakouts. It really is the only product I've ever used that seems to work perfectly with my skin (and I've tried a lot such as Clinique, Cera Ve, Estee Lauder, Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, etc. etc.). If you have problems with a lot of products, have skin similar to me and have been trying products for year (I've been experimenting with products since I was like 14 and am now 21) then definitely give this one a go. It's a little expensive for sure, but like I said it's the only product that seems to take care of all my issues.




Truly the BEST!


Believe the accolades, this really is the BEST facial cleanser out there and boy am I glad they brought it back. I've tried just about every cleanser on the market, and here at P's C and feel this is the best cleanser for anyone dealing with combination skin with enlarged pores that clog easily and lead to break-outs. This baby balances my skin so I have the moisture I need without the shine. Don't be surprised if it doesn't feel squeaky clean, that is not what your want and means you are stripping your acid mantle and that serves to protect your skin. In one week, this cleanser improved clogged pores, calmed down and then diminished any breakouts. Now I have glowing skin, clearer pores, and just the right amount of moisture. Perfect! Thank you so very much P's C. and please keep making this winner.


Cambridge, MA


So Glad the BEST Cleanser is Back!


As the title indicates, I'm so glad Paula's Choice brought this cleanser back. I'm in my 20s with oily skin especially prone to blackheads, clogged pores, and visible filaments and previously used the Resist Perfectly Balanced as my daily cleanser. I quite like that one still and often mix a bit into my Hydralight, but the Hydralight stole my heart as soon as I picked it up on sale when it was being discontinued. Luckily the community spoke, PC listened, and Hydralight came back. While I was happy with the Perfectly Balanced cleanser and certainly never felt my skin was stripped by it, I was interested in finding a happy medium between that and my CeraVe moisturizing cleanser. I wanted something that could remove my makeup (I'm an actor so this includes regular makeup and intense stage/film makeup) and hydrate a la CeraVe, but with the cleansing power of Perfectly Balanced. Hydralight is that. It has almost no foam to it and is very comfortable to use in the orbital area. Perfectly Balanced can sting a bit if it gets into the eyes, but Hydralight is amazingly versatile in that area. You can massage it gently into brows and around the eyes, removing even the most difficult-to-reach bits of mascara and liner. If I'm running short on time or energy and can't double cleanse with a melting balm (Paula should release a balm cleanser!) the Hydralight does a wonderful job of removing makeup and cleansing the skin thoroughly both. I still feel like my skin's mantle and H are in proper balance when I rinse it off. If I want some more foam it's easy to add a bit of Perfectly Balanced. I love that I can spend time really getting my skin clean. Cleansing is an easy step to take for granted but it's so important. So having such an effective but gentle option is wonderful. It's tough enough for my oily skin without ever coming close to stripping it. Treatment products sink right in and absorb beautifully after use. My eyes are never irritated. Thank you!


Chicago, IL


The Best Face Wash I Have Ever Used


Let me preface with this: I have tried EVERY cleanser sold in stores. Drug stores, Sephora, Ulta, etc. Every face wash I have ever used has caused my skin some sort of issue. I suppose I may have very sensitive skin. This is unfortunate because my skin is also acne prone, combination, and drys out very easily. I am allergic to traditional acne solutions such as Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. This leaves me with few options. Up until now, my holy grail product was Cetaphil Cleanser. It was the only product that effectively cleansed but did not irritate my skin. However, I was still suffering form break outs as well as dryness and dullness. After using this product, my skin cleared up within about a week. No more sensitivity, no more redness, no more dryness or flaking. Break outs are now far and few in between - while I used to deal with consistent pimples. I cannot recommend this product enough. My only fear is that they will one day stop making it!


Chicago, IL



4.2 427