Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser is one of those products that has developed cult status among the skincare community pretty darned quickly. Named by Chris of Tophcam as his favourite cleanser of all time, I’ll admit this one is outside my comfort zone. Not in any way an oil based cleanser, something like this would never usually peak my interest, but such is the wide spread love for this product I needed to give it a go.

What do they say?

This gel cleanser is designed to cleanse, hydrate, tighten, firm and brighten. They say it’s great for removing make-up, but I wouldn’t use it for that. It also has a strawberry scent – they say “light aroma”, I say “my hands smell of synthetic strawberries all day”. Don’t get me wrong though, the Indie Lee range contains no synthetics, no nasties – all ‘green’ here.



This has to be one of the shortest ingredients list I’ve ever seen.

It’s got a few coconut derived cleansing agents (Decyl Glucoside, Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate, Coco Glucoside Oleaste), which give the cleanser it’s light foaming properties, wheat protein for conditioning, strawberry seed oil, a thickener and a couple of preservatives. That’s it!

Full ingredients: Purified Water, Decyl Glucoside (Veg. Oils & Sugar), Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate, Coco Glucoside Oleaste (Coconut and Sunflower Oil), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein*, Xanthan Gum, Fragaria Chiloensis Seed Oil (Strawberry), Lycopene, Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexylglycerin (both derived from natural sources)

How do I use it?

I use this as a morning cleanser. As I said, I wouldn’t use this to remove make-up – and I’m definitely sure I wouldn’t want to put this anywhere near my eyes.

While you could use this as a second cleanse in the evening, I personally don’t. For me, my evening routine is a ritual. It’s my time to unwind, enjoy some lovely smells and give my face a good massage. This is not good for massage, hence I save it for the morning as a good wake-me up. The scent certainly does that!

What do I think?

I don’t like using this cleanser – there, I said it. I find the scent overwhelming and I hate the way it kind of foams, but kind of doesn’t, and that you’ve got to add water to it. For some reason, I also struggle to remove this with a face cloth (which is generally my preferred method).

However, despite the less than enjoyable cleansing experience, I’m sticking with it because this stuff works. Like seriously works. My skin is congested pretty much all the time, but it gets particularly bad at the edge of my cheeks, right in front of my ears, and the skin there gets quite rough. The first time I used this the skin in that area was so smooth and clear.

Just a note on the packaging: it’s beautiful – a heavy, frosted glass bottle with a great pump, but not ideal for travelling and would not like being dropped very much!

If you are like me and suffer from breakouts, and therefore resulting textural issues, this is worth a look. If you are dry or generally a oil/balm cleanser groupie – approach with caution. Indie also does a Rosehip Cleanser, which I believe it designed for more mature, dry and sensitive skin. I’m not sure what it’s like, but it doesn’t appear to have the same foaming cleansing ingredients.

Would I repurchase?

I’m not sure yet. I’ve parked this for a short time, while I finish up another cleanser that expires soon. Once I go back to using this daily and see whether it really works, then I’ll make a decision. I would definitely be tempted to give the Rosehip a go as well.

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser is available from for US$32 and from Cult Beauty for £30

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