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My Most Effective Oil Cleanser Has No Oil ಠ_ಠ — Acwell Bubble Free pH 5.5 Balancing Gel Cleanser

Acwell Cleaser and Congested Skin

After using the Acwell Gel Cleanser as an “oil cleanser” once. Super congested, flakey skin...yikes! Photo on right taken 6 days later. Check out the Instagram post!

I'm talking about the Acwell 5.5 Balancing Cleanser (otherwise known as the non-bubbling cleanser). I have been holding it in but this is freaking HOLY GRAIL STATUS


You can use this cleanser in a couple ways:

  • Apply onto dry skin, lightly massage makeup and grim off, rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Apply onto wet skin, lightly massage makeup and grim off, rinse with lukewarm water.

You might be asking, “Uh why the eff would be using a gel cleanser on dry skin? You’re nuts.”

Okay, that’s what I was thinking! Until this week, I finally tried it on a whim. Usually, I wet my face a little, pump cleanser into my hand, massage my makeup away, and rinse. 

I did it. I massaged the cleanser on to my face—dry. All my makeup came off as expected and...and some more came out. More stuff than I expected. Not just makeup. Not sunscreen. They were hard pores. Yeah, that’s right. Freaking grits.

All this time, I have not been using
the Acwell 5.5 Balancing Cleanser to it’s full potential.

Granted! I haven’t been using my usual oil cleanser (Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil and Softymo in the house, what up). I hate oil cleansing! It’s boring. It takes too long. Whatever. I hate sitting in front of Netflix with oily hands when I’m getting down to oil cleanse then asking my boyfriend to open the door so I can wash my face.

Don’t get me wrong, these babies have brought me to grit city and back. I appreciate them. I just don’t want to sit down to use them. 


Grit city, okay. That place is alright. 

Massaging dry Acwell into my
skin dry brought me to freaking Gritsneyland. 

I’m still recovering from Gritsney World. I wanted to test this for the next week or two but I would have to wait until my face repopulates with sebaceous filaments. 

Wait a minute, Margaret-dude. Calm down. How do you know this isn’t just product residue? 

Welllll, against my better judgement, I tried it again the next day and didn’t get the satisgrition that I did the last time which can only mean that it wasn’t product residue. They were definitely grits. Yuck! But also, awesome!

I have been suffering from closed comedones for three years and introducing chemical exfoliants have been...ho hum at best and “Oh dear sneesus, why did I decide to use that AHA everyday.” Introducing this cleanser into my routine is actually helping those CCs diminish in appearance. 

I did not want to wait until my face was populated with more grits ;___; more closed comedones. 

So...I go to the guy with a face even dirtier than my own—my main squeeze and best friend. No offense, I love that guy, but his face is freaking dirty. 

If you are easily grossed out...just stop reading now, lol. 

I did two pumps of Acwell and spread it evenly over his face. Almost immediately, the stuff starts coming out. It was like a freaking pollen filled field of grits. This place was new and unfamiliar. I dub thee, Gritopia

I go around his nose and I can physically see a hardened pore come out. OAO I go around his chin and for whatever reason, lots and lots of pores are rolling out! 

At this point, I'm audibly grossed out and fascinated at the same time. Lots of “OH MY GADDD,” and “This is disgusting,” and “How can there be more!??!?” and “WHY ARE THEY SO BIG??” could be heard through the house. 

Then he says “Oh yeah, I’ve been having issues around my chin lately.” 

You don’t say. ಠ_ಠ

There was so much grit that I told him to rinse off so we could start again. 

This is the only oil-less cleanser I have experienced grits. I have pulled out more grits with Acwell dry massage more effectively than the times I have used the Fifty Shades of Snail’s Pore Shrinking Method. My face feels maddeningly soft after using this cleanser (don’t even need to go on a deep gritspedition to get a soft, soft face). 

I strongly recommend this cleanser to people who cannot use oil cleansers (folks that are sensitive to oils, people with sensitive skin, or people that have eyelash extensions and cannot use oil cleansers or their extensions fall out). 

You can view the ingredient list here on the product page. 

WARNING! Do not massage your face aggressively when using Acwell or an oil cleanser as this can cause broken capillaries in your face. Always use a light hand when massaging. For deep cleansing, be very gentle. For everyday cleansing, no more than a two minute massage/cleanse is recommended. 

As promised, pictures of the grits (they’re gross).

This is from my face. You can even see black specs, gray sebaceous filaments.

These are from my boyfriend's chin area. This is the second round after I asked him to wash his face.

If I didn’t need to take my camera to the shop to clean, I definitely need to now :T 


Hi there! I’m new to your blog, but I saw this cleanser pop up on Instagram and had a few questions. I have crazy combination skin that is just an absolute pain in the ass to keep at bay. (Do I deal with all my black heads first or the dry, flaky skin first?) Would this cleanser be a good fit for someone with dry, dehydrated. sensitive skin with literally trillions of blackheads (and the occasional whitehead)? I just don’t want to dry myself out completely with a new cleanser, any help would be super appreciated! Thanks!

  • Margaret @ Melody

    Hi Caitlin!

    This cleanser’s line of products is made especially for sensitive skin. When looking into a new skincare product that you are not sure of, the best thing to do is to try it yourself to see how you feel about how it works for your skin. Different products work differently on all people so the best person to judge whether or not this product will work for you, is you! :)

    If you need more advice or more help, feel free to email me at!

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