When I was growing up, all I wanted was to be squeaky clean. I shampooed my hair until I could hear the strands between my fingers, and I washed my face until my cheeks sounded like a squeegee on a shower door. Years later, I've found a product that replicates that feeling — sans the drying ingredients I was likely slathering onto my body each day.
The Cleansing Duo ($68) is the first and only (so far) product from Then I Met You, a new line by Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho. After years of curating the best Korean beauty products, Cho set out to create something that would bring together everything she'd learned about skin care. Combining naturally good-for-you ingredients, the result is a two-step process that starts with an oil-based balm ($38) packed with olive oil, grape seed oil, and vitamin E, and ends with a licorice root and green tea gel cleanser ($36).
If you're familiar with double cleansing, then you know the drill: the first product sweeps away all the surface grime (makeup, dirt accrued during the day, etc.) while the second step is meant to penetrate deeper, cleaning out gunky pores and hydrating skin. Then I Met You's Cleansing Duo meets the basic requirements, but goes beyond what's expected.
The sunny yellow balm comes with a tiny tool — which I may or may not have accidentally thrown away — to scoop out the solid product. Once you rub it in your hands, it melts into a liquid, taking all the makeup and sunscreen on your face with it. I try to massage it around for at least a minute — not a hard task, since it smells like rosemary and grapefruit. If I were lazier, I might just stop there . . . but I want that squeaky-clean feeling.
The gel cleanser feels thick and heavy, but becomes malleable when mixed with warm water. Ever so slightly sudsy, it provides me with the satisfaction that I truly am becoming as clean (and hydrated!) as possible. The green tea and tea tree leaf calm my skin, while rice ferment filtrate brightens my complexion.
The one-two punch is exactly what my skin needs at the end of the day, and it's gentle enough to use in the morning, as well. If this is just the beginning of Then I Met You, I can't wait to see what comes next.