Weird but (literally) hot Tokyo find: The Cinderella Time Cleansing Gel

I never fail to stalk the beauty aisles whenever I'm in Tokyo. It's, ehem, research for Project Vanity and In Her Element, okay? Last fall, I spotted an interesting development in Japan's beauty scene called "hot cleansing gels". I have never seen or heard of this concept before, but there's a whole shelf just full of them in Tokyu Hands! I chose the one that looked pretty popular (it had the Cosme #1 sticker) and didn't cost as much as the others at P1,880 yen.

The Cinderella Time Hot & Peel Booster Serum Nano-cleansing Gel (P940 converted) comes in a 200ml tube with barely any English so I was really grasping at straws when I purchased it. I'm not a stranger to the concept of cleansing gels as I have tried a few from Japan before; in the PH, they're not quite as well-known, but they're basically just micellar water in gel form. This Cinderella Time hot cleanser is super different though!

First off, it comes out the tube as a rather thick, viscous cloudy gel. It takes a bit of effort to spread it around a dry face at first, but then the weird thing starts to happen: it starts to get very, very warm as you massage it in. It doesn't feel uncomfortable but it is a weird sensation! After about 30 seconds, it starts to cool down, becoming more of a cleansing oil that is easily rinsed off with water. 


The Cinderella Time cleanser breaks makeup down pretty well; I use it on full coverage foundations and water-resistant mascaras. It takes time but it can remove everything with a bit of massaging! The only thing I don't like about it is that it stings my eyes, so I don't open them whenever it's time to take the eye makeup off.

I have to note that this has a pH level of 5 - that's great! It can be used both as a makeup remover or as a simple, non-foaming cleanser. Here it is in action. I used water-resistant makeup here!

How to use a cleansing gel: Apply on dry face then massage to break down product. Rinse with water after.

What's the point of a warming cleanser, you might ask? Well, it's similar to the concept of removing makeup with a hot towel as the warm water dissolves things better and cleans out pores more effectively. I can't find the ingredients list of this cleanser, unfortunately, so I can't check what's the warming agent. So far though after a couple of months using it, I haven't experienced any irritation.

In fact, the effect on me is smoother skin after cleansing! I do have to use a generous amount though, because if it's too little, it doesn't quite cut through heavy layers of foundation.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the Cinderella Time Hot & Peel Booster Serum Nano-cleansing Gel to anybody who's looking for an interesting yet effective way to cleanse. It's low pH, which adds +++ points! Is it a must-have though? Hmm. It functions much like an oil cleanser, but it also works well as a facial wash as it doesn't leave any residue. I would still prefer a foaming cleanser but I'd probably finish this off since it works so well.

What do you think? Does a hot gel cleanser look like something you will try?