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To put the effetiveness of this product in one sentence: it works. It really does what it says it will - it will cleanse. And it does so without excessively drying out any patches or leaving any residues on the skin. Everything on your face including any make up is cleansed so well that you wouldn't have to cleanse again. It is certainly good in that sense. The formula is also said to be slightly acidic, thereby maintaining the pH of the skin effectively.
This cleansing gel is rather effective in controlling sebum excretion and does not irriate the skin in any way. It also seems to tone the whole complexion after cleansing (although I suspect this is more or less short lived and only come to last with regular use).
The packaging is also appreciated; it is simple, clean and easy to use.
However, the problem for this product seems to be its price. Although it does perform in the way that it promises to perform, surely it cannot justify the price.
Granted, given its volume, it does last for quite a while and also has the extra bonus effect of firming skin which leads to making your overall complexion appear younger. However, this is not an overnight effect and only comes with regular usage (pretty much like all products in the SK-II line really).
So if I needed another cleanser, this will not be my first choice, although I did love it while using it.