The Affordable 3-In-1 Cleanser That’s Been In Our Midst All Along

The makeup remover, cleanser, and toner that took care of your mom’s skin is still around--and it's still fantastic.
Publish date:
April 1, 2015
toner, face cleanser, micellar water, bonne bell, formula 10.0.6

Often touted as scientific breakthroughs, chemical exfoliants and micellar waters have bogarted the skin care limelight in the past few years.

But last year, in the name of research, I spent a large chunk of time scrutinizing the skin care labels in my local department stores, only to discover a multi-purpose product that's been on shelves since 1933.

I’m talking about Formula 10.0.6’s So Totally Clean Sensitive cleanser. This is a Bonne Bell original, and while recent news of the company's sale had everyone else lamenting the death knell of Lip Smackers, I was more concerned about losing So Totally Clean.

Bottled like a toner, the translucent blue liquid bubbles up ever so slightly when shaken, but definitely doesn't foam. Although it’s billed as a 2-in-1 cleanser and toner, its resemblance to micellar water isn’t lost on me, nor on my makeup, which it removes easily.

The Sensitive formula of So Totally Clean is markedly different from the original, which they’ve conveniently colored an acidic orange so you know to stay away from it. Unlike the original, the Sensitive formula is alcohol-free and absent of cinnamon and citrus extracts, both known irritants.

Like the original, however, So Totally Clean Sensitive contains lactic acid, and it’s the third ingredient on the list, so there’s enough in there to actually do something. Lactic acid is one of those alpha-hydroxy acids that gently exfoliates and is all-around boss.

The packaging notes sea kelp, chamomile, and cucumber extracts as the ingredients that are going to help smooth your skin and reduce oiliness, but it’s most likely the lactic acid taking care of that.

Formula 10.0.6 has been through a bunch of relaunches since its conception; the current line was launched in 2008. With product names like So Totally Clean and One Smooth Operator, they’re clearly after the teen demo. I'd never have picked up any of their products if I operated under the common assumption that anti-acne products aimed at teenagers are usually hyper-astringent and irritating. But I'm glad my mind was open and I tried it, because it's pleasantly surprising.

  • Have you tried any Formula 10.0.6 products?
  • Ask your mom or grandmother if they used this iconic product growing up. I bet they might have!