Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser (Gel) Review

I can’t see the word Aesop without thinking of Aesop’s Fables (of course) and I think it’s a pretty cool name for a skincare brand!

Aesop’s products have a real apothecary feel to it, they come in vintage looking bottles.

My perception was that the range was huge and daunting but looking on the site, there’s actually quite a specific variety of products (ie. foaming facial washes, cream cleanser, cleansing oil etc).  The Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser is their first ever gel cleanser which contains lactic acid and jojoba oil. It is supposed to be gentle and exfoliate at the same time:

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser

This is suitable for all skin types, ideally patchy or combination skin.  I love the look of this so much; it’s unisex and elegant.  On the downside, the glass bottle isn’t squeezable, and the screw on lid will make it tricky to use with say, wet hands!

This gel cleanser is liquid like washing up liquid rather than a jelly, and it produces a very small amount of foam, which I prefer (I hate standing there for ages trying to wash the lather off).

It has a strong smell, it smells very masculine, of parsley, or gardens and men! There’s a peppery edge to it; it is quite strong but I like it although it’s not for you if you don’t like super strong smells in your products.

As expected, it’s a bit of a pain unscrewing the lid and pouring the product out if you are in a rush to wash your face and get to bed!

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser 1


Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Olive Oil PEG 7 Esters, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Coco-Betaine, Potassium Lactate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Sodium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Blackcurrant) Seed Oil, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Sea Salt (Maris sal), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Liquorice) Root Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

I am not keen on Sodium Laureth Sulfate in my face cleansing products though!

When I used this on my skin when it was dry my skin felt a little tight afterwards. When I used this when my skin was more balanced, I didn’t experience tightness and maybe it was the lactic acid, but I had the most. baby. soft. smooth. skin.  Like I had exfoliated well, but I hadn’t!
The key is to leave the cleanser on your face for a bit so the lactic acid gets a chance to work.
I believe that it did totally exfoliate because my skin felt so completely smooth!  I think because my skin has the tendency to get dry I would use this cleanser a few times a week as opposed to every day – there are other types of Parsley Seed Cleansers from Aesop so I’d be tempted to try a non-foaming one to see if I get the same smoothness without any drying.

You can buy the product here for £23.

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  1. Jen says

    I’m loving the branding on their products, the labels remind me of pharmacy labels! However, the fact that SLS is listed as the second ingredient would be a “hell-no!” for me, and I’m surprised it doesn’t lather up much considering the SLS content.

    • Row says

      Hi Jen

      Same for me. SLS isn’t ideal at all PLUS it barely foamed. I am testing their Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil at the mo and it’s really good

  2. says

    I used Aesop products for a while (actually a long while) and I thought they were ok – a bit meh – but what really sold me was the ethic behind them. They’re very environmentally friendly and encourage re-use of the glass bottles. I love that. You can even mix most of their cleansers with their powder exfoliants to make an exfoliant paste so it has a double use. They also smell delicious.

    I used the parsley seed cleanser for a while and I thought it did an ok job (strange ingredients notwithstanding) but when I switched to something more powerful (for me it was Eve Lom) then the difference was amazing and really noticeable. So… good intentions. Lacks a bit on the execution. :)

    • Row says

      Hi CClarebear

      I see what you mean. I am currently testing some other products from the Parsley Seed range…so far, VERY good. Whereas this cleanser was ok but not ideal for my skin type. I’ll update soon with info on the new products I am using!