30 March, 2015 Top Six: Facial Cleansers
I’m currently obsessed with facial washes, balms, gels and creams. Although they’re only on your face for a matter of seconds, there’s something about getting all scrubby that makes me feel like I’m in a Neutrogena advert. It’s my favourite step in my AM and PM skincare routines, and these six products have helped improve my complexion and make me feel a lot more skin-confident too.
1. REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Cleanser – This little beauty was the first clay-based cleanser I ever tried, and it solidified my long-standing relationship with REN skincare. I adore REN for their brilliant treatments, toners and scrubs, but for me, this is one of their standout products. This cleanser targets spotty, blemish-prone skin without stripping it of moisture or hydration. It contains french clay (absorbs excess oil) and salicilin (mild exfoliant), as well as Mayblossom (minimises appearance of pores) and Manuka honey (antibacterial agent and amazing for sensitive skin). The consistency is fairly thick and creamy, and it lathers up beautifully with the help of warm water. I like to use this as part of a second cleanse when it’s ‘that time of the month’ to help keep hormonal acne at bay around my chin and cheeks, and would definitely recommend this if you’re spot-prone but don’t want to use a foam-based cleanser that can often irritate sensitive or dry skin. £19 here.
2. Sarah Chapman Rapid Radiance Cleanse – I think most people who read my blog know by now that I’m a sucker for luxury skincare products. Whenever there’s a new launch (usually in Space NK), I race online and start online window-shopping. Sarah Chapman is one of those brands that has always called out to me, but I never saw a sufficient reason to indulge – until now. This cleanser is also clay-based, but contains additional Vitamin C, lactic acid and salicylic acid that help to exfoliate, brighten and revitalise the complexion, along with Safflower Oil and Sweet Almond Oil help to purge the pores and keep things clear and decongested. I love using this in the morning as a one step treatment-cleanser combo, because if you leave this on the skin for a minute or two, it acts as an exfoliating mask that really smooths my skin and reduces inflammation. A brilliant product to splurge on if you have some Space NK vouchers and want to treat yourself! £29 here.
3. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – Whilst astringent, clarifying cleansers are brilliant for my oily skin, sometimes I notice a little dehydration too. When there’s the odd dry patch, I tend to reach for this gorgeous cleanser, that’s super gentle, nourishing, and amazing at balancing out combination skin. It has a creamy consistency that works to remove makeup, oil and grime, as well as giving my skin a seriously deep clean. It’s unscented and doesn’t contain any nasties, and is lovely when used with a warm washcloth for some light exfoliation. £14 here.
4. Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel – Maree from A Little Bit Etc. recommended this a while back and it sounded wonderful – a non-foaming cleanser that breaks down dirt, oil and makeup, as well as exfoliating the skin with AHAs. This really lives up to the hype; it exfoliates brilliantly without stripping or over-drying my skin, as well as getting rid of pesky blackheads and keeping blemishes at bay. I wouldn’t use this as an eye makeup remover just because it can sting a little, but on my face, brows and lips it works fine. £13.95 here.
5. The Body Wash Tea Tree Oil Cool and Creamy Wash – The cheapest of the bunch, this cleanser is incredible on spotty skin. It’s cooling, deep-cleansing and seriously refreshing, making it perfect for early morning starts. I love using this in conjunction with a hydrating facial spray when I want to maintain a routine but don’t have a lot of time, as a couple of seconds is all you need to get this going. If you’re on a budget but still care about looking after your skin and treating imperfections, try this! £5 here.
6. Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm – I’ve definitely saved the best for last. I recently picked up this cleanser from the Merumaya counter in John Lewis, and was so impressed with the expertise and knowledge of the staff. I tried this on the back of my hand and the texture felt gorgeous, so I picked up a bottle (along with a few samples) and headed straight home to test it out. It’s a thick balm that when applied to the skin melts to a semi-oily consistency, and then rinses off as a slightly foaming milk. It breaks down makeup easily and quickly, and it doesn’t sting or irritate my skin. After a minute of massaging, I typically splash on some water and wipe the excess away with a warm washcloth. Featuring a concoction of Mangosteen, Echium and Sweet Almond Oil, it smells heavenly (very floral and fragrant) and is great as a first cleanse before any of the washes, gels or creams I’ve mentioned above. I have used it on it’s own after a no-makeup day, and was seriously impressed with how cleansed and revitalised my skin felt. For a truly luxurious pamper at an affordable price, it doesn’t really get any better than this. £15.50 here.
So there you have it – my six favourite cleansers in various forms, consistencies and textures. I’ve probably spent more than enough money on facial washes for a good year or so, but if you know of any more, feel free to give me a shout!
What are your favourite cleansers? Have you tried any of my Top Six? Let me know in the comments below!
Have a great week!