As Autumn nuzzles in for the long haul, a skincare regime rethink is of vital importance. Over the next coming weeks Blush will be revealing our skincare must-haves. In the meantime, I’ll be honing in on the most crucial factor in achieving great skin- a fantastic cleanser.
There are classics that will never go out of style: Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish, Hot Cloth Cleanser and Clarins‘ Daily Energiser cleansing gel among them; but in recent months I’ve been branching out.
It started out with a great Dermalogica experience; a journey of discovery, that I thought I’d continue to build on. I’ve tried a lot of different cleansers: from Vichy’s city-friendly Purete Thermale Fresh, to the much hyped Ceramic Slip from Sunday Riley; and the verdicts finally in.
Vichy’s Purete Thermale had me at ‘anti-pollution.’ Their clever cleanser, contains amilite which is a PH-balancing compound, consisting of amino acid, glycine and coconut. The formula aims to protect against pollution particles, whilst cleansing the skin and removing make-up. The gel cleanser is great for those who love a good foamy gel that leaves skin feeling squeaky clean.
Vichy, Purete Thermale, £12, Boots.
I am a big fan of everything Kiehls’ particularly when it comes to facial skincare; their serums and smoothing concentrates are miles ahead of their competitors, and unsurprisingly their Ultra Facial Cleanser, is pretty great as well. The creamy gel looks moisturising and it is, thanks to its lead ingredients of avocado and apricot kernel oil, both of which are known for their plumping powers; they also both contain Vitamin E, ensuring your skin is enriched with the necessary nutrients. The tube isn’t huge, but the smallest squeeze will give you enough lather for two faces. This cleanser is totally non-drying and left my skin feeling as smooth as it looked.
Kiehls, Ultra facial cleanser, £15, John Lewis
I’ve seen Sunday Riley all over the pages of Instagram as well as the top glossies, which is not easy for a new brand; but this brand’s cult following is strong and for good reason. Ceramic Slip, which is the first Sunday Riley product I’ve tried, is a gel-based clay cleanser, which aims to give you skin as smooth as porcelain. The addition of clay is what sets this cleanser apart- as we know the benefits of mud and clay for minimising pores (90s mud masks anyone?) I have to say their pump and bottle are by far the easiest to use when dealing with wet hands and slippery skin and the formula itself is surprisingly silky, considering its clay base. What I loved most about this- apart from the fact that my skin was left clean and clear – is the soothing scent of the natural ingredients that make up this cult classic. As well as refined french green clay, frankincense (which turns any good product into a great one for me- and also happens to be a natural toner,) Vitamin C to boost radiance, black pepper to boost circulation and sandalwood to help with irritated skin or inflammation. This is a cleanser packed with all the goodness your skin could ask for whilst it’s getting a good clean.
Sunday Riley, Ceramic slip cleanser, £35, SpaceNK
It always makes sense to me when a spa or dermatologist, launch a skincare line; they after all see thousands of faces everyday and know how to treat skin better than anyone. Sk:n have clinics across the UK in which their leading dermatologists and doctors, treat acne, pigmentation, ingrown hairs and even tattoo removal. Their skincare range is pretty good, the packaging is sleek and colourful and the range covers any skin condition. I tried the Vitamin Rich Cleanser for normal to combination skin and have to say that, if this was the cleanser for normal/combination skin, I can’t imagine how kind the cleanser for dry skin was. The cleanser was more like a gentle cleansing milk, that really made my skin feel looked after. The milky cleanser felt and smelt free from any nasties and left my skin feeling a little more loved. If you’re after a cleanser that gets into all the nooks and crannies – this won’t be it unless you use a muslin cloth- but if you have sensitive skin that flares up at any opportunity, then this is worth a go.
Sk:n Clinics, Vitamin rich cleanser (normal/combination), £16.75, Skn
Dermalogica is what started off my voyage of discovery. I first tried the brand at the Earthspa in London’s Victoria, and later received a made to measure starter kit at a blogger event. I fell in love with the Pre-Cleanse which was out of this world, so when I was perusing Berlin’s KaDeWe, I decided to bite the bullet. I asked the beautician for a cleanser that would kind of combine their pre-cleanse with their gentle cream exfoliant and she recommended the special cleansing gel as an all in one. I bought it in April and began to use it day and night as soon as I’d arrived home. Four months later is was on its last legs, just. The reason I mention this is because, people often gasp at the price tag of Dermalogica products, but if you can make a £30 bottle last 3 months (which I did with room to spare) then you’ve made your money back in droves. Considering this cleanser took me through spring, summer and some pretty grim ‘summer’ days, my skin stayed consistently clear- no breakouts, no random dry patches a month in, this cleanser goes the distance; and the foamy formula, free from artificial colours and fragrances, really did leave my skin well cleaned and hydrated every day. I could gush about Dermalogica for hours, but all I should say is head down to Liberty, or your nearest spa and get your face mapped, you won’t regret it.
Dermalogica, Special cleansing gel, £28, Dermalogica