As I’ve harped on about previously, I’m a self-confessed beauty product-bore. On a sliding scale this is one up from a boyfriend-bore but two down from a baby-bore. Following on from my recent Skincare Steals piece, here’s the next weekly installment brought to you from my digital soapbox to impart my nuggets of wisdom. This week we’re starting with beauty basics: Cleanser.
Cleanser removes dirt, pollution and impurities (also known as dirt) from your face so serums and moisturisers work their self-proclaimed magic when applied to the skin.
I’m not a huge fan of harsh exfoliants or astringents and a regular cleansing routine may negate the need for intermittent skin-stripping treatments. Using a cleanser containing salicylic acid, natural scrublets (I made that word up) or a slightly abrasive face cloth will diminish dead cells gradually whilst keeping skin balanced. Ensuring a thorough routine at night means a splash of water or a sweep of toner will suffice in the morning.
As tempting as it is to rub a disposable wipe sleepily across both eyes before rolling into bed, a consistent approach will get results. Being lazy is fine one day out of every calendar month…the rest of the time, be strict.
1. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £14.25
A cleansing classic, Cleanse & Polish is a worldwide best seller. The starter kit comes complete with a muslin cloth and offers a no-fuss daily routine suitable for all age-groups and skin types. With a cult following and more awards than any mantelpiece could hold, it’s definitely worth a try.
2. Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil-Free facial wash, £4.49
At the bargain end of the scale, Neutrogena excels in effective cleansers, catering for all skin types. Suitable for problem skin, this soap and alcohol free wash is a facial staple.
3. LUSH Angel on Bare Skin Fresh Facial Cleanser, £6.25
This solid formula turns to a cleansing milk when mixed with water. The 100% natural ingredient list includes ground sweet almonds which lightly exfoliate while the selected essential oils balance and tone the skin. It takes a while to get the application right and can be a bit messy but is great with continued use, especially on combination, sensitive or uneven skin.
4. Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, £34
If you prefer to throw some science at the problem, dermatologist brand Murad does a high-performance exfoliating cleanser which you only need to use twice a week to see results. Exfoliation is boosted via a complex of salicylic, lactic and glycolic acid encouraging clarity and brightness by dissolving skin cell build-up. Perfect for older skin, the formula is gentle and simultaneously hydrates, multitasking its way into my favourites.
5. Olay Daily Facials cloths, £4.09
These might remind you of your Gran and are harder to get hold of now but unlike newer facial wipes, these offer a much deeper clean. Just add water and get a proper foam face wash. Brilliant for travelling (super light to pack) and a swift all-in-one solution for low-maintenance types.
There you have it, five clever cleansers to get you started. Next week I’ll be looking at the innovative world of skincare gadgets.