I’ve been using these extra-special cleansers on rotation, recently, as a bit of a winter kick-start for my skin but also as a proper “time out” sort of treat. They’re not cleansers in the traditional sense, you see – you wouldn’t use them to remove your makeup and then just rinse them down the plughole. (The Aromatherapy Associates balm is probably the closest to a “normal” cleanser, and even then, it’s so beautiful you wouldn’t want to waste vast amounts of it removing your layers of foundation and primer and so on.)
No, these are more treatment oil than cleanser – or cleansers with added benefits. Beautiful oil blends that really lift the senses and help to bring a bit of peace and calm to the evening. (Or morning, if you like, but I prefer to take my time with them and so the nighttime skincare routine is my best bet!) You can cup your palms over your face, breathe them in and really turn your cleanse into something a bit more special. Here are the four I’ve been using most often:
The 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic from MV Organic Skincare is a gorgeous blend of top quality oils and essential oils that, when pressed into the skin after cleansing, really seems to help with any areas of congestion or imbalance. It’s expensive, but it’s basically a quality face oil and not a cleanser – you don’t even rinse it off, just massage it into the skin and then use a warm flannel compress over the top. It’s amazing. More details on Cult Beauty here.
Same deal with the De Mamiel Pure Calm Cleansing Dew; I don’t like to use a tonne of it to do a big cleanse and then see it all swirl away down the plughole. I cleanse with a balm or whatever first and then press a small amount of this decadent oil onto my face, massaging it for a minute or so and then quickly rinsing off or pressing a warm flannel onto my skin to remove. You can find it online here – again, pricey (it’s £50) but I think of it as a facial oil rather than a whack-a-load-on cleansing oil.
The Inner Strength Cleansing Balm from Aromatherapy Associates is a little different in that it can be used in copious amounts to remove makeup, even eye makeup, but I honestly wouldn’t want to waste it on that. The essential oil blend that makes up Inner Strength is just amazing – very mood-changing – and I like to use the balm quite sparingly. It melts into a very massage-friendly oil and then rinses away quite clean, so I cleanse first, spread this on and then spend a few minutes breathing in the scent before removing. If the face oil/cleanser hybrids above don’t sound like your cup of tea but you want something spirit-transforming in your cleansing routine then this is an excellent place to start. You can find it at LookFantastic here – it’s £40.
Lastly, the Tulasara Radiant Oleation Oil from Aveda. Admittedly, I haven’t used this the way they suggest, with light skin brushing beforehand, but I use it as a sort of pre-cleanse oil and love the effects and the smell. It breaks up makeup a little before cleansing, so that’s a bonus, but actually it’s quite nice to use if you are makeup free and doing more of a “cleansing off the day’s dirt” job. (Quite often my type of cleanse, if I’m at home and haven’t bothered to put a face on.) It’s £38 here online (bit of a luxe selection for this post!) but if you’re into the idea of a pre-cleanse oil and don’t have a lot of dough, the one from Superfacialist is great. You can find my post about it here.
And a little video for you, if you want to hear me waffling on a bit more. Or just see my face, because you’ve been missing me. It’s OK, I get it…
Ha. Click here if you can’t see the video screen, you know the drill.