I’m having a bit of a face wash frenzy at the moment; after finally finishing my First Aid Beauty Deep Cleanser with Red Clay I decided to start not one replacement cleanser but four. The full reviews are coming up, but I thought I’d jot down some speedy notes in case you were looking for something a bit lighter (and faster) than a cream or balm cleanser.
I don’t always want to do a full-on cleanse first thing – I rarely have the time – and so face washes tend to be my morning staple. And – I’m not going to lie – this sort of cleansing more often than not happens in the shower. I wash my hair, stick on my conditioner and then wash my face whilst I’m waiting for my locks to be transformed into something vaguely manageable that won’t snap the hairbrush in half when I try to brush it.
(Note: I don’t ever put my face under the shower jets, I splash with water I’ve collected in the palms of my hands. Which makes it sound as though I stand there in some sort of religious pose, hands upturned, accepting gifts from heaven. But you know what I mean. I catch-n-splash.)
I’d say that the following face washes are more suited to normal/oily skin than dry – I prefer a cream or balm cleanser on drier skin – and I probably wouldn’t use them for makeup removal, as I like to really take my time and massage my cleanser in when I’m doing my end-of-day routine.
But each to their own – whatever floats your beauty boat. I know loads of people who never use a balm or cream or oil cleanser, removing their makeup with a wash and very happily too. I have to say that I haven’t tested any of the following cleansers on eye makeup – it’s just not how I’d ever choose to take it off – but I did my usual rub-it-in-the-sockets test (taking one for the team, there) and my eyeballs are still in tact. So. Knock yourselves out…
Simple Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser, £2.19 at Superdrug here*: I’m really impressed with Simple’s cleansing stuff at the moment. Their oil is great and a fraction of the price that you’d pay for some of the higher-end ones with similar ingredients; their Dual Effect makeup remover is, I think, superb. (And – again – £2.19. Though it’s a limited offer, see here*.) The Foaming Cleanser is a very soft, gentle and non-stripping foam and my skin didn’t feel dry after rinsing. In fact I think that this would be my choice if you did have slightly drier skin and wanted a quick, affordable face wash option.
Paula’s Choice Pore Normalising Cleanser, £16 here*: totally fragrance-free, this gel-to-mild-lather cleanser leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean but without that dreadful squeakiness that you sometimes get with “blemish prone skin” products. It contains salicylic acid to help unclog pores, so worth looking at if you suffer from blackheads and breakouts, but I always wonder just how effective something can be if you rinse it straight off. Which is why I usually leave these sorts of cleansers on for a few minutes and piddle around doing something else…
DCL C Scape Enzymatic Gel Cleanser, £33 at SpaceNK here*, though currently seems to be out of stock everywhere: this one is pitched as a gentle cleanser, but I actually think that it packs much more of a punch than it gives itself credit for. It contains enzymes and fruit acids and so I’m supposing that when it’s left on the skin, which is what I do (only for a couple of minutes, but still), it has an exfoliating effect. My skin feels smoother and a little tighter, as though I’ve used a very fine scrub, but the texture of the gel is silky and completely free from grittiness. I’ve earmarked this one for a full review, as I feel I’ve been a bit balm-centric recently.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Softening Foaming Gel, £8.33 here*: I’ve had this one for ages and I think that it’s a nice, uncomplicated face wash if you just want a functional cleanser. It rinses off easily without the need for a washcloth/flannel – in fact all of the cleansers on this page rinse off well – and the lather is gentle, unfragranced and non-stripping.
See a theme, here? These are all quick to use, easy to rinse and don’t dry out your skin. I have another few dozen cleansers lined up around my bathroom (Mr AMR loves me) and so I’ll keep the reviews coming, as and when I get the chance to type up my findings. For now, you can browse more cleanser features here.