If I Could Only Buy One…Luxury Cleanser

Disclaimer: Ooph, this “If I Could Only Buy One” series is a risk, isn’t it? Firstly, it’s almost impossible to choose a singular favourite from a given category, even if it’s a category with very little competition. My decision-making process feels marred by the thought of all of my other favourites being left out in the cold – if I don’t mention them then do they even exist? And what if I like three things equally? How does one ever choose?

The second big problem with this series is time: favourites change. Do I keep on coming back to update? Or do I leave the original post and then make a new one with the successor? It’s all very complicated and I feel as though I could be updating and adding to it until I’m seventy, when nobody is even still reading blogs and instead experiencing life through their VR headsets. Who’ll need beauty then? Nobody will leave the house! Food will be in a supplement shake that you drink through a tube connected to the VR headset and sex will be with robots.

But it’s supposed to be fun, so let’s keep it light. There are thousands of products I love and that I’d buy over and over again so if something’s not mentioned it doesn’t mean I’ve changed my mind about it, it just wouldn’t be in the spirit of the game if I then included a load of caveats. (I have actually added a “cheater’s list” to the bottom of the page with a few alternative options. I mean it is, quite literally, cheating at my own game, but I found it impossible to pick without knowing I could leave it there!)


We kick off this series with the one luxury cleanser I’d buy if I could only buy one luxury cleanser for the rest of my life. Many of you will have guessed at the brand for this one, but perhaps not the specific product, so prepare to be mildly surprised.

A winning luxury cleanser, in my opinion, needs to be silky and wonderful to massage in, but easy to remove with no waxy or greasy residue. I want it to have the most glorious smell – a smell that transports me to far-flung and exotic places, and this smell should be heady and “of nature” rather than something that smells a bit like posh aftershave.  The texture should be a joy – a rich balm would be the obvious choice here – but I’d also like it to be a cleanser that’s not too faffy to use.

The obvious choice would be Emma Hardie’s Moringa Balm*, written about extensively here and here over the years, but I’m going to turn the tables and blow your minds and actually go for the Moringa Light Cleansing Gel*, fully reviewed here.

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review

And I’ll tell you why. (This was a tough call.) Firstly, the pump-action packing is more convenient than a pot. Secondly I feel as though this is the sort of cleanser you’d use for a quick cleanse as well as a more lengthy, sit-in-a-warm-bath sort of cleanse and thirdly, I actually think that the gel texture is utterly beautiful and – weirdly – slightly more hydrating than the balm. It’s also suitable for all skin types – whereas I think oilier people might balk at the idea of the richer balm – and slightly more cost effective, because I find I pump out less product from the bottle than I’d scoop from the pot.

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review

So same unbelievably lovely scent, same cleansing prowess, but a little more convenient to use.

Buy Emma Hardie’s Moringa Light Cleansing Gel*

If you want more of a detailed run-down then read my review post – you can find the supremely luxurious Moringa Light Cleansing Gel here* or in all of the places detailed below, it’s £34, which isn’t horrendously expensive as far as luxury cleansers go! I feel I’ve been distinctly restrained…

Tune in next time for If I Could Only Buy One…Tinted Moisturiser.

The Cheater’s List

Because I couldn’t do this “one thing” decision without namedropping some others:

For a silky balm cleanse with utterly gorgeous Rose scent, the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £44 for 100ml here*.

The best-smelling balm cleanser in the world, don’t @ me, but it’s incredibly pricey and so more of a treat, Darphin’s Aromatic Cleansing Balm, £35 for 40ml at SpaceNK here*.

The second best-smelling cleanser in the world and absolutely magical before bedtime – also great for oily/combination skin if you fret about using rich balms – Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Cleanser, £21 here*.

DISCLOSURE POLICY. Posts published after 24th January 2019: if the post contains gifted items or affiliate links then it is indicated clearly beneath the title. Posts published prior to this will have a disclosure within the body of the post and then an asterisk * marking all affiliate links. If the content is a paid-for AD then it is marked as an AD in the title. For more information on disclosure please read here. 

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6 Comments

  1. Lyn P
    June 26, 2021 / 5:50 pm

    I remember buying the balm all those years ago, Ruth, but didn’t like the smell, the faff of trying to find my spatula … again and when washed off my face felt greasy.

    Don’t know how I missed your original review of the gel.

    I have it now and it’s gorgeous. The smell is divine, so easy to apply and my face doesn’t feel greasy after washing it off

    It’ll join my favourites Oskia and Ark

    I got it from allbeauty at a great price
    x

  2. June 26, 2021 / 9:07 am

    I am going to have to try this out straight away!

    Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

  3. June 19, 2021 / 10:10 pm

    I loved the original EH Moringa Balm, but when I got pregnant for the first time, the scent suddenly made me nauseous and I have not been able to enjoy it ever since.

    • June 21, 2021 / 9:53 am

      Oh Nooooo! I found that with some products too!

  4. Lise
    June 18, 2021 / 6:51 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    I have never tried the Emma Hardie light. I love the normal one. But I will add this to my wishlist.
    Is the Neal Yard also a 1st cleanser?

    • June 21, 2021 / 9:53 am

      By 1st cleanser, what do you mean? x

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