So Fresh and So Clean: A Brief History of Cleansers

When it comes to skincare I am all about the cleansing. I’m not big on wipes (use them for tables not your face) but understand their merit post night out (make-up is always better off your face than on your face come bed time but we’re getting in to Captain Obvious territory here.) That’s all fine and dandy but for my daily skin care routine I swear I chop and change my cleansers as frequently as I do foundations. I don’t ask for much in a cleanser. I would like my skin to feel fresh and clean after I’ve used it. I would prefer if my skin didn’t feel like it had been sapped off all nourishment. Also the quicker it can take all the eyeliner off my face the better.
So for you dear reader: a brief history in cleansers. The good and the great and a few that have got the apathetic meh.

Garnier Clean and Fresh Cleanser – £1.49 – Superdrug (1/2 price)

I am convinced at some point every single person I know has used this cleanser. It was like my first cleanser and you know what? Not terrible. I’m not big on the cream cleansers these days and I find the whole faffing about with cotton pads to be a right pain but this did the job. It smells nice, light and fruity and is pretty nourishing. I never really felt like it was completely off though and it was one of the few cleansers where I always used a toner after. This when I was 16 and has a well disciplined skin care routine. Which died swiftly for a combination of reasons (boredom, laziness, demons – take your pick.)  A purse friendly cleanser that is nice enough but a bit of a foof around for me.

Lush Ultrabland Cleanser – £6.75

People go on about this cleanser and how wonderful it is. Like manna from heaven. Are we using the same cleanser? Actually? I hated this guy. It felt heavy on the skin, it took for ages to get any of my make up off and it just felt too rich. I don’t think I could have been less in to a cleanser if I tried. That said it did smell delicious so there is that.

Lush Aqua Marina Cleanser – £6.25

Aqua Marina is more up my street. It’s pink and squishy and in it’s roll form is easily my favourite of the Lush cleansers to look at. Inspired by mermaids it’s designed to calm and cleanse the skin. I got a pot for Christmas and been using it religiously and definitely seen an improvement in a skin (remember my December/early Jan diet was mostly mince pies and Quality Street) so that’s always a plus. I quite like how you roll a wee ball then wet it and turn it in to a milk to clean your skin. It always makes my skin feel very fresh and has got me back on the Lush skincare bandwagon.

Simple Purifying Cleanser – £2.99

Again this seems to be one that everyone has used. From my cream cleanser days this guy had a nice fruity smell but a very thin liquid and again was a bit of a faff to use (again – I’m lazy) but otherwise a pretty nice cleanser. It wasn’t great for my skin – but I think that has come from a learning curve of “cream cleansers aren’t for me” but know plenty of folk who still use it and swear by it.

Origins Checks & Balances – £17

This is easily my favourite cleanser ever and is the one beauty product the boy is always snaffling. I’ve gushed and gushed about Checks & Balances before and it’s a near staple in my shower. It’s great face wash which always leaves my skin feeling bright and thoroughly cleansed. One of the best beauty products of all time.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil – £28

Best for taking off make up. I would be lost with out this. I am quite partial to quite a lot of eyeliner and this bad boy is the ultimate quick fix in getting my make up off my face and in to the sink. I’d never used oil cleansers before this but after I was a MAJOR convert. It’s not the cheapest thing going but it does last for ages – and I tend to keep it for nights out when I need to get my big face off quickly before bed. It’s a great guy to have in your beauty cabinet and Shu do loads of collaborations with artists throughout the year so you can try and get some super cute limited edition bottle designs.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser – £15

A gel like cleansing soap Keihl’s does what it says on the tin and cleans your face. Other than that there isn’t much to say other than it’s pretty inoffensive. It’s fairly unremarkable as far as cleansers go. You get loads for the price but I can’t say I’d buy again.

MAC Creme Wash – £15

I definitely worshipped at the cult of MAC for a good long while. My make up bag was a MAC paradise (thank you student loan) and I was just totally sucked in my it. Naturally I had to try the creme wash which was okay. It has a nice gel texture and cleaned my face good and proper, but in retrospect I feel I’ve been spoiled by the likes of Origins and Lush. It just doesn’t measure up against it’s peers.

Obviously there a few guys missing from this – Clinique’s Liquid Facial Soap (meh) and Vitimain E’s Make Up Remover and Cleanser (solid budget cleanser) spring to mind but really just wanted to do a quick exploration of a my history with trying to get all the make up off my face. I know everyone keeps telling me to get on board the Hot Cloth train – and you know what – I’m waiting at the station. I am ready to get on, the ticket’s bought – but I have a few guys I need to work through first before I can legit start spending money on new skin care goodies when my bathroom is so stacked with treats at the moment (it was a VERY good Christmas for skin.)

Anyway what do you think? Any glaring omissions? Any cleansers that I need to try – or have you tried any of these bad boys and had a different experience?

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