For me using a cloth and water, irrespective of the type of cloth, has made the most almighty changes to the clarity and tone of my skin. For years I was convinced that my skin was "affected" by water so I used tissue of cleansers. Very luckily I also wore very little make up or my skin would have been in a shocking state. I suffered from red, blotchy skin that was very dry and reactive. I genuinely think using a cloth and a proper, wash off (non-foaming, god forbid) cleanser has eradicated pretty much all the redness and my skin is way less reactive. I love the feel of a balm cleanser they are so comforting to use and generally smell divine. In the past I had used the Botanics balm cleanser which I liked although more knowledgeable bloggers didn't, I suspect that now I know a little more about balm cleansers I wouldn't either if I was to try it again. I also tried the Champneys cleansing balm, twice. Lord knows why. The first time I bought it I loved the smell but loathed the texture, it was really gritty and scrubby and not at all what I wanted from a daily use cleanser. Quite why I bought it again is beyond me, I think I wanted to try a balm cleanser again but still don't have the necessary spends to go for broke and buy the much raved about Emma Hardie balm cleanser, one day when I have £40 and absolutely nothing else on my wish list I just might! This time it was gritty and horribly oily, I ended up using it as a bit of a body scrub. I was aware that neither cleanser really emulsified which is apparently what you are seeking ideally in a cleanser. Initially it should be an oil on your face to draw out oils and loosen your make up and then, with the addition of water, it should turn into a milk that can be easily wiped off with a flannel leaving no greasy, waxy residue, apparently. I am only repeating what I have read from very much more knowledgeable people here!
As I was flying to Cornwall I decided that I'd have a bit of a google for a Balm cleanser and see if I could find one that I could purchase in Duty Free. After a good old search the one that seemed to tick all my boxes - easily available, not stupidly expensive and more importantly actually sited in its details the transition from oil to milk - was Lancome Baume Eclat. You can imagine how disappointed I was that they didn't have it in Duty Free! Luckily it was on the Lancome counter in Boots later in the week so I nabbed one.
The cleanser comes in a tube with a flip top so no tricky messing with lids, or un-hygenic dunking of mucky fingers to contend with. When you squeeze it from the tube its a very pretty pearlised gel. I have found that you need about a pea sized amount for a normal face full of slap, unless you have a super huge face!
|Because I wear make up like a clown! (note Sleek mattes - post to follow!)|
You apply it with dry hands to your dry face and massage it in, very quickly it turns to oil and quite literally dissolves your make up.
I do use this on my eyes but a word of caution, this stuff stings like a bitch. For ages. So used with caution on the eye area!! Whilst I am massaging in the cleanser, which smells lovely btw, I am running the hot tap with my flannel sat in the sink.
Once my make up has smeared all over my face I dampen my hands and massage again to turn the oil into milk, this bit gets drippy!
Then I wring out my now nice and hot flannel, open it out fully and slap it onto my face. I kid you not, this feels like heaven and you can feel the day slipping away. I have a good rub around with the flannel, rinse, wring and repeat. Sometimes for ages it feels that good! When I have finished cleansing my face looks bloody amazing. Really clear, even toned, un-blotchy happy skin.
It then gets my night routine, which reminds me the Avene Ystheal that I reviewed here has now all gone. I have used it every evening and my skin has completely loved it, couple of pumps of this smoothed in and allowed to soak in and then a smidge of Dr Nick Lowe The Secrets Out night cream, which I am still crazy about, also about to run out and again also about to be replaced - I am on my second bottle of the serum and the day cream is due to be replaced very soon too, loving this whole range too for mature skin that needs some proper help. Those of you that follow me on twitter may have seen panic stricken tweets about my hideously spotty face. I was really concerned it was the cleanser causing the problems. Turns out it was a combination of time of the month and a nasty reaction to some medication that I have been taking long term. Phew! Would have been so upset if I couldn't use this as I love how it works.
This costs £20 and I bought mine from Boots and I would recommend it happily!