I am about to write something very difficult for me. I was wrong. Those of you who know me will know how rare it is for me to utter this, so to commit it to the written word is doubly hard. Not one to shy away from the truth, I needed to get that admission out the way before I give you the lowdown on my discoveries.
Here is what I was wrong about: all good skincare really does start at finding the right cleanser. Yes, everyone says it, but I never really believed it, until I found the one. In fact, I am lucky enough to have found two recently.
The first is called Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, and it is brilliant. It has long been beloved by celebrities (of course – they always get there first) and now I’ve tried it, I can confirm that the celebs have got it right.
It is designed to treat all skins, and works brilliantly on sensitive/eczema-prone skin. After two days of use any bits of redness on my poor, winter skin were gone. I used it every morning and sometimes in the evening after my first cleanse (see below – a double cleanse with these will not damage your skin) and sometimes in the shower when my face feels left out in my bodily cleaning routine (again, this won’t strip your skin).
The science behind it, in a nutshell, is that it is gentle and non-foaming so it won’t disturb the pH of your skin, which is really where so many cleansers go wrong. A tightness after cleansing does not mean you are clean, but that your skin has been stripped. A good cleanser won’t do this, and Cetaphil doesn’t. It has been rigorously put through its paces (I won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say dermatologist Dr. Justine Hextall speaks highly of how well it has been tested, and claims there are very few skincare brands who go to these lengths), and can be used with water or removed with a cotton pad.
I am not going to lie, this isn’t designed to look good on your bathroom shelf. The packaging is really quite sensible and reminded me of something kept by the sink in the san at school. I’m usually bothered by that sort of thing, but my shelf will never be without this now. You need this product – just trust me on this.
The second wonder product is Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. When I was sent this I wasn’t entirely sure – I have dabbled with the old slather something on and cloth it off business before with different brands and had never been overwhelmed with the results – I never felt clean, and it all felt a bit of a faff. This was different. The cleanser isn’t gloopy or thick and spreads well (and quickly – no laborious application here) and the polishing cloth took off all my make up in one or two rinses. Again, my face was clean, without feeling tight. If you follow this with the Instant Boost Skin Tonic and the Skin Repair Moisturiser you’ll get the best results. This moisturiser, by the by, may be the most delicious smelling (and effective – no clogging but lots of moisture) I’ve ever used. These three combined are a formidable force – I can’t remember when my skin last felt or looked better. This isn’t something I should admit here, but this routine has genuinely made me look forward to removing my make up. What used to feel exhaustive and riddled with confusing choice (I have a very fully stocked bathroom) is now really quite pleasant.
Buy them all. If you want healthy, glowing skin (does anyone not?) you won’t be disappointed.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is available from Boots and costs £8.49.
Liz Earle’s Healthy, Beautiful Skin Kit is available here and costs £30.