Here’s some stuff I’ve used to wash myself.
A gentle cleanser – usually my regular body wash – using wash-cloth/flannel + tepid water: not too warm, not too cool, around body temperature. Morning, also sometimes evening–or some approximation of cleaning–if I’m not too tired/lazy.
Currently using: Everyday Shea unscented moisturising body wash.
- A-Derma Avoine Rhealba soap-free cleansing bar (sensitive, unfragranced, oaty–extracts, mind you, not grainy bits)
- A-Derma kids‘ wash and dermatological range stuff (blue on white label)
- Allergenics Emollient Cream: this is a pretty extraordinary sensitive-friendly multi-tasker, can be used as: a wash; applied lightly and massaged in well as a moisturiser for face, throat, and bosom; a dot rubbed between finger-tips to warm, then used as an eye cream; also a hand cream, cream for drier patches such as elbows, and foot cream.
- Avène Cold Cream Cleanser: not only one of the best face cleaners, but the best all-overhead-to-toe cleanser I’ve yet found.
- Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser: does what it says on the tin. Gentle. Extremely.
- Avène TriXéra+ sélectiose cleanser
- Barefoot Botanicals SOS cleanser
- Basis cleansing bar: not keen, drying
- The Body Shop aloe vera sensitive cleansing milk
- Cetaphil cleansers: cleaned adequately, not drying, but skin felt too slick after
- Clinique Comforting Cream Cleanser: technically supposed to be more of a makeup remover, but a lovely gentle wash
- Clinique soap bar: liked the Mild version, less keen on the newer Mildest.
- Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild: lovely at first – and better than their bar soaps – but after a couple of weeks or so, skin started to develop dry patches. Maybe better in summer.
- Dr Bronner’s: sensitive / baby – prefer the bar to the liquid version – with no fragrance and used to have more aloe vera in it. Not for a while as harder to find and fiendishly expensive outside North America; back to using it for delicate laundry. I prefer the bar version: I find the liquid one at once to be drying and to leave a film on the skin, that just feels odd and uncomfortable.
- Earth Science ADE Creamy Cleanser: one of the best cream cleansers around
- Elave cleansers
- Emulsifying Ointment: used for a while, and various (other) kinds of cold cream
- Eucerin cleansers: good when very dry, otherwise breakouts; some irritation-breakouts on forehead and temples.
- Everyday Shea unscented moisturising body wash. Yes, face too. This stuff is basically amazing.
- Green People (UK) unscented range for sensitive skin: used some years ago, but worth looking into if you’re in the UK or Ireland
- L’Occitane milk soap and liquid cleanser–the big pump bottle of Hand & Body Wash, changes name occasionally, good in the unscented/not otherwise superfluously scented version
- Lavera Neutral and Babies & Kids Neutral cleansers, also their Basis 2-in-1 cream cleanser
- Paula’s Choice: all-over body wash and shampoo (great stuff), and the pricier specifically facial washes (dry version better on me)
- Pear’s Soap: the classic. Used for years some time ago; campaign to bring it back… the new stuff being nowhere near as good.
- Shi Kai unscented dry skin borage stuff
- Trilogy Cream Cleanser: worked OK, but too expensive for the same results as much cheaper cleansers (some of their other products are a very different story, though)
- Weleda Almond Cleansing Lotion: less happy – needed to use a lot, ran out fast, works out very expensive
- Yoghurt or yoghurt/honey quick mask (i.e. 5 min in shower). Occasionally. Sometimes just washing with yoghurt.
- various baby soaps and milk/lotion cleansers
No scrubs or exfoliators. Skin not up to it. Especially (like the rest of me) first thing in the morning.
EXTRA CLEANING, AS AND WHEN NEEDED
An extra step, when wearing heavier-duty sunscreens–or when I’ve been outside all day and topped up sunscreens a couple of times–or even, perish the thought, when I’ve actually worn something approximating to full-face-slap. Using one of the following, followed by regular cleanser.
Currently: *cough* none.
Last used: plain oil, or witch hazel on cotton-wool-pad-substitute
- Micellar cleansers: irritation. It’s a personal thing: the main operative ingredient, poloxamer (184 & 188 are the main ones used).The least irritating were:
- Bioderma Sensibio
- La Roche-Posay
- Nuxe (this was the least unpleasant by far)
- The OCM (oil cleansing method) was an unsuccessful experiment. Tried with Castor oil mixed in with oil: rapid reaction. I did not do the whole steaming-your-face business, as hot water and steam is a very bad idea on my skin. Which is a pain, as like any right-thinking person, I really like a sauna or steam-room, especially one of those lovely ones made of scent-releasing wood.
- More success with cleansing oils proper.
- Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (the gel-to-oil-to-milk thingie) – got big sample, used it up, liked but not enough to buy a full one.
- Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse: disliked, irritation
- DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (eventual clogs)
- Garden of Wisdom Cleansing Oil: nice: it’s a keeper–also great for cleaning out bottles, travel containers, and various other forms of glorified washing-up
- Silk Naturals apricot-based one: excellent
- And plain oil: applied to face with hands, rub around, then wash. See further in the post on the multi-purpose oil. Done successfully–i.e. face was clean, there was no irritation, no longer-term clogging, and skin wasn’t dried out–with these; all the basic kind, bought from supermarket:
- mineral oil: pharmacy/drugstore, unscented plain paraffinium liquidum. Preference for the “light” variety. Or an unscented baby oil that is just mineral oil. Other suggestions: Elave (Ireland, UK) does a good one–baby and adult/body versions are identical.
- sunflower oil: high polyunsaturated variety, not cold-pressed, prefer more refined, the kind used for cooking.
- safflower oil: ditto.
- Cream cleansers: either used properly, rinsed off, followed by main cleanser. Or, a marvellous slightly lazy approach, just applied, massaged gently over skin using hands, and removed with a cotton-wool pad or similar, soaked with water, or other watery liquid (ex. hydrosols, toners–more on which coming up in one of next posts).
- Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser (no-rinse)
- Clinique Comforting Cream Cleanser
- Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser (no-rinse)
- Really lazy: wipes.
- the great and glorious Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes
- some unscented baby wipes: Whole Foods 365, NatureKind.
- witch hazel hydrosol: cotton-wool pad (or similar) soaked in the stuff, then rubbed (gently, as ever) around face.