cleaning products (face)

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.

Previously used:

  • 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.


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:
    • Avène
    • 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
  • 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.

Care to reply?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s