my MUA reviews: cleansers

Mix of products intended (by their manufacturers, or marketing & sales departments) at the face, and ones intended for areas below the head. A few years’ worth, in reverse chronological order. First posted on MUA (and still there; I put up all new reviews there first). For more on cleansers, see cleaning products (face)cleansing materials (body), and current affairs.
More coming up soon in other beautification genres: moisturisers are next.

All images: MUA.

A-Derma Sensifluid Cleansing Micellar Water  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on10/21/2011 1:07:00 PM

It’s the only micellar cleanser I’ve been able to use without irritation. Others tested: Avène, Nuxe, La Roche-Posay, Bioderma (both the regular and the sensitive ones). It cleans. Doesn’t irritate. Unfragranced, though some scent from the oats and witch-hazel (contains witch-hazel water/hydrosol). Application: poured out onto a cotton-wool pad (or equivalent), then swept over face. Texture: a clear liquid, looks and feels like water. I’ve used this occasionally in the evenings. Can be used in the mornings too. Or whenever you clean our face, really. Cruelty-free (like all A-Derma products and those from their parent group–Pierre Fabre–and its other brands, ex. Ducray, Galénic, Avène, Klorane).
Price? once shipping, customs/import duties, and taxes are factored in. Though it’s cheaper than the aforementioned other micellar waters. Note also that I’m only using this to remove sunscreen plus a teeny amount of finishing powder; not full makeup; and my usual face sunscreens are lightweight ones that remove easily. No promises for heavier-duty cleansing needs.
Price: (France) €10.00-13.00; (North America or c/o e-tailers) US$30.00 for 500 ml. Bought online: several French pharmacies ship to North America, and there’s a few “french cosmetics” type companies in the US that do Canada too. Much of the A-Derma range is available from Canadian drugstores (SDM, LD), though not this micellar water. I’ve seen it in a couple of pharmacies in Québec, so there’s clearly some distribution there. Have a sniff around online and in your real-life shops to see… It is, as you see, massively cheaper to get from France (or elsewhere in Continental Europe), but do bear in mind the shipping costs.
Water (aqua), Poloxamer 184, PEG-6 Caprylic / Capric Triglycerides, Pentylene Glycol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Hamamelis Virginia (Witch Hazel) Water, Phenethyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Trisodium EDTA.

 Alaffia – Everyday Shea Moisturizing Body Wash  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 6/1/2010 6:25:00 PM

Full name: Everyday Shea Moisturizing Body Wash. Available (at present) in three versions: Unscented, Vanilla Mint, and Lavender. The manufacturers, Everyday Shea, are an extension of Alaffia.
This is an excellent basic wash, fine on sensitive, irritable skin (this one, anyway) that tends towards dryness. I’m using the unscented version.
It is, as you’ll see from the ingredients, very basic indeed. Minimal ingredients.
(1) SHOWER GEL / BODY WASH: Applied using a poof. Foams up slightly, rinses off well, and leaves skin–well, clean and calm. I’m still moisturising afterwards: just oil, applied either in-shower then rinsed off or (if skin is drier) left on skin at end of shower.
(2) HAND WASH: decanted into empty bottles by bathroom and kitchen sinks. Very good: moisturising, but decent lather and cleans well, also good on smell-reduction from cooking etc. (washing hands twice).
(3) FACE WASH: I’ve also used it as a facial cleanser: works well, and leaves skin clean but not taught.
(4) UPDATE: is there anything this stuff can’t do? adding SHAMPOO. I acted as a guinea-pig for the Green board. Thought this stuff would be like Dr.Bronner’s: but no. Leaves hair clean and detangled, scalp in good happy nick. Following up as per usual with conditioner, which will have at least as much to do with hair condition. I’ve moved from my lovely luxuriously-priced Phytojoba shampoo to a 50:50 mix of Phytojoba and the Everyday. Washing hair twice; first quick wash, second one leaving shampoo on and down length of hair for a few minutes.
So an unequivocal all-round thumbs up. Functionality aside, Everyday Shea gets bonus points for being very cheap. Around USD 10.00-15.00 and CAD15.00-20.00 for a giant pump bottle, 32oz/950ml. Readily available from assorted green shops (got mine from Whole Foods) and online.
Further bonus: a good ethical choice. Cruelty-free, vegan, and made with Fair Trade sustainably-produced shea butter. Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care are a Togolese-founded company, work with cooperatives, and in addition 10% of sales go directly to community (empowerment) projects: more here (click “continued” at the end of this review to activate the link).
INGREDIENTS: Water, Aqueous Neem Leaf (Azadirachta indica) Extract, Handcrafted Shea Butter Soap (Saponified Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) Butter* and Virgin Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Oil), Cocamidopropyl Betaine.

Earth Science – A-D-E Creamy Cleanser  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 6/1/2010 9:08:00 PM

One of the best cream / milk / lotion cleansers out there, and the best I’ve found in North America. (I just realised I’d been using this for a while, keep recommending it on the skincare board, and hadn’t reviewed it yet.)
As the name suggests, this is a cream cleanser. Can be applied to dry skin ad tissued off; I find it works better applied to damp skin, massaged slightly, then washed off (tepid water, with or without a washcloth). Removes sunscreen efficiently; it claims to remove makeup too, but I don’t wear enough to be able to notice.
It is slightly fragranced: to my nose, it’s straight-up apricot. Fruity, but fresh and real, not one of those phoney sickly-sweet nauseating kinds of fruity.
Zero reactions to report, just clean and comfortable skin. Skin here: irritable, reactive, physically thin and fragile, in short all-round sensitive. Normal to dry.
I usually double-cleanse in the evening, following this with my regular cleanser (previously A-Derma cleansing bar; currently Everyday Shea unscented moisturizing body wash). If being lazy, just this applied dry, then witch-hazel aqueous solution (Thayers’ currently).
Cruelty-free and vegan. Readily available in health-food stores and the like, some supermarkets, and online (here in Canada, it’s in Whole Foods/Capers and Save-on-Foods, also seen some in drugstore chains). Cheap: in the region of $6.00-9.00 for 8oz/240ml pump bottle.
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-8 Stearate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Aemrniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Glycine Soya (Soybean) Sterols, Allantoin, Glycerin, Peg-10 Soya Sterol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Ergocalciferol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Dilaurate, Ascorbic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Polysorbate 20, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Lactic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum).

A-Derma Soap-Free Dermatological Bar with Oat Milk  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 12/31/2009 1:50:00 AM

This is a no-frills cleansing bar, for sensitive skin. It is one of the least drying and most moisturising cleansers I have met: doesn’t leave a greasy film on the skin, just leaves it calm, comfortable, soothed, smooth. Part of the “Irritated Skin” range, A-Derma’s most basic (and cheap) one, based on their specially-selected Rhealba oats.
Excellent on sensitive, irritable, thin, delicate skin. I’ve used this and other A-Derma products when suffering bouts of serious irritation and itching, and some of their predecessors some years ago on eczema. Returned to the brand as it’s quite readily available here in Canada. If you’re in Vancouver and keep finding that London Drugs have run out of this soap, that might be me…
A creamy-coloured bar, with no fragrance. Foams a little. Use as with any other soap or bar cleanser. Rinse, and follow with moisturiser.
Not tested on animals (same goes for other brands and products in the Pierre Fabre stable – ex. Avène, Klorane). Around GBP/EUR 4.00-6.00, CAD 9.00 for a 100 g bar. A-Derma also make a cold-cream-like Pain Surgras (in the pink-packaged Sensitive Skin range, that includes the Sensifluid products), which I haven’t seen outside Belgium and France
INGREDIENTS: Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Corn Starch (Zea Mays), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Oat Flavour (Avena Sativa), Aqua, Paraffin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Ceteareth-6, Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Dulcis), PEG-45 Palm Kernel Glycerides, Titanium Dioxide 

Garden of Wisdom – Cleansing Oil  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 9/26/2009 7:43:00 PM
I’m using cleansing oil to remove sunscreen in the evening; this is the best finished cleansing oil I’ve used so far. Comparisons: Shu Uemura (rapid irritation just on hands, so it went nowhere near the face), Dermalogica’s PreCleanse (rapid irritation), and DHC (eventual clogging and irritability).
This is dramatically cheaper than the DHC, and lighter-weight (sweet almond and hazelnut oils, rather than just olive, and minus the coconut derivatives). Like the DHC, best applied with dry hands to dry skin, rubbed around a bit (gently), emulsified with tepid water, then washed off. I use a washcloth/face-cloth/flannel. Very little scent, and neither objectionable nor sneeze-inducing. I’ve found no need to wash again afterwards, unlike with the DHC. I’ve been following up with a splash of witch-hazel (aqueous – GoW again, one of the better straight-up no-alcohol ones I’ve found). Then moisturiser: often just a bit of oil on drier patches of skin. No zits, no irritation, all well and clear.
Costs $2.85/1oz, $8.40/4oz, $14.05/16oz plus shipping. Cruelty-free. Packaging: comes in a plastic flip-cap bottle with a fairly plain label, no frills, no objections here. The bottle is a fairly standard one, so if you’d prefer a pump top, go get one – they also sell such things on GoW – or reuse an old DHC bottle, that’s what I’m doing at present.
INGREDIENTS: Organic Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Peg-7 Olivate, Cromollient STS, Alkyl Benzoate, Rosemary Oil Extract

Clarins – Pure Melt Cleansing Gel  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 7/1/2009 2:52:00 PM

Fair to good, but not as good as DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil. My 4 lippies is really a generous rounding-up from 3.5.
Used up a travel/sample size of this (nice generous Clarins ladies, thank you!). It’s an orangey gel in a solid sensible tube. Applied with dry hands to dry face, massaged around, and lo – gel turns into oil. Add water and massage around again: oil turns milky. Rinse off (with or without facecloth/washcloth). Removes stuff on face, and rinses clean. Face is left feeling comfortable, but with a slight “film” on top. I experimented with cleansing again after and not, and decided that that I was less than keen on the film and preferred the feel of washing face again after (Avène Cold Cream Gel Cleanser). Used in evening, followed by moisturiser.
Pros: does the job – though I’m only cleaning off sunscreen. No irritation, no clogging. Fun to use. Decent company ethics re. animal testing (though that is of course nothing to do with whether or not something works, it’s a criterion in purchasing decisions).
Cons: the scent and the price. On both counts, DHC wins – even bought online and with shipping charges. And I used way less of the DHC than the Melt.
INGREDIENTS: caprylic / capric triglyceride, hydrogenated polyisobutene, stearyl heptanoate, polyglyceryl-10 myristate, glycerin, aqua, cyclomethicone, sclerocaryabirrea, parfum, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, tocopherol, methylchloroisothiazolinome, butyl methoxydibenzolylmethane, ethylhexyl salicylate, methylisothiazolinome, bht, hexyl cinnamal, benzyl salicylate, ci 19140, ci 17200

DHC – Deep Cleansing Oil  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 7/1/2009 11:12:00 AM

UPDATE [10/2009]: been using the Garden of Wisdom Cleansing Oil for some time now, and I much prefer it. Lighter. Cleans better. No need for a follow-up second cleanser. Suits my skin better: unlike the DHC, the oil isn’t just olive but also sweet almond and hazelnut. Different emulsifier too.
I’d tried the GoW out because I did eventually start getting some clogginess and spottiness, and thought I’d try substituting one product at a time, to see when this stopped. Also, because the GoW is substantially cheaper.
I hate to say it, as it sounds like 1001 advertising campaigns, but 1001 MUA reviewers can’t be wrong …Tried some time ago, wasn’t impressed. Then used various other things: oil cleansers, cleansing oils, oils, gel-to-oil-to-milk cleansers, no-rinse cleansers, cream cleansers, emulsifying ointment, aqueous creams, cold creams, and so forth and so on. Tried the DCO again, and loved it.
Am using it in the evening to remove sunscreen. Sometimes following it with witch-hazel, always then moisturiser (Avène Skin Recovery Cream, a.k.a. Cream for Intolerant Skin).
Does the job of removing stuff from it, without leaving it greasy or dried out (though using my other cleanser on top might be helping here). No clogging, breakouts, or irritation to report – but this is an initial report, will update. And this here is rather sensitive, fragile, irritable skin.
Nothing to add but echo the other 1000 reviews: this is a cleansing oil, consisting mainly of olive oil. Pump bottle (good, but pump top doesn’t lock properly for travel). 1 pump suffices for face and neck. Apply using dry hands, to dry skin. Massage it around. Wet hands, and massage around a little more. Then rinse off; I use warm water and a facecloth. The whole process takes about a minute or so. Tried using another cleanser after, and not, and wavered, but figured out (from the witch-hazel on pad test) the DCO does indeed clean, no need for a second cleanse.
Not always available planet-wide, got mine from eBay, and available through various online retailers inc. DHC themselves for some countries. USD 25.00 / GBP 16.00 for the 200 ml/6.7 oz bottle.
INGREDIENTS: olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, pentylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil

Clinique – Comforting Cream Cleanser  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 4/29/2009 10:46:00 AM

Good, well-packaged plain and simple cleanser. I’ve been using it in the evening as a pre-cleanser to ensure removal of all sunscreen – usually followed by my regular cleanser, and alwsy by witch-hazel as a toner – as I do tend to get cloggy bits otherwise. This stuff was also fantastic for removing the Dermalogica PreCleanse which I tried once and reacted to badly – removed it fast, and helped soothe skin.
It is minimal. Then again, if you have sensitive skin that reacts to all sorts of things, that’s very good. Little is needed, and it’s easy to apply and use, good texture for spreading around the face, not too solid or liquid or oily. Incidentally, a good solution if you’re like me and dislike lotion/milk cleansers. But its great advantage is its versatility, as it can be used in any of the following ways:
(1) as a no-rinse, wipe-off cleanser;
(2) as a stand-alone regular rinse-off cleanser;
(3) as a pre-cleanser / make-up remover.
Other decent alternatives that can be used this way: Avène Extremely Gentle cleanser (but the Clinique’s cheaper, even here in Europe) and their micellar cleanser; Nuxe (but slightly scented); and similar no-rinse ones plus micellar cleansers by LRP and other parts of the L’Oréal group.
I got a similar effect – but couldn’t be used as a no-rinse cleanser, would need another cleanser afterwards – with plain oil, Clinique’s TTDO balm, and assorted cold cream-type cleansers, i.e. cold cream proper or emulsifying ointment. There’s also various simpler cream cleansers available in North America – Cetaphil, Cerave etc. – but not that many in BAM stores here in Ireland and the UK: used Simple and various Boots ones, found they didn’t clean very well, used loads of product, ended up being a false economy.
I’d use it in the mornings too, if it weren’t for the price – possibly the best cleanser Clinique makes, for my sort of skin. (Regular cleanser: Avène Cold Cream Cleanser, on face and body.)
Recommended. Costs EUR 20.00 / GBP 14.00 / USD 18.50 for a 150 ml. tube. Not fragranced, not tested on animals.
INGREDIENTS: water, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, butylene glycol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate, ppg-2 myristyl ether propionate, cetyl alcohol, glycerin, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, cetearyl alcohol, arginine, cetyl esters, ethylhexyl hydroxystearate, ceteareth-20, cetyl ricinoleate, carbomer, disodium edta, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate

Clinique – Liquid Facial Soap – mild  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 4/29/2009 10:21:00 AM

The pluses:
(1) Good basic foaming cleanser, much better than the bar-soap version (which I used for years), or any of the other assorted rinse-off foaming cleansers that Clinique has brought out under various names over the years. Preferred the Mild to the Extra Mild (tried, left more of a film and contains heavier silicones).
(2) It is indeed mild. Cleans skin, neither stripping it nor leaving a greasy film. No irritation, just comfortable normality. That might not sound like asking much, but on sensitive skin it’s sheer relief. I’m using it with lukewarm water and a facecloth in the evening, in shower using hands in the morning. I do prefer to use some kind of pre-cleanser in the evening as well, beforehand, as wearing strong-ish sunscreen during the day; liking plain oil, or else Clinique’s Comforting Cream Cleanser (or the TTDO balm, a cold cream, emulsifying ointment, or similar).
(3) Packaging etc: Nice pump dispenser and quite concentrated, not much is needed. Like other (nearly all) Clinique stuff, unscented and no animal testing.
The minuses (review updated after a little over two weeks’ use:
(1) It’s now drying my skin out, in some patches. Noticeable flaky forehead. Can’t be anything else, as no changes in other products or diet. I changed back to my old cleanser (used as a body wash too), Avène Cold Cream Cleanser, and all was well, kind of immediately.
(2) (I honestly don’t know if this is my case – I’m usually OK with -LSes.) The SLS might be an issue for some people, and might be behind the drying and/or irritation some other reviewers have suffered – I (like many/most people) am actually OK with it, but worth bearing in mind in case you have a known sensitivity to it.
(3) A gripe, but while it’s fairly concentrated, one still uses more than with the Avène, making the Clinique a lot more expensive. It’s already thrice the price; costs around GBP 13 /EUR 17 for 200 ml; USD 15, or 26 for the value size (not available in Europe).
Also, the formula and feel of it are rather like Paula’s Choice One-Step Cleanser for normal to dry skin – used a few years ago in the US – more expensive for us here in Europe, but cheaper in North America so might be worth bearing in mind as an alternative.
INGREDIENTS: water, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium chloride, cocoamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, lauramidopropyl betaine, sodium cocoyl sarconisate, tea-cocoyl glutamate, di-PPG-2 myreth-10 adipate, aloe barbadenis leaf juice, PEG-120 methyl glucose dioleate, sucrose, sodium hyaluronate, cetyl triethylmonium dimethicone PEG-8 succinate, tocopheryl ethyl suddionate ethyldimonium ethosulfate, butylene glycol, chamomilla recutita (matricaria), hexylene glycol, polyquaternium-7, laureth-2, caprilyl glycol, sodium sulfate, EDTA, disodium EDTA, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol
INGREDIENTS for comparison: PAULA’S CHOICE ONE-STEP (NORMAL-DRY): Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (gentle cleansing agent), Methyl Gluceth-20 (skin-conditioning agent), Glycol Stearate (moisturizing thickener), Glyceryl Stearate (moisturizing thickener), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (soothing agent, anti-inflammatory), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (water-binding agent), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (very mild cleansing/lather agent), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate (cleansing agents), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA (water-binding agents), Hydroxyethylcellulose (thickener), Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Propylene Glycol (slip agent), Citric Acid (pH balancer), Phytic Acid (chelating agent to soften hard water), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

Dermalogica – PreCleanse  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 4/29/2009 9:40:00 AM

Used once. Major rapid reaction (itching while applying, then burning, skin went blotchy and red). Washed off as soon as possible. Tried again on hands only – the skin there’s tougher – and the same thing happened. Never again.
Other con: it’s horribly expensive (GBP/EUR 20.00 – 30.00 for 150 ml). Non-ideal bottle, as many have said: would be better with a flip-top or pump top.
On the other hand, I can see how this would work – oil dissolving oil and so on – and in my experience it’s certainly a good idea to use some form of pre-cleanser in the evening. In my case, it’s just for removing sunscreen at the end of the day, but even that takes something more than regular cleanser alone. Otherwise welcome to Clog City, especially those sneaky nooks and crannies like corner of nose.
Other pro: it smells gorgeous (citrusy).
INGREDIENTS: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Oils Of: Borago Officinalis Seed, Aleurites Moluccana Seed, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel, Lavandula Hybrida, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel; Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Decyl Olive Esters, Tocopherol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Citral, Limonene, Linalool.

Simple – Pure Soap for Sensitve Skin  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 1/12/2009 4:52:00 PM

I’m quite surprised that no-one has reviewed this yet, for its original purpose: as a facial cleanser. This is plain, basic, no-frills, mild soap. Bar soap. That thing we’re supposed to fear: if your skin is OK with plain soap, or at least you’ve no known disagreements with it, give it a try. Obviously, if your skin doesn’t like soap, or you have one of the conditions for which it is not advised, please don’t!
Excellent for cleansing sensitive skin. Similar ingredients to Clinique’s mild soap, but with more glycerin and less of the non-soapy stuff. Unfragranced. Same size bar (150 g), lasts as long, and like it, should be kept in a soap-dish with draining holes at the bottom, and keep covered when not in use.
My one issue – and hence 3 lippies (make it 3.5?) – is that is is a little drying; I prefer a creamier cleanser. Still a good thing to have around.
I’ve been through several cleansers recently, and am now back to My Old Trusty Favourites. I used the Simple for many years. Tried some other bars – Neutrogena, Clinique, Avene, Dr Bronner’s, various baby soaps – and the Simple and Dr Bronner’s are the two best, for my skin. Functional – but with irritable skin, that can be asking a lot: no reactions and properly clean.
Method of use might make a difference. I use a washcloth, and tepid water. Pat dry. A spritz of Avene water, then witch-hazel on a cotton-wool pad, then moisturiser (and sunscreen in the morning).
This is certainly enough to remove lighter-weight physical sunscreen (Clarins UV Plus 40 currently); I use a separate eye make-up remover (oil on a pad), and would pre-cleanse with oil if wearing more make-up on face.
There are two reviews for this under body > soaps/gels. I don’t like this as a body cleanser – and Simple does good body washes. Meanwhile, it seems a little unfair that there are other soaps listed as facial cleansers, and Simple’s liquid soaps listed there are not as good (for my skin) as this, and more expensive.
Costs somewhere around 1.50- 2.50 EUR/GBP for a 150 g. bar, and is readily available in Britain and Ireland. Also available in multi-packs of 2 or 4 (4 for EUR 3 or 4). There are similar soaps in the US – check ingredient lists – but the nearest similar effect I had was from Dr Bronner’s baby/unscented bar soap (available in health food / “green” stores, and also inexpensive). Simple products have been on the UK market for a long time; no animal testing; and their old slogan – which they’ve always lived up to – was “no perfume, no colour, just kind.” They also have an excellent Baby range and a rather good new Derma one, for very dry skin conditions.
INGREDIENTS: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid

Yogurt Mask  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 12/31/2008 8:19:00 PM

Marvellous stuff, on the lactose-tolerant, sensitive, fragile of skin. If you have issues with cow milk products, try goat or sheep milk yoghurt, or else goat/sheep milk powder mixed with water. Have tried them successfully; haven’t tried using soy- or oat-milk products, but I suspect they’d be worth a go. That briefest of caveats aside: this stuff is so mild the worst that would probably happen – if your skin is tougher and needs something more potent – is nothing at all.
Here are three mask recipes, all using plain natural yoghurt (i.e. no added sugar, flavours, bits of fruit, etc.):
(1) Emergency: simply apply yoghurt to skin. Straight out of fridge or at room temperature. Indeed, if in a state of desperation, straight out of the yoghurt container, and using the hands. Good for calming irritation and sensitivity. Burns, rashes, bites – I first used this on sunburn when a child, before the dawning of the great age of modern sunscreens that actually work. Apply a layer to affected skin, and leave it for as long as possible. Some will absorb – nice and moisturising – and the rest will dry, then can be washed off very easily, with plain water.
A thicker yoghurt works best for this, simply because the texture makes it easier to apply and helps it stay on: full-fat, and Greek-style (or Turkish or variously Balkan) yoghurt.
(2) Basic face mask: mix 1 teaspoonful of yoghurt + 1 teaspoonful of honey. Applied in a thin layer to face, neck, and bosom. Can be left on for as little as 5 min in shower (while washing hair and rest of self), or up to 30 min (till really dry and crumbly). Then rinsed off. Skin is soft and soothed afterwards. Excellent if skin’s been misbehaving or upset. Being very mild, can be used daily if so desired. Takes seconds to prepare in kitchen beforehand: I recommend using a small container (ex. egg-cup) to transport the mask to the bathroom. Unless you’re a luxurious person with an in-bathroom fridge …
Works with any honey tried so far. Fine with a thinner yoghurt (and – see other reviews below – low-fat is recommended, for AHA reasons). The mask should be sufficiently non-liquid so as not to fall off the face: other than that practicality, texture is a matter of individual preference. I’ve had perfectly satisfactory results with many a yoghurt: though I do still prefer to use the same pot for eating and for skincare, being a lazy shopper (and a pedestrian, with at least a 30 min walk between shops/public transport and home).
OK, not technically a mask – more a speeded-up version of the in-shower mask – but a thin yoghurt or a drinking yoghurt (the plain drinking yoghurt you get in cartons in Europe) also makes a good simple cleansing milk. As does milk (the clue’s in the name). Use as any other creamy non-foaming cleanser: dampen skin (ideally, using a facecloth and tepid water), apply a little yoghurt or milk (1 or 2 teaspoonfuls: again, best via the intermediary of an unbreakable container), rub in, rinse off. Common practice for generations, but just adding this use here in case anyone’s not met the idea. No guarantees on heavy-duty make-up; it does remove lightweight sunscreen; above all, nice and refreshing in the morning.
(3) The complete face mask: add oatmeal. Best ground down a little, and soaked in warm water (as if making porridge), then mixed in. Quantities: for a good solid mask, a little more oatmeal than the total quantity of the other ingredients combined. This mask can be applied and left until it dries; it can also be used as a super-gentle scrub. As a mask, works well with cold teabags on closed eyes, as an eye-mask. Happy memories of many girls’ nights in, over many years. (Not keeping the same mask on for all these years, I hasten to add.) Infinite variations exist: e.g. the addition of mashed banana and/or avocado on drier skin. The world’s your oyster … Same proportions again: at least 50% oatmeal. Easiest to make in a larger batch, and thus either for a bunch of people or for a weekend of twice-daily self-pampering.
Cheap. Makes you gorgeous. Smells lovely. Fully edible. And performs miracles on messed-up skin – on this particular one anyway, that’s physically thin (gets scratched and bleeds with nearly all scrubs) and easily irritated (sometimes resulting in spots and rashes), slightly dry, occasional cystic pimpliciousness on chin (currently none, touch wood it’s under control).
Recommended as part of a general leisurely – maybe even slow-motion – hung-over pampering: groaning gently to oneself feels like the perfect accompaniment. Mind you, so is humming happily.

Avène – Cold cream ultra-rich cleansing gel  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 12/18/2008 10:39:00 AM

Bottle says “Cold Cream Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel for dry and very dry sensitive skin.” Hence putting same review under both names listed here.
An unreserved 5 lippies. Excellent basic cleanser for sensitive skin. Does what it’s supposed to. It cleans skin: neither stripping it nor leaving a greasy film. Skin just feels clean and comfortable.
Easy to use, and can be used all over. For face and neck: squeeze or pump a small quantity into palm of hand, rub hands together (it foams very very slightly), and apply. Not much is needed. As a body-wash, applied via one of those pouffy things. Little odour: a hint of orange-flower water maybe (orange and rosemary oils, wayyyy down the ingredients list). Nothing to bug this nose.
After experiments with more complicated things went wrong, I’m all for basics that work and leave skin clean, clear, comfortable, looking and feeling good. (Skin here: physically thin, irritable, can go to dry patches and to oily T-zone, cystic acne on chin; thanks once again to the redeeming powers of Avene and no make-up, skin now “normal” – neither dry nor oily, feels comfortable, looks even, smooth and fine-grained to the touch.)
Available in a 250 ml tube or a 400 ml pump bottle; the latter is more convenient in the shower. Like all Avene products (and others from the Pierre Fabre group), not tested on animals, but extensively tested in labs on sensitive-skinned humans. Prices vary widely: I paid GBP 7.00 for a 250 ml tube, then EUR 11.00 for the 400 ml bottle (online). It looks like that 400 ml bottle is going to last me a good year, used daily.
INGREDIENTS: Avene thermal spring water, disodium cocamphodiacetate, myristic acid, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, coc-glucoside, glycerin, sodium cocoyl isethionate, isohexadecane, cocamidopropyl dimethylaminohydroxypropyl hydrogenated collagen, sodium lauryl sarcosinate, ceteareth-60 myristyl glycol, beeswax, cetyl alcohol, orange oil, glyceryl stearate, propylparaben, rosemary leaf oil, salt, styrene/acrylates copolymer, triclosan, xanthan gum

Avène – Cold cream ultra-rich cleansing gel  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 12/18/2008 10:38:00 AM

Bottle says “Cold Cream Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel for dry and very dry sensitive skin.” Hence putting same review under both names listed here.
An unreserved 5 lippies. Excellent basic cleanser for sensitive skin. Does what it’s supposed to. It cleans skin: neither stripping it nor leaving a greasy film. Skin just feels clean and comfortable.
Easy to use, and can be used all over. For face and neck: squeeze or pump a small quantity into palm of hand, rub hands together (it foams very very slightly), and apply. Not much is needed. As a body-wash, applied via one of those pouffy things. Little odour: a hint of orange-flower water maybe (orange and rosemary oils, wayyyy down the ingredients list). Nothing to bug this nose.
After experiments with more complicated things went wrong, I’m all for basics that work and leave skin clean, clear, comfortable, looking and feeling good. (Skin here: physically thin, irritable, can go to dry patches and to oily T-zone, cystic acne on chin; thanks once again to the redeeming powers of Avene and no make-up, skin now “normal” – neither dry nor oily, feels comfortable, looks even, smooth and fine-grained to the touch.)
Available in a 250 ml tube or a 400 ml pump bottle; the latter is more convenient in the shower. Like all Avene products (and others from the Pierre Fabre group), not tested on animals, but extensively tested in labs on sensitive-skinned humans. Prices vary widely: I paid GBP 7.00 for a 250 ml tube, then EUR 11.00 for the 400 ml bottle (online). It looks like that 400 ml bottle is going to last me a good year, used daily.
INGREDIENTS: Avene thermal spring water, disodium cocamphodiacetate, myristic acid, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, coc-glucoside, glycerin, sodium cocoyl isethionate, isohexadecane, cocamidopropyl dimethylaminohydroxypropyl hydrogenated collagen, sodium lauryl sarcosinate, ceteareth-60 myristyl glycol, beeswax, cetyl alcohol, orange oil, glyceryl stearate, propylparaben, rosemary leaf oil, salt, styrene/acrylates copolymer, triclosan, xanthan gum

Trilogy – Cleansing Cream  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 12/4/2008 8:06:00 AM

[This is currently called “Cream Cleanser”: but should be easy to distinguish, as Trilogy only do two cleansers. The other, Balancing Gel Cleanser, is for combination to oily skin: that is, to cope with drier patches but also oilier T- / A-zone.]
OK facial cleanser. No irritation. Smells gorrrrgeous (see ingredients at end of review for The Why). Feels nice, and very comforting to rub around one’s face. Especially in the evening.
Just not great at actually cleaning the face properly – and I’m only cleaning off daily grime and a lightweight sunscreen, not even proper makeup. It doesn’t actually feel like it’s clogging, but there’s too much left on my skin for my liking. And plenty of other cream cleansers produce exactly the same effect, for a lot less money. So far, the only creamier cleanser I’ve been happy with is Avene’s Extremely Gentle Cleanser, which has the advantage of being no-rinse. Though you can of course rinse it too, if you prefer.
EUR 27.00 for 200 ml. Seems expensive, but one uses little, and it works out cheaper than what I was using previously – for a similar effect – the much more fluid Weleda Almond Cleanser. Also cheaper than most of the other “green” cleansers in health food stores and the like. Similar or lesser price (taking into account its concentration) than department-store or higher-end-drugstore cleansers.
All the Trilogy products are beautifully packaged: brown glass bottles or PET, cream labels on matte plasticky paper (except the PET, obv), with printing in a deep brown and rosewood colour in a nicely rounded sans-serif font. Minimal, but not black-and-white.
Produced in New Zealand, and a very laudable company in terms of good ethics and greenness: no animal involvement, organic, fair trade (with a co-operative in Lesotho), products are shipped not flown, and, indeed, Trilogy’s fully carbon neutral. Also, a better preservation system than many used by other “green” companies (ex. Weleda…).
In a brown glass bottle with pump: if you don’t like it, decant it into a plastic one (and move the label over too – purely psychological and aesthetic, but makes it all more convincing).
INGREDIENTS: water, vegetable glycerin, rosehip seed oil, glycerol stearate, evening primrose oil, jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil, aloe vera leaf extract, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl wheat straw glycosides, carrot root extract, tocopheryl acetate, chamomile flower oil, orange flower oil, perfume*, phenoxyethanol (&) ethylhexyl-glycerin, citral, geraniol*, citronellol*, limonene*, linalool*.
*Components of essential oils of lavender flower, stem geranium leaf, and frankincense bark. Contains iodine.

Weleda – Almond Cleansing Lotion  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 11/3/2008 6:53:00 AM

OK facial cleanser: it cleans (approximately), it’s gentle, it doesn’t irritate. Mid-30s sensitive skin that’s physically thin, easily irritated (inc. burning in seconds), dry patches, tendencies towards cystic acne in chin to nose area.
This is part of Weleda’s Almond range for sensitive skin. No additional fragranced essential oils, and a very minimal ingredient list based on sweet almond and plum oils. The whole range smells more or less of almonds: slighty sweet, but think frangipani rather than marzipan. This cleanser is creamy – like many another cleansing lotion. Can be applied onto dry or damp skin, and removed with dampened cotton wool or a damp cloth (I use a plain old face-cloth).
Weirdly, I found this to be an unsatisfactory cleanser when wearing my usual face (just sunscreen and blusher), but very good if wearing more make-up, and using this preceded by the Almond Facial Oil as a pre-cleanser, and followed up with a gentle toner. I actually prefer my usual body wash to this – leaving face clean, calm, and comfortable: neither with greasy film (like this does) nor overly squeaky (like most liquid cleansers do).
Grudgingly recommended. There are many other basic cleansing creams / cream cleansers that will perform much the same (let alone better), so buying this is probably buying into the whole ethical marketing business more than anything else. Superficially not too expensive – EUR 8.50 for 73g. But if using every day, it would disappear fast. Comes in an aluminium tube. OK used by sink, might not be ideal used in shower.
Cleanser comparisons: certainly better than my previous, emulsifying ointment – it’s like a no-frills cold cream, with none of the other unnecessaries. The Avene cold cream cleanser produces very similar results to the Weleda, and is cheaper, but is less Green and “Natural,” if that’s a concern for you. There are several “green” cleansers that work out cheaper or similar price to the Weleda; though few that are “greener” AND suitable for sensitive skin. Trilogy’s cream cleanser, for example.
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond), Glyceryl Stearate SE, Alcohol, Prunus Domestica, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid.

Elave Body Wash  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 7/4/2008 10:40:00 AM
Best body wash I’ve used recently – skin is very happy indeed!
Excellent body wash for very sensitive skin; intended for dry skin. Like other products in the Elave range, this is free of all manner of things including fragrance and parabens, and not tested on animals.* So a good solution for those looking for serious skincare, but with a conscience.
Quite concentrated; leaves skin clean, smooth, soothed, in good condition. Moist, but not moist in the sense of having a greasy layer on top.
Works very well in combination with Elave’s Body Oil – a very fine, light mineral oil (no fragrance or other sensitizing additives) – best applied to damp skin, either directly in the shower (then left for a few moments, then rinsed off) or immediately afterwards. Followed by patting self dry gently, aka hugging large towel to self and making happy humming noises.
Readily available in UK and Irish pharmacies (ex. Boots and McCabes); costs EUR 6.99 / GBP 4.99 for 250 ml or the bargainaceous EUR 22.00 for 1 l. There’s also an online store for Europe.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Purified water) – Lauryl Glucoside – Coco-Glucoside – Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate – Glyceryl Oleate – Sodium Cocoamphoacetate – Sodium Chloride – Acrylates Copolymer – Anthemis Nobilis – Dichlorobenzyl Alcohol – Phenoxyethanol – Citric Acid – Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E) – Sorbic Acid – Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate.
*Elave is a range made by Ovelle, an Irish company who make basic pharmaceutical skincare products like emulsifying ointment, aqueous cream, and silcock’s base. Been around since the 1930s. This range contains minimal ingredients that have been well tested for safety on sensitive skin, and suitability for helping eczema and other dermatological conditions.

Avène – extremely gentle cleanser  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 6/30/2008 1:19:00 PM
Great stuff – does exactly what the name suggests: “Gentle cleanser. No rinse, tissue-off forumla. Fragrance-free. Sensitive and irritated skin.”
That’s it. Takes off sunscreen, a little makeup (usually a dusting of arrowroot powder + blush), and the usual grime. I wouldn’t make any promises for anything heavier, and I’m still removing eye make-up with oil first. So it doesn’t replace, say, pre-cleansing with oil. But the Extremely Gentle is a good (and more economical) alternative to wipes, on those evenings when one can’t quite get around to washing the face properly.
Slightly gloopy gelatinous liquid. As another reviewer so perspicaciously remarked, it’s snot-like. I apply it with finger-tips, then apply some more to a cotton-wool pad and use that to wipe off the freshly-liberated grot. Although it can be used just on its own without rinsing, I do usually splash face with water afterwards. Our local tap-water comes from mountain springs and is very good, though – in hard-water areas maybe use mineral or filtered water. Then moisturiser. Then bed and sleep.
Costs about EUR 10.00 – 12.00 for 200 ml. Well worth it – after all, that’s the cost of two packs of decent-quality face-wipes. Looks like my bottle will be lasting 6 months, based on 1/3 used in 2 months. Like other Avene and Pierre Fabre group products, not tested on animals. No fragrance, colouring, parabens, or oil (personally not bothered about oil – love mineral, for ex. – but worth knowing if this is an issue).
INGREDIENTS: Avene thermal spring water, cetearyl alcohol, o-phenyl-phenol, cetrimonium bromide, decyl glucoside, disodium edta, sodium cetearyl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, water.

Garnier – Clean Sensitive Moisture Infusion Cleansing Water  rated 1 of 5 gingerrama on 6/29/2008 7:06:00 PM

Oops. Not a good idea.
This is a micellar cleanser from Garnier’s Clean Sensitive range. It looked like a good idea, and was on special offer n my local supermarket, and I’d seen that the ingredients were the same as those in the micellar cleansers from La Roche-Posay and Vichy – unsuprising, as same parent company.
The intention was to use this in the evening to remove the day’s grime and sunscreen (and a very little make-up: basically just blush, I do eyes separately). Now, this stuff is supposedly fragrance-free and for sensitive skin (and that’s written many times on the bottle, including in this blooming stuff’s name on the front). Yet it smelled weird and unpleasant, and started to irritate my skin on contact. I had to wash it off a.s.a.p. It took the next day or so for the irritation to go down (thank you Avene for your help here).
This is really strongly NOT RECOMMENDED for anyone with sensitive skin – or indeed most other skin. I suspect it might be harmful to thick-skinned armoured beasts like rhinos. I hesitated to get rid of it down the sink – after all, one doesn’t pour caustic chemicals like white spirit into one’s public water and sewage system; so it’s currently awaiting our next trip to the hazardous-waste recycling facility. (That sounds worse than it is – here in Ireland, batteries and electric goods and so on go there to die.)
I can, however, recommend plain oil for removing sunscreen and make-up, followed by a basic cleanser such as cold cream, aqueous cream, or emulsifying ointment (like aqueous cream but minus the preservatives). Both of these used with water. If your skin’s fussy about water, there are the options of mineral, distilled, or (for old-skool cheapskates like me) filtered then boiled then cooled.

Allergenics Face & Body Shower Wash  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 6/29/2008 7:12:00 PM
Pleasant body wash – slight scent, too much for use on the face. Good on sensitive skin; very gentle detergents.
Due to the high aloe vera content, this is more of a gel. I’ve rated it as a 3 for price as it’s not very concentrated and so a bottle doesn’t last very long.
It cleanses. It doesn’t irritate. It soothes. It has good ingredients; and isn’t animal-tested. I like it and would recommend it.
,Readily available in health-food / “natural” shops in the UK and Ireland. Not very expensive – around EUR 10.00 – 14.00 for a 200 ml bottle. Look out for the “serious skincare” aesthetically poor packaging.
INGREDIENTS: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Aqua, Decyl Glucoside (from glucose), Glycerin (vegetable source), Lauryl Sulfoacetate (coconut oil), Disodium Cocoamphodiactetate (from coconut), Brassica Campestris Sterol (GMO free), Hydroxyethylcellulose (plant cellulose), Capryloyl Glycine (from palm & sunflower seeds), Xanthan Gum (natural), Aroma (natural essential oils & flowers), Borago Officinalis (borage seed oil), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Allantoin (from sugar beet), Bisabolol (chamomile), Sodium Hydroxide (natural), Citric Acid.

Jason Natural Cosmetics – Aloe Vera Bath & Shower Gel  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 3/30/2008 3:20:00 PM

Great basic shower gel, initially loved it (see end of review for what happened next). Also doubles up as a decent mild shampoo: all in all, rather like Paula’s Choice All Over wash. With the same caveat: OK as a shampoo if your hair is untreated, air-dried, not coarse or dry (fine, thick, normal here).
Cheap and easy to find (in many places). Quite concentrated. In huge (900 ml) pump bottle, with a pump that works splendidly (not something that one can ever take for granted).
One pump suffices. Also makes a good bath. Full of good stuff, and smells pleasant: light, unobtrusive, green, fresh, slightly herbal in a good “oxygen-note” way.
The others in the Satin Shower & Body Wash range have pretty similar ingredients, the main difference is scent. While that’s down to personal preference, I found the fruity ones a bit pre-teen in that slightly plastic, saccharine way (Mango, Apricot, Citrus), just plain didn’t like the Herbal, but wouldn’t say not to the Rosewater, Lavender, or Chamomile – rather classic. I’ve sampled those three at friends’ places; my one warning is that the initial scent is sumptuous but fades, when used in the bath.
I’d been using Paula’s Choice all over wash for a couple of years or so, intermittently trying out other things, that weren’t as good at cleaning skin without irritation or drying, leaving it moisturised but without any greasy film or similar horrors. Initially, the Jason worked very well. Then irritated and dry patches started to appear – shoulders and upper arms, plus my old eczema areas (inside elbows, ankles, knees). I went back to leftover PC, and the irritation and dryness cleared. I conclude that the irritation had to do with the Jason. It’s been demoted to hand-wash – no reactions there.
It is mercifully cheap! Even in Europe!! It’s around EUR 10.00-13.00 here. Yup, that’s still nearly three times what I paid in the US, but still less than anything else here that comes anywhere near on performance (price aside).
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Purified Water), Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel*, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin (Vege), Anthemus Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract*, Lauramide MEA, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Extract*, Spirulina Maxima Frond Extract, Glycol Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit. E), Sodium PCA, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Color, Fragrance Oil Blend. *Certified Organic

Simple – Cleansing Facial Wipes  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 3/14/2008 7:06:00 PM

[NB there are two entries here for the same product – one has the brand name in capitals.]
Excellent basic facial wipes: minimal ingredients, no perfume etc., no alcohol or oil, and cruelty-free. They do just clean and tone: do not expect moisturization, or any kind of film to be left on the skin. Simple do make two other kinds of wipe – one for oilier/teenage skin, the other for drier/more mature. Haven’t tried, not my thing, so can’t comment. The Gingerrama skin is, however, a fan of this Simple wipe precisely because it is simple and does what it says on the tin.
The Simples are good on this particular sensitive skin – thin so physically delicate, easily irritated, slightly dry, some cyctic acne on chin. I use these in the evening if I’m being lazy about cleansing.
First I remove sunscreen and any makeup, using a cotton wool pad soaked in tepid-to-warm water followed by mineral oil (fragrance-free etc: Boots Expert sensitive baby stuff currently).
Now, I found out the hard way – as other reviewers seem to have done before me – that the combination of wipes straight out the pack being cold and a little dry, plus scrubbing, makes one’s face somewhat red and raw. The solution is to dampen one’s wipe with tepid-to-water (about body temperature, not hot), and wipe the face gently.
Then apply your usual preferred nightly moisture tipple.
If you’re new to the brand – this is the kind of “simple by name, simple by nature” product that Simple do really well. Their baby, shower, bath, and hair products ditto, and *some* of their facial skincare, but *not* the sunscreens, which so far are not physical-only and irritate me. Humph.
Readily available in the UK and Ireland – I use these in alternation with Boots Fragrance Free or Boots Expert sensitive wipes, and which ones I buy is just pot luck depending on what’s on special offer when I happen to have run out. The last ones I got were EUR 5.00 for 2 packs, with 25 wipes/pack.
I’ve also had luck with some baby wipes, but would recommend checking the ingredients carefully, as baby wipes will be allergy tested but not necessarily tested for comedogenicity. Sensible enough, given the difference in purpose + babies’ bottoms vs. adult faces re. spottiness, hormones, etc., etc. Baby wipes do have the advantage of cheapness, softness, and size – so it’s worth reading their labels.
INGREDIENTS: Water – cetearyl isononanoate – ceteareth-20 – cetearyl alcohol – sodium citrate – phenoxyethanol – glycerin – glyceryl stearate – citric acid – methylparaben – ceteareth-12 – disodium EDTA – 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol – propylparaben.

Boots – Fragrance Free Cleansing Wipes  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 1/9/2008 10:27:00 AM
The best cleansing wipes I’ve used (for slightly dry, delicate skin). Repurchased many many times. Used as travel wipes too. Better than the No. 7 4-in-1 or Botanics Sensitive Skin ones.
Now, I’m not asking much of a wipe: that it should clean my face, without scratching or irritating it, and do so fast (certainly faster than actually washing my face properly of an evening).
The nearest comparable ones I’ve used have been by Simple and Nivea. The only softer ones, actual baby wipes (unfragranced again, by various manufacturers) – except they don’t always clean the face as well, and may interact negatively with Time Of The Month skin.
Also, these are the cheapest wipes that Boots make. The Expert range seems to be in process of replacing good old Fragrance Free, with little difference in formula but an increase in price. Their wipes are also good – mainly as near-identical to these…
One negative: packaging – the plastic tab closure is poor.
INGREDIENTS: aqua – cetearyl isononanoate – cetearyl alcohol – ceteareth-20 – glyceryl stearate – glycerin – ceteareth-12, aloe barbadensis – tocopheryl acetate – peg-35 castor oil – sodium citrate – citric acid – disodium edta- phenoxyethanol – methylparaben – propylparaben – 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol.

Ovelle Emulsifying Ointment  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 12/16/2007 4:48:00 PM
I confess. I’ve been stealing the Man’s beauty products.
A waxy cold cream, this is one of the most basic products on the UK and Irish markets. Boots also do an own brand one. The same stuff (by assorted other manufacturers) is available in the US, usually from the pharmacy end of drugstores: just ask for “emulsifying ointment” or “emulsifying cream.”
Very like Ponds Cold Cream, and similar primary functional ingredients, but minus the Ponds scent. And even cheaper. Also quite like the Cetaphil gentle cleanser, but in solid form, waxier, and minus scent and parabens. The base ingredients, incidentally, are the same as in many more complicated cleansers.
I’ve been using this when my skin’s being really fussy, upset, reactive, hormonal; I may go over to using it more regularly. I wet my face, then scoop out a small amount of the Ointment – about 1 inch diameter – rub between hands, and then massage over face and neck. Then rinse off, using a washcloth (plain cotton, the very standard type). While it forms a film on the surface of the skin, this does NOT mean that it prevents the absorption of anything else or that it’s occlusive or comedogenic: quite the contrary – I’ve found that moisturisers sink in better (and there’s quite a bit around on the derma-web on this).
I also used this when I was an infant and small child, as part of dealing with eczema. The Man has been using this since childhood on his sensitive, delicate (and otherwise lovely and smooth) skin, and it was re-prescribed in adolescence for calming acne.
BUT not a good idea if your skin is unhappy with mineral oil in its various guises, or sodium lauryl sulfate. Its other minuses are cosmetic: the basic and unappealing packaging – but you can always decant – and some people might not like the texture. NB this stuff is NOT aqueous cream: that has a lighter formula, but usually contains preservatives (phenoxyethanol, parabens) that may cause irritation in some people.
Cost: under GBP/EUR 5.00 / USD 10.00 for a 500g/I lb. tub. Also available in 100g. pot.
INGREDIENTS: white soft paraffin 50% w/w, liquid paraffin 20% w/w, emulsifying wax (cetostearyl alcohol, sodium laurilsulfate [sic], purified water).

Paula’s Choice – One Step Face Cleanser-Normal to Dry Skin  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 8/24/2007 5:13:00 PM

A good basic facial cleanser for slightly dry skin.
Gentle, mild, no stinging or reactions, cleans stuff off successfully. Contains soothing items such as camomile and aloe vera. I do usually only wear sunscreen though, so not too strenuous a task for the cleanser. One doesn’t need to use too much, so it lasts for many months.
I’m not giving this top lippy as there are many simple cleansers out there that do much the same job, with not vastly dissimilar formulae. Still quite a lot of lippy: I found this while living in the US, where it _was_ harder to find a simple cleanser, non-soap, not perfumed etc., not tested on animals. So it’s filling a gap in the market there, and should be pointed out to anyone looking for this kind of thing.
IINGREDIENTS: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (used as a water softener, wetting agent, and gentle cleansing agent), Glycol Stearate (moisturizing thickening agent and binder), Methyl Gluceth-20 (humectant), Glyceryl Stearate (moisturizing thickener and binder), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (gentle cleansing agent), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (soothing agent, anti-inflammatory), Phytic Acid (chelating agent to soften hard water), Sodium PCA (humectant and moisture-binder), Sodium Hyaluronate (moisture-binder), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (soothing agent), Propylene Glycol (water-binding agent), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (very mild cleansing agent), Hydroxyethylcellulose (thickener), Citric Acid (preservative and pH balancer), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben (preservatives).


  1. Issac Maez

    Ok, there is beauty and there is beauty. What do you think of the fact that many women ignore their eyelashes in their beauty preparations? They forget that the eyes speak volumes and having beautuful,long curly lashes enhances their facial beauty!

    • gingerama

      What I think about this is in a post coming up shortly…
      Meanwhile, I do wonder why you added this comment to a post on cleansers, when there are others here about eyelashes and on intersections of beauty and ethics?

      • gingerama

        Oops. Forgot to mention the obvious, here: growing lashes is not useful to me. Because no matter how much they grow, they’re not going to change colour. And what makes my lashes more visible–from, say, more than half a foot away–is their being a colour darker than my natural one, a light gingerry tone that is natural accompaniment to red hair (matching collar and cuffs etc.).

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