In the interests of minimalism (see previous blog post here) I have cleared out my bathroom cabinet and, to my horror, discovered that I have 7 face washes! Which is far too many face washes for 1 woman. I have acquired these by subscribing to the Love Lula Beauty Box for a few months and for various other reasons (for example I got the small bottle for a weekend in Copenhagen). Each of these products claim to be ethical/eco-friendly/natural so I thought, since I have so many I’d do a short review of each one. I’ve not included the 2 I own which are from Tropic Skincare because I’ve already written a review on them (see here) and incidentally (spoiler alert) these are the only 2 cleansers I am going to continue buying- The Smoothing Cleanser and Face Smooth Brightening Polish.
I had a short period of adult acne a few months ago and nothing would shift it. My skin became oily and clogged and cleansing became such a chore. In walks the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser! It was suggested it by one of the, ever helpful, staff in The Body Shop (along with natural fibre exfoliating pads which don’t seem to be available online anymore). It has an invigorating scent which comes from the organic tea tree oil and one pump produces a soft foam which can be massaged into the face gently or revivingly with a exfoliater. It feels fresh and makes my skin feel brighter and clearer. It really did work to clear the spots which was exactly what I needed it for at the time but, to be honest, I would not use it as a daily cleanser, it’s too strongly scented and doesn’t remove make-up easily enough for every day use.
This cleanser is the complete opposite end of the scale to the tea tree one above. It is highly perfumed of who-knows-what and is a silky smooth cream. It glides (or gloops) onto the skin thickly and is removed with a cloth or cotton pad which usually ends up in a gloopy blob. I’m not overly impressed with it, it removes make-up quite well and does leave skin feeling soft, but I feel like I’ve always left a thin layer of its creaminess on my skin. Unfortunately for a cleanser, it doesn’t leave me feeling clean. I could write a whole blog post (and might actually get around to doing it one day) on the ethics of The Body Shop, essentially Britain’s first ethically-focused brand, but I’ll just note here that they are 100% vegetarian and have a commitment to not testing on animals.
This one came in my Love Lula Beauty Box, £20 is a bit more than I would usually pay for a product I’m unfamiliar with. Similar to The Body Shop cream cleanser above it is heavily perfumed. However, unlike The Body Shop version is goes on much more thinly (and less gloopy). This provides a better base to work with and therefore makes it easier to clean you face with. Only downside I have found (and I’m not sure if this is meant to happen!) is that it makes quite a tingly sensation if left on the skin too long and leaves my face feeling uncomfortable not soothed. According to the Barefoot SOS website their products are “specifically formulated to bring together the science of skincare with the natural power of botanical extracts” but to be honest there isn’t much more insight into their ethical practices than that. They seem to use natural ingredients but I’m not sure if they place any value on sustainability or ethical practices.
Skin Blossom – Gentle Face Wash (£6.98)
Another Love Lula Beauty Box find, this gentle face wash does what it says on the tin. It is not particularly strongly scented, there’s just a light herby smell when you pump a small amount into your hands. This cleanser foams up when mixed with water to create a fresh wash which feels light and refreshing. It doesn’t weigh my skin down like the cream cleansers or feel too over powering like the tea tree foam but gently cleanses and washes off to leave soft, clear skin. It works quite well on make-up too. I’d definitely recommend this product and I would consider buying it again if I feel the need for something more refreshing than my Tropic Skincare cleanser. Skin Blossom seems to have disappeared slightly from the internet but the Love Lula site still sells some of their products stating that Skin Blossom’s mission is “to make organic skin care affordable and effective”. It is also certified by the Soil Association and registered Vegan.
If you click the link above it looks like The Body Shop have revamped their range and this particular product is now not available and it comes as a “cleansing gel wash” instead but I’ll review this as I’ve bought it. I bought this one simply because it was in a small bottle and I needed it for travelling hand-luggage only (I’ll reuse the bottle in future by refilling it with another cleanser). This truly is a powerful cleanser, I think you could clear drains with it! It has a powerful but fresh scent which really invigorates me in the morning. Although it is a gel it feels quite light and does wash off very easily without residue (like the creams) but it can feel like a deep-cleaning mask as it sizzles into my skin and leaves it feeling a little raw and dry after I’ve rinsed and dried. I like it though, it does the job and cleans really well. Just be prepared if it goes into your eyes it’s like napalm.
So there you have it, I have had my ups and downs with these cleansers but it has lead me to really think about what I value in a face wash. Needless to say I’ll continue to use them until they’re all gone but I’ve decided to stick to my favourite Tropic Skincare cleansers for now. Let me know your favourite face washes as I’m always up for something new!
Disclaimer: I did not get paid or endorsed by any of these companies and I am only offering an honest review based on my experiences. Prices and links to online shops were correct at the time of writing.