Feedback from readers was that many of you love the feeling of plenty of water on your face and the mildly foaming action of a cleansing wash. (Mostly, they’re loved by women with oily and combination skins – and there are lots of you out there!) So: we listened – and have broadened the Awards to include a category for Cleansing Washes. From a luxury natural winner to the ‘cult’ Glossier, lots of great foams, sweet foams…
GOLD AWARD Ananné Lavanticum Purifying Cleanser
Annané gets its name from the Greek term ‘ana-néosis’, which translates as regeneration and renewal, and was developed in Switzerland by a neuroscientist who wanted to ‘offer a unique sensory experience in the world of natural skincare.’ They seek to be ‘super natural’ – and testers for this very high-scoring (average 9/10 marks) cleanser agree: this is. It’s said to remove even waterproof eye make-up, using extracts of Centella Asiatica, carrageenan moss, papaya leaf and brown algae along with oils from borage seed, rosehip and sea buckthorn. Remove with water or their tonic – and it can also, they tell us, be used as an overnight blemish treatment.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘Top marks. Loved, loved this product, not only does it fill you with confidence but skin feels and looks clean and healthy. I like that the packaging is marked “For the Planet” and the silky- rich cleanser is suitable for vegans. The fragrance gave me a feeling of being pampered and special, while the product removed all my make-up quickly and easily, including waterproof mascara. I didn't need toner and my skin was left fabulously moisturised’ • ‘This cleanser was a joy to use. I could happily use it on my eye makeup without any irritation at all and I really felt that the cocktail of natural ingredients cleansed and balanced my skin. I do use many coats of mascara but had no problem at all removing them with this. Quite expensive but I did not need to use a great deal of it; using it morning and night it would last me a good four months. The fragrance was soft and natural’ • ‘It left my skin feeling very nourished - it really is more like a moisturiser than a cleanser and feels great for night-time cleansing. The smell and texture and how it leaves the face feeling are all perfect for cold winter nights’ • ‘Was won over with this product. Felt lovely on the skin and the fragrance is fresh and clean. My make- up was thoroughly removed and skin felt so soft afterwards. Would definitely recommend this to friends and will be buying this’ • ‘Now my favourite face cleanser and I have to stop my husband from using it, as he also likes it – I am now really worried that it will run out soon!’
£45 for 125ml - click to buy
SILVER AWARD ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser
Actually, this is more than a cleanser – and we weren't sure were to categorise the three-in-one cleanser, exfoliator and mask. However, it proved most stellar at the task of make-up removal, while also gently buffing skin with (non-plastic) jojoba spheres and pumpkin enzymes, to boost skin's glow; after massaging into skin, rinse away or remove with a muslin cloth. It was generally agreed that this rich cleanser – which is based around moringa seed extract – is kind enough to use on skin every day.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘Lovely product. My skin felt clean, soft and smooth - the exfoliator particles were not too rough or big so it gently removed any dry skin. So often exfoliators are harsh but this product wasn't. Left my skin looking pretty radiant’ • ‘This gel cleanser contains a high volume of minute jojoba oil balls, similar to micro beads in look but less abrasive. The cleanser is easy to apply but you need a bit of patience to ensure you massage until all the jojoba balls are melted. It was a handy way of ensuring my face got an effective daily massage and I rather enjoyed it. I liked that you can use it as a mask too. It feels like a luxe product and having that option makes me feel I get more bang for my buck!’ • ‘I liked to use this as a second cleanser in double cleansing. So I used it to clean my skin in the morning with my Foreo Luna facial massager and then as a second stage at night. I particularly like the little graining bits – jojoba beads – which made my skin feel as if it was being properly exfoliated without being too strong. It felt very gentle on my skin and would use it on a regular basis’ • ‘As someone prone to redness I was worried because massaging the beads into my face left my skin looking quite pink but it only lasted a few minutes. It is definitely not harsh, in fact very gentle. I felt my skin was clean and looked good’ • ‘Loved this. My skin felt silky and moisturised, as soft as if I had used a facial oil as well’ • ‘It claims to nourish, smooth and visibly brighten the complexion, to remove make-up, gently exfoliate, leave skin clear and smooth, remove dull cells and revealing a radiant glow.’
£32 for 100ml - click to buy
BRONZE JOINT AWARD Decorté Clean & Pure Refreshing Foam Cream Wash
This flip-top tube of cream-to-foam wash is, so Decorté tell us, infused with a water drawn from geo-thermal springs for its alkalinity (they call it Vi-Fusion Onsen Water), to help maintain skin’s optimal pH balance. That whizzy-sounding water works to remineralise skin with potassium, magnesium and sodium, leaving skin feeling comfy. (Decorté are a Japanese brand – ‘onsen’ being a kind of Japanese spa bath, NB – and have done well across several categories in these Awards.)
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘I consider this to be a good cleanser as it doesn't dry out the skin but does properly clean the skin. It smells like an old-fashioned bar of soap! It’s easy to use once you get the hang of using a small amount and working it into a lather first. It removed all my make up quickly and easily and didn't leave any traces on my pillow. It promised to be deep cleansing and leave the complexion feeling soft, lush and comfortable and I think it lived up to that’ • ‘You hardly need any of this product - more a petit pois than a pea-sized amount - so it lasts ages. It leaves your skin practically squeaky clean, like using soap, but without any of the dryness. Does thoroughly cleanse dirt and make up, as it promises, and skin felt soft and somewhat moisturised’ • ‘A beautiful product for older skin. This is very good and I would be happy to continue using it. My skin was very clean and soft and well-moisturised after using it. After a week, it looked clearer and more even-toned’ • ‘Very easy to add water to the thick creamy product, mix to a foam and rub on to face. I used fingertips to massage in to my skin. It removed waterproof make up but I couldn't use it on my sensitive eyes. It left me feeling fresh-faced.’
£52 for 125ml - click to buy
BEAUTY STEAL AWARD Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
The hot ticket make-up and skincare line with younger members of the Beauty Bible team, Glossier – founded by former Into The Gloss beauty blogger Emily Weiss – has done well here with their minimally-packaged Milky Jelly Cleanser, whose name does a pretty good job of explaining the product’s texture. Two to three pumps should be enough to melt away all make-up except for waterproof mascara. It’s not an all-natural formula by any means, but does feature Pro-Vitamin B5, soothing allantoin (from comfrey root extract) and a proportion of rosewater in place of some of the H20, giving the product its lightly rosy scent.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘This is totally different to my usual cleanser but I really got to like it. It’s thick, gloopy and definitely a jelly, with a fragrance that reminds me of a baby product. It worked well and removed my make up easily with water. A perfectly good cleanser’ • ‘This is a lovely gentle liquid cleanser, which was great on my sensitive skin and can even be used on the eye area. It is great for use in the shower and is very calming on my skin. The very subtle rose scent is really pleasant. With double cleansing, it worked well to remove all my make up and left my skin feeling moisturised’ • ‘I found the jelly effective for a first cleanse. Also good first thing in the morning when I just need a wash rather than a double cleanse. It was very pleasant to use.’
£15 for 177ml - click to buy