Meet the Cleansers in my Bathroom!

This year I’ve decided to actually make an effort to really take care of my skin – it’s been so dry lately, but that doesn’t stop me from getting lots of blackheads and blocked pores. I am also concerned with fine lines and wrinkles but I’m not someone who has tons of time to do much to my skin. I also have so many products that I have to fight through them all to decide what to use!

So I’ve decided to downsize and simplify this year. I’ve got cleansers (lotion cleanser, foam cleanser and cleansing liquid to be used depending on the time of day), toner, cream and eye cream which I’ve picked out that I think will really deal with the blackheads but also the dryness and sensitivity I suffer from.

I want to start using ONLY these products (at least for a little while to see how it goes) as soon as possible. In the meantime, I need to clear my dressing table and bathroom of all other products I have strewn around. Here are the cleansers I currently have in use:


Here are my short reviews of the products I have in my bathroom! (I will finish them off at some point, don’t worry about wastage!).

1. Philosophy Purity Cleanser

This is a really nice creamy cleanser that gets the make up off. I love cream cleansers because they are so comforting on the skin but afterwards I have to use a foam or wash to get the residue off.

Purity smells quite nice, it’s a runny texture but I really like it…My skin doesn’t feel dry afterwards either. All in all worth the money.

Verdict: 4/5


2. Neutrogena Visibly Clear Facial Wash

This is the only face wash I have ever used that doesn’t leave my face dry which is amazing because it’s a cheap one! This one has quite a thin texture and isn’t as foamy as others but I prefer that. You only need a small amount and seriously – no tightness on me at all.

I have the pink grapefruit one here, I will try the orange one next (visibly clear?).

Face wash for me isn’t enough to get make up off but it’s a nice one to use after a cream cleanser.

Verdict: 4.5/5

3. Fleurs De Bach Cleansing Milk

I reviewed this recently and I really like this cleanser although I did get through the product rather quickly! It’s a thin lotion cleanser, not heavy duty like Purity but good for a light cleanse and has a really nice scent.

Verdict: 3.9/5

4. Elemis Tri Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash

This is an unusual one, it’s a cream cleanser but it is called a wash – it feels like it has a bit of lather but it isn’t foamy?

This one is part of the Tri Enzyme range so you do have to watch that you don’t get it into your eyes, it will sting, but it’s good for leaving the skin bright and really soft. You also have to use SPF if you use the Tri Enyme range. This cleanser is quite pricey at full retail – look out for the special offer boxes!

I have also recently finished Elemis Rehydrating Rose Cleanser (love) and Elemist Sensitive Face Wash (smells amazing but left my skin tight).

Verdict: 4/5


5. Neutrogena Deep Clean 2 in 1 wash/mask

I love this stuff but I don’t use it as a cleanser (it’s weird as a daily cleanser it barely foams, it feels like a clay mask) so I use it as a mask only.

I stick it on just before my shower then I rinse it off. It will dry if you leave it long enough but I don’t, just for 2 minutes before I get in the shower and it’s so good!

It has a fresh minty feeling, that is tingly but it doesn’t give me any allergies. There’s another version of this from the Visibly Clear range which I will try next.

Verdict: 4/5 – but I’d use as a mask only

6. UNT Cleansing Oil

I have used a LOT OF CLEANSING OILS and I always maintained that for my skintype, it can be drying (if I use it every day I get dry patches on my face). Mineral oil, in cleansing oil completely disagrees with me. This cleansing oil only took 2 uses to pretty much bring out the dryness in my cheeks – urgh. No no no.

Verdict: 1/5

7. Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil

I have decided this is the gold standard of cleansing oils. RMK’s is also gorgeous actually, but Fancl’s is free of mineral oil, fragrances, parabens etc. It’s the only one I can safely use a lot. It’s quite expensive though – I use mine sporadically and it’s already halfway empty.

Verdict: 4.5/5


8. Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser

I got sucked into the whole Alpha-H thing (I will review liquid gold soon – I have serious mixed feelings about the product!) so I ordered this cleanser.

It’s basically a cream cleanser – unfortunately, it’s just average. It’s just like any cream cleanser on me, nothing special about it so doesn’t warrant the cost.

Verdict: 2/5

9. Shiseido Rinse off Cleansing Gel

This product is lovely – so easy to use, rub on, wash off – it is super gently and my skin doesn’t feel tight or dry afterwards at all.

The downside is that on it’s own, the gel isn’t enough to get off make up or eye make up. Therefore it’s only good if you aren’t wearing loads of make up and need a gentle cleanse. But it is super gentle and lovely on the skin….

Verdict: 3.5/5

10. Shiseido Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam

This ‘extra gentle’ foam gives the creamiest and the most beautiful foam ever – and you only need a tiny bit. That is the best bit of this product.

However – it leaves my skin feeling tight – at it’s worse my cheeks actually feel a bit itchy. So whilst I love the feel of this product I feel it dries the skin out a bit too much.

Verdict: 3/5

So these are the cleansers that are going into hibernation (well some are close to being finished so I’ll do that first!).

I am quite experimental with my cleansers but maybe that’s because I love the products you can get on the Asian market.

On the western market the focus seems to be on cream cleansers, foam cleansers and facial washes. Cleansing oils are becoming better known over here.

On the Asian market the choice is endless, apart from the endless – bubble cleansers, washing powder, clay cleansers, peeling cleansers soap bars (from which you only use the foam from) – I’ve actually got a super interesting facial soap from Japan which I am dying to try out so more on that later!.

Overall I really like tried and tested brands for cleansers, can’t go wrong with Neutrogena and Elemis, and from Asia, Fancl, Rosette and Rohto are generally very good.

What are your favourite cleansers? Do you only use one or many?

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  1. rhamnousia says

    I would love to try all the cleansers available to the Eastern markets, they sound so brilliant and I am having the same problem as you with my skin. It is dry but I still have clogged pores so I need to be getting rid of those.

    I really liked the Neutrogena face wash and regardless of how much I use, I don’t get any tightness which is nice as I find some really overdry the skin.

    I am still on the lookout for my cleansing oil, Nude didn’t really WOW me so I’ve decided not to buy it. DHC is my front runner so far but I am itching to try the discontinued Smashbox one..I don’t know why, I bet I fall in love with it, too.

    • Row says

      Hi Rhamnousia…

      It’s a pain because when you tell people your skin is combination…well it’s more an extreme combination…I don’t find that the products in this category work that well. So I need two sets of skincare I think! One to deal with the dryness one to deal with the oil

      DHC is nice! I like it – Laura Mercier also do a cleansing oil?

      Agree only when writing this review did I realise how good the Neutrogena was – I don’t have any problems with it at all 😀

  2. says

    Well between you and the Muse I’ve read enough about Skinfood to make their products my must have for 2011. At the moment though I’ve got stuff from Dead Sea Magik, Antipodes, Kyoku, Kiehl’s, Molton Brown, and Avene on the bathroom shelf. I like them all for different reasons.

    • Row says

      Hi Annabella

      Oh yes you must try it. It’s so affordable in Korea unfortunately we have to deal with the mark ups but it’s still quite good, £9 for a cleanser, etc. Let me know what you think!

  3. baby in a corner says

    I use MAC cleansing oil in the evenings to take off make up – its really good and non drying and doesn’t contain mineral oil.

    In the mornings I use a cream cleanser – I love seavite organic seaweed cleanser but I’m not sure if its available in the UK yet, leaves my skin clean but not dried out.

    Very happy with both!

    • Row says

      Hi BITC (Baby in the Corner, you are one letter off from being a -you-know-what!!!)

      Ahhh me too. I need proper cleansing in the evening but barely anything in the mornings apart from say a cleansing water! less hassle! x

  4. says

    1) really like the way u post this, pic then words THEN pic again so that i dont have to scroll all the way up to see wats no. 6,7,8,etc hehe
    2) yeah western is always abt cream cleanser becoz of the dry and cold weather i reckon
    3) my fav now is clarins gentle foaming cleanser wif tamarind and kose nature & co foaming cleanser
    4) shu eumura cleansing oil is the best for me atm coz the others cleansing oil has a kinda rubber smell? lol

    xoxo elle

  5. says

    I’m on a skincare kick lately too and just like you I decided to use a minimum of products that I know don’t irritate me and build(if needed) from there…
    My skin is a weird mix of fairly sensitive, combination, acne-prone mess and finding the right cleanser that does the job without completely stripping the skin is not an easy task…
    What works for me is an oil cleanser (or wipes) followed by a gel cleanser (unless I have Cetaphil, the gentle one), only way I know that there is no makeup residue in those nasty pores… xx

    • Row says


      Me too my skin is such a strange combination of everything! I’m still refining my products as something makes me itch but I don’t know what!