Tuesday, 20 February 2007

squeaky clean.

St. Ives just keep doing this to me. I was very happy with their apricot foaming cleanser and then they deleted it. So then I switched to the 'new and improved' version (which was new but decidedly not improved) and lived with it. And now they've deleted that TOO! And I do NOT like the look of the new cream cleanser stuff they're hawking now. So I have embarked upon a mission to find a new and happy cleanser.

Before I start, I should point out that my skin is quite oily, and not overly sensitive or blemish prone, but will break out if mistreated. I do nothing but cleanse morning and night, and I wear sunscreen each day. I only moisturise if I find my skin is getting dry, which, with the right cleanser, doesn't happen, and I wear makeup very rarely and very sparsely.

I approached the task of finding a new cleanser, by first consulting the Paula's Choice reviews and compiling a list of all of the cleansers that she recommends. Paula is the 'cosmetics cop' and reviews lots of skin products. I've read mixed things about her on the internet (she only bases her reviews on the ingredients on the bottles, she's biased because she now has her own cosmetics company, she doesn't appear to be able to apply makeup well to herself, etc), but I figure that at least it's something and therefore as good a place to start as any, especially as I certainly don't trust the advertising schtik the companies themselves are feeding me. Paula's recommendations may not all suit me, but at least I feel confident that I'm not putting something on my face that's going to do damage. Once I made the list of cleansers I narrowed it down to 'supermarket brands' (I don't believe you get a better product for spending $50 in DJs - I think you get better marketing), and those which appeared to be available in Australia. This list is what you see pictured, minus the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, and the Dove Essential Nutrients Self-Foaming Cleanser, both of which I couldn't find in any shop.

1. Dove Fresh Touch Foaming Facial Cleanser with cucumber and green tea. Okay. I think I fell down here. I didn't actually read that Paula recommended this one, I read someone else on the internet saying that she recommends it. So I don't know. I think I was swayed by the pretty packaging, and cucumber! and green tea! Yup, I got suckered by the machine. Again. On trial, this one is actually totally gross. It comes out in a white shimmery paste, and I found that it was hard to rinse off, and left a slight feeling of waxy residue. I also found it drying. Also, it smells like baby vomit. I think it's baby vomit. Some kind of gross baby related smell that I can't quite pinpoint. Maybe the remaining smell of baby vomit once it's been wiped up incompletely by wet ones. Also, this smell lingered even after I rewashed my face with a nice smelling product. This one is going straight to the bin.

2. L'oreal Ideal Balance Foaming Gel Cleanser. Hmm. This one is okay. It seems to wash my face good, and isn't drying, and doesn't leave much (if any) residue. It's a little slimy, foams very poorly, and smells pretty much exactly like detergent, although the smell doesn't hang around. It's decent enough that I don't mind using it up though.

3. Clean and Clear Oxygenating Fizzing Cleanser. The winner! I will be buying this product heretofore until they delete it and I have to start again. Ok, so I should point out that there is no fizzing going on at all as far as I can tell, and if it's oxygenating anything, I don't know about it. This is probably predictable and a good thing. But this seems to wash my face very well, without drying it out or leaving residue, and it has a pleasant fresh smell (I think) that's not overwhelming and doesn't linger much. The consistency's a bit thick, but overall fine, and foams only slightly, but well enough for my liking. Overall I like the product very much. It's not as good as the original St Ives stuff, but I think it's actually better than the St Ives mark 2 stuff which I was quite happy with for a couple of years. The one thing that really irritates me about this one is the nozzle. It's basically a big version of those pop-up drink bottle tops, but in this case it's really annoying to try and squeeze the right amount out, and excess cleanser gets dried out over the top and ends up gunky and gross and I have to wipe it off every couple of days. A simple squeezy bottle with a fliptop lid would've been better, and I plan to try and find a pump top that will fit the bottle asap.

4. Nivea Visage Foaming Cleansing Gel. This one's okay too. Actually almost all the comments from the L'oreal above apply. It's a little too slimy for my liking, and the fragrance is nice although a little overpowering, but it doesn't stick around once you've washed it off. It does the job fine though, and I'm content to work my way through the bottle until it runs out.

5. Hamilton Everyday Face Sunscreen 30+. Okay, sneaky me, this is not a cleanser. But Molly introduced me to it a few weeks ago and I love it. I'm the original Mrs. Glow-In-The-Dark, and I find I absolutely have to wear sunscreen every day. This one is great, and the best I've found. It's 30+ (which is the highest labelling allowed in Australia), and broad spectrum, containing zinc oxide to keep out those nasty UVAs. It's a little greasy, but what sunscreen isn't, and I find it significantly less oily and with a more matt finish than any other sunscreen I've ever tried. It comes out 'skin coloured' which is a little weird at first, until you realise that it's colourless on your skin - and of course white sunscreen doesn't look white on, does it? It doesn't smell like sunscreen either, which is a big plus for me, and although it does smell a little like aquadhere out of the bottle, you can't smell it once it's on. Also, it's made right here in SA, and by a pharmaceutical company that specialises in skin products. I could be wrong, but I tend to think this means they're less likely to knowingly put damaging ingredients in my sunscreen than most cosmetics companies.

6. Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser. This one I thought actually quite nice, but just totally wrong for my skin. It's a cream cleanser, and unscented. It felt nice on, and quite bland, and I suspect this would be really great for someone with very dry or very sensitive skin. For my skin though, it was just too moisturising and didn't wash off enough of the gunk. What a nice note to end on!

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