As you read this, I'll be mudding it up at Glastonbury - and missing my clean sheets, flushing toilet & skincare faves. So for my second skincare post, I’m talking about the double cleanse. Including why I put down my face wipes and my favourite cleansing go-tos.
Starting from the beginning - I had always favoured face wipes. I hated having soggy sleeves from trying to splash my face with water to wash away a cleanser. I tried several drugstore cleansing products, but as I have pretty normal skin to begin with, I wasn’t convinced I saw any real change. The convenience of face wipes was just too, well...convenient.
About a year ago, I found Caroline Hirons through her interview at Stylist Live. Since then, I've been converted. After reading Caroline’s cheat sheets, I ordered a whole load of face flannels - one for every day, as instructed - and chucked out the face wipes. For good. Is it just me, or do flannels remind you of being a kid: getting those magic compact square that magically expanded into a proper face flannel when wet?
Let your products fully fulfil their duties and go for the double cleanse! Since changing up my cleansing regime, I haven’t really found a cleanser I don’t like - but I still have a list to try! So Step One:
Step one: remove all the make up, dirt and grime that comes from a day out and about. Especially if you live in the big smoke.
I agree with Caroline here - the first cleanse is not the place to spend all your money. The product doesn't really come into contact with your skin, it's job is to breakdown everything that's on your skin. Enter the M&S Formula Cleansing Oil. At only £10 - less if there's a Sparks offer - boy does it deliver!
The M&S Oil was the first oil cleanser I tried, and one I will definitely be going back to. One to two pumps literally dissolve my make up - quicker and easier than any other oil I’ve tried since. Including Estee Lauder’s Double Wear and my Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks which, if you know, you know, stay on all day. If you want a simple, easy make up remover - including eye make up - this is one for you!
If you're looking for something you could use both as a 1st and 2nd cleanse - I'd recommend the Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil which I've been using for about 3 weeks now (you can read more about it here). You have to work a little harder than the M&S oil to get rid of all your make up, but it provides a little more luxury and nourishment for the skin.
The second cleanse means business. Now you've got all the make up & grime off your face, this is where your cleanser meets your skin properly. Having started with balms, and experimented with other cleansers - I can safely say the smell and feel of a balm is my #1. But that's not to rule out the mud cleanse...
Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm - £40
While I may be a cleansing fiend, spending £40 is a little bit much for me when I need two cleansers. I actually found an amazing deal on Feel Unique last Black Friday, and bagged this one for £30.
Of all the cleansers I’ve tried, this one is my most luxurious. I have become a big fan of balms, for their ability melting texture, which allows you to continually massage and work them into the skin - this one smells amazing and really feels like it’s doing good. While this is aimed at a more mature skin, I would definitely repurchase.
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm - £39
Pretty similar to the Elemis Balm, I have no complaints about this one - but I don't think it lives up to the 'miracle' hype I've seen on website reviews and other blogs. Yes, it smells amazing - and left my skin feeling soft and supple after use. But did it make any massive changes to my skin? Not that I could tell.
Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser - £18
After seeing ‘cult potential’ in Caroline Hirons product review, I hopped back on the Pixi site and ordered this. It's not a balm, more like a mud mask. You need a little bit more product per use than a balm, but it really does it's job. I enjoy leaving this on for a few minutes while it sets and then washing it off with my flannel. It contains 5% Glycolic Acid (like the Pixi Glow Tonic) which helps the skin's natural cell turnover. Though I've been told by Pixi it is fine to use up to a maximum of 20% Glycolic Acid on your skin every day, I haven't been using my Glow Tonic on top in fear of overloading my skin.
I guess you can really tell what a product does for your skin once you've stopped using it. Having finished this baby off last week, I noticed the texture of my skin - particularly around my forehead and jawline - start to worsen. I couldn't think what I'd changed, and then I realised I'd finished this cleanser and not restarted the Glow Tonic! Now I've re-added Glycolic Acid to my routine, after two days my skin is looking and feeling much better. I'll be reinvesting in this cleanser as a treatment when my skin needs a little extra brightness!
The All in One Double Cleanse
Caroline Hirons x Pixi Double Cleanse - £24
Having seen rave reviews for lucky bloggers who got to try it pre-launch, and loving Caroline’s approach to skincare, this was the one I was most excited to use.
To be completely honest, first impressions for me, weren’t the greatest. I’d been using the M&S Oil and Elemis Cleansing Balm immediately beforehand, and Caroline’s 1st cleanse oil seemed harder to use and break down make up, while the 2nd half of the cleanse seemed to sink into my skin rather than clean it.
I left the double cleanse for a while, going back to my M&S Oil. When that ran out, I started using it up and actually changed my mind. As the oil is solid, it just takes a little warming up to do it’s job just as well as a liquid oil. I think I was also being a little stingy on my amounts. I added a little more to the second cleanse and voila - it felt like it was actually doing it’s job.
This double cleanser goes back to basics, but does the simple stuff well. I would ideally prefer two separate pots - the squiggle separating the cleansers in the middle makes corners, making it harder to scoop out the last of the product! But, on the other hand, being able to chuck one small tub in your luggage that will do the job well is definitely a major plus. If you’re looking for a simple, easy start to double cleansing - start here (and use as much product as you think you need).
Where to go from here
Cleansing is my “me-time”. Face flannels have changed my life completely - ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little - but going to bed with dry sleeves and a fresh face just doesn’t get any better. Face flannels make for a quick (double) cleanse, but I actually thoroughly enjoy evening routine. I love taking my time every day to cleanse thoroughly, then build on my toners, oils & moisturisers. That feeling of having my face covered in a rich cream while I watch the last of netflix and snuggle up in bed for it to do it’s good is just great. That’s as long as no one touches my face, of course.
Do you have any cleansers you love? Are there any worth spending over £40? Let me know - I have a full list I’m waiting to try here.
*All thoughts on here are my own and researched through visiting beauty blogs, counters, and articles, I am not a skincare expert, but I do love new products! I have paid in full for all the products featured in this post, it is 100% not sponsored.