cleansers main

I posted these on Instagram this morning, as they’ve been among the products we’re judging for the Awards and it was my turn to test the cleansers/exfolators this month. So I’ve picked out 5 which made it into my bathroom (no mean feat, you should see the piles and boxes of products in the sitting room, my flat feels twice as small as normal at the moment).


Swedish brand VERSO SKINCARE’s main USP is its high retinol content skincare (e.g. the 8 x times retinol serum which is an interesting one), but this is the FOAMING CLEANSER FOR DAILY USE.  After an overload of cream cleansers, I was craving a bit of foam and this hits both spots – it’s hydrating, feels very luxe, like a cream-lotion hybrid and smells like a fresh spring soap (as in luxury, not off the supermarket shelf). After massaging it all over your face (but avoid the eye area), rinse it off with cool water in the morning and warm water in the evening (actually I don’t do the cold water bit, I hate cold climates and cold water!)  It’s been a nice find.

Cult Beauty call Verso “a brand new dawn in age-defying skincare” and if you buy any of the products CB will send you 2 x 15ml day creams, FREE, with every purchase.

For more info on the brand and why it’s different, check out VERSO at CULTBEAUTY.CO.UK

Fab 5 – from exfoliating balms to micellar eye makeup removers

ARK SKINCARE’s SkinPerfector Triple Action Exfoliator is formulated for all ages.

I love ARK!

I was talking to two of the judges last weekend about this brand, as their judging sheets all came in on Friday and there are some high marks in there! An across the board hit, and interestingly, almost every product got a very high rating from all of us which is quite rare, there’s usually one of us who puts a dampner on our enthusiasm!  So good for ARK.

What’s special about this? Fruit acid enzymes and a hybrid oil-milk formula with Abyssinian Oil help calm/clear any imperfections among other things, but a big thing with this product is cell regeneration – off with the old, in with the new (cells), one of the priorities you need in place for consistently healthy, more vibrant looking skin. Loaded with fruity AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) – OK Bilberry, Sugar Maple, Orange and Lemon if you need the details!), this one’s good.

I would only use this once a week but you can use it twice weekly. (Side note here – the root of many skin problems is over-zealous cleansing/exfoliating, you can wreak havoc with skin’s natural acid/ph mantle – the protective, hydrolipid top film –  and when you upset its natural balance…err..good luck! You could set yourself up for problems).  Sandblasting your skin is like hitching a ride on the road to ruin.

Massage lightly on to damp skin (avoid eyes) and wash off immediately if you’re in your teens or 20s, but leave it on for 2 mins if you’re in your 30s/40s and if you’re older you can let it all do its beautiful work for 5 (mindful, breathe deeply) minutes.  Remove with a hot cloth and pat dry (obviously!)

Great for dark spots, scars and uneven skin. By the way – check out ARK’s moisturisers, I think they’re excellent value and among the best out there. This is a brand I would include in my Desert Island SKINCARE Top 10 of all time because there are no “duds” in the range, which can happen with some brands – I’ve seen this a bit in our awards entries, you start getting excited about a brand then it has a terrible cleanser or disappointing serum…consistency is absolutely key – I’d rather pull a product and do a whole rethink re. the formula, than include a product that’s sub-standard when the rest of the range is so good – it lets the whole side down and if that “dud” product is the first one you try, you’re not going to be coming back to explore the rest of the range.

ARK have got it right.


AURELIA SKINCARE. One of my long lost loves, Aurelia’s back in the bathroom. I get through tons of their Miracle Cleanser and this is the perfect exfoliating companion, Aurelia’s Refine & Polish Miracle Balm with chamomile, eucalyptus, rosemary and bergamot).

It goes on like a fine glossy light gel-oil (I love the smell, there’s rosemary and orange in it, too, I think?) – rather like ARK’s, you can use it as an instant radiance exfoliating “mask” and wash off immediately, or let it sink in for 5 mins. Aurelia’s probiotic “technology” is interesting, and this contains yoghurt powder and rice brand with no “ghaaastly” microbeads in it (they’ve just been banned in the United States, thank you President Obama…and UK/rest of Europe, let’s get our act together??)

Moving right along it’s bonjour Caudalie! This is the Caudalie Masque Instant Detox, a pore minimising, deep cleansing all-skin-types, made with pink clay, grape marc and coffee and it looks like a pink foundation! No coffee smell at all. Leave on for 5-10 mins then rinse off. 99.3% natural clay formula.  Cooling and tightening and very “detox” sensation-wise and a good one for tackling blackheads.

I’ve just looked for the Caudalie website link and interestingly enough, it appears to have won ELLE’s Best Face Mask 2015 award.

More info here on Caudalie’s site


Last but not least, if I did an “empties” post this would be in it as it almost is. I’ve loved using La Roche Posay’s Micellar Solution for Sensitive Skin, it’s an easy sweep with a cotton pad (for eye makeup and lipstick). I’m not that keen on oil cleansers around my eye area (e.g. on waterproof mascara), I often end up using an eye makeup remover instead of, or after, the oil cleanser on eyes, and this one has served me well.  I’ve been trying a lot of these for the awards – by both big and small indie brands – and La Roche Posay’s does the job nicely.

Check out the reviews on – it’s HERE



Comments are closed.