Friday 28 July 2017

Deep Clean - the best five products for clean skin

You don't have to spend a fortune to get clean skin, says Sarah Caden, but it's vital not to be slapdash in your efforts

Pictured, from left, Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash; Eucerin Ultra Sensitive Cleansing Lotion; WaterWipes Sensitive Cleansing Wipes; No7 Beautiful Skin Micellar Cleansing Water; Uriage Hyseac Cleansing Gel
Pictured, from left, Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash; Eucerin Ultra Sensitive Cleansing Lotion; WaterWipes Sensitive Cleansing Wipes; No7 Beautiful Skin Micellar Cleansing Water; Uriage Hyseac Cleansing Gel

There are basic errors we make when it comes to cleaning the day off our faces. The major error is not cleansing, obviously, along with its cousin, not taking off a night's make-up before going to bed, but those are too obvious to dwell on. But the other mistakes are not cleansing properly and, funnily enough, thinking that we need to spend a lot on cleansers in order to get our skin properly clean.

To a great extent, cleansing properly is about doing more than an exhausted, swift evening sweep across our faces, hoping that everything is being adequately removed. In fact, if you're wearing make-up, it's best advice to make two goes at cleansing. One to remove the make-up; and one to get rid of all traces, really massaging the cleanser in to your skin. Do this, and you will really notice the difference.

In terms of spending too much, there is even less magic to cleanser than there is to other potions. True, those that contain exfoliating or brightening ingredients such as acids will do that bit extra, but for pure cleanliness, you don't need to spend a lot. You can if you want, and it makes you feel spotless to your soul, but there's no actual need, so here are our five favourite value cleansers.

Best Overall

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash, €4.99, available nationwide

Micellar water has revolutionised how a lot of us cleanse our skin. For the uninitiated, or those who know it works but don't know how, micellar water works thanks to tiny molecules (micelles) of oil, which are suspended in water. This is a twist on the classic water; a gel-texture cleanser that turns to an emulsified milk on contact with a wet face. It comes in two variations, one for combination/oily skin, and one for sensitive. "This is like an amped-up micellar water, in that you get a much 'cleaner' feel from it," said a panellist.

"I like that."

Best Calm Down

Eucerin Ultra Sensitive Cleansing Lotion, €14, available nationwide

This cleanser is part of a range aimed at skin that is hypersensitve, all of which includes an ingredient called SymSitive, which claims to regulate sensitivity, deal with existing flare-ups and prevent future occurrences. The cleanser is as gentle as can be, and is made to be removed with cotton wool or lukewarm water - never hot. It is not too creamy, so make-up and dirt glide off easily, and it does not leave a layer of stickiness, but removes cleanly. "I love the texture," said one panellist. "It's not too thick but it's rich enough to take the day off."

Best Wonder Wipes

WaterWipes Sensitive Cleansing Wipes, €4.09, available nationwide

We almost never recommend wipes. For the most part, they cleanse unsatisfactorily, they are hard on skin, and they are full of chemicals. These are the adult version of the baby wipes that mothers swear by. Composed of only water, Dead Sea minerals and fruit extracts, these are mild but effective, and get the stamp of approval from the US National Eczema Association. "I would never use wipes all the time," said a panellist, "but these are a surprisingly kind and cleansing emergency option."

Best Cool Water

No7 Beautiful Skin Micellar Cleansing Water, €12, Boots

The French, but of course, were well ahead of the game with micellar water. A century ahead, apparently, employing it when hard Parisian water was too tough on the complexion. This is a pretty classic version of its kind: a clear, gentle liquid, with impressive cleansing power. Waterproof eye-make-up might need a more powerful oil-and-water remover, but everything else shifts easily. It comes in a version for oily skin and another for dry. "Cotton-wool pads offer evidence of just how well this works," a panellist said, "though you'd often be as well to take two separate sweeps to get all grime."

Best Washing Up

Uriage Hyseac Cleansing Gel, €25, selected pharmacies nationwide

This comes in at a slightly steeper price than today's other favourites, but it doubles as a face and body wash, and it's a blessing for skin that is both sensitive and oily. A lot of products for sensitive skin also assume that the skin tends to dryness, making it hard to find something kind to oily types. With thermal water and licorice, which both calms irritation and helps to control oil production. "Mattifying and pore-tightening," said one panellist, "without making my face feel tight or itchy."

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