We have faithfully used Clarins cottonseed face wash for years. It wasn’t until we were talking to a Beauty Editor friend that we realised yes, our face was a little drier as we had gotten a little older and yes, the face wash did make our face feel a little ‘tight’ afterwards. She recommended that we try a face balm instead for a hydrating yet deep cleanse. We quickly became a convert and have been trying various different brands – here are our top picks:
Liz Earle and Eve Lom’s face cleanser (from £55) are probably two of the most famous face balms on the market. At different ends of the price spectrum, we personally prefer Earle’s which we find less heavy. Both come with muslin cloths that you soak in hot water before cleansing the balm off your face, after which you splash your face with cold water to close the pores. It does definitely take longer than just a face wash but we find the results definitely worth the effort.
This balm feels incredibly hydrating and is especially good for those aged 40 and over. It’s recommended that you leave it on for 2-3 minutes after massaging it in but personally, we find this makes it a little difficult to then take off so we wash it off immediately. It smells heavenly – a mixture of lavender, bitter orange and rosemary.
Although this is called a balm, it definitely feels lighter than any of the above (maybe because it doesn’t contain any shea butter). It is a white emulsifying cream that changes consistency when massaged into the skin. Again, you need to wash it off with a (supplied) muslin cloth. The standout feature about this balm was the feeling of our skin afterwards – satisfyingly clean without the feeling of any residue on our skin and definitely no tightness.