Thursday, 20 October 2016

Hot Cloth Cleansers: How to Use and Product Picks

How to use hot cloth cleansers

As the evenings get darker and the days get colder, it's a time we often revisit our skincare routines to inject a bit more moisture and protection against the wintry elements. This makes it a perfect time to try out a hot cloth cleanser if you haven't done so already!

If you're not familiar with them, they are basically thick cream or balm cleansers that are used to take off even the most stubborn makeup and give your skin a really good clean and leave it super soft.
Regardless of the brand you choose, they all work with the same principles and pretty much give the same instructions, including being applied to dry skin and not wetting your face first.

Here is a simple routine I would suggest with a hot cloth cleanser. I would recommend removing your eye makeup first with either your eye makeup remover or your micellar water of choice as most of these cleansers are not appropriate to use on the eye area.

1) Squeeze a grape-sized amount onto your hand.

2) Apply to the face and massage gently for at least 2 minutes to remove the stubborn stuff.

3) Take either a muslin cloth or a soft flannel and wet under comfortably warm, not hot, water.

4) Massage the cloth in gentle circular motions to remove the cleanser and repeat until all of the product is removed. Rinse with warm water if necessary - or cold water if you are brave enough and want a quick wake-up and a temporary pore tightening effect!

More and more brands are adding hot cloth cleansers to the range and it can be hard to pick out the good from the bad, so I've given you a short list and a run-down of my favourites!

M&S Pure Daily Skincare Instant Radiance Hot Cloth Cleanser.

M&S Pure Instant Radiance Hot Cloth Cleanser

This claims to deeply cleanse, polish and condition for radiant, smooth skin. It contains camelina oil, starflower oil, chamomile, geranium and petitgrain and as a result it smells absolutely divine - reminding me of one of those specially blended oils that you would get if you went to an aromatherapist. The texture of it is a thick lotion, not greasy or too thick to work with and it leaves the skin feeling super clean without feeling dry or tight and so soft too. It removed all traces of makeup as when I used toner afterwards, there was no makeup rubbing off onto the cotton pad. The bottle is a generous 200ml with a handy pump dispenser and costs €13.50 from Marks and Spencer. It's free from silicone, mineral oils and parabens too. I've long since lost mine but you do get a little white muslin cleansing cloth with it too. This one claims to be suitable for all skin types.

Soap & Glory The Ultimelt Deep Purifying Hot Cloth Cleanser.

Soap and Glory The Ultimelt hot cloth cleanser

This one claims to give you a soft, smooth, radiantly clean fresh face and contains more aromatherapy-sounding ingredients like sweet almond oil, orange oil and lavender oil. Lavender is definitely the first fragrance that hits you so if you aren't a fan of lavender then you probably won't be a fan of this! It is a thicker texture than the Marks and Spencers' one and more of a thick cream than a lotion. It is great for night time use due to the texture and the fragrance, and feels rather indulgent on the skin. Having something that feels like a treat for your skin makes you much more likely to stick to a skincare routine no matter how tired or lazy you are at bedtime. And I'm speaking from personal experience here! Again the skin feels super soft and clean afterwards and all traces of makeup were removed. This one comes in a tube, which I wasn't expecting, and contains 100ml of product costing €13.99 from Boots. It is said to be suitable for all skin types except for those sensitive to essential oils.

Ponds Cold Cream.

Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser

Ah this one is a classic which I definitely think needs to make a comeback. Growing up in the '80s, I'm well familiar with this as a staple in our family bathroom. My Mam used it every night without fail to take off her makeup and even the smell of it takes me back to my childhood instantly.

Many of you (ahem, probably most of you) who are younger than me may not know about this wonder product. It is a rich cream cleanser for deep cleaning and makeup removal and in my opinion was ahead of its time. The instructions say to use with cotton wool or a warm flannel but personally I think it is too rich to be removed with cotton wool and it needs removal with a wet cloth like the others. Also like the others, skin is left super clean and soft. 

The product doesn't specify skin type but I would probably say it suits normal-dry skin and that oily types should probably avoid. This comes in a 50ml jar - yes, considerably smaller but a little goes a long way, and retails at €5.99.

If you haven't tried it, go and ask your Mum or your Aunt and they probably have! It's such an affordable price and a brand that's been around for generations and definitely worth a try especially if you are new to this type of cleansing and looking to not spend a fortune.


Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser

I've saved the priciest and probably the best known one til last. This product has won over 100 beauty awards in its time so that will tell you something. It contains eucalyptus oil, rosemary, chamomile and cocoa butter and claims to quickly remove daily grime and makeup for clean, soft, radiant skin. With the Soap & Glory one, the first thing I noticed was lavender, and with this one, the first thing I noticed was Eucalyptus. I'm not a massive fan of this oil as such but it is not as strong as Vicks Vapo-Rub so I can move past that. 

It is very similar in texture to the Marks & Spencer one and also has a handy pump dispenser.  Again, the results were the same - removed all traces of makeup and left the skin clean and super soft. I will probably use this one in the mornings as eucalyptus is quite a refreshing, invigorating scent and then go with something else at night time. This one is a 100ml bottle and will set you back €19. Again, there is a white muslin cloth included in the box. 

Oh, and at the time of writing this, Boots have a little starter set on special offer containing the 100ml of cleanser, 2 muslin cloths and a small zip up bag for around €21 which would make a lovely gift for the upcoming festive season or as a birthday gift.

So these are my top picks for cleansing in the colder weather. All of them work equally well at their job so it really is a matter of personal preference and budget and of course whether they agree with your skin! Also, I have found that your simple flannel facecloth works equally well to remove them so stock up on a few of these from Primark/Penneys and save yourself spending a fortune on more spotlessly white muslin cloths!

If you've tried any of these - or can recommend any other hot cloth cleansers please do pop a little note in the comments. There's always room to squeeze in one more bottle on my bathroom shelf!

Bye for now,







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