Sali Hughes on the best new foaming face washes
This is the one time of year you’ll catch me writing about foaming face washes, because it’s generally only the sticky, claggy weather that can persuade me to test them. It’s not that I’m anti as such – I quite understand the psychological appeal of a sudsy, frothy cleanser and fresh water of a morning, as well as the convenience of multitasking in the shower; it’s just that they’re not my weapons of choice. Which is why I’m shocked by how favourably I responded to Kiehl’s new Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser (£19.50), a beautiful, soft-textured gel-cream that leaves even my dry, dehydrated skin feeling unusually soft post-wash (the inclusion of glycerin and the exclusion of sulphates help enormously). It rinses off cleanly and quickly, leaving neither residue nor tightness.
Similarly addictive is L’Occitane’s new Immortelle Cleansing Cream-in-Foam (£28), a rich, velvety, essential-oil-based cream that expands into sumptuous, bouncy foam and rinses away cleanly and comfortably. It imparts a visible flush of good health, and works especially well on mature skin types. But if you you’dd describe yourself unequivocally as oily, congested ngested or spotty, it’s worth choosing a cleanser that does a little more graft. Una Brennan Superfacialist Purifying Cleansing Wash (£7.99) contains salicylic acid, a (gentler than it sounds) beta hydroxy acid that’s reliably effective on problem skin. It didn’t sting, redden or irritate my skin, and rinsed off quickly, although I’d recommend leaving it on for a minute before turning on the tap.
If you’re on a tight budget, or are looking for a dependable face wash for a teenager who is new to skincare, I recommend Simple’s Kind To Skin Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser (£2.19). To find something so cheap that doesn’t dry, strip or aggravate, despite the inclusion of sulphates, is extremely rare (most washes contain detergents that, however cushioned by moisturisers, still strip skin of natural oils, causing that tight feeling).
None of the above should be used as your primary cleanser. Washes are strictly for barefaced use in the morning, or as your second step (to remove traces of proper balm or oil cleanser) in a double-cleanse evening routine. A face wash alone will not adequately shift foundation, sunscreen or powders… I’ve seen too many makeup makeup-smeared smeared towels to believe otherwise.