I’ve almost completely moved away from foaming face cleansers since my experiments with Ayurveda. I learned a great deal about acneic skin and how harsh cleansers make problems worse. Sadly, the majority of products aimed towards battling acne are usually foam-based and dry out the skin.
The misconception among brands is that everyone with acne has an oily skin type, but reality is that dry skin types are not the only ones who benefits from creamy and gentle cleansers. I believe that no matter skin type, everyone should be gentle towards their skin, and that foaming cleansers should not even exist.
I’ve tested three very different cleansers in the same category. I bought and got all of these three products around the same time a year ago, so they’ve all been thoroughly tested for about 12 months.
Phenomé Sustainable Science Leave-On Purifying Cream 200ml
I had just purchased Estelle & Thild Cleansing milk when I saw this one at a clearance sale for such a cheap buck that I thought, why not? The few products I’ve tried so far from Phenomé have not been a disappointment or broken me out, and I applaud their website and product information pages for being very transparent with their ingredient lists, explaining what everything is and why.
Phenomé Leave-On Cream is described to be a thick and creamy emulsion based on rose water, but between these three it’s the most light and runny of them.
I was a bit confused on how to use it, the direction says to spread it generously over the face and then remove it with a cotton pad without rinsing, hence the name “Leave-On”. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of using dispensable cotton pads (environment- and money-wise). So I tried to see if it would work with my reusable cotton pads instead, being less soft, they weren’t a huge hit.
However, you don’t really need to leave it on or use it with a cotton pad; massaging it in and rinsing it off works just as good without leaving you feeling tight. But as with all of these type of cleansers, for it to really take make up off, then yes, you need to use it together with a wipe/cloth of some sort or complement with some kind of oil cleansing wipe.
It smells of rose water and feels very calming and cooling, perfect for heated Pitta types in the summer, as well as in the winter to prevent dry skin. It comes in a pump dispenser that may feel convenient until you get to the last drop, but considering you get a generous 200ml, I wouldn’t complain. You don’t need to use much either, and that’s probably why it has lasted this long.
Best suitable for: Sensitive, Combination, Acneic & Oily Skin Types
UPDATE: Since this review, I’ve repurchased it and I’m still loving it!
INCI: Rosa Centifolia Flower Water**, Glycerin**, Coco-Glucoside**, Dicaprylyl Carbonate**, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride**, Isopropyl Palmitate**, Cetearyl Alcohol**, Bentonite*, Squalane**, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate**, Aqua**, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice**, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Tocopherols**, Dehydroacetic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Parfum*, Xanthan Gum**, Sodium Hyaluronate**, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Melissa Officinalis Extract*, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract**, Rosa Gallica Extract*, Iris Florentina Root Extract**, Panax Ginseng Root Extract**, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Leaf Extract**, Lactic Acid**, Sodium Phytate**, Benzyl Alcohol, Rosa Damascena Oil*, Citronellol***, Geraniol***, Limonene***, Linalool***.
*Certified Organic, **Natural Raw Materials, ***Components of Natural Essential Oils
Nonique Anti-Aging Face Wash Cream 100ml
Nonique’s Face Wash Cream was one of the products that I got in NaturalBox, which got delivered right around winter time to be used for dry skin.
“Wash Cream” was yet something I spent time trying to figure out how to use. It looks like a very thick hand cream, and was described to be able to use as a moisturising face cream too. Again, a cleanser that you could “kind of” leave on.
It has a mild scent of raspberries and feels very thick and creamy like you’re washing your face with your body lotion – which you can in fact do!
For my normal/combination skin type, and even in the winter, it feels a bit too thick for me. I also sense some blocking of pores, because I always end up with a few small pimples after use (but maybe it’s my own imagination), though my boyfriend think it’s nice and he’s got dry eczema type of skin.
We have to keep in mind that this cleanser is marketed and made for mature and dry skin, so maybe I’m not the best guinea pig to try it on.
This isn’t something I would’ve bought for myself, this is something I’d give to my mom. Nonetheless I find it to be a really good cleanser for dry skin, but much less for acneic and oily skin types as it is too thick.
Best suitable for: Mature, Sensitive & Dry Skin Types
INCI: Aqua, cetearylalkohol, Butyrospermum parkii*, Glycerin, kapryl, Cocos nucifera*, Olea europaea fruit oil*, alkohol, Rosa Canina fruit oil *, NATRIUM cetearylsulfat, natriumbensoat *** PARFUM **, *** Calcium Sorbate, squalene, xantangum, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid, Helianthus annuus Seed Oil, Euterpe oleracea* (Organic Acai Berry ), Morinda citrifolia* (Organic Noni fruit), Punica granatum fruitextract*, linalool **, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder* , geraniol **, limonen **, Morinda citrifolia (Noni Leaf)*, bensylbensoat **.
* Certified Organic harvest, ** Derived from Natural Essential Oils, *** Perservative
Estelle & Thild Fragrance Free Facial Cleansing Milk Sensitive 150ml
In the midst of Ayurveda, and realizing my skin wasn’t just acneic, it was sensitive too, I went by to test this theory by switching to a fragrance free and gentle cleanser. Hearing many great things about Estelle & Thild’s Fragrance Free cleanser for sensitive skin I went to try this one first.
Out of these three, the consistency is somewhere in between. Not as light and runny as the Leave-on cleanser from Phenomé, but not as thick and creamy as the Anti-aging wash cream from Nonique. Could this one be just right? (Goldilocks reference)
I read a review by someone describing it to smell a bit too much of oils, and I agree, but these things are just a part of something being fragrance free I guess. It doesn’t feel too heavy, even for someone with an oily skin type, and doesn’t leave you feeling too dry afterwards. And best of all: no imaginary pimples popping up after use!
This was the cleanser I used the most, and therefore I managed to empty it before taking a picture of the cream itself. But right now, with it being discontinued, I feel it’s okay.
UPDATE: This cleanser is no longer available and has been replaced by BioCleanse Fragrance Free Cleansing Milk, which has a bit different formula to it, so therefore this review is not relevant anymore. I have yet not been able to try this new cleanser.
Best suitable for: All Skin Types
INCI: Aqua, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil*, Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract*, Glycerin, Persea Gratissima Oil*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Olea Europaea Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Cetearyl Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Citric Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.
* Ingredient from Organic Farming.
All of these are great in their own ways, and I would give them all five stars for their relative purpose. But I’m rating these through your eyes, and I guess what most people look for in a cleanser is to take make up off, which cream cleansers – without a cloth or cotton pad – don’t really do. Therefore, only a four star rating.
I personally liked Phenomé the best according to my skin type and the calming effect it has. It may not be the best in the winter for someone who gets very dry, but it’s light enough to use in the summer for anyone with an acneic to oily skin type.
Got sensitive dry to very dry skin, or need more help keeping the moist during winter? Then I think Nonique is your best friend. And when it comes to an all around gentle cleanser, Estelle & Thild does the job. Feels a bit pointless to have done a review on Estelle & Thild’s cleanser, I will now have to try their new BioCleanse Silky Soft Cleansing Milk to see if there’s a difference.