My morning and nighttime cleansers recently underwent a bit of a switch-up after I used up both my Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. Although both of those products are absolutely fantastic, I decided against re-purchasing them at this time in favor of trying something new. My picks? Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel and Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm.
I start off my mornings with one pump of the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£32.50 for 5 oz/150 ml) massaged onto dry skin, transforming the gel into an oil-like cleanser, before gently removing it with a warm, damp washcloth. The Renaissance Cleansing Gel is packed with pumpkin enzyme to purge the skin of dead cells, vitamin A to promote elasticity, vitamins C and E to protect against free radicals, starflower oil to promote firmness and sulfur to detoxify and reduce inflammation. It leaves my skin looking brighter and feeling clean, soft and hydrated. Whereas I felt that the Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser was more light and refreshing, this rose chamomile-scented cleanser is luxuriously warm and soothing, making it perfect for cold winter mornings. I mean, just take a look at that description: "illuminating vitamin facial cleanser" - who wouldn't want that?
The Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($28.50 for 3.8 oz/125 ml) has been my new obsession as far as the nighttime skincare players are concerned. It has quite a solid consistency in the pot (seemingly very un-balm-like), but the second it is massaged onto dry skin, it melts into a silky, never greasy, oil consistency that breaks down all forms of makeup like nobody's business (my Stila waterproof mascara included). Although Clinique claims the balm should be rinsed off, I always use a washcloth and never experience any residue left behind. Nevertheless, I still follow it up with a second cleanse for good measure (I've been loving the Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap lately).
Compared to the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, which I loved while it lasted (I went through two tubs!), I'm actually surprised to come to the conclusion that I think I might just enjoy Clinique's version more (and my wallet thanks me). Although I never had adverse reactions to the EH, Clinique's is free of fragrances and essential oils, making it perfect for even the most sensitive of skin types. It's also worth noting that both balms can be used around the eye area without causing any stinging or irritation. The Clinique balm could certainly be used for the second cleanse, as I did with the EH balm; however, I enjoy using it first simply because it is such an effective and fuss-free makeup remover. In my opinion, the EH feels more luxe simply due to its beautiful fragrance, but in all honesty, the Clinique is just as effective, and I actually prefer the consistency of it (not to mention the price, ahem) over the EH.
The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£32.50) can be purchased from Cult Beauty, and the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($28.50) can be purchased from Sephora.