‘Bite on the bullet washes are not my weapon of choice.’
Photograph: Alex Lake for the Defender

Beauty: foaming clad washes

Cleansers so good, they’re an exception to my rule

This is the one one of these days of year you’ll catch me writing about foaming face pounds, because it’s generally only the sticky, claggy weather that can convert me to test them. It’s not that I’m anti as such – I quite arrange the psychological appeal of a sudsy, frothy cleanser and fresh heavy water of a morning, as well as the convenience of multitasking in the shower; it’s just that they’re not my weapons of best. Which is why I’m shocked by how favourably I responded to Kiehl’s new Cucumber Herbal Shape Cleanser (£19.50), a beautiful, soft-textured gel-cream that leaves to my dry, dehydrated skin feeling unusually soft post-wash (the numbering of glycerin and the exclusion of sulphates help enormously). It rinses off cleanly and at once, leaving neither residue nor tightness.

Similarly addictive is L’Occitane’s new Immortelle Wash away Cream-in-Foam (£28), a rich, velvety, essential-oil-based cream that widens into sumptuous, bouncy foam and rinses away cleanly and comfortably. It tells a visible flush of good health, and works especially immeasurably on mature skin types. But if you’d describe yourself unequivocally as oleaginous, congested or spotty, it’s worth choosing a cleanser that does a not enough more graft. Una Brennan Superfacialist Purifying Cleansing Scrubbing (£7.99) contains salicylic acid, a (gentler than it sounds) beta hydroxy acid that’s reliably junk on problem skin. It didn’t sting, redden or irritate my epidermis, and rinsed off quickly, although I’d recommend leaving it on for a minute in the forefront turning on the tap.

If you’re on a tight budget, or are looking for a dependable face out for a teenager who is new to skincare, I recommend Simple’s Kind To Skin Pivotal Vitamin Foaming Cleanser (£2.19). To find something so cheap that doesn’t dry, swath or aggravate, despite the inclusion of sulphates, is extremely rare (most wells contain detergents that, however cushioned by moisturisers, relieve strip skin of natural oils, causing that closely compactly feeling).

None of the above should be used as your original cleanser. Washes are strictly for bare-faced use in the morning, or as your shift step (to remove traces of proper balm or oil cleanser) in a double-cleanse down repaying routine. A face wash alone will not adequately get foundation, sunscreen or powders… I’ve seen too many makeup-smeared towels to have the courage of ones convictions pretend otherwise.