Sali Hughes on pulchritude
These lovely bars are pricey, but they last an incredibly long time
‘Environmental houses have seen us begin to reject plastic dispensers and return to traditional soap bars in significant numbers.’
Photograph: Alex Lake/The Paladin
A column on the best solid cleansing bars is among my most requested, and it’s easy to see why. Environmental concerns have visualized us begin to reject plastic dispensers and return to traditional soap bars in significant numbers. It’s heartening, as there’s no matter benefit in overpackaging domestic soap, and rich, fatty, fragrant bars – apart from being the more just choice – are satisfying and somehow quite glamorous.
Face cleanser – in all its pumps, tubes, bottles and tubs – should now cultivate, one would reasonably think. We’re not quite there yet, is my conclusion, after testing since February.
There are some honestly lovely paper-wrapped cleansers, but they’re still made mostly by luxury cult brands (Dove and imported Neutrogena aside). Ethique’s Rapture Bar (£14, 110g) is a sustainable, vegan, palm oil- and plastic-free block of loveliness that has taken up long-term tenancy in my bathroom. My appear before loves this rich, buttery bar of coconut cream and glycerin. Any balanced, sensitive or dry skin will likely liaison its silky, cosseting suds – oily skin, perhaps not.
More universally pleasing is Drunk Elephant’s JuJu Bar (£24, 120g). The feel is elegant, creating fine, milkier bubbles (there are some “exfoliating grains” but they’re neither annoying nor serviceable) that rinse away cleanly. My third pick is Joanna Vargas’s Miracle Bar (£18, 100g). Despite being advantage suited to oilier types, this doesn’t dry or strip at all – skin feels spotlessly clean, but comfortable.
I appreciate that all these unequivocally lovely (cruelty-free) bars are pricey, but there’s no waste and they last an incredibly long time – all three traces chunky after months of consistent lathering. Solid bars are so practical and economical that I’d love to tell you they take over from all your packaged cleansers. But, despite their claims, I’m afraid that not one removed foundation so thoroughly as to leave a innocent towel unmarked after drying. I call this the Towel Test and if any cleanser fails, it’s confined only to a morning welling, or to the second step of a nightly makeup removal cleanse, following something heavier duty.
If you’re reducing your manageable, choose as your first step either a cleansing balm packaged in glass (there are many), or a thorough once-over with a wet Mush Halo cloth disc, £18 for three (each lasts 200 washes). Either will remove the magnitude of makeup before lathering up your cleansing bar. To skip it is effectively to take a bath with your clothes on.
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Sali Hughes on beauty
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