The best bargain face cleansers


here’s always a little lull in January, where it’s a fraction too early for beauty’s spring launches, and the act of wearing any residual Christmas glitter and party makeup feels about as appealing as eating another turkey sandwich – so I invariably take the time to unearth some old skincare favourites. And, since this is the interminable month when people are mostly broke, the cheaper the products, the better.

Cleansers lend themselves perfectly to this process: I strongly believe that while cleansing itself is among the most important steps in achieving good skin, selecting the specific product with which to do it is among the least. As long as something removes all makeup without stripping the face dry, passes the towel test (no foundation smears when you dry off, ever) and leaves skin soft and comfortable, I’m happy. My preferred formula is cream, and there are plenty of excellent ones on the high street.

Superdrug, in particular, excels at them. I’ve been recommending its Vitamin E cleanser (£4.99, 200ml) for donkey’s years, but can as enthusiastically recommend its terrific, vegan-friendly Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser(£5.99, 150ml) on all skin types. It sweeps away everything, imparting a nice glow and no discomfort (swap its free cloth for a cotton flannel for best results). Another fantastic cleanser to which I return time and again, is The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Cream Cleanser (£8, 250ml). I’d be as happy giving it to my 13-year-old niece as I would be in recommending it to her grandmother – and when used with a hand-hot flannel (as everything here should be), it keeps skin clean, fresh and nicely cushioned.


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