I know that it’s been a while since I received the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit that I won through Birchbloggers. You may or may not have been wondering about my review. Well, it’s finally ready.
Before I go any further, I do need to say that I feel truly thankful (heh, get it?) for having won this to try. It’s very hard writing a blog when you can’t afford new products to review. That’s probably why I took it as far as I did to really be able to give you a fair assessment.
The Liz Earle cleansing system works in two parts. The first step is the cream cleanser. Free from mineral oil, it contains naturally active ingredients, including eucalyptus and cocoa butter. It’s supposed to be a gentle cleanser, suited to all skin types, that still removes even the most stubborn of makeup. The second step is polishing with the muslin cloth. A gentle way to exfoliate your skin, it makes for a really lovely regimen.
Everything I’ve been reading about skin care lately has said to use cream-based cleansers, even if you have oily skin. Any cleanser that foams is supposed to be the devil. So this system definitely fits the bill.
Reviewing a cult product like this, one that has won over 90 beauty awards, one that so many people consider a holy grail product, you feel a certain burden of responsibility.
It’s just such a lovely system. Look at it.
You feel obligated to love it. And I’m not the only one. If you google reviews, the only people who have written negative ones have apologized profusely first and sounded like they expected to be flagellated for it.
And it’s not that I didn’t like it. No, in fact, I really loved it. I adore the system and the ritual of it. It feels great on your skin and doesn’t leave you feeling dry at all. No, sadly, it didn’t like me.
It started early on in the relationship. My first impression of it was that it smelled like and had the consistency of Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. (Maybe that should have been my first warning?) Within days, I had broken out terribly. Not just in a place I tend to break out (my chin), but also one I don’t (my cheek). And one of the ones on my chin was massive and painful.
The problem is, I couldn’t be sure if it was the cleanser or if it was hormones. So I decided I was going to try it for at least a couple of weeks.
I kept thinking of how the dermatologist tells you when you’re starting on Retin-A that your skin is going to look worse before it looks better. I thought maybe it was a similar process, that the Liz Earle was helping my skin to expel all the impurities that were buried, and that in a couple of weeks, my skin was going to look beautiful and glowing.
So I persevered, despite the fact that my skin kept getting worse. I decided this was important, that I was doing it for science, for the sake of the experiment and my readers.
It looks so innocent, doesn’t it?
It was true that I had reason to be hormonal, but even once that passed, my skin seemed to be a petulant, resentful teenager, thumbing its nose at any attempts I made at reconciliation.
Well, after three weeks, I gave up.
I know that shea butter can make some people break out. Perhaps cocoa butter works the same way. I don’t know. All I know is that since I’ve stopped using it, my skin has started to look better again. (I’ve also discovered a new holy grail product, but I want to reserve my shouting about it from the rooftops till I’ve tested it for a little longer. But that’s a bright side, right?)
However, I have been using the muslin cloths with the cleanser I’m now using (a sample from Sephora that I’m really liking), because, as I said, I really like the system and how my skin feels afterwards.
Dear readers, let me say that I did search to see if anyone else reported it making them break out, and those were the apologetic reviews, and they were few and far between. This cleanser seems to work, and work well, for most people. I personally have 2 friends who use it and love it. One of them liked the sample she got in her Birchbox so much that she bought the full-sized one from the shop.
So would I recommend this? Yes, I would, even though it didn’t work for me. Because you’re more likely to get lucky with it, and it’s a good enough system to take the chance on.
Have you ever tried it? What do you think? Do you feel obligated to love products that everyone else swears by?