Browsing in Boots a couple of weeks ago I was interested to check out the newly reformulated and repackaged No7 skincare line which is now addressing concerns. It looks great, and I’d heard there was an oil or melting gel cleanser in the range too, so was keen to have a go of that. But the Grafton Street branch is such a crowded tight-fit of ‘mare to browse and buy in – especially on a Saturday – that I got a bit frazzled and ended up buying what I’d thought was the oil, but is in fact a water, or micellar cleanser.
Not much of a fan of them, but No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water, €12.50, actually came in quite handy last week during Immersion Gate, when I was relying on the kettle and the kindness of friends for a couple of days in order to keep clean. Oil cleansing went right out the window for makeup removal so I turned to this. While I didn’t love it, it’s actually a damn sight better than most water cleansers I’ve tried (hello Bioderma Sensibo) and did do a fairly effective job of taking makeup off quickly.
I’ll qualify that by saying that I still needed to use huge splodges of product and five cotton pads to clean my face of a very basic day’s slap each time. Even then, I could feel mascara on my lashes and skin just didn’t have that feeling of cleanliness it does when I oil or balm cleanse with warm water and a muslin. I just dunno about micellars: they feel like very bad value for money products. I needed to use so much every evening that I’d have to replace this in a couple of weeks if I used it daily; either that or scrimp on product and have grubby skin.
Either way, it didn’t cleanse properly and ideally, you’d need to double-cleanse with this product plus use a separate eye makeup remover, which sort of knocks the convenience factor on its ass. Within two days I was breaking out. Not badly, but small blemishes were appearing on my cheeks, chin and forehead. I haven’t seen my skin behave like that in a long time and in fact it wasn’t until I got my cleansing routine into check many years ago that blemishy-breakouts like that stopped. So I was very glad to have the immersion fixed and my nice balm and hot cloth routine back too.
For makeup removal, this just isn’t one I’d recommend. And in fact, No7 themselves don’t recommend it for dry skin (it’s marked for normal/oily), though it is billed as a makeup remover. I’d say that if you are combo or oily skinned and like to do a morning cleanse as well as night time makeup removal, then this is a good bet for your AM routine. It’s going to be fine for a quick swipe across skin to remove the excess oil that’s built up over night and to refresh skin if you’re a sebum sufferer; it’ll also be useful to keep on hand for quick fixes to makeup when you’ve made a mistake. For anything else? It just didn’t do the job for me, anyway.
On the plus side, the packaging is good and the pump works well – the only issue is it’s not particularly travel-friendly as there’s no cap, a rather weird oversight on No7′s behalf.
Have any of you tried any of the new products yet, in particular the melting cleansing gel or the very dry skin balm?