12.18.2014
6
5
Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
Rating
3.3 fl. oz. for $24.50
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths)
Last Updated:12.18.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This emollient cleanser claims to be appropriate for all skin types but the thickeners, cocoa butter, beeswax, and lack of a cleansing agent that can remove facial oil makes it less than desirable for someone with blackheads, oily skin, or blemishes. It also contains eucalyptus and limonene which makes it a problem for those with sensitive skin (or any skin type for that matter) as those irritating ingredients add up to negative results no matter what.

The two muslin cloths included with this cleanser are slightly abrasive and unnecessary given a washcloth can serve the same function which is simply a bit of manual exfoliation. Also, the name is a bit irksome because the hot cloth part of this product comes from the recommendation to soak the muslin cloth in hot water before you use it. Don't do that. Hot water is damaging, causing capillaries to break and surface, plus hot water is drying for all skin types. Tepid water is far better and healthier for skin.

Considering the size this is also a shockingly pricy cleanser. At $24.50 for 3.3 ounces that adds up to about $50 given most cleansers are usually 6.7 to 8 ounces for about half the price. Overall this cleanser is best avoided as it holds no advantage over many less expensive cleansers.

Pros:
  • Contains good emollients for dry skin.
Cons:
  • Too emollient to work for all skin types as claimed.
  • Contains ingredients that are a problem for sensitive skin.
  • There are far better cleansers that cost half the price.
Claims

Ideal for your morning or evening cleanse, this formulation works on every age and skin type, offering concentrated yet gentle cleansing power. Our plant-based cleanser has a two-phase action. Phase one is the cleansing. Free from mineral oil, it has a rich and creamy texture and swiftly removes all traces of face and eye make up, even stubborn mascara. Phase two is the polishing. Polish off the cream using the pure muslin cloth to gently dislodge dead skin cells and help reveal clean, soft and radiant skin.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Sorbitan Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Glycerin, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Propylene Glycol, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Panthenol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, Limonene, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide.

Brand Overview

Strengths: Reasonable prices.

Weaknesses: No sunscreens; jar packaging; products are overly fragranced and contain irritating plant extracts; no reliable products for acne; products for those with rosacea, sensitive skin, and eczema contain irritating fragrant components and perfume.

Liz Earle began her United Kingdom-based cosmetics company in 1995 with her name affixed to the label, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care. Originally located on the Isle of Wright, the company their products were inspired by the natural foliage of this part of the world’s rainy, cold environs.

A prolific writer of more than 30 beauty books along with a background as a beauty journalist and broadcaster, Earle became a diehard believer in all things natural. One of her books even suggests you can beat cellulite with scrubs, creams, and massage oils. We wouldn’t bet on it any more than the allure of all natural holds the answer to having beautiful skin, but even Earle’s products don’t follow that philosophy wholeheartedly as they are not all natural in the least. In fact, you could say they are about as natural as polyester. Labeling the line “naturally active” is a clever play on words; it makes you think the products are natural without really saying they are.

After 15 years of being one of the biggest independent UK-based personal care companies Liz Earle was bought by Avon in 2010. That has certainly changed the face of the company! It’s interesting to point out that despite Avon’s home consultant business model, Liz Earle stopped the home consulting side of their business shortly after joining the fold at Avon.

Business decisions aside, the products are what matter and what’s inside those products matters most. We were first struck by the line’s lack of sunscreens. The company’s convoluted explanation for this is how the weather in the UK doesn’t warrant it (though we’re not sure how that factors into the brand’s U.S. distribution) and also because synthetic sunscreens are bad for skin. None of that is true. Daylight (as in UV light, which is present whether the sun is shining or not) in any amount causes immediate and long-term skin damage. Only a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure a day causes premature aging, though you won’t see these effects until years later. Numerous studies have shown how regular use of sunscreen with all types of active ingredients, including synthetic and mineral, makes skin look significantly younger, longer—and reduces risk of skin cancer.

The company does say mineral sunscreen ingredients are good yet that only shows up in their Daily Eye Repair with an SPF 10 (SPF 15 is considered the minimum by medical and regulatory boards around the world) and it appears this product is only be sold in the U.K. There is no explanation why there aren’t other mineral-based sunscreens in the line.

Although we find the lack of sunscreens a sign of bad (or at least shortsighted) skin care, we are also highly skeptical of skin-care companies that sell bust and neck treatments. Earle’s Superskin Bust & Neck Treatment claims the natural ingredients it contains can plump skin around the bust. Again don’t count on it, but we admit the application description will arouse something! Ironically, the description for the product explains how sun exposure ages skin, but then we’re going back to the lack of sun protection in the line. Now that’s contradictory! Regardless skin on the neck, chest, and face benefit from the same state-of-the-art ingredients and there is not a shred of unbiased research to the contrary.

Despite the reservations mentioned above, there are some interesting formulations in Earle’s line with great price points. But even the better formulas suffer from too much fragrance, dubious and overblown claims, and prevalent use of irritating plant extracts. Oddly enough, the fragrance-free formulations in this product line have some of the more ordinary formulations when it comes to antioxidants or soothing emollients—two categories of ingredients those with sensitive skin really need.

In short, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care is nothing to get all that excited about, whether you’re a fan of natural ingredients or simply want skin care from the U.K.

For more information about Liz Earle, visit www.lizearle.com or call 1-800-515-5911.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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07.22.2015
Clinique v Liz Earle

I alternate between Redness solutions cleanser by Clinique. I use the hot cloth to remove the cleanser. I prefer the packaging of Liz Earle cleanser. It delivers just the right amount of cleanser. Also, I don't need to use a clarifier after using L.E Hot Cloth Cleanser. I do with the Clinique cleanser.

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Reviewed by
June J
05.11.2015
Love this cleanser

This cleanser has done a lot to make my skin smoother, an area where everything else I've tried has failed. My skin is moderately sensitive, but I find it very soothing, gentle, and non-irritating. It takes my makeup off well, and the muslin cloths actually feel quite soft--much more so than a washcloth, which always feels scratchy to me. All in all, it works a lot better for me than the PC chemical exfoliants I've tried, which have dried out/irritated my skin, and caused painful whiteheads.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
12.19.2014
Best cleanser!

In spite of the Beautipedia review, this cleanser has helped transform my skin back to normal. It's the only skincare I use that is not Paula's Choice. I use this cleanser morning and evening, sometimes with a Clarisonic, sometimes with a washcloth and tepid water. Just because it says "hot cloth" doesn't mean you need to use one! It has never made me break out, it does not irritate my sensitive skin, nor my (lifelong) rosacea on my cheeks.

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Reviewed by
Liz
11.25.2013
I agree

I received a sample of this cleanser and the cloths. First, it's not "all natural". That is baloney. Second, it asks you to use HOT water to soak the cloth in and that's not a good thing. Hot water is bad for your skin. It causes redness (most likely from broken capillaries), dryness and irritation. Third, the cloth....bad idea. It's rough. You don't want to be dragging any cloth....soft or rough across the skin on your face. Your hands (washed first) are always the best option. This isn't good.

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Reviewed by
Nancy
09.10.2013
Couldn't disagree more

My skin has never, ever benefited from a specific routine, but instead looks and feels healthiest when I use products based on what my skin needs daily. I broke down a couple years ago and tried Cleanse and Polish after so many of the beauty gurus I follow raved about it. I LOVE it. I can't use it every day, but using it about 3 times a week keeps my pores so small and my skin exfoliated and glowing. I don't care about the cons PC listed, this product works absolute wonders for me.

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Reviewed by
Shannon G.
09.07.2013
I don't understand

Cleanse and Polish is a 'Raved about', 'Must Have', Award winning cleanser in the UK. I have used it and loved the tingle and smell, which I now realise are the habit forming bad for me ingredients which are potential irritants. I am shocked to find that this brand, which seems so pure and English is actually now owned by Avon. It makes me cynical about the whole industry when a product which is so highly lauded and acclaimed in the UK can actually be rated POOR because it can harm the skin.

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Reviewed by
Anne
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