I am a big fan of oil cleansing: rinse off cleansing oils, hot cloth cleansers, melting balms. I find that they are unmatched in emulsifying and removing makeup and sunscreen and are less irritating and overcleansing than foaming cleansers or water-based makeup removers. I’ve used many over the years and my favorite is the Eve Lom Cleanser.
Made to be removed with a hot, muslin cloth (they include one of their own with the cleanser but muslin baby washcloths work just as well and you can have more on hand for less money), this yellow, sometimes-smooth, sometimes-lumpy, balm smells herbally and green. I’ve seen complaints about the smell online but I actually really like the scent it has- it smells a bit medicinal, a bit spa-like, a bit fancy. You rub a small amount on to dry skin, and depending on your mood and time available you can do a lymphatic drainage massage to “drain toxins” before using the cloth to do a light steam. You completely remove the cleanser with the warm cloth in small, circular movements, rinse the cloth in cool water, and press to your skin to complete the process.
This removes everything- makeup, water resistant sunscreen- completely and the cloth provides physical exfoliation too. When I use it consistently, my skin is so smooth and glowy. And it feels luxurious- the scent, the packaging, the ritual. I find that even though it takes a little more time than a regular cleanser, it seems less daunting when I’m exhausted because I’m not having to splash water all over my face and bathroom (not sure what my damage is but I’ve never learned how to neatly rinse my face off at the sink). In the morning I usually skip a cleanser and just rinse my face in the shower or use the cloth to neaten up quickly. It is not cheap, but it does last a long time.
The mask is a newer product for me. I normally just buy a large jar of the cleanser which lasts forever, but my daughter’s favorite activity is to “make cake” which involves taking my lovely jar of cleanser and use her toothbrush to mix in toothpaste and whatever else I’ve left in her reach. After losing two big jars to preschooler cake, I bought the smaller cleanser and mask combo from Sephora to tide me over until I could justify a purchase of a bigger jar. The Rescue Mask is grayish white, gritty, and very camphor-y which I like. I use a super thin layer a few times a week especially after a few days of neglect and laziness with my skin and it minimizes sebaceous filaments and absorbs excess oil and exfoliates lightly when removed. I’ve also used it in the morning as a pre-shower deep treatment.
I really like Eve Lom’s philosophy too- her original regimen is very pared down and minimalist in scope and the main focus is on effective cleansing, massage, and exfoliation with the cleanser, and any old moisturizer where needed only. I am by no means a minimalist, but the simplicity of a streamlined skincare routine is so appealing and keeps me coming back to this cleanser again and again. I’m pretty unloyal to products, but this has earned itself a spot on my list of skincare staples.