I didn't realise it until taking photos for this post, but the products in my bathroom are laid out in order of use. Cleansers and contact lens stuff to the left, makeup and the rest of my face care to the right. I mean, that just makes sense, right? I'm lucky enough to have a bathroom to myself for the next few months, and have taken the opportunity to spread my massive stash all over.
Plantæ are a New Zealand-based, certified organic (Biogro) brand with an ethos of using sustainably sourced plant-based materials. For the past six months of so, two of their cleansers have taken pride of place to the left of the sink. Sinks, even -- I've been housesitting.
I was lucky enough to win the Hydrate Pacific Blue Lavender Rich Cream Cleanser in a giveaway on a blog. The only cream hot-cloth cleanser I'd previously used was the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, which was pleasant enough to use but didn't amaze me, so I wasn't expecting to love Plantæ's offering.
I have fairly oily skin with large pores through my t-zone. Although this product is indicated for normal to dry skins, I found that this softens and starts working out the sebaceous filaments in my pores, which I'm then able to remove gently with a wash cloth. In some cases I have to gently squeeze with the washcloth over my fingers.
(Yeah, I know you don't have to squeeze out SFs because they're just going to fill up again, but these guys stretch out my pores and make them much more apparent. Plus quite often they get blocked and voila, pimples.)
The cleanser is white and has a thick moisturiser-like consistency that spreads easily. I use about a finger-scoop worth, so less than half a teaspoon (in which case an 85ml jar will last around six weeks if you used it daily). I tend to only use this when I have been wearing makeup, or want a deeper cleanse and manual exfoliation with a wash cloth. It definitely removes makeup effectively, although I prefer using a dedicated makeup remover for that, saving this for my second cleanse.
It's not a cheap cleanser, but I see it almost as a luxury product. It's a great one to have around even if you use it only a couple of times a week for a "spa treatment" sort of feel. I would prefer it in a pump bottle like their cleansing milk for normal skin, although that may clog easily.
I've spent a much shorter length of time with the Purify Lemon Oil-Control Cleansing Gel. Plantæ recently had a 'buy two get a moisturiser free' deal at their stockists (I got mine from Wise Cicada in Newmarket), and this was one of my picks.
I don't buy too much into the whole 'purifying botanical extracts with antioxidant and antibacterial properties' thing -- I've still had my usual crop of blemishes while using these. It doesn't lather, but it has plenty of slip (this is supposedly due to the Quillaja saponaria extract, but I suspect the glycerin helps as well) and cleanses really effectively, without ever feeling stripping on the skin. It even removes makeup! Not waterproof eye makeup, but I didn't expect it to.
It's a light brown, translucent, runny gel, and one pump is less than a 1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) -- I find that plenty to cleanse with in the mornings, although it's best to use it on a dry face because otherwise it's just too runny. You'd need two separate pumps to remove makeup and cleanse if you don't use a separate makeup remover.
I've also been combining it at night with Freeman Clay Mask with Mint and Lemon and using it as an cream cleanser alternative now that I've used up the other one. This is a really refreshing and calming mix that cleanses really well, but doesn't leave my skin tight and squeaky clean. Fair warning though -- the clay makes it a bit messy when you go to rinse it off.
The cap is currently making a good home for my Tillandsia.
Both of these have a lavender flower water base, but the scent is a little more subtle in the cream cleanser.
I can't believe I just wrote that much about two cleansers, but I guess I just have a lot of feelings about them.
Rich Cream Cleanser: Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tincorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Water Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Bentonite , Xanthan Gum, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol,Pinus Sylvestris Bark Extract, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Abies Alba (Silver Fir) Oil
Oil-Control Cleansing Gel: Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Glycerin, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Arctium Lapa Root Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Saponaria Officinalis Extract, Caprylyl, Capryl Glucoside, Quillaja Saponaria Wood Extract, Honey, Carrageenan, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Leptospermum Petersonii (Lemon Tea Tree) Oil, Totarol