The intelligent consumer: Testing, testing... cleansers and toners

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Indy Lifestyle Online
No space for slagging things off this month, rather a quick round up of the best cleansers and toners to get you started. Reports on other cleansers and toners will continue in the coming months.

CLEANSERS

As you will see, these are all pretty expensive. That's because all cheaper cleansers do the job, if that's all you want, but the more expensive ones are nicer smelling and more of a pleasure to use. If you're skint, the first thing to ditch is expensive toner, but never skimp on moisturiser and buy the best you can afford. Most cleansers, especially the cream ones, can be used to remove make-up, too.

Aveda Purifying Creme Cleanser, pounds 19 (150ml) pounds 7.50 (53ml travel size)

Nice smelling - almost too much. Fairly thin consistency. Lovely to use.

Molton Brown Refreshing Facial Wash, pounds 15.50 (300ml)

Although described as "alarming looking", it worked well, leaving skin feeling soft and clean and the facial wash works well on eye make-up, too.

Jo Malone Camphor Cleansing Gel, pounds 18 (250ml) pounds 8.50 (100ml)

Thick gel, excellent for oily skin and calming down spotty, cross skin. Contains camphor, a natural antiseptic. Needs lots of rinsing.

Chanel Gentle Foaming Cleanser, pounds 19 (150ml)

First-class product. Glides on - you only need a tiny amount as it foams up lots - and leaves skin refreshed but never dry.

La Prairie Foam Cleanser, pounds 35 (125ml)

Ridiculously expensive, but my oily-skinned tester thought it was "superb" as it left her skin clean and matt.

Clarins Alpine Herb Cleansing Milk for dry/normal skins, pounds 10 (125ml)

My "very dry skin" tester loved this, "gentle, left my skin feeling soft and not dried out at all". Great for removing make-up.

Clarins Oil Control Cleansing Gel, pounds 11 (125ml)

Smells fantastic, doesn't over-dry, but you do feel that you need a moisturiser afterwards - a novel feeling for those with oily skins.

TONERS

Toners that have purifying or refining in the title tend to have alcohol in them. This isn't as bad as I once thought and good if your skin is spotty or oily, but avoid them if your skin is dry/delicate. Keep your toner in the fridge for that slap in the face feeling.

Lancaster Skin Purifying Lotion, pounds 13.50 (400ml)

Contains alcohol. Pale blue, fresh smelling. Got an alarming amount of dirt off - after cleansing. Fairly gentle, even though it contains alcohol. As with Lancaster cleansers (which are also very good), the bottles are huge and products work out as good value.

Jo Malone Juniper Skin Tonic, pounds 22 (500ml) pounds 9.50 (100ml)

Contains small amount of alcohol. A glorious dark-green liquid that looks almost like bubble bath. Soothing and wonderful to use.

Clarins Alpine Herb Toning Lotion without alcohol, pounds 10 (125ml)

Alcohol-free. Doesn't strip your skin off, which most toners do on Zoe's dry skin, but this one makes her feel fresh.

Superdrug Vitamin E soothing freshener, pounds 1.59 (150ml)

Contains alcohol and wheatgerm oil. Orange in colour. Highly recommended - gentle, nice smelling and unbelieveably priced.

Origins Tuning Solution if your skin acts confused, pounds 14.50 (150ml)

Minty fresh colour and long lasting. Smells good, very popular with tester and contains no alcohol.

Molton Brown Gentle Exfoliating Toner, pounds 15.50 (300ml)

Alcohol-free. Strong smell of citrus that some found off-putting but worked very well and left skin feeling "zingy".

L'Occitane Lavender Vinegar, pounds 9.95 (150ml)

Contains alcohol. Not for everyone, this is fairly strong stuff. But if your skin is particularly oily, it could be for you.

Next month: a men's special.

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