Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Review: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

Disclosure - this is a PR sample. We were sent a range of items from this line.

Gemma didn't get on with the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser when she tried it in the past (due to breakouts). So it fell to me to assume testing duties for the Liz Earle range when we were sent a batch of goodies a month or two back.

My first impression was excellent, due to the care with which the items were packaged and the amount of information we were given to support our review. Obviously this is a marketing/PR rather than a retail experience, but if regular customer service is at a similar level, buyers can expect very lovingly-wrapped packages. (EDIT - I've been informed that the packages for customers and reviewers are made up by the same people, so you will get the same 5* treatment we did. )

Cleanse and Polish has been frequently compared to Eve Lom's famous balm-like cleanser. There are several botanical extracts common to both, including eucalyptus, chamomile and hops. But in terms of the finished products, they're pretty different. The fact that they both involve using a muslin cloth for removal is the main similarity. (And both are cleansers, but as we know, there's a world o' cleansing options out there from soap to scrubs.)

Instead, the product on my shelf I'd be most inclined to compare this to is Ponds Cold Cream (which I really like). Both are opaque, white creamy products that are applied liberally all over the face including the eyes, massaged on and then removed with a wet cloth/flannel.

Liz Earle's cleanser has a lighter texture than Ponds, and more botanical ingredients. It's also free of mineral oil, which a lot of people choose to avoid (and which is a major component of the Ponds). It's more expensive, but then so are the ingredients.

So far so good. The packaging of the Cleanse and Polish (and Liz Earle's brand in general) is dominated by a pale mint green colour, which is reflected in the colour on the edge of the muslin cloth (two are supplied with the 100ml C&P starter kit, £13). The tubular bottle has a great pump dispenser, which hygenically releases a suitable amount of product at the press of a button. Ergonomic packaging seems to be a strength for Liz Earle, e.g. the fantastic twist-top bottle of the accompanying toner (Instant Boost Skin Tonic).

Eucalyptus is definitely in the ascendancy with C&P. When I came to apply the product for the first time I was quite taken aback by how strongly mentholated it smelled. It's a testament to this brand's reputation that I was actually prepared to put something that smells like Tiger Balm or Olbas Oil on my EYELIDS.

Needless to say it has no negative mentholy effects on delicate tissues (otherwise you'd have heard about it much earlier in the review!) but it does smell quite strongly, which may affect the experience for some people.

As with Eve Lom's cleanser, the hot cloth removal process is very satisfying and leaves the skin with a very fresh, cleansed feeling. The additional step of the Instant Boost toner is a welcome one and makes the clean feeling even better, but I'd be happy to use the C&P alone as I think the muslin cloth step is enough if done thoroughly.

I had no trouble with breakouts using C&P over a few weeks, and it did remove makeup very effectively also. I wouldn't repurchase, however, as the scent of eucalyptus is way too strong for my taste, but if you like that kind of smell, I recommend trying this, especially as it won't break the bank at £11.50 for 100ml.

You can buy Liz Earle direct at lizearle.com or via QVC. It's also available in branches of John Lewis and at the Liz Earle London and Isle of Wight stores.


  1. Have you used the No 7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser? I've just started trying that and really like it, just wondering how they'd compare and whether it'd be worth spending a bit more on the Liz Earle?

  2. I haven't tried it, but I am aware of its existence. It's £5 voucher season so I may well indulge! Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. I love Cleanse & Polish! I've been using it since Jan. I keep recommending it to all my friends. I personally love the eucalyptus smell! It adds to the "decongesting" experience.

  4. I started using C&P about 10 years ago (purchased via QVC) and was an avid fan throughout my teenage years. These days however I do find it to be slightly too heavy for my skin to use on a daily basis. I am a huge Instant Boost Skin Tonic fan though!


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