There are a couple of things in life I am obsessed with when it comes to skincare/make-up:
anti-aging and the relentless quest for glowing, flawless skin.
Anything with the words "glowing", "bright", "illuminating", etc, etc, on the packaging and i'm likely to snaffle it up before you can say complexion perfection!
So therefore whilst in Boots a little while back, I was searching for a new cleanser, and, armed with a £5-off voucher, I decided to plump for the No7 Age Defense Cleansing Balm:
If you're like me, you might tend to associate the No7 range (as opposed to the other "younger" Boots ranges, such as 17, Botanics etc), as a bit "mumsy" and targeted towards the, ahem, older lady, but they do have some genuinely fab products/ranges, most recently the No7 collaboration with lipstick queen (if you pardon the pun) Poppy King.
Their products, as with all the Boots-own ranges, are not tested on animals (they claim no animal testing of any kind is undertaken or commissioned by the Boots company or subsidiuary businesses), although Animal Aid have found that the company doe not have a FCOD (Fixed Cut Off Date - i.e. a date that they promise/guarantee to be totally cruelty-free) and could possibly be using ingredients which have been tested on animals by others.
Thumbs down in that aspect!
I had previously tried the No7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser (there have been quite a few comparisons to the Liz Earle cleanse and polish) and quite liked it, but decided to give this one a go instead - all in the name of research of course!
Priced at an RRP of £8.75 for a rather generous 200ml, I got mine for a mere £3.75 using my £5-off voucher.
Blurb on the box:
Specially formulated to revive dull, lifeless skin, this rich, indulgent cleanser removes all trace of make-up. With a unique antioxident complex to support your anti-aging skincare regime, regular use will improve skin texture, and reveal radiant, more healthy looking skin.
Contains natural AHAs to purify and brighten skin and gently exfoliate, perfectly preparing your skin for your ant-ageing skincare regime.
I was quite confused when I got some of the product out on my first use, as to me a "balm" is something quite thick and rich in consistency, not dissimilar to vaseline, for example, in texture.
This cleanser however, as you can see, is more of a thinner, cream consistency:
The box instructs you to massage a small amount over your skin and wipe off or wash away with warm water. I am a complete muslin/face cloth cleanser convert, so there was never going to be any tissue/cotton wool wiping for me! Unlike the infamous Cleanse and Polish, you cannot use this on the eyes, which does mean the additional step of having to use eye make-up remover first, and I feel that, even using four or five pumps of the product, it's a bit too light and wouldn't remove all traces of make-up and leave my skin entirely clean. It also has a tendancy to sink into the skin really quite quickly.
What I have found, however, is that if I remove my make-up with a seperate cleanser first (my budget solution at the moment is good old olive oil!), then massage this cleanser into my still-damp skin and remove using a muslin cloth, it's quite a nice "experience" (can you have pleasant cleansing experiences?!) and does leave my skin feeling really clean and not at all dry.
I can't really say i've noticed any difference in terms of reducing pore size or overall skin texture, and I am still getting patches of redness (around my nose, for example), but it's a nice, non-offensive cleanser which hasn't aggrevated my skin, and is worth a shot if you've got a spare No7 £5-off voucher to spare!
Have you tried any No7 products that you would (or wouldn't!) recommend?