Cleanser is arguably the least sexy area of the skincare world. Serums are where the fancy ingredients are paraded; moisturisers are the steadfast lovers we remain eternally loyal to. Cleansers, on the other hand, are merely functional entities, our admiration for which is as fleeting as their time spent on our faces. The thing is, though, that I believe cleansers are actually so much more than a means to a cleaner end.
Two reasons: Firstly, cleansing is undoubtedly the most satisfying step of your entire skincare regimen, bar the peeling back of Dr. Dennis Gross's rubberized mask, of course. (All that melty, creamy, massage-y goodness!) Secondly, when picked right, cleansers won't just take away all the crap the day has thrown at it, but they'll add a little something-something back in, too, like the hydration of a nut oil or the strength of a lingering ceramide. In fact, the most conscientious of cleansers have a legacy that lasts far longer than we give them credit for.
And Kate Somerville's new Cold Cream is one of those rare specimens. Yes, it's based on that thick, heavy-duty cream that sat atop your grandma's dressing table—and like the dressing table itself, it's been branded old-fashioned. But I have a pretty good feeling that Kate Somerville's cleansing formula is about to pull cold cream back out of antiquity.
Proving that cleansing can be an enjoyable pursuit, Kate Somerville's Cold Cream is decadently unctuous and buttery, with that sort of texture that makes you want to dip your fingers into the pot and pull out a hefty handful. (Although you actually only need a nugget the size of a lump of gnocchi to remove a full face of foundation, as well as substantial eye makeup.)
The buttery texture of the product in the pot translates to greasiness on the face, so you might hate it if you're afraid to go anywhere near your oily complexion with oily products. But the greasiness isn't stubborn, and it washes away with the swipe of a wash cloth. My combination skin adores it.
What I really love about this cleanser, however, is how it performs long after the day's grime has swirled down the bathroom sink. It leaves behind a trace of honey that practically glazes the complexion (without stickiness, of course), as well as the lingering scent of jasmine, rose and daisy.
Shop more of my favourite nourishing cleansers below
On contact with water, La Mer's cleanser turns into a lightweight milk that washes off without an inch of bother. And it contains salts to recalibrate the mineral balance of the skin.
Elemis's balm is so thick and heavy—it's brilliant for performing a face massage with.
The same texture as coconut oil, Clinique's cleansing balm really does melt away an entire face of makeup.
As well as cleansing, Votary's oil plies skin with plenty of nourishing seed oils.
You'd be hard-pushed to find a more enjoyable cleansing experience than Tata Harper's cleansing oil. Just try not to use handfuls of it at a time like I seem to do.