When my face is thoroughly cleansed I feel good, it’s a bit like having freshly washed hair, and you can tell straightaway whether a product is good or not. I decided to try the Elemis Gentle Foaming Face Wash after my disappointing experience with their latest Superfood Facial Wash (see my review). A cleanser needs to cleanse the skin, leaving it clean, and without any tightness or dry patches, so you can tell right away if it’s done its job. Serums and creams take longer to test, usually a couple of weeks and ideally a month to see and feel a true difference, but with cleansers you can test in a matter of minutes, and know if you’ve had a reaction or if it just well, didn’t clean your face.
The product is suitable for all skin types including those with sensitive skin, and can be used morning and at night.
Rating and verdict
I’m not sure whether I’ve had a bad batch of cleansers from Elemis, but again I was disappointed. Unlike other foaming cleansers where you squeeze the product into the palm of your hand and add water to create a lather, Elemis advise you to apply the product directly to a dry face and then add water to create a rich lather. I tried both ways and barely got anything near the lather depicted on the website. I think the photo is very misleading because even if you use a very generous amount of product and hot water, it will never create that effect, and I tried vigorously several times.
I wrongly assumed this was concentrated (as it’s a high end premium product) and used one squeeze, which didn’t produce any lather. I then tried double the amount and got some lather, but it was weak and not rich or creamy, plus I really had to work at it to make it lather. I read a review on the Elemis website where someone said you only need to use a small amount, well, that’s not quite true unless I have a faulty product.
The cleanser did cleanse well in comparison with the Superfoods Facial Wash, and didn’t leave the skin tight or dry, but I had to use a lot of product. I have normal to combination skin, and as a former beauty therapist I know how much cleanser you should be using.
The cleanser costs £28 for 150ml or £6.50 for a 30ml travel size, and to be honest I don’t think this is a good value product. I’m quite frugal with my cleansers (even though I have a stash) and expect them to last a long time, because they are on and off within minutes.
I tested this for three days (morning and night) and have used 1/5 of the tube already (30ml). My other cleansers that are 125 ml tubes usually last me at least 4 months, but by my calculations a 150 ml tube of Elemis Gentle Face Wash would last me about 10-12 weeks in comparison, and at £28 that’s expensive.
Comparable products are Shiseido IBUKI Gentle Cleanser (125ml for £30) that foams up with a tiny pea amount, and a 30ml tube lasted me nearly 6 weeks, and Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi Foam Cleanser (150ml for £24), which again only needs a small amount (one squeeze or even half) and it creates a rich foam that cleanses without leaving the skin dry. The Elemis Pro Collegen Cleansing Balm and Nourishing Omega Rich Cleansing Oil outperform this product massively, so I would recommend those instead for performance and value for money.