I don’t hold back when it comes to telling people about my love of flannels. They’ve made a comeback, thanks in part to the popularity of ‘hot cloth cleansers’: creamy or balmy cleansers that are applied, then removed by an exfoliating massage with an accompanying cloth.
What’s not to love? The cleansers are usually rich and unctuous (you don’t get the same effect otherwise) and the cloth part makes your skin feel super clean and look glowing. No wonder our washing lines look like Liz Earle came to stay. But it’s not just Liz who knows her hot cloths: here are my current top five.
First up is from the wonderful Irish seaweed brand Voya. Totally Balmy (£38) is made with algae extracts from the Atlantic coast of Ireland. But don’t worry, there’s nothing fishy about this, as it’s blended with ylang ylang, bergamot, sweet almond and rose oils. Your skin feels super clean and the smell is gorgeously posh.
Organic Surge is celebrating its 10th anniversary and as I’m a fan of its purse friendly, high quality stuff, I’m joining in – with this limited edition travel-friendly size of its award-winning Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser (£9.50). You can really smell the rose damask, which doesn’t just remind me of Turkish Delight, it calms and hydrates. Perfect for your Christmas holiday wash bag.
Excitingly, one of my all-time brand crushes, Angela Langford, has just rebranded and launched a new website. My hot cloth pick from her is Clean Sweep (£24.50), a smoothing balm cleanser with chamomile, apricot and almond. I use this when my skin is needing some real TLC as it’s pretty rich, but it always gives me a serious glow, and smells gorgeous.
From REN is Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser (£16), which has a base of cocoa seed butter and rosa damascena flower water. This is a great skin decongester, perfect for the party season. I love the way it seems to deep cleanse but never leaves your skin with that horrible tight feeling.
New brand alert: Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleansing Treatment (£32 from QVC) is a deep cleanser designed to hydrate and exfoliate while removing make-up and grime. I love a bit of argan oil and this one also scores top marks for the cloth – no flimsy tea-towel material here: a chunky flannel with one rough and one smooth surface. Nice work.