Welcome to the If I Could Only Buy One series, in which I give myself a week-long headache trying to decide on my absolute favourite beauty product from a given category. This quest has been for the best luxury cleanser. Disclaimer: Ooph, this If I Could Only Buy One series is a risk, isnt it? Firstly, its almost impossible to choose a singular favourite from a given category, even if its a category with very little competition. My decision-making process feels marred by the thought of all of my other favourites being left out in the cold if I dont mention them then do they even exist? And what if I like three things equally? How does one ever choose?
The second big problem with this series is time: favourites change. Do I keep on coming back to update? Or do I leave the original post and then make a new one with the successor? Its all very complicated and I feel as though I could be updating and adding to it until Im seventy, when nobody is even still reading blogs and instead experiencing life through their VR headsets. Wholl need beauty then? Nobody will leave the house! Food will be in a supplement shake that you drink through a tube connected to the VR headset and sex will be with robots.
But its supposed to be fun, so lets keep it light. There are thousands of products I love and that Id buy over and over again so if somethings not mentioned it doesnt mean Ive changed my mind about it, it just wouldnt be in the spirit of the game if I then included a load of caveats. (I have actually added a cheaters list to the bottom of the page with a few alternative options. I mean it is, quite literally, cheating at my own game, but I found it impossible to pick without knowing I could leave it there!)
We kick off this series with the one best luxury cleanser Id buy if I could only buy one luxury cleanser for the rest of my life. Many of you will have guessed at the brand for this one, but perhaps not the specific product, so prepare to be mildly surprised.
A winning luxury cleanser, in my opinion, needs to be silky and wonderful to massage in, but easy to remove with no waxy or greasy residue. I want it to have the most glorious smell a smell that transports me to far-flung and exotic places, and this smell should be heady and of nature rather than something that smells a bit like posh aftershave. The texture should be a joy a rich balm would be the obvious choice here but Id also like it to be a cleanser thats not too faffy to use.
The obvious choice would be Emma Hardies Moringa Balm*, written about extensively here and here over the years, but Im going to turn the tables and blow your minds and actually go for the Moringa Light Cleansing Gel*. Read my full review of the Moringa Light Cleansing Gel
And Ill tell you why. (This was a tough call.) Firstly, the pump-action packing is more convenient than a pot. Secondly I feel as though this is the sort of cleanser youd use for a quick cleanse as well as a more lengthy, sit-in-a-warm-bath sort of cleanse and thirdly, I actually think that the gel texture is utterly beautiful and weirdly slightly more hydrating than the balm. Its also suitable for all skin types whereas I think oilier people might balk at the idea of the richer balm and slightly more cost effective, because I find I pump out less product from the bottle than Id scoop from the pot. So same unbelievably lovely scent, same cleansing prowess, but a little more convenient to use.
The Cheaters List
Because I couldnt do this one thing decision without namedropping some others:
For a silky balm cleanse with utterly gorgeous Rose scent, the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £44 for 100ml here*.
The best-smelling balm cleanser in the world, dont @ me, but its incredibly pricey and so more of a treat, Darphins Aromatic Cleansing Balm, £35 for 40ml at SpaceNK here*.
The second best-smelling cleanser in the world and absolutely magical before bedtime also great for oily/combination skin if you fret about using rich balms Neals Yard Remedies Frankincense Cleanser, £21 here*.
Read my Best Tinted Moisturiser If I Could Only Buy One post.