By Tara Adamson

There are not a lot of beauty products she hasn’t tried over the last 20 years. Tara Adamson is a self-confessed beauty addict and has spent two decades on a beauty quest to find the best the industry giants have to offer. She is fast becoming our beauty boffin as she seeks out the latest and greatest products out there.

Why not follow me on Twitter; @TaraYMB I’d be happy to answer any beauty related comments or questions you may have.

For me, cleansing is the most important part of your beauty regime. To have beautiful skin, you need the right cleansing routine; cleanse it properly every day and you have the perfect canvas for make-up application, and for moisturisers and serums to work effectively.

Aromatherapy Associates Soothing Cleansing Balm – Calming and Comforting – £36 for 100ml

yummymummybeauty rating 4.4

What they say; “A gentle yet effective balm to wipe away impurities and make-up, resulting in a clean, smooth and fresh complexion. A caring blend of Omega rich oils ensure that your skin is cleansed and hydrated, whilst German and Roman camomile leave your skin feeling calm and soothed.“

What we think; This thick, balm style cleanser contains omega oils, camomile, jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil and cactus stem extract among other lovelies to clean and smooth the skin and leave it hydrated and calmed; a perfect choice for the colder autumn and winter months as it’s so rich and nourishing.

It comes in an easy-to-squeeze tube with snap shut lid; my only bug bear with this cleanser is the muslin cloth it comes with. Seriously, it’s so incredibly small and thin (14cm x 17cm at a push) that I kind of wish they hadn’t bothered including it as I found it too small to be effective. Saying all that though, the product itself is a rich, buttery balm which smells of lovely natural essential oils; it needs to be warmed between the palms before being massaged onto dry skin on face and neck where it liquifies and gently, yet thoroughly removes make-up and dirt.

Again, wash off with warm water and a Washi! or decent sized muslin cloth. It did sting my eyes a little and didn’t quite manage to remove all my eye makeup, so I needed to use a dedicated eye makeup remover as well. This is a luxurious product (with a luxurious price-tag) but it is economical to use as you only need to use a small small dot each time you cleanse, so it does last a long time. From


Clarins Extra-Comfort Cleansing Cream – £25 for 200ml/£19 for 125ml

yummymummybeauty rating 4.8

What they say; “A rich creamy texture for skin in need of gentle cleansing care, permanently or as an occasional treatment. Based on plant extracts including Bio-Ecolia, a natural skin-balancing complex. Actions: removes make-up and impurities with ultra-gentle effectiveness. Leaves skin soft and supple. Ideal for dryness to restore soft, smooth skin and luminous radiance.“

What we think; Clarins’ Extra-Comfort Cleansing Cream comes in a very generous-sized plastic pot with a clear spatula so you won’t need to scoop the product out with your fingers, keeping everything nice and hygienic! This wash-off cleanser doesn’t actually come with a wash cloth, so I’d suggest you use a Washi! (see Tara’s treasures) or a muslin cloth. This peachy pale, Clarisonic friendly cleanser has a soft gel/cream type texture with a mild comforting smell, a little like cold cream; it contains skin soothing plant extracts and Bio Ecolia which helps to enhance the skins ideal moisture balance.

This cleanser gently and effectively removes make-up for a thorough cleanse; I occasionally found that a little mascara was left undissolved, but this was easily removed with a little Micellar water. This is the most beautifully gentle cleanser which feels dreamy soft and creamy to use. My skin was left feeling perfectly cleansed, soft, comforted and hydrated; it doesn’t sting the eyes or leave skin feeling horribly stripped, dry or taut. This cleansing cream was designed with very dry or sensitised skin in mind, however, I think it’s suitable for all skin skin types, even stressed or oily and it’s also good for skin all year round. The pot isn’t the most space-effective packaging for travelling, however you could easily decant some into a smaller pot. Move over Emma Hardie, this is now my new go-to cleanser! From


REN Rosa Centifolia No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm – £23 for 100ml

yummymummybeauty rating 4

What they say; “A rose-infused cleansing balm that gently yet thoroughly melts away dirt and make-up including waterproof mascara. Leaves skin purified, calm and glowing. Conditions the lashes and brows.“

What we think; This luxuriously rose-scented balm contains Bio Extracts of Roman Chamomile Oil and Pink Violet Leaf Extract to calm and soothe; Rose Oil to de-stress the skin, Prebiotic Oligosaccharides to protect and Lecithin to aid hydration. No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm contains no parabens, silicones, mineral oil, synthetic colours or fragrances.

Again, this cleanser comes in a tube with snap-shut lid and a good-sized muslin cloth. This is such a thick balm that I really struggled to squeeze it out of the tube; somewhat off-putting I felt and not one for the faint-hearted! Squeeze, if you can, a hazlenut-sized dot of balm into your hands, warm between palms and massage over a dry face and neck. Add a little warm water to emulsify into a light milky cleanser, then remove with the damp muslin cloth. This very thick, buttery balm left my skin feeling beautifully clean, soft and comfortable and smelling gorgeous; it was very effective at removing all makeup including stubborn mascara; however, I found it did sting my eyes a little but this soon passed. I’ve loved every REN product I’ve tried up, but sadly this one isn’t for me; I found it just too much of a struggle wrestling to get the balm out of the tube!  From


skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cleanser with Biospheric Complex – £22.50 for 150ml

yummymummybeauty rating 4.6

What they say; “Pure Cloud Cleanser is the ultimate cream cleanser for dry skin, removing dirt and makeup (even eye make-up!) so depleted skin emerges fresh and glowing. Formulated with pure Icelandic glacial waters to soften and hydrate skin, this intensely nourishing, cloud-like formula is packed with replenishing extracts and natural moisturizers. An all-natural muslin cloth (included) teams with our cleanser to gently massage skin and help increase circulation.“

What we think; skyn ICELAND ’s Pure Cloud Cleanser is a gentle creamy white cleanser with an softly whipped texture and a pleasant, light citrussy smell. It comes in an easy to squeeze tube with a snap shut lid and a small, thin muslin cloth. As with all the other cleansers I tried here, Pure Cloud Cleanser should be massaged onto dry skin then removed with a warm, damp cloth.

The mild formula of this cleanser enables it to gently remove all makeup including heavy mascara without stripping the skin and leaving it tight and dry; instead, skin is softened and soothed and left feeling fresh, clean and comfortable. This cleanser has a ‘Biospheric Complex’; a blend of ingredients contained in all skyn ICELAND products which claims to replenish the elements that stress removes from your skin – water, oxygen and vital nutrients. Free from parabens, petroleum, mineral oil, phthalates, synthetic colouring and fragrances, this gentle cleanser is perfect for very dry or sensitive skin; it will not irritate or dry your complexion but leave it calmed, hydrated and nourished. From