To say that I’m enamoured with rich, oily cleansers would be an understatement. Not only are they great for aiding in an indulgent facial massage, they’re absolutely ace at removing all traces of makeup, sunscreen; and, of course, cleaning the skin beautifully. Nothing works like an oil or balm does, and nothing feels as luxurious, that’s for damn sure—all boxes ticked. I can’t count how many cleansing balms and cleansing oils I’ve used over the years (not enough fingers and toes for that, I’m afraid), but out of all of them, the one that I’m about to introduce you to is several cuts above the rest. It’s so good that it’s deserving of the very first spot in my Hall of Fame. [*Are we surprised that the first product here would be a cleanser? I’m so predictable!] Enter: Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse. Ultimate Cleanse (believe me when I say this: the name is not a joke) was created by the genius Sarah Chapman, London’s most sought-after facialist. Sarah’s Skinesis—pronounced skin-ee-siss—Clinic in Chelsea is beloved by A-list celebrities and beauty editors who swear by her skin-transforming facials. Brief pause while I daydream! Sarah Chapman is a woman after my heart when it comes to overall skincare philosophy, high-performance ingredients, application technique, botanicals, and aromatherapy.
WHAT IT IS: An aromatic soufflé-textured cleansing balm housed in a gorgeous airtight pump package. Scented with camphor, neroli, chamomile, jasmine, and rose, this cleansing balm is the height of luxury, and is brilliant at cleansing away dirt, pollution, makeup, and sunscreen.
WHAT THE BOX SAYS: This intelligent aromatic infusion melts into pores, lifts out impurities and removes eye makeup, transforming into a milk for swift removal leaving clean, glowing skin. Omega-rich baobab and borage oils blend with a powerful dose of Dermaxyl peptide and antioxidant vitamins A and E. This potent combination deeply cleans, softens, and brightens, gently exfoliating to help prevent pore clogging.
HOW TO USE: I take a marble-sized blob of the balm (around a pump and a half), warm it between my hands, and work it over my face. My facial massage is a bit different than what I’ve observed others do, but it’s actually very similar to what Sarah Chapman does. Here is a video of Sarah Chapman using Ultimate Cleanse on her own face: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b94BKygNMxs – As you can see, her massage contains a lot of “knuckling”, and that’s my preferred method of working in an oil or balm cleanser—it’s all knuckles, upward flicking, or pinpoint pressure using only one or two fingers in targeted areas. Pressure is the key here—you want to give your face a good hammering. I hate seeing massage done in wimpy strokey circles. That doesn’t do anything but move the cleanser around the surface of your face. When you’re using oils and balms you really want to drive them into the skin to dislodge clogs, lift off dead skin, remove grime and gunk, and get your skin cleaner than it’s ever been. You can use Ultimate Cleanse for a pre-cleanse, a second cleanse, or a morning cleanse. I’ve used it at all three stages, but prefer it as a second cleanse. You can also leave it on for 30 minutes as a luxurious hydrating mask. Ultimate Cleanse should be removed using hot water a washcloth. Standard. Soak the cloth in hot water, wring out the excess, and remove the cleanser thoroughly. This movement will also exfoliate and soften the skin, allowing for better penetration of your treatment products. Finish with a final rinse of warm water. Sarah Chapman also sells lovely cleansing mitts that work great with Ultimate Cleanse—they have a terrycloth side and a microfibre side. The mitts also have sponge padding on the inside, which keeps them piping hot while doing your cleanse.
IT’S IN THE HALL OF FAME BECAUSE: The scent, the texture, the packaging, the results, and the overall experience… everything about Ultimate Cleanse is what I look for in a product deserving to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. I discovered Ultimate Cleanse when I purchased a Sarah Chapman discovery set from FeelUnique. Truthfully, I was blown away by all of the products I used from that set, but given my love for cleansing the skin, Ultimate Cleanse really stood out to me. It was a match made in heaven. I knew after the first time I used it. After doing a final rinse and patting my face dry, my skin was as soft as a plush bunny rabbit, was clear as glass, and felt properly hydrated and bouncy. When the sample from the discovery set ran out, I went back to FeelUnique to purchase the full size (at the time of this post, the 100 mL full size product is £40) without hesitation. It’s not cheap, but that’s when you know the product is good, because you’re willing to pay whatever you need to get the product back in your life. I guess the only downside of it being on the pricey side is it doesn’t come with a cloth like so many other similarly-priced cleansing balms (Elemis, Eve Lom…) do. At this price point it would be nice if one of Sarah’s awesome cleansing mitts was included in the box! That’s just a minor detail, though. If you’re a cleansing balm fanatic like I am, you need to try this. I know you will love it as much as I do. The INCI list alone (see below) will have you drooling.
INGREDIENTS: Isopropyl palmitate, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, PEG-20 glyceryl tri-isosterate, Cetyl ethylhexanoate, Sorbitan oleate, PEG-10 laurate, Hydrogenated castor oil, sweet almond oil, Ceteareth-6 olivate, Beeswax, Decyl glucoside, Jojoba seed oil, Crambe seed oil, Meadowfoam seed oil, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, Stearalkonium hectorite, Water, Camphor bark oil, Eucalyptus leaf oil, Limonene, Bergamot fruit oil, Propylene carbonate, Tribehenin, Ethanol, Ubiquinone, Tocopheryl acetate, Cedarwood oil, Lavender oil, Ceramide 2, PEG-10 phytosterol, Baobab seed oil, Borage seed oil, Rosehip fruit oil, Madonna lily bulb extract, Glycerin, Retinyl palmitate, Palmitoyl hexapeptide-12, Linalool, Bitter orange leaf/twig oil, Lemon peel oil, Mandarin orange peel oil, Myrtle oil, Roman chamomile flower oil, Myrocarpus oil, Jurema-preta bark extract, Ylang-ylang flower oil, Jasmine flower/leaf extract, Damask rose flower oil