Thursday, 21 June 2012

REVIEW: Boots Botanics Relaunch: 97% Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm

I'm back. Had a long blogging hiatus, life has been somewhat complicated as of late. However, I saw these beauty gems and I just HAD to blog about them! It seems I'm an early bird on this Boots Botanics relaunch, as I can't find much information on it on beauty blogs, and there doesn't appear to be a peep about it on the Boots website.

The Boots Botanics range launched in 1995 to "fill a gap in the market" and combine the power of science with the power of plants. The brand has seen numerous rebranding and relaunches, starting off with simple skincare and adding haircare, bathing, cosmetics and a men's range over the years.

This latest relaunch, due on July 11th, sees the packaging revamped, old products tarted up and new products introduced, as well as dividing the range into various skin types. The new categories are:

  • Radiant Youth Skincare - a protective, anti-ageing range with lovely gingko.
  • All Bright Skincare - a range with hibiscus to brighten and revitalise.
  • Ultra Calm Skincare - a marshmallow-based range to soothe irritable skin types.
  • Shine Away Skincare - for oily, acne-prone types (like poor moi) with willowbark to clarify.
  • Organic Skincare - suitable for all skin types, with certified natural and organic ingredients.
The range is developed with help from Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, who certify all the natural and organic ingredients, so you know that when it says it's natural, it means it's natural!
I am not going to lie, I have seriously neglected this range. Anyone who knows about my Lush addiction (in recovery now, thank you) will testify that I adore natural skincare, but for some reason I let this range pass me by. It's not some super expensive, celebrity endorsed, ultra-scientific cure-all like the sort of products I usually go for. It's a simple, reasonably priced drugstore brand. PAH! That's never going to sort out my ill-behaved skin! Or so I thought...

I ventured into Boots to buy my usual toner (Eucerin Dermo Purifyer) as it had run out, and the Tesco Skin Wisdom I had bought on a whim was, quite frankly, heinous. (Whoever thought hydrogenated castor oil was a good ingredient for a toner needs to be strung up by the gonads, my skin went mental!) I saw the last of the old Botanics products on the shelves alongside the new range and clocked the Organic Rosewater Toner, a snip at about £4, a good fiver less than the one I'd been after.

When I saw the whole range was on 3 for 2 offer, the deal was sealed. To go with my toner, I got a day cream and a night cream. I went back two days later to pick up a hot cloth cleanser, and clay mask and a face wash (from the old range, so I won't be reviewing that.)

97% Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm

In it's previous incarnation, before the relaunch, this product was hailed as a Holy Grail. Compared by many to prestigious cleansers such as Liz Earle and Eve Lom, this is a melt-on-your-fingertips, gentle, organic balm that easily removes stubborn make-up and dissolves oil and impurities deep within the pores.

How Do You Use It?
Simply melt a little blob of this balm between your fingertips, and massage into skin. It's safe to use around the eye area, but avoid getting it into your peepers, it will smart! Once you've given your mush a good massage, run the muslin cloth provided under hot (but not too hot) water and press against your skin to open the pores and lift impurities. Then remove the cleanser by rubbing gently in a circular motion with the cloth. Oily skin types might find that it leaves a slight residue on the skin, so I usually follow up with a gentle face wash, but normal/dry types might actually find this to be a benefit.

Is It Working?
I must admit, whilst this product is a pleasure to use, I find it very similar to Lush's Ultrabland Cleanser. The texture is very similar, although this one doesn't feel as creamy or grainy and Ultrabland, and it smells nicer. (Mr Kawaii once told me that Ultrabland made my face smell like mould. Passion killer.) I think the Botanics cleanser also had a higher percentage of organic ingredients, which is always a plus. The muslin cloth has evolved from a tiny, waxy scrap that seemed to be the only dislike by reviewers, into a large, soft cloth that works well and is a pleasure to use. I've certainly had no breakouts after using this product for a few days, not even a purging period. My pores seem clearer around my nose and cheeks, but no luck as of yet on the chin. My skin is soft, and seems quite even and clear. I'm going to keep using this as a make-up remover and see how I get on. It's dearer than the Lush version, but you do get the lovely cloth with it, and the olive, rosehip and jojoba  oils combined with shea butter leave my skin feeling nourished, rather than stripped like some cleansers.

How Much, And Where From?
£8.99, online at and in selected stores.

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