I finally bought Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser (£8.99 for 100ml) in Boots, which I've been itching to try because of how similar the major ingredients are to Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (read my review here). Liz, you know I love Cleanse & Polish, but it's not very convenient get hold of sometimes!
I use this Soap & Glory hot cloth cleanser in the same way as any other hot cloth cleanser... I massage a blob over my face for a minute or two, concentrating on areas more prone to congestion, and then wipe or massage it all off with a warm, damp muslin cloth (a decent one is included in the pack). I finish by rinsing with warm water.
This cleanser smells like a Neal's Yard store... an aromatic whiff of lavender, orange and clary essential oils. Very pleasant indeed, not at all syrupy and artificial like most Soap & Glory products.
The texture of this cleanser is creamy and silky (compared to the matte cream you get with Liz Earle). It has a nice slip to it and doesn't dry out on the face too quickly (good for longer massage time).
I always remove my make-up and superficial dirt with a Boots No7 face wipe before deep-cleansing with hot cloth cleansers, but I find that hot cloth cleansers are great for removing make-up too if you prefer a simpler cleansing routine. All those oils are great for melting off make-up - even mascara.
Compared to Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, the Soap & Glory cleanser seems to leave my skin softer. This is either because the Soap & Glory formula doesn't rinse off as cleanly as Cleanse & Polish, or because Cleanse & Polish is very slightly more drying (perhaps the eucalyptus oil?).
None of the above is a criticism of either brand - both products leave my skin feeling amazingly clean and soft, but I would say Soap & Glory is a little more moisturising and softening for dehydrated skins, and those with normal to oily skins will probably prefer the totally stark naked skin feeling that Liz Earle achieves.
As my skin is quite dry, I'm going to be reaching more for Soap & Glory Hot Cloth Cleanser - it honestly makes my skin feel like a baby's butt cheeks!
However, to help you decide which product is right for you, here is a summary of each product:
Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser
Slightly cheaper, easier to get hold of (most Boots stores), more softening, smells of orange and lavender oils, studenty packaging that will clash with everything in any nice grown-up's bathroom.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
A bit more expensive, difficult to get hold of (only John Lewis, Liz Earle stores etc), leaves the skin feeling very clean and decongested, smells of eucalyptus oil which people will love or hate, spa-like packaging that makes you feel like a posh old lady (ah, my dream).
The full ingredients of Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser are:
Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Sorbitan Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Synthetic Beeswax, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylparaben.
Suspiciously similar to Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish right? It's clearly a copycat of a cult product, but I have to say Soap & Glory have done a brilliant job of creating their own version of an already great product.
Some other hot cloth cleansers on the high street are the Sanctuary Perfectly Polished Hot Cloth Cleanser which I reviewed here, and Boots No7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser which I haven't bothered to try because it doesn't contain any nice, smelly essential oils like the others (which is probably why it's the cheapest of the bunch at £8.75 for 200ml).
If you still haven't tried a hot cloth cleanser, I beg you to try it just once, no matter what skin type you have. Contrary to common belief, hot cloth cleansers are great for deep cleaning and decongesting even oily skin. I've managed to "turn" a lot of my sceptical friends round to the idea of hot cloth cleansing and they're raving advocates now too.