Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I'm a long-time fan of Vichy's mostly excellent Normaderm range for problematic adult skin, but I'll be honest: I didn't expect much from this latest addition to the line-up when it arrived to me for trial last week. Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser is billed as a do-it-all make-up remover/cream cleanser/exfoliant/mask/personal chef, and while I get on like an oil refinery on fire with pretty much everything else in the Normaderm range, the cleansers have always left me a bit cold.
I found the Gentle Cleansing Gel Cream and Micellar Solution refreshing but about as useful as a pair of shoes for removing make-up, while the Cleansing Gel was too strong to actually use on my face. (It would probably have been great for cleaning a grimy bath if you'd run out of Clinique Clarifying Lotion, the Cillit Bang of the skincare world.)
Anyway, I've been faithfully using this new 3 in 1 Normaderm Cleanser + Scrub + Mask jobbie since it landed, reckoning that the key ingredients of soothing Vichy Thermal Spa Water, kaolin (to increase localised circulation and fight imperfections), salicylic acid (an anti-inflammatory to minimise the look of pores and soothe skin), and 25% purifying clay (to stimulate circulation and draw toxins and superfluous oil from skin) could hardly do my imperfection-prone face any harm.
It has absolutely surpassed my (admittedly very low) expectations and then some - it's currently vying for position as my favourite new bit of skincare kit. Here's the lowdown on how it performs...
As a cleanser
Formulated without parabens, soap, or alcohol, I'm not sure how well it would cut through soap scum in the tub but used on a damp face and wiped off with a wet cloth, this knocks the Emma Hardie cleanser I had been using into a cocked shower cap. It removes daily impurities and even my going out, nighttime make-up with ease while simultaneously reducing excessive sebum production. One application is all that's needed for skin to feel deeply cleansed and pass the white facecloth/cotton wool test afterwards, and it leaves my mush feeling clear and fresh but not stripped.
I've been using it twice a day with no adverse effects to date, and it's definitely helped my ginormous-in-the-heat pores look less crater-like in the sticky London tropics.
As a scrub
The minute exfoliating blue microbeads in the pale green cream can be massaged into skin for use as a weekly exfoliant, helping to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells.
I'm not sure that I'll be giving up my Origins Modern Friction addiction for this third of the 3 in 1 triumvirate, but it'll be my go-to substitute on holidays or when my Origins stocks run low.
As a mask
Apply a thin layer to skin, enjoy looking like The Creature From The Pale Green Lagoon while it dries for 5 minutes, then remove with warm water to look like your lovely self again, mattify skin, and promote a clearer complexion.
Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser + Scrub + Mask is suitable for sensitive imperfection-prone skin and is now available at pharmacies. RRP £11 / €13.25