I gave the cleanser a try out of curiosity before I intended to pass it on to someone more adolescent than myself, but I think I'm gonna keep her. It's really quite complex, so I'll try my best to explain.
|Essence MySkin 4in1 Cleansing Cream, R30|
It's labelled as a cleansing cream, but that's not quite right. It's also not a milk or a gel. Texture-wise, it's somewhere between a jelly and a soft clay. It gives a squeaky-clean feeling, but with zero of the tightness I associate with squeaky-clean cleansers - the tight, stripped feeling is why I am so picky about which cleansers I use. It rinses off easily, and the only down side I can find is the granules in the product. Aside from the fact that I prefer not to use granules on my skin at all, this also means that you can't use the product over or close to your too-delicate eye area. Luckily it wins redeeming points for being a dual function product: you can also leave it on for a couple of minutes to act as a deep cleansing mask.
|The jelly-clay texture|
When I had a look at the ingredients, things made sense. The base ingredients are all familiar to me from beauty college mask mixing 101 - Kaolin, Bentonite and Glycerin form the base. The first two ingredients are clays that absorb oil and impurities, and the latter is a humectant, which attracts moisture to the skin. Other noteworthy ingredients* are Pomegranate (anti oxidant), Bamboo Shoot extract (anti inflammatory), Jojoba esters and Lactic acid. These will probably only benefit you when you're using it as a mask, as I doubt the 30 seconds it takes you to wash your face will give them much time to act effectively.
Essence products are available from Clicks and DisChem stores.
*Triple bonus points to Essence Cosmetics for having fair amounts of the featured ingredients - they're listed just after the base ingredients. Too often the 'star' ingredients (pomegranate and bamboo in this case) are listed close to dead last on the ingredient list. This scam is called label-claim ingredients, and unfortunately it's legal. To check if the wool is being pulled over your eyes, skim through the ingredient list of your product. If the product is called "Face cream with Collagen', but 'Collagen' is listed after things like 'fragrance', parabens and other preservatives - you've been had. If it's one of the last five ingredients listed, step away. Depending on how complex the formula is, and how many ingredients are used in the product, I would go as far as disregarding the last 10 ingredients in a conventional off-the shelf cosmetic product with 30+ ingredients. This is not a hard and fast rule, as some ingredients are only required in minute quantities to be effective, but it is something to consider - when shopping for products, don't be mollified by a label claim.