Skin Solutions: Step 1 – Cleanse

Good Morning everyone! I wanted to introduce to you today a new series of posts we will be doing here at Florence Finds, from a not so new face! Some of you might remember Penny from her music series when FF was a little more active (In fact I’ve known her since the Rock My Wedding Days!) and she recently started a skincare Instagram. I didnt know about her personal skincare mission but she has been dedicating some serious time to sorting her own skin out and in doing so has become quite the guru. I’ve already switched up some of my routine on her advice (clueless newbie over here!) and the good news is she going to be sharing it with you guys on a semi-regular basis here! In between you can catch her on Insta @BrazFace

A post shared by Penny (@brazface) on

Step one: Cleanse

I have always thought my skin type was oily/spot-prone, so it came as a bit of a Scooby-Doo head-tilt moment when a beautician told me that my skin was, in fact, enormously dehydrated. It had become sensitised thanks to the procession of harsh, spot-fighting (some of them GP prescribed) face washes and treatments I had been putting on my hormonal-acne-addled skin. These products occasionally gave me short-term results, but long-term they had been making my problems worse.

I started investigating gentle, more balancing cleansers, triggering a skincare obsession that’s still going strong. My first cleansing oil (from Sanctuary, details below) had such an immediate impact on my poor, neglected skin that I was hooked. My under the skin, cystic spots reduced hugely, and my complexion started to look smoother and more even.

The discovery of double cleansing came next; two cleanses in the evening, first to remove makeup and second to wash the skin beneath. The concept has been around for a long while now and I came late to the party – entirely because I am lazy and the thought of so much as hot cloth cleansing every night sounded like a massive hassle. These days however, I am converted. This more involved routine has yielded such good results that I weirdly enjoy doing it. It’s virtually meditative – plus a good excuse to lock the bathroom door for a bit of peace.

These days I am constantly switching my favourite cleansers in and out of my ever-changing routine and I’m always on the lookout for new things to try. Here are just some of my personal picks (particularly for problem skin like mine), I would love to hear about yours in the comments…

Sanctuary Ultimate Cleansing Oil, £12.
Beautifully easy to use, feels luxuriously hydrating but still gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Superfacialist Vitamin C Skin Renew Cleansing Oil, £10.99.
Cheerfully brightening and invigorating with a seriously citrusy fragrance. A good starter cleansing oil.

Coconut oil, £5 – £8, from any large supermarket or health food shop.
This one may seem unorthodox, but bear with me…I whipped a jar of coconut oil out of the kitchen cupboard and started using it as a pre-cleanse when I ran out of cleanser one time. My skin was being particularly bothersome and reacting to everything. You know what? It calmed my skin down a treat and made my face smell like a Bounty bar. Full marks!

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, £10.
TBS always have some killer deal or other on, so you can often get this for less than a tenner – which is astounding given how good it is. The balm melts on contact with your face, which is very pleasing, and it cleanses thoroughly without stripping.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, £15.
The famous hot cloth cleanser – a classic for all the right reasons. Manages to simultaneously cleanse, soothe and hydrate, all whilst smelling all nice and natural which always makes me feel virtuous!

Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser, £23.50.
I bought this when my skin was in a particularly stroppy period – so stroppy that I was willing to throw twice as much money at it than usual. I’m happy to say it did the job. It’s a cream cleanser (and I like so few of them so this is high praise!) brilliant for balancing tricky, combination skin.

Penny // @BrazFace

We would love to hear about your cleansing routine – do you double cleanse? And if you have any questions, lets hear them!

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14 thoughts on “Skin Solutions: Step 1 – Cleanse

  1. Really excited for this series and to see the recommendations. Loving your new IG account Penny will be following with interest.

  2. Love, love, love the Superfacialist Vit C oil, it’s amazing!! I follow that with the new Elemis Superfood Facial Wash, it’s got a foaming action (so maybe not good for really dry skin), but it leaves my face feeling soft and very clean (without feeling tight).

  3. Love this post Penny! Thanks for having a series like this on FF Rebecca 🙂

    I’ve tried a few of these cleansers, Liz Earle is my all time fave. It’s just lovely on my skin & removes even the most stubborn waterproof mascara with ease. I use the sweet orange & basil one as I adore the fragrance.

    Another of my faves is Elemis pro collegan cleansing balm, it’s a thick balm that smells divine and it feels like a proper treat on my skin. When I double cleanse I often use the Liz Earle one first and then this one. A tiny bit goes a loooong way. The Elemis one is pricey on its own but they often do amazing kits on QVC (which include the Elemis marine cream which just might be my favourite moisturiser) that are great value.

    Beauty top tip QVC have a 30 day money back guarantee, you can try new products and send them back if they don’t work for your skin! You only pay postage.

    Roz x

  4. Awesome tip Roz! I bloody love Elemis but still haven’t tried that cleanser. I always hear about beauty packages on QVC but can’t get my head round it as I still think of it as a 90s shopping channel – do you just order online?

  5. Yay Penny! You’ve really been inspiring me to get my face act together, too. I agree with you Roz, Elemis moisturiser is amazing. I’ve never been able to get on with Liz Earle though, despite loving basically every other cream cleanser… I must be the only woman in Britain who can’t use it!

      • The more I learn about ingredients the more I realise some of the classics don’t work for everyone (and how normal my skin is under the massive dehydration I am slowly fixing!). I love LE but it contains beeswax and cocoa butter that can clog oily skins and eucalyptus which can be a problem for sensitive skin. Definitely ingredients to watch out for in other products if LE didn’t work for you.

        I need to check out this Elemis moisturiser- I need a new favourite!

  6. Hi Penny (and Rebecca!) I’ll be following this series with great interest as I spent most of my 20s steadfastly ignoring my skin… but it’s now getting drier and drier and I can’t just leave it any more. I’m lucky as I don’t get spots (that is unless I use the wrong products – everyone raves about Liz Earle but it gave me horrible spots!!) I don’t double cleanse as I don’t wear makeup, but now considering starting. Currently I’m using Body Shop vitamin E cleanser followed by Clarins blue orchid oil at night which has helped my dry patches a lot, but I LOVE the sound of that Sanctuary cleansing oil- might try that next!!

  7. Amazing to see this Penny! I wouldn’t have been converted to this without your guidance and I see a huge difference in my skin after just a month. A great FF x brazface collaboration! Rachael x

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