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I have horrible sensitive skin and when I wake up in the morning I never know if my skin's going to be dry and flaky, or sandpaper-like in texture, or if I'm going to have a giant zit on my chin. This cleanser is advertised for mature skin rather than sensitive skin, so I worried that it might be too heavy for my unpredictable skin. But when I first put this cleanser on my face, my skin went 'aaah'. I've been using it in combination with some great Origins moisturiser and serum and I can honestly say my skin's never been better and I haven't had my usual monthly breakout of mega-zits either.
The Body Shop's Wise Woman luxury cleanser is a rich cream which they claim will firm the skin with regular use. The Wise Woman range is for mature skin, hence the name 'wise woman' I suppose, but I wish they'd called it something else. That name just smells of hippy nonsense if you ask me and it makes me cringe whenever I see it in my bathroom.
The packaging in the Wise Woman range is an irridescent gold colour, which does look good on the bathroom shelf (if you can get past the name). The bottles are tall and thin which also looks a bit classier than the standard Body Shop squat bottles. The cleanser itself is a very thick, rich cream rather than a lotion.
You don't need more than a pea size amount of this cleanser and the pump dispenser makes it easy to dispense just the right amount. Half a pump is enough. The pump can be locked for travel and the plastic 200ml bottle is light enough to travel with (though you won't be able to take it in hand luggage on a plane).
There isn't any noticeable fragrance, just a sort of creamy smell, which suits me as that's one less ingredient to react to. Plus fragrance is such a personal thing - many a time I've been put off an otherwise good product because I can't stand the fragrance.
I like cream cleansers which have to be wiped off. If you prefer something you can rinse off, this isn't it. This is a heavy cream which has to be removed by damp cotton wool, a clean flannel or a muslin cloth (which the Body Shop also sell). I love wipe-off cleansers and my face never feels right in the morning till I've put on my cleanser and wiped it off again with a clean, damp flannel. I find it leaves my skin soft yet perfectly clean and exfoliated. This cleanser being so thick, it could leave a residue but warm water and a clean flannel ensures nothing is left behind but soft skin which feels smoothed yet protected.
As I said at the beginning of the review, this cleanser, along with the right moisturiser and serum, has helped transform my skin. It's now much softer, smoother and clearer. However the Body Shop also claim it has a firming effect. I have been using the cleanser for a month and haven't noticed any firming yet but I don't have mature skin so probably don't need this effect yet.
Price/value for money
At around £10 for 200ml this is the most expensive cleanser that the Body Shop sell. Pricewise it's a lot more (like about £6-£7 more) than high street brands like Garnier and Nivea but about a fiver cheaper than premium brands like Clinique, Clarins and the like. It looks expensive on the face of it *but* it's so rich I only need to use a tiny pea sized amount and after a month of using it twice a day I've used about 40ml. So it should last about five months in regular use. That's about 3.5p per use and actually quite good value.
Would I buy again?
I must admit that the idea of spending £10 on a cleanser puts me off a bit, but I have had bad experiences with cheaper cleansers and the wonderful results I've had with this one, plus the length of time it lasts, mean I probably will buy again.
This is an excellent cleanser and I'm only giving it four stars instead of five because of the price and the naff name.
A rich yet lightweight cream mask to smooth and soften the skin /