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BEAUTY CLINIC: Is there a facial cleanser that is gentle on the eyes?

 Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to 

Q I’m desperate to find a facial cleanser that is gentle on my eyes. I’ve tried several but if I get any in my eyes they end up pink, sore, itchy and somehow smaller, often for days. Help!

A We absolutely know the problem and sometimes even dedicated eye make up removers have the same effect on our super-sensitive peepers.

The new-ish product we both swear by is Electrogel Cleanser by LIXIRSKIN, formulated by Doctor of Dermo-Pharmacy, Colette Haydon. Well, we could almost kiss her feet because this rich cream cleanser is really, truly gentle on our eyes. Until you have ended up countless times with sore red eyes – as in your case and ours, it’s almost impossible to imagine how grateful you are for a product that takes off every bit of pollution and grime (by some wizardry about negative and positive charges – that’s the ‘Electro’ bit) and is also super-gentle on eyes.

The directions actually specify to apply it generously with clean damp hands all over the face, ‘including the eye area’ – that’s how confident they are. Do also use it on your neck and décolleté. Take a minute to massage in, leave for another minute then rinse off with a clean towel mitt.

Now two things: Electrogel Cleanser is not a beauty steal at £25 for 100ml, from, but you only use a small amount per wash and it does seem to last for ages. And you can also use it as a mask, which saves on that. 

Secondly: those towel mitts. We have just opened a new two-sided one called CloudCloth, £8 for 3, which claims to be ‘suitable for the most sensitive of skin, even the delicate eye area’. The reverse side exfoliates. So we are off to try that. 

For the past year or so, however, we have alternated between pure muslin cloths (very easy to wash daily) and MakeUp Eraser, £16.99, a machine-washable, microfibre flannel that is designed to remove make-up, even waterproof mascara, simply with water. Have to say we still use cleanser though, being pedantic and a bit sceptical.

MakeUp Eraser is double-sided too, and comes in pink and black.  

Beauty Bible loves…  

OliPhenolia Skincare, from £8.80. For years, Jo (Fairley) and husband Craig have been filling their pantry with delicious Italian organic foods – pasta, pasta sauces, olives, olive oil, wines – from La Vialla, a beautiful farm outside the Tuscan town of Arezzo. It’s on a huge scale, with lots of agriturismo cottages (definitely on Jo’s bucket list) – and the catalogue (almost more of a book) is wonderful: it all appears hand-written, with recipes and so much info about the products.

OliPhenolia Skincare, from the heart of the Tuscan countryside

So: what’s all that got to do with beauty..? (Leaving aside the fact that we are what we eat, of course?)

Well, they’ve launched an all-natural, biodynamic skincare range, packed with polyphenol antioxidants from the olive harvest. They’ve backed OliPhenolia up with some pretty impressive independent scientific research – results showed that it was anti-inflammatory, hydrating, anti-bacterial and (yes) anti-ageing.

Equally importantly, it’s wonderfully inviting to use. Both the Oliphenolia Face Cream and Hand Cream are wonderfully luscious, yet sink in beautifully. Alongside the olive-derived ingredients you’ll find hyaluronic acid, glycerine, vitamins E and C). The Intensive Serum is light-as-air – with a very simple ingredients list that includes hyaluronic acid and a touch of brightening lactic acid (definitely not enough to irritate).

No fancy packaging (the hand creams comes in a simple tin) – but this is a wonderful, effective (and really quite affordable) skincare discovery for anyone looking for a cleaner, greener regime.

We think it’s even better than their pasta sauces. And that’s saying something. 

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