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For the past few weeks (I tend to decide quickly with cleansers), I've been testing out Trinny London's new launches, which are the brand's first proper foray into skincare (they've since launched exfoliants, so let me know if you'd like a review of those). This move actually made a lot of sense to me because so many of the makeup products from this brand are kind of hybrids with skincare benefits. Cleansing seems a great place to start for a makeup line too, so let's dive into my thoughts on this double cleanse duo...
I don't know if I'm showing my age here (shout out to the Millennials reading) but I always remembered Trinny Woodall as half of Trinny and Susannah on What Not to Wear, rifling through wardrobes in need of help and starting every other sentence with 'dah-ling'. To younger people reading this, you probably know Trinny because she's still very much in the public eye from a fashion and makeup perspective; I personally love her videos on Instagram that are going through her wardrobe, breathing new life into old pieces or talking us through her shoe collection. She's just so funny and a legend of my childhood! More recently she launched Trinny London, and I actually featured their makeup here and here, which I bought because it was quite a unique concept at such a reasonable price-point. What really stood out to me were these stackable pots of cream product that are multi-tasking and great for travel. It's really all about keeping things easy, wearable and accessible; it's the sort of makeup I'd 100% recommend if someone came to me and they were like 'I work full time, I have kids, I don't have a ton of time or skill with makeup - what should I use?'
As I said, for the brand it feels very intuitive to move from do-it-all makeup-skincare hybrids into something like cleansers, because obviously we have to remove our makeup effectively at the end of the day. And, as we'll get onto, I do feel as though the cleansers maintain that easy-to-use, dual-function vibe that the makeup has and I'm interested to see how the line develops. I obviously don't see this brand going down the route of dozens of products or single-ingredient actives, but something like a priming moisturiser would be really in-keeping. So, shall we dive into the products...?
I'm sure that if you're reading this then you know what the double cleanse is, but just in case: it's the concept of using a balm, oil or other emulsifying cleanser to remove makeup and / or sunscreen and then going in with a second cleanser (usually water-based) to make sure the skin underneath is clean and there's no residue left over. It's highly effective but also a lot gentler than using one very harsh cleanser. These two products offer that function in your routine. They're travel-friendly and also re-fillable too!
Let's start with the Be Your Best Enzyme Balm Cleanser* | £32 (£26 for the refill). I have to start by saying that I love balm cleansers that come in a pump or a tube, because it's just easier when I'm travelling than getting out a pot, getting the right amount of product, melting it down and then applying it to my skin. I also just feel like it's quicker for those days (or nights...) when I just want my makeup off as quickly as possible. This definitely fits the bill with how it comes out and I love that it's no work at all to melt this down into an oil; it just kind of glides in one motion. I appreciate that so much! One night I got in, I had a bunch of stuff to sort in my new flat, so it was pretty late by the time I got to doing my skincare and I just needed it over with in a small number of rapid steps (we've all been there) - this was perfect and meant I double cleansed in under a minute! It emulsifies effortlessly with water and comes clean off the skin with no residue whatsoever. My skin just feels soft and clean after use. If you like a cleansing balm in the morning: this is a really nice option too.
In terms of ingredients, if you read here regularly, you likely know I'm really not that fussed when it comes to a first cleanse. Ultimately you're washing it off then cleansing the skin again, so its impact is likely to be minimal; I'm really about function and feel. This is formulated with a kind of citric scent - I personally don't think fragrance in a cleanser is a big deal and it can actually be a nice way to have a bit of a sensory experience even if you don't tolerate it well in leave-on products. You have lots of moisturising oils in here (jojoba, almond and borage seed, to name a few), which not only help to loosen makeup and sunscreen but contribute towards that lovely soft skin feeling after use. There are also pineapple enzymes which offer a gentle, surface-level exfoliation (if you want to reap the benefits of this, I'd actually recommend leaving this on the skin in the morning for a couple of minutes whilst you brush your teeth or whatever to allow it to work) and a prebiotic complex - I did a deep-dive into skincare for the microbiome here but the TL;DR is that I find them a helpful ingredient class to ensure your skin barrier is strong and healthy. As I said: I'm not overly-preoccupied with the ingredients in my cleansing balms, I'm kind of just like 'do I enjoy using it, does it work and does my skin feel nice after use?' And this product ticks all the boxes for me!
The other cleanser in the line that would function as your second (or morning) cleanse is the Better Off AHA / PHA Gel Cleanser* | £28 (£22 for the refill). This formula is water-based and it's like a milky gel with body. It's lathering but not foaming. What do I mean by that? Well, as you add water and massage it in and rinse it off, you will get that white frosting effect but you're not going to get suds or anything like that. That's pretty much as far as I'll go with a gel cleanser, so I'm glad it's not really foamy. Whilst foaming doesn't automatically equate to strippimg, I just don't love that feeling and this formula stays on the right side of that line for me! Like with the balm cleanser, you just twist the base and the pump pops up, you twist it back down and it's totally secure to throw in your wash bag for a weekend away so you can have your cleanser and your exfoliant in one step.
This is formulated with lactic acid, a fairly hydrating and gentle AHA with the power to resurface the skin and boost its overall radiance, with malic acid to support it. Additionally we have PHAs, a hydrating class of chemical exfoliant, again with hydrating benefits. This is supported by a prebiotic, amino acids and gentle surfactants. I am actually really a fan of exfoliating cleansers and this is one of the formulas that has really put them on my radar recently. The reason they're great is that: if you're nailing the rest of your skincare routine, exfoliants are really supplementary rather than the main focus. Personally, my priorities are Vitamin C in the morning and a retinoid at night. At the same time, I don't want to upset my skin barrier, so using a cleanser is a great way to get exfoliation in there in a very gentle way because it's short-contact (and this cleanser uses some of the gentler exfoliants on the market). It can actually also prime the skin to better-absorb everything you put on afterwards, so it's really a win-win. If you want this to be extra-effective, you can again leave it on for a minute or two, or just really take your time working it into the skin (avoiding the eye area). I think exfoliating cleansers are generally ok to use daily if there's no other exfoliation in your routine, but it really depends on how you use it, what you use it with and what your skin is like.
Overall, this product leaves my skin feeling soft, crucially it doesn't feel stripped or dry and I get that little glow boost. All with zero irritation. If you're quite sensitive and you don't get on with stronger acids like glycolic or leave-on products can be a bit irritating: give this a go once or twice a week. A cleanser is one of the least-potentially-problematic ways to get some exfoliation into your routine and I really do enjoy this formula.
There are also the T-Towels* | £10 (for 3). A muslin cloth is a muslin cloth, but these are pretty nice quality and actually wash really well, so if you need some: they're worth adding to your basket if you're doing an order. You do also get one of these for free with the balm cleanser.
All-in-all: this is such a strong start to Trinny London's expansion into skincare! I'm really a fan of these products and they won't be leaving my bathroom cabinet any time soon, regardless of the pile of new products I have to review... I'm excited to see how the brand develops, and this is a solid double cleanse duo that I can recommend to near enough anyone.
Will you be trying Trinny London's cleansers?