Reviewed by: Sensitive Spy
Age: Early forties
Skin type: Combination and sensitive
We reviewed Thalgo Pure Velvet Cleansing Cream (£24.80 for 150ml).
This cleanser is from French marine cosmetics company Thalgo and was nicely packaged in a no-nonsense pharmacy style handy tube (no messy pots to dip fingers into). The pure velvet cream was more like a thick lotion with a curious, smoky and slightly medicinal perfume: camphor and liquorice sticks both initially sprung to mind.
The active ingredients are red algae and mango extract. Thalgo specialise in using ingredients from the sea: red algae, which contains mineral salts, trace elements and amino acids, is said to be a “cell energiser", improving hydration, suppleness, softness and tone. Mango extract is said to be rich in pro-vitamin A, it moisturises and gently exfoliates the skin.
I dutifully followed the instructions to massage in a hazelnut-sized blob twice a day, even though I considered the morning cleanse to be skincare overkill (how dirty could my face get overnight?). Although the directions of use suggested either rinsing off the cleanser with cold water, or wiping with a tissue, I decided to follow my favourite tried-and-tested method of washing it off with a clean muslin cloth soaked in warm water.
Despite the unusual smell (which gradually grew on me), I found the product to be effective and pleasant to use. It removed make up easily, although I did need eye make up remover to get rid of the last traces of mascara. The thick lotion had a slightly oily texture, but massaged in easily with no trace of irritation and left my combination skin feeling extremely comfortable after use. There was no trace of tightness on the drier parts of my face.
My skin tends to tingle and flare up easily, particularly with new products, but this gentle cleanser was a notable and welcome exception to the rule.
I was sceptical as to how a £25 cleansing cream could make any difference to my skin (my usual cleanser costs less than half of this), but after only a week of use, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that my skin seemed noticeably clearer and softer. The skin on my face and neck appeared to be more even in tone. The drier skin on my cheeks and under my eyes felt suppler and the “tight” feeling that I usually experience straight after cleansing was gone.
The oilier area around my nose and t-zone remained a little greasy but I would happily put up with the oiliness on my nose (easily covered up with a bit of powder) in a trade-off for fewer spots and softer, clearer skin.
I think the 150ml tube would probably last several months, so it represents reasonable value for its longevity.
Despite the price tag, I would buy the cleanser again: I love French pharmacy products, and this seems an upmarket alternative. Somehow I could imagine that a suitably chic woman such as Catherine Deneuve might have a tube on her dressing room table.
27th October 2014
Warmth and sunshine; spas which take me away to another country; fruit infused waters; beach-worth pedicures; deep tissue massages.
High footfalls; treatments that over promise and under deliver; heavy lunches; loungers drapped in used towels.
Behind the scenes