I was so excited to finally try out the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser when I initially picked it up in London. After hearing so many of my favorite bloggers claim it as one of their skincare staples, I couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss was about. At first use it felt surprisingly familiar to one of the first cleansers I ever used. In fact, the scent, the tell-tale tingle, all brought me back to my high school days of using the Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser.
Once the association finally clicked in my head, I went out to the grocery store and picked up the first bottle of Deep Action Cream Cleanser since I was a teenager. Then I did a thing that probably didn’t benefit me much, but I don’t think it hurt me either: I used the Liz Earle cleanser, and then immediately used the Clean & Clear. Besides a very slight change of texture (discussed further below), I could hardly tell the difference between the two. Both left my skin feeling clean, a little tighter feeling than I prefer (but I’m an oil cleanser convert – so there’s that), and incredibly smooth and soft.
Liz Earle suggests that you apply the product to dry skin and massage it in for a while before removing it with their damp muslin cloth. Clean & Clear suggests starting with a slightly damp face and working it in before either washing it off with warm water -or- using a washcloth. I’m thinking that difference is due to the fact that there is a slight difference in texture. If you look at the photo below, the Liz Earle dollop looks more condensed as a product and feels a bit creamier – therefore easier to massage into dry skin without pulling or using more product. The Clean & Clear has a bit more of a whipped texture and absorbs into the skin a little more quickly – forcing you to use a bit more if you don’t start with a damp face.
I’ve been going back and forth between using them, and for both products I’ve been applying it to a dry face, massaging it in, and then using my Clarisonic in lieu of the muslin cloth before rinsing off what’s left. I still can’t tell a difference between using the two products.
Both use Cetyl Alcohol and Polysorbate 60(emulsifying ingredients), and similar filler ingredients. The main difference is in their active ingredient that fights breakouts – Liz Earle uses benzoic acid and Clean & Clear uses salicylic acid. Benzoic acid essentially focuses on killing bacteria in pores and preventing infection, where as salicylic acid focuses on cell turnover and works as a mild exfoliant – though I think I remember reading that it is also less effective in a cleanser than it is as a spot treatment. Though Liz Earle does seem to have more moisturizing oils added back in.
Bang For Your Buck
Liz Earle is about $25 for 3.3 oz, where Clean & Clear is $6 for 6.5 oz full price (but regularly has sales going on). You might need to use slightly more of the Clean & Clear, but at about 1/10 of the price per oz I don’t think that matters as much.
Frankly both are great cleansers and do the job well, even for those with sensitive skin. I think if you’re more concerned with using something a little more natural then your best bet will be the Liz Earle (but only by a nose) because they add more natural oils to make the product a bit more moisturizing. But the actual cleansing portion most of the ingredients seem to be on par.
Bottom Line I’m pretty sure that the Clean & Clear offers up a pretty great dupe of it.