For the last 12 months or so, I’ve been taking everything off with The Body Shop’s Chamomile Cleansing Balm (just as efficient and soothing as Clinique Take the Day Off!) and following it up with NIOD’s awkwardly named Sanskrit Saponins cleanser. At £21 for the smaller version, it isn’t extremely cheap, but it lasts for ages.
Unlike many cleansers I’ve tried, Sanskrit Saponins does seem to make visible changes to the skin. I’m skeptical about this, of course – I’ve never been spendy with cleansers because, at the end of the day, they’re on your skin for all of a minute before being wiped off. Surely serums, acids et al are the best place to put your money? I don’t know, this is just my logic and, given how good Sanskrit Saponins is, I may well be wrong.
NIOD’s description of SS is thus: “With continued use, SS visibly targets all forms of build-up, blemishes, congestion and impurities. It is suitable for all skin types. After the first use, SS leaves the skin looking nearly pore-free and its surface exceptionally cleaned — as if it’s radiating from within.”
I’m not sure about my skin looking like it is ‘radiating from within’ – I mean, come on – and I’m 99% sure that my awful skin will never look anywhere near ‘nearly pore free.’ But I will concede that my skin is breaking out less, and it does seem healthier and less congested.
It’s suggested that you create some sort of paste in the palm of your hand before putting Sanskrit Saponins on your face. I squeeze out a tiny amount of the balm, add a little water, rub my hands together and then rub the stuff on my face. I massage it in for a few seconds, and then rinse it off – sorry if this is sounds glaringly obvious, but anyone who has used a NIOD product before will be well aware of their odd, and often unnecessary, directions for use.
I do love this cleanser but, damn, NIOD is no Glossier or Milk – the packaging is unsightly and awkward to use; it’s the same as the metal tubes that brands like The Body Shop and L’Occitane uses for hand cream, which always drive me mad because it’s hard to get the product out when you’re coming to the end of it, and I inevitably cut myself on it at some point. Furthermore, the product itself looks like it smells: gross. It’s a horrible khaki beige hue with a slight shine to it. I can forgive the aesthetics, though; I guess it’s no different to using a Lush cleanser. But I can’t deal with the smell of SS. I don’t know if it’s the yeast or the plant saponins in the ingredients, but it smells so unpleasant. I can’t put this stuff anywhere near my eyes (you definitely shouldn’t use it as a first cleanse in the PM, but you probably wouldn’t want to waste it on that anyway), nor my mouth, because I got a tiny bit on my lips once and couldn’t shake the bitter taste.
Having said all of that, SS is a really nice cleanser. I would recommend it for skin types like mine – oily, congested, acne-prone, generally problematic – as it does seem to make a visible difference. Still never going to believe in the whole ‘nearly pore free’ bit, though.
The best bits
- Unlike other cleansers I’ve used, this one seems to actually make noticeable changes to the texture of the skin
- The 90ml tube lasts a long time. Because of the thick consistency of the cleanser, you don’t end up wasting much product.
- Deciem says it’s suitable for all skin types, which I can’t confirm or deny – I can, however, vouch for its lovely effects on oily, congested skin.
- It doesn’t make your skin feel ‘stripped’ after use.
The worst bits
- The packaging is annoying (though I’m sure the brains over at Deciem would tell me this is something to do with stabilising the formula…)
- It smells (and tastes) vile
- It’s dubbed as a ‘cleansing balm’ but I’d never use it like other cleansing balms, i.e. I’d never use it to remove make-up
Would I repurchase? Yes