Cult Fave

In 1995 Liz Earle was a beauty journalist and author specializing in botanical ingredients. Her friend Kim Buckland worked in the marketing and packaging end of the beauty biz. Liz and Kim realized there was a need for a truly naturally based skin care line, so they put their collective experience together to form Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare. Their best-selling item, Cleanse and Polish, quickly became a cult favorite in Britain, where it has won several awards from beauty editors. I decided to try Liz Earle products myself to see what all the fuss was about.

To be honest, I have used Liz Earle products before. In the late 1990s, Liz Earle’s products were sold on HSN in America. Always a sucker for home shopping beauty demonstrations, I was channel surfing and came upon Liz selling her line on HSN. I had never seen her products before, but I was intrigued, especially with the Cleanse and Polish demonstration. What makes this cleanser unique is the use of a hot muslin cloth to remove the product. The muslin cloth removes all of the product while providing gentle exfoliation. So I ordered the Cleanse and Polish, the toner, and a moisturiser from HSN. But back then, my skin behaved very differently than it does now. I suffered from chronic acne, and I was so frustrated with my skin that I never gave products enough of a chance to work before I gave up and moved on to another line. Sadly, this was the case with Liz Earle. I didn’t use it for very long.

Now that my skin type has changed from acneic to aging, I was in a malaise about what to use on my skin. Browsing the Internet in search of something new, I rediscovered Liz Earle. Unfortunately, she no longer sells her line on HSN in America (although she is a staple on British QVC). So I ordered online. I ordered the Cleanse and Polish ($24.50), as well as the Instant Boost Skin Tonic ($21) and the Skin Repair Moisturizer for Dry and Sensitive Skin ($31). The Cleanse and Polish is the only cleanser Liz Earle makes. It’s suitable for all skin types. It’s a thick cream with eucalyptus oil and cocoa butter in it. You apply it to dry skin and work it in to emulsify dirt and makeup (hence the “Cleanse”). Then you take the muslin cloth (included with each bottle of Cleanse and Polish), rinse it in hot water, and remove the cleanser by working the cloth in circular motions (hence the “Polish”). The cleanser may look and feel too thick for those who are used to cream cleansers with more slip, but it feels “cushiony” as I apply it, and leaves my skin feeling moisturized after I remove it. The muslin cloth not only removes all traces of the cleanser, but it also provides gentle exfoliation – more so than the washcloths I usually remove cream cleansers with. The muslin cloth is what makes Cleanse and Polish so effective, and so unique. I feel it’s part of the reason why my face feels so smooth after I use it. I follow the cleanser with the Instant Boost tonic. I bought the spray bottle and spray it directly on my face, but it’s also available without the spray, for those who prefer to apply toner with a cotton pad. The Instant Boost smells divine and feels refreshing. It contains organic aloe vera, calendula, chamomile, cucumber and natural source vitamin E. While my skin is still a little damp from the toner I apply the Skin Repair Moisturizer for Dry and Sensitive Skin. It’s rich, but not greasy, and smells like sandalwood. The sandalwood fragrance instantly took me back to the first time I tried Liz Earle products. Skin Repair also contains borage and avocado oils, beta carotene, and Vitamin E.

So what is my opinion of Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare now that I’ve given it more of a chance? Two enthusiastic thumbs up. My face feels clean, soft, and smooth. Not only do I not have breakouts from it, but I had a pesky little pimple on my forehead before I started using my Liz Earle products (because I still get a few blemishes from time to time). Two days into my Liz Earle regimen that pimple was gone without a trace. I look forward to using Liz Earle’s products every morning and evening.

Now that Liz Earle products are no longer sold on HSN in America, the only way to obtain them is to order them online from Britain. My order took about a week and a half to arrive from Britain. It came with a lovely hand-written note from the person who packed my order. Liz Earle’s main website is, but you can switch over to the U.S. website, with U.S. prices, at Last year beauty giant Avon purchased Liz Earle. News of the sale initially caused backlash among faithful Liz Earle fans in Britain, but among American fans it inspired hope that Liz Earle products would be sold in America again. As of 2011 they aren’t available in America, and Avon maintains Liz Earle products won’t be sold in Avon catalogues. So will they be returning to home shopping television? Or perhaps they’ll be available in stores? Only time will tell, although the idea of independent Liz Earle boutiques in America, like the ones in Britain, would be very exciting. Open one in Boston!


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