Hot Cloth Cleansers: Liz Earle vs. Boots

Last month I reviewed Cleanse and Polish by Liz Earle. This award-winning cult beauty product has received rave reviews worldwide, and has spawned a host of imitators. When I discovered the Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser by Boots in my local Target, I couldn’t resist buying it, even though I haven’t yet run out of my Cleanse and Polish. So how do the two compare?

In this corner: Cleanse and Polish by Liz Earle:

Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish is the original hot cloth cleanser. Earle’s formulation is all-natural and contains cocoa butter, glycerin, and beeswax, as well as essential oils of eucalyptus, rosemary, and chamomile. Here is the full ingredient list:

    Aqua (water), Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl esters, Sorbitan stearate, Polysorbate 60, Glycerin, Cera alba (beeswax), Propylene glycol, Humulus lupulus (hops) extract, Panthenol, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract, Anthemis nobilis (chamomile) extract, Eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) oil, Limonene, Citric acid, Sodium hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dehydroacetic acid, Polyaminopropyl biguanide.

In this corner: Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser by Boots:

The Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser is Boot’s answer to Cleanse and Polish. This venerable 160-year-old British pharmacy chain gained a lot of beauty street cred a few years ago when an independent research study on skincare products sponsored by a popular British television program concluded that Boots’s Protect and Perfect serum was just as effective at preventing and repairing signs of aging as prescription creams. The Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser is getting rave reviews of its own on Boots’s UK website. The ingredients for the Hot Cloth Cleanser are:

    Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) See Butter, Glycerin, Tribehenin, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragance), Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylparaben, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Hydroxide .

So how does the Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser compare to Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish? Besides the ingredient list, in which the only common elements are water, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, cocoa butter, and glycerin, the Boot’s cleanser has a different consistency. Because Cleanse and Polish contains beeswax, the consistency is waxier. When I pump it out of the tube, the cleanser retains a tubular shape. But it melts upon contact with skin so the waxiness isn’t a problem. The Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser is a creamier consistency, like it’s oil-based rather than wax-based. This heavier consistency is a little more moisturizing than the Cleanse and Polish, making it a great cleanser for winter weather. In warmer weather I think I could even forgo using a moisturizer afterwards. But the Hot Cloth Cleanser contains parabens, which may be a deal-breaker for some people. It also contains perfume, which gives it an artificial floral-type fragrance which smells kind of odd.

Other points to consider:

Both remove face makeup equally well, but the Cleanse and Polish is better at removing mascara. Though I have to work at it with the muslin cloth for both cleansers to completely remove mascara, I had to make more of an effort with the Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser. Both cleansers leave my face feeling soft, but the Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser is a little more moisturizing due to its creamier consistency. I don’t see any boost in my facial radiance, however, so I wouldn’t say that it lives up to its name in that respect.

Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish costs $24.50 for a 3.3 oz. bottle. Boot’s Hot Cloth Cleanser costs $9.99 for a 6.7 bottle. So basically the Boots cleanser is twice the size as Liz Earle’s cleanser, for less than half the price.

The Cleanse and Polish is only available by mail order from England, which takes about two weeks to get to the U.S., and the costs of overseas shipping adds to the total price. But I can run into my local Ulta or Target and pick up a bottle of the Boots cleanser immediately.

My bottle of Boots’s Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser didn’t come with an enclosed muslin cloth as advertised, so I can’t compare it to the Liz Earle muslin cloth. I bought the last bottle that was on the shelf, and the box was kind of beat up, which makes me wonder if it was a return, or if someone stole the cloth out of the box. I used my Liz Earle cloth with it. In addition, when I removed the cap from the bottle to use it, the entire pump head came off with it and was stuck in the cap. It took a little bit of effort to remove the pump from the cap and replace it on the top of the bottle. There’s no inner tube that goes through the bottle, so I don’t know how the pump will get to the cleanser once the bottle becomes half-full. But for now the pump works. I just can’t keep the cap on it, and I wouldn’t be able to put it in a bag for travel or else the pump will fall off again. The only good thing about the bottle is that it’s clear, unlike Liz Earle’s packaging, so you can see when you are close to running out of cleanser. I have had no problems with the bottle of Cleanse and Polish. Maybe I just got a bad bottle of the Hot Cloth Cleanser.

In short: If you want a skin care regimen that truly feels like a spa experience, Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish wins hands-down. The all-natural ingredients feel indulgent, and the natural eucalyptus fragrance is relaxing. Using the cleanser with the hot muslin cloth is a great way to pamper yourself. But if you’re on a budget, Boots’s Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser is a gentle, moisturizing cleanser that will last a long time. I might just repurchase it after I finish my current bottle. So I guess it’s a tie.

Boot’s Hot Cloth Cleanser is available at Ulta as well as Target. It retails for $9.99.

2 Comments on “Hot Cloth Cleansers: Liz Earle vs. Boots”

  1. I stumbled on your blog looking for this exact comparison. Thank you! I am getting close to running out of my Liz Earle and have been eyeballing boot’s version. I did hear however that Sephora may carry Liz Earle now. Nice to find a local beauty blogger – I’m in Waltham. Bookmarked!

    • Hi Kerry,

      I didn’t know Sephora might carry Liz Earle. That would be great! I will definitely keep an eye out for that. Nice to meet a fellow Massachusetts beauty junkie 🙂

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