As promised, today I'll be reviewing the all famous, yet vastly overlooked 'Ultrabland' (< link) from Lush - described as an 'Ultra-simple and ultra-effective' cleanser, which I have to say, is totally spot on. As stated on Lush's website, 'Ultrabland' is based on an ancient Greek formula for cold cream, which doesn't really sound all that enticing, but I really do feel that the simplicity of this cleanser is what I love most about it. Ultrabland is an emulsifying cleanser, giving it a thick, butter-like consistency. It includes a variety of natural oils such as rosewater, alongside beeswax and honey which grip onto any dirt and make-up on your face, breaking down even the most stubborn of mascaras (Benefit 'They're Real' I'm looking at you!) giving you an intense, satisfying cleanse. However, what's special about Ultrabland is that unlike a lot of other powerful make-up removers, it doesn't leave your skin feeling at all tight or stripped. Instead, you're left with smoother, plumper and healthier looking skin.
This cleanser only has ten ingredients in it, which I have to admit made me doubt it a little at first. I think the main three ingredients that I feel have had the greatest effect on improving the condition of my skin are: almond oil - which hydrates the skin; honey - which acts as a natural antiseptic and exfoliator; and rose water - which I found helped calm any irritation and smooth any rough areas on my face. Not only does this cleanser deep clean, as well as lightly moisturise and exfoliate, it also claims to rebalance problematic skin within just four weeks of use and I'd definitely agree with that statement.
My skin has never looked this good (or at least, since I was a little girl). Whilst some redness still lingers around my nose, chin and cheeks, the level or redness has gone down considerably, and the general condition of my skin has moved from what used to be very oily, highly contrasting combination skin, to what I'd now consider normal most of the time. I do still suffer the odd dry cheeks and shiny nose, but they are no where NEAR as bad as it used to get. I really do feel that the moisture in my skin has become a lot more balanced over the past few months and there is no doubt in my mind that Ultrabland has played the greatest part in this transformation. I've had so many compliments on my complexion since I've integrated this cleanser as part of my daily morning and evening routine, and people have noted that I now have much brighter, 'glowing' skin which is just lovely as a dull complexion is always something that I've struggled with.
I just thought I'd mention here - the reason why I'll only use a flannel when removing this particular cleanser is because I've found that the rough surface of a flannel is far superior at picking up Ultrabland's thick consistency. A lot of people have in the past complained that this cleanser leaves a thick 'grease' like residue on their face but I honestly just think that's where they're using something much less abrasive to remove the cleanser such as a cotton pad or muslin cloth. Even though Lush themselves recommend that you remove Ultrabland with a cotton pad, I really wouldn't because it just doesn't take the product off your face (or I found that it didn't at least).
Even though the smell can be off putting at first, I'd whole heartedly recommend that you at least try a sample of this cleanser. It really is 'ultra-simple and ultra-effective'. My skin is clearer, more balanced, brighter, and more hydrated. Whilst is hasn't fully got rid of any acne, blackheads or redness, it has vastly helped in controlling those impurities on my face and even though something so thick can appear nothing but daunting to fellow sufferers of clogged pored, do NOT be afraid of this. It really doesn't clog the skin at all and that is coming from someone who usually finds that as a real problem. I have been using this cleanser once-a-day at the very least since mid December, and it is by far the most effective cleanser I have ever used, despite its soft, gentle nature. I can confidently rub this into my eye area without worrying about potential irritation, and the simplicity of it's base, consisting of mostly natural ingredients is just amazing considering it has had far greater effects over other cleansers I've tried that rely a lot on chemical ingredients. Overall, I'd say this is an extremely underrated cleanser and one that deserves a LOT more attention - especially seeing as it's extremely affordable at £11.50 per 100g, which lasted me three months despite using it averagely two, sometimes three times a day during that period.
I'm sorry this was such a long review, but I honestly can't stress enough how much I'd recommend that you try out this cleanser. Even though I only picked it up during mid-December last year, I'd go as far as to say that this was definitely one of, if not my best skincare discovery of 2014.
PLEASE go and pick up a sample to try - I promise you won't regret it! (Access product here)