REN Rose Centifolia hot cloth cleanser review

Ren Rose Centifolia hot cloth cleanser

M: Maybe we need to set the scene for this post, E.

E: “It was a dark and stormy night ..” no, hang on, it was an overcast London morning.

M: Every couple of months, readers, E and I do a Facegoop handover at an unnamed, unmarked Overground station.

E: This is actual truth. It’s like a Cold War spy exchange. But with mascara.

M: I emerge from an overcrowded train, clutching weeks’ worth of samples and unguents.

E: I am standing on the platform in an Inspector Gadget style raincoat, brandishing some kind of chocolate. Or, if you’re very lucky, Hermès scent.

M: This time, E, you must know I strongly considered not doing this handover.

“The 8.25 to Richmond is delayed,” I started to type.
“Sorry, not going to make it.”

I also considered an elaborate story about foxes eating the product.
Or substituting it with a tube of Colgate.

E: I didn’t realise how close I came to losing out on the Cleanser of Love. Thank god I had Pierre Marcolini spread to lure you. You really love this new REN Rose hot cloth cleanser, don’t you? You love it with actual love.

M: Yes, E. Yes I do. Actual real love. The love of rose-scented childhoods.

E: Your childhood smelled of roses? Mine was more .. hamsters. But continue.

M: Yes! I had a little perfumed flower-fairy doll that smelled exactly like this.

E: It does smell absolutely delicious. Like some delicious macaron Pierre Hermé might cook up.

M: It’s certainly very creamy.

E: I’ve got so used to balms the creaminess came as a surprise. It’s a soft, non-greasy cream and it comes with a dinky flannel to gently buff it off again.

Ren Rose Centifolia hot cloth cleanser texture

Ren’s hot cloth cleanser: like rose-scented whipped cream.

M: I think it’s a testament to this stuff, E, that I currently have about seven pots of balm cleanser on the go in the bathroom. And this is the only one I want to use.

E: I can see why. It’s rich but gentle and ultra-effective. I am oppressed by beauty advice at the moment, however much cleansing and moisturising I do (admittedly not much) it never feels like enough. But this stuff makes me feel good. JUST GOOD, OK?

M: What more can you ask for? Good smell, lovely texture, excellent cleansing powers. YOU WIN, REN. YOU WIN. I SURRENDER. I WILL BUY YOUR CLEANSER OF JOY WITH MY OWN HARD-EARNED PENNIES.

E: REN Rose Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser: can be obtained for £16, a jar of Pierre Marcolini chocolate tartine spread, or Kim Philby.

REN Rose Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser, £16

We tested eight of the best balm cleansers for the Guardian. Do you have a favourite?

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M likes bright powders in tiny pots and anything that will make her hair more Jen Brill and less Shaun the Sheep.


  • March 17, 2014


    Ha, I just bought one too! It’s half the price of Emma Hardie, let’s see if this can wean me off the gorgeous balm. Tried the REN BB Cream and Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask that came with my online order (REN online store is fantastic), as cheaper alternatives to By Terry Eclat de Rose and Elemental Herbology Facial Glow. First impression is that both products made my complexion even and radiant – a bit of camouflage is needed while I resolve my winter skin – without triggering sensitivity. Might have to buy these… I must say I’m impressed by REN’s new bits, their products used to be just so so.

  • March 18, 2014

    Alison Cross

    This sounds like a perfect Mother’s Day pressie that my son could buy me (ie I buy myself and give to him to wrap up for me). How is it with eye-makeup or do you need to steer clear of eyes with it?

  • March 21, 2014


    I happily use it all over my face, but then my eyes aren’t particularly sensitive.

  • March 21, 2014


    They’re brilliant, aren’t they? The Glycolactic mask was too strong for me, but I’m completely addicted to this cleanser.

  • March 21, 2014


    The cleanser is certainly a serious contender to the Emma Hardie balm. I possibly still prefer the balm, but am quite happy using REN. Incidentally, I’m looking forward to a home facial tonight with the Glycolactic mask and Nuxe rose-smelling Clarifying mask. Ah, the elusive baby skin of my winter dreams…

  • April 8, 2014

    Julie L

    Hmmm….interesting. This seems like a great product to try out. I have heard so many good things about this and i think this is the time to try it out.

  • May 23, 2014


    Most unique review I’ve ever read! Love the dialogue style. Makes me want to fall in love with this cleanser too :)

    PS- following you now on Bloglovin!

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