Review of Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover by ClariceD
My skin/eye area: dry, very sensitive, prone to dermatitis, redness and clogs, retin A user (0.01%) due to use of a prescription drug that induces acne in chin/jaw area. Contact lens wearer, prone to milia from overly rich formulations, but also to irritation and flaking on the lids if products are too drying or harsh.
I wear makeup perhaps four days out of seven. When I do, I always use 1-2 coats of waterproof mascara and often a gel or long-lasting pencil liner, as well as concealer on the eye area (Lancome Effacernes or MAC Studio Sculpt at the moment). I keep a dual-phase remover on hand to remove it all. My method is pretty standard:
1. Shake the bottle vigorously in all directions.
2.. Lay a cotton pad saturated with remover over my closed eye for 10 seconds or so, pinched in the middle to capture the undersides of my top lashes.
3. Wipe downwards.
4. Occasionally follow with a cotton bud dipped in product for any pesky traces of mascara or liner on the lashline.
5. Continue with my usual cleansing routine, which gets rid of any oily residue.
A good remover takes most of the makeup off at stage 2, only requires gentle strokes and eliminates the need for rubbing and tugging at stages 3 and 4, which invariably causes me soreness and irritation.
I was attracted to this particular remover by its price rather than its soothing claims. Here in the UK there isn't a huge array of drugstore dual-phase eye makeup removers. This is among the cheapest. I was excited by the prospect of finding a staple product at such a low price. The ingredients are fairly typical of this type of product - silicones in water with a couple of humectants for hydration. The only supposedly calming addition seemed to be the Iceland moss extract that "hydrates and soothes", according to the packaging. Like a lot of sensitive-skinned people, I'm pretty wary of such claims and try to pay more attention to the total formula than one heavily emphasised ingredient.
This product is undeniably economical. A 150ml bottle lasted me around eight months - for someone who wears waterproof eye makeup every day without fail, that's at least four months of daily usage. As it didn't cause me any direct adverse reactions, I wanted to use it up. Eventually I found myself willing it to run out so that I could go on to something more effective. However I used it - large quantity, small quantity, extra time held over eye, different shaking techniques - it simply wasn't thorough or gentle enough for my liking. Firm wiping and rubbing for a decent length of time was required to get a satisfactory amount of mascara/liner off - I've had comparable results with products that aren't intended to remove waterproof makeup. I then followed with makeup/sunscreen remover for the rest of my face (Earth Science ADE Creamy Cleanser) and a mild Avene gel cleanser. Even then, there was often a slight grey shadow under my eyes after showering the next morning. If I spent as long as was necessary trying to remove my makeup, the usual result was dry, flaky lids.
I have no real complaints about the packaging, although a pump might be useful to reassure me that I'm not just pouring out the top layer of product, as it separates quickly from the top down after shaking. It's aesthetically pleasing and functional - dual-phase removers by nature can be awkward to dispense and I don't think the design of this one particularly adds to the challenge. I've had no issues with this product as a contact lens wearer, but I take my lenses out before removing eye makeup and don't usually put them in again until the next day.
Overall the annoyances about this product outweigh any positives, the major one of which remains the price. I much prefer Boots No7 Cleanse & Care (£7.50), which, when Boots issue their £5 off No7 vouchers, works out marginally cheaper than the Botanics version. I'll neither repurchase nor recommend this. The search continues...
Ingredients (added to box at top of page): Aqua, cyclopentasiloxane, isohexadecane, cyclohexasiloxane, butylene glycol, cetraria islandica (Iceland moss) extract, propylene glycol, methylparaben, sodium citrate, benzophenone-4, 2-bromo-2-nitroprophane-1, 3-diol, sorbitol, phenoxyethanol, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, CI 19140, CI 42090.
UK RRP: £2.99/150ml, from Boots nationwide.