I first learnt of the 13-dot technique from UK dermatologist, Dr. Sam Bunting. I then found out that she had created a small and basic skincare line.
As she made so much sense in her videos (do watch her videos – they are about the only YouTube videos I watch), I was curious to try her products, and one of them is the highly vaunted Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser. It was the first product in her skincare line.
It had also received many positive reviews from many reputable bloggers, and I was curious to see if it might live up to its hype 😉
Dr. Sam Bunting Skincare
Dr. Sam is a respected dermatologist and skincare expert in the UK, who I find easy to understand. Her advise is quite straightforward, and she breaks down important information into easily digestible chunks. Considering she runs her own practice, it is refreshing that she shares her information quite freely.
You don’t get hour-long chatty videos, but short 15-20 minute clips, that are far easier to follow and to understand.
She has a small skincare line, which at present, comprises the Flawless Cleanser, Flawless Moisturiser and the Flawless Sunscreen. I had been eyeing some of her products for a while, but at any one time, one or the other would be out of stock.
One day however, I clicked over to her website out of curiosity, and saw that all 3 items were in stock! Naturally, I quickly added them to cart and checked out 😀
I will share some thoughts about the other 2 items at a later date. Cleanser is always easier to judge, for me, because it’s something you will use fairly regularly and you can easily tell if you like it, or if you don’t.
Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser is lush!
Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser comes in minimalist packaging. The pump has a simple twist open-close mechanism, and from what I can tell, is made to dispense the recommended amount of product each time.
If you scan through the list of ingredients, you can tell that it is a fairly simple product.
The texture is that of a thick gel, which I was a little unsure of at first. For my drier skin, I prefer using a cleansing milk or lotion, as it feels more comfortable. Cleansing gels, in my experience, tend to feel a little drying. While I have found the odd cleansing gel that does not dry my skin, they are few and far between.
The slightly cloudy jelly texture reminds me a little of the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, except it isn’t oily. It feels like a thick gel, that spreads easily on dry or wet skin.
In some ways, it feels almost like a balm, except without that oily slip that accompanies balms. For this reason, I enjoy using it to massage all over my skin, as it is conducive to a massage. Most cleansing gels are too slippery, and tend to drip and be messy.
This one doesn’t, and does feel lush.
I must make special mention of the packaging. The plastic bottle, with its plain words looks simple and minimalist. It does feel comfortable in the hand, the pump is easy to depress and feels solid.
Simple, Fragrance-free and Non-comodegenic
Being dermatologist formulated, you can expect it to be a few things – fragrance-free, non-comodegenic, and simple. It does not foam up, which I am comfortable with.
If you are unfamiliar with non-foaming cleansers, it can take a little time to get used to it. It also takes a little while to rinse off, as I find that it ‘sticks’ to the skin somewhat. If you’re pressed for time, use a flannel.
RELATED READING: Why, how and when would you use a face flannel to clean your face? READ HERE
It is fragrance-free, which means that they do not add any artificial fragrance. However, there is a scent to the gel, which I take to be the natural scent of the formulated product. Not unpleasant, but it is there.
I do find that it does not leave your skin feeling squeaky clean (for which I’m thankful!) and there almost seems to be a film of moisture enveloping the skin after you’re done.
I have dry skin, and my skin feels very comfortable. I must however say here, that I use this only in the evening. I use something else in the morning (it’s just convenience for me as I use 2 different bathrooms – complicated story LOL! 😀 ).
Cleanses well and removes light makeup
The bottle does come with simple directions on how to use, which I think is helpful, as Dr. Sam Bunting’s philosophy is about using the right amount of product.
For the Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser therefore, the recommended use is 1 pump in the morning, and 2 pumps in the evening. I can vouch that with 2 pumps, it will remove light makeup very effectively, so there is no real need for a second cleanse. It therefore serves its function well for lazy nights, when you’re feeling just too tired to do the whole routine, and just want something simple 🙂
It is also one that I think makes for a good travel cleanser, because it serves the function of a light and heavy/double cleanse quite well, both without stripping the skin, or leaving residue. The downside is that the bottle is too bulky for travel.
I however, use it primarily as my second cleanse. For this reason, I use just 1 pump each time.
I do notice that when I use 1 pump, my skin tolerates it well. It feels clean and comfortable after rinsing.
When I use 2 pumps however, I do notice a slight tightening of my skin when I exit the shower. Nothing major, but I do notice it, as I pay attention to these things.
From what I can tell, people with oily or combination skin types find it very effective as well, at keeping their skin clean, and without leaving it feeling tight, the way foaming cleansers do. In fact, Dr. Sam Bunting says that the Flawless Cleanser is even suitable for acne-prone skin. I am unable to vouch for this, but if you do have acne-prone skin and have used this, I’d welcome your view on this! 🙂
IN A NUTSHELL
The Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser is a very simple, basic cleanser that is well formulated so it is kind to the skin, yet effective at cleansing while protecting the skin. It is also very elegantly formulated, so it is comfortable to use, and is not fragranced, and not coloured. It also does not foam and could take some getting used to. I have dry skin, and I find it comfortable for use both as a second cleanse in the evening (after a cleansing balm) or even as a single cleanse. It removes light makeup quite easily and cleanly, and does not leave the skin feeling stripped or dry. I do enjoy using this very much and I think most people would!
Cleans skin effectively without stripping
Removes light makeup effectively and makes for a quick one-step evening cleanser
Thick jelly texture is not messy or slippery and is easy to massage over dry skin
Only available online (or at her clinic if you’re in London) and shipping overseas can be quite pricey
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants a simple, effective, one-step cleanser
PRICE: £16 for 200ml
WHERE TO BUY: Dr. Sam Bunting’s website (ships internationally – get 10% off with code PARISBMWS)
Here is the ingredient list for the Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Poloxamer 188, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Disodium EDTA, BHT
Dr. Sam’s website will ship her products internationally by registered post. International shipping costs depends on the number of items you purchase, and can be relatively expensive. For my purchase, with 3 products, it was just over £13, but 1 bottle of cleanser will set you back almost £10. It is therefore a little prohibitive for those of us overseas, unless you are willing to spring for shipping, or share the purchase with a few friends, and spread the shipping costs.
Have you tried the Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser? Is it something you might like?
I confess I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first time I tried it, I can’t say I immediately fell in love with it. But it has grown on me, and now, I’m happy to reach for it in the evenings. I am however, not 100% committed to it, as I do have a wandering eye, and the shipping cost is rather prohibitive. But it is definitely one I’d repurchase at some time in the future 🙂
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I’m a huge fan of hers too! I discovered her while I was looking for a YouTube dermatologist with product recommendations after experiencing a horrible breakout from using a local skincare brand early this year. Her videos are very on-point and she looks great too which helps with the trust factor. Happy to say that five months after starting on a retinoid cream that costs less than RM20, my skin is looking much better now although still on the dry side. I am planning to grab her products as soon as I’m done with whatever I have right now. I’m most interested in the cleanser and moisturizer, not so much on the sunscreen since it looked thick and didn’t absorb well on the demo videos (plus I’m loyal to my current Japanese sunscreens!).
Paris B says
I agree with her videos! I like that they’re short and informative without too much faff 🙂 And yes, she and her skin does look amazing! Which retinoid cream are you presently using? I am still struggling to see much results from using a retinol. Granted, it isn’t a prescription retinol, but I’m still wondering what the point is haha! 😀 The cleanser is nice, and the sunscreen does look a little thick for our weather. Still, we’ll see!
I bought Tretinon Cream 0.05% from Watsons Pharmacy and First Aid Beauty Retinol Serum from Sephora. Ridiculous how the purer, stronger prescription cream is more than 10 times cheaper that the fancy, diluted retinol serum. However, I loved the retinol serum more although I would probably credit my current results mostly to the Tretinon. My current night routine is cleanser, toner, hydrating serum and Tretinon or retinol serum depending on how I feel about my skin. No moisturizer because I’m hardcore. I don’t use the Tretinon every night because it can be a bit too much, probably just maximum 3 times a week. I will use the retinol serum probably once or twice a week just for maintenance. On the nights I don’t use them, I just do a normal skin routine with moisturizer. I started seeing results after about 5 months at about the same time a colleague complimented me looking nice and glowing. -beams proudly- It does need a lot of patience and perseverance. My second and third month was the worst because I broke out a lot with those painful, cystic acne with no head. I was also dry and peeling during the day like crazy. My skin is so much better now with very mild to almost no acne but I can’t seem to use powder foundation anymore due to the dryness. I can also only use the retinoid/retinol on my face, I have tried spreading it a bit to my neck before but ended up with a red, blotchy neck. But at least now I can finally move on to hydrating my skin more and getting rid of the acne scarring/red marks.
Paris B says
Ah I had an inkling it might be Tretinoin 🙂 I am hesitant to go down that route, primarily because it is firstly a prescription item, and therefore medication, and because I feel that as I don’t have an issue per se, that needs correcting, it might be just too much for me. That said, i’m glad it’s working out well for you 🙂 I remember reading somewhere that because our neck doesn’t have the sort of fats and collagen our face has, it can sometimes be more sensitive to active ingredients. So definitely be careful when applying active ingredients to the neck!
I have the cleanser but I find it too drying now that I’m on nightly tretinoin. The moisturizer is my favourite product of hers. I didn’t bother with the sunscreen because the UVA protection is dismal and she didn’t use any modern chemical filters (for cost reasons and so that she can sell in the outdated US).
Paris B says
I did pick up the sunscreen out of pure curiousity LOL! But haven’t yet tried it.
The cleanser stings my eyes….so I wil.usually avoid eye area…
I’ve had enough of her products:) no longer longed to try..
Paris B says
Aww sorry to hear it stings your eyes Shia but didn’t that feel good to get it out of your system?! 😀 I must confess I am curious about the new serum now, but I’ll be good and wait 😛
Love this product – fantastic
Paris B says
It’s an excellent cleanser!
Cassandra cary says
I am sorry…that cleanser is awful. After using it for about 6 months, my pores were so clogged I had a *massive* breakout. I went for a facial and the aesthetician told me there was literally a film, a hard to remove plastic film on my skin. She said she had never seen anything like it. I googled the cleanser ingredients right there and for sure, it is this “cleanser” was leaving literally a plastic film on my skin. The cleanser is almost exclusively liquid plastics that make skin”look and feel” smooth but it is truly inhibiting the natural function of the skin. In short: It’s garbage.
Just use cetaphil. There is nothing wrong with parabens. https://cosmeticsinfo.org/paraben-information
I had high expectations for this product, I have dry skin with rosacea and the formulation looks simple. However, after using a few times I started to have white postules on my face. They go away if I stop using the cleanser. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for me.
Paris B says
That’s unfortunate, Diana. Skincare is so tricky, it doesn’t suit everyone!