“First comes smiles, then lies. Last is gunfire.”

—Roland Deschain, of Gilead

Welcome to A Read of the Dark Towerseries. Join me each week as I, Constant Reader, tackle the magnum opus of Stephen King’s career for the first time. If you want to discuss in general terms or talk about these first sections, join me by commenting here.

Last week, we began Wolves of the Calla by meeting some of the folk of Calla Bryn Sturgis who, faced with having half their twin children “roont” by the wolves, decided to follow the strange gunslingers for a while to see if they might help.

Wolves of the Calla, “Todash”: Chapter 1, The Face on the Water, Section 1

“Time is a face on the water”—this is a proverb from Mejis, which Eddie knows from journeying there with Roland that long night while they camped on I-70 in the Captain Trips version of Topeka. Eddie thinks this is even more true now than in Roland’s youth, “as the world wound down like the mainspring in an ancient watch.”

Eddie thinks the passage of time while they’d been in Lud and on Blaine the Pain had seemed normal. Even when they had been walking up I-70 on the other side of the glass palace, time had seemed right. But after they’d traveled in the pink ball following their encounter with Randall Flag and Tick-Tock, things had gotten flakey.

After coming through the thinny and waking up, they’d moved on along the Path of the Beam, “day after day and night after night.” It’s always cloudy as they move along. The trees are bare, the grass mostly dead, the bushes “scrubby and brown.” For the first time since they’d left Shardik’s forest, they’ve had to go to bed hungry. So even though it’s late summer, by Roland’s reckoning, Eddie thinks they’d “lost hold of time itself: no hours, no days, no weeks, no seasons.”

What Constant Reader Learns: Eddie is aware of the way time is “softening,” with days that seem forty hours long and other days that seemed to speed past. He wonders if “time had gotten lost.”

I’m probably a dolt for not realizing this before, but the irony of “Tick-Tock’s” name struck me as Eddie was ruminating about time. I also thought this whole section of time is interesting, and I’m wondering if after a long period between books and a long flashback to Mejis, Stephen King felt the need to reiterate the whole time conundrum as we restart the original journey we’d wandered away from.

Interesting observation that Eddie has about time: when things are happening, it moves fast; when things slow down, time slows down. And “when everything stopped happening, time apparently quit altogether.” The only thing he can think of that has happened as they’ve crossed field after field is the Mystery Number 19, and what it might mean.

Wolves of the Calla, “Todash”: Chapter 1, The Face on the Water, Section 2

Although time is funky, Eddie thinks they’d been on the Path of the Beam five or six weeks when they can to the ruts of an old road. They begin to follow it, and he hopes it will “help them to shake that maddening becalmed-in-the-Horse-Latitudes feeling.” But it doesn’t. Susannah kills a small deer, so they have meat for the night. Eddie notes that he keeps “lookin’ for the candy house,” which Roland wants to know about. Roland likes to hear their fairy tales, as it turns out, and they uncover similar stories in Roland’s world, as well as religion and songs like “Hey Jude” and “Careless Love.”

So Eddie tells Roland the story of Hansel and Gretel, turning the wicked witch into Rhea of the Coos. When he finishes the story with “and they lived happily ever after,” Roland notes: “No one ever does live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves, don’t we?” Roland also points out, rightly so, that in all of these so-called fairy tales, there are no fairies. When he asks how many fairy tales there are in Eddie’s and the others’ world, they all say, “Nineteen”—their new catchword.

We learn that the number has been creeping into other things. Eddie finds himself carving it into the wood he’s working with, like a brand. Susannah and Jake are bringing in nineteen pieces of firewood each night. Roland stops them one morning, and pointed out a tree whose branches against the sky formed the number nineteen.

Roland is willing to blow off their growing obsession with the number as kind of a mass hysteria, fueled in large part by Jake, who Roland says has the “touch.” “I’m not sure that it’s as strong in you as it was in my old friend Alain, but by the gods I believe it may be.” Jake doesn’t know what Roland means, but Eddie does, and figures Jake will figure out soon enough.

What Constant Reader Learns: Funny as the travelers pass into a dense wood, in a little nod to Tolkien Eddie notes that they don’t see a single orc or troll or elf—Keebler or otherwise.

Eddie notes that Roland likes to hear fairy tales, but the way he listens to them is a little odd. Susannah points out that he doesn’t listen to them like a wide-eyed kid, but like an anthropologist who is listening to their culture’s stories as a way of learning more about their world.

And Eddie comes up with an interesting question: “Eddie felt that if anyone should be listening like scientists, it should be him and Suze and Jake. Because they came from a far more sophisticated where and when. Didn’t they?” Which I think brings up a thought worth pondering: we always assume our culture is smarter and more sophisticated than those that went before us…but is it?

Any significance that the line “Hey Jude, Don’t Make it Bad” became, in Roland’s world, “Hey Jude, I see you lad”? Or is it just Stephen King being goofy? (I still insist CCR is singing “there’s a bathroom on the right” in the chorus of “Bad Moon Rising.”)

There’s a philosophical discussion between Roland and Eddie about how people in Eddie’s world only want one “story-flavor” or genre at a time. “Does no one eat stew?” he asks. Which is pretty funny considering how many genres the Dark Tower books mash up.

Wolves of the Calla, “Todash”: Chapter 1, The Face on the Water, Section 3

The foursome (five with Oy) have stopped for lunch when Eddie notices Jake has gone missing. Roland says the boy had “peeled off about half a wheel back.” He says Jake is okay; otherwise, they’d all feel it. Their ka-tet has grown that close.

About that time, Jake wanders up with his arms full of round things the size of tennis balls, each with a pair of horns sticking up from it. They smell like freshly baked bread, and Jake says he thinks they might be good to eat. When the others look to Roland to see if it’s true, he responds by taking one, plucking off the horns and biting into it. “Muffin-balls,” he says. “I haven’t seen any in gods know how long. They’re wonderful.” The horns, he says, are sour but can be fried to taste almost like meat.

Eddie’s reluctant to eat them. Jake says he found a field full of them, and there was a lot of fresh scat around, in case anyone wants meat. Then Jake says there were men watching while he picked the muffin-balls, and are watching them now.

Jake says there are four, but Roland says five, possibly six, including a woman and a boy not much older than Jake. Jake doesn’t like the idea that they’re being followed, fearful that it’s like Tick-Tock’s followers in Lud, but Roland assures them these people are not like that. As they walk on, now Eddie can hear the people behind them, who aren’t very good at being stealthy, and he’s annoyed with himself for not hearing them earlier. When he and the others stop for the night and are making their camp, they can see the distant light of the followers’ fire.

As Eddie and Susannah gather their nineteen sticks of firewood and head back to camp, he says, “Time’s started up again.” She nods.

What Constant Reader Learns: Susannah is not happy with Roland that he knew they were being followed and didn’t tell the others. When Roland says he was waiting to see which one of them picked up on it first, and that he’d thought it would be Susannah, she gives him a Detta Walker look and Eddie thinks he’s glad she’s giving that look to Roland and not to him.

So, we know Susannah is preggers, right? If they’ve been walking for weeks, and it’s been a while since she realized it herself, wouldn’t she be showing by now? Or has fetal gestation time moved on as well?

Wolves of the Calla, “Todash”: Chapter 1, The Face on the Water, Section 4

Eddie caves on eating the muffin-balls, especially when Roland fries them up in some deerfat meat he’s been hoarding in his man-purse. Roland warns them that the muffin-balls can “bring very lively dreams.”

“You mean they make you stoned?” Jake asks, thinking of his father. And Roland also thinks of the stone circle where the succubus was imprisoned and he had invisible demon sex. But Roland assures him they aren’t like hallucinogenics. “If your dreams are particularly vivid, just remind yourself that you are dreaming,” he tells the boy.

What Constant Reader Learns: Uh-oh. “Vivid dreams” can’t be good. I sense a universe in a purple blade of grass coming on.

And what’s the point of Roland thinking about the invisible demon sex? (As opposed to Susannah’s invisible demon sex.) Are there going to be some ramifications of that coming up?

Wolves of the Calla, “Todash”: Chapter 1, The Face on the Water, Section 5

The dreams come but they’re “not dreams at all,” something they all know except for Susannah, “who in a very real sense was not there at all that night.” Eddie is amazed that he’s back in New York, on Second Avenue. Jake and Oy come around the corner from 54th Street and say to Eddie, “Welcome home.”

To which Eddie thinks, “Game on.”

What Constant Reader Learns:Wha? Well, crap. It’s midnight and I’m in a New Orleans hotel and have a seven-hour drive tomorrow and I can’t read more. Sigh. This is going to be interesting!

That’s it for this week! Next week—same time, same place—we’ll continue our read of Wolves of the Calla, Part One, “Todash,” Chapter Two, “New York Groove.”



The Dark Tower (series)

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.When love leaves the world, all hearts are still. Tell them of my love and tell them of my pain and tell them of my hope, which still lives. For this is all I have and all I am and all I ask.

The Dark Tower is a series of seven books by American writer Stephen King that tells the tale of lead character Roland Deschain’s quest for the “Dark Tower.” Part of Roland’s fictional quest lies in discovering the true nature of the Tower. The series incorporates themes from multiple genres, including fantasy fiction, science fantasy, horror, and western elements.

Vol. I: The Gunslinger

The prosaic fact of the universe’s existence alone defeats both the pragmatist and the romantic. There was a time, yet a hundred generations before the world moved on, when mankind had achieved enough technical and scientific prowess to chip a few splinters from the great stone pillar of reality.Despite a tremendous increase in available facts, there were remarkably few insights.

  • The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
    • Opening text
  • Go then, there are other worlds than these.
    • Jake
  • I don’t like people, they fuck me up.
  • The desert was the apotheosis of all deserts, huge, standing to the sky for what looked like eternity in all directions. It was white and blinding and waterless and without feature save for the faint, cloudy haze of the mountains which sketched themselves on the horizon and the devil-grass which brought sweet dreams, nightmares, death. An occasional tombstone sign pointed the way, for once the drifted track that cut its way through the thick crust of alkali had been a highway. Coaches and buckas had followed it. The world had moved on since then. The world had emptied.
  • Hollow grandeur in place of true passions which might once have built kingdoms and sustained them.
    • Rolands musings on the social state of his lost civilisation.
  • The Tower. Somewhere ahead, it waited for him—the nexus of Time, the nexus of Size.
  • “Let the word and the legend go before you. There are those who will carry both.” His eyes flicked over the gunslinger’s shoulder. “Fools, perchance. Let the world go before you. Let your shadow grow. Let it grow hair on its face. Let it become dark.” He smiled grotesquely. “Given time, words may even enchant an enchanter. Do you take my meaning, gunslinger?”
    • Cort, to Roland after being defeated by him
  • The gunslinger waited for the time of the drawing and dreamed his long dreams of the Dark Tower, to which he would someday come at dusk and approach, winding his horn, to do some unimaginable final battle.

  • Beyond the reach of human range, a drop of hell, a touch of strange
    • Verse of the Manni Folk that Roland remembers while on Mescaline.
  • It was a blade of grass. But it was purple.
  • The World has moved on. Bad times are on horseback.
  • Perhaps they only looked for a Jesus to heal them, raise them Lazarus-like from the darkness.
    • Roland, on the Slow Mutants.
  • The man in black smiled. “Shall we tell the truth then, you and I? No more lies?”

    “I thought we had been.”

    But the man in black persisted as if Roland hadn’t spoken. “Shall there be truth between us, as two men? Not as friends, but as equals? There is an offer you will get rarely, Roland. Only equals speak the truth, that’s my thought on’t. Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of regard. How tiresome!”

    • Variant: Only enemies speak the truth. Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.
      • Walter O’Dim’s line in the edition of the story in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 61 (1981)
  • Shaken and alone, enwrapt in the darkness, terrified of an ultimate meaning rushing at him, he gathered himself and uttered the final answer on that subject: “NEVER!”

    “THEN LET THERE BE LIGHT!” And there was light, crashing in on him like a hammer, a great and primordial light.

  • The universe (he said) is the Great All, and offers a paradox too great for the finite mind to grasp. As the living brain cannot conceive of a non-living brain—although it may think it can—the finite mind cannot grasp the infinite.

    The prosaic fact of the universe’s existence alone defeats both the pragmatist and the romantic. There was a time, yet a hundred generations before the world moved on, when mankind had achieved enough technical and scientific prowess to chip a few splinters from the great stone pillar of reality. Even so, the false light of science (knowledge, if you like) shone in only a few developed countries. One company (or cabal) led the way in this regard: North Central Positronics, it called itself. Yet, despite a tremendous increase in available facts, there were remarkably few insights.

  • Perhaps you saw what place our universe plays in the scheme of things—as no more than an atom in a blade of grass. Could it be that everything we can perceive, from the microscopic virus to the distant Horsehead Nebula, is contained in one blade of grass that may have existed for only a single season in an alien time-flow? What if that blade should be cut off by a scythe? When it begins to die, would the rot seep into our universe and our own lives, turning everthing yellow and brown and desiccated? Perhaps it’s already begun to happen. We say the world has moved on; maybe we really mean that it has begun to dry up.

    “Think how small such a concept of things make us, gunslinger! If a God watches over it all, does He actually mete out justice for such a race of gnats? Does His eye see the sparrow fall when the sparrow is less than a speck of hydrogen floating disconnected in the depth of space? And if He does see… what must the nature of such a God be? Where does He live? How is it possible to live beyond infinity?

  • Suppose that all worlds, all universes, met at a single nexus, a single pylon, a Tower. And within it, a stairway, perhaps rising to the Godhead itself. Would you dare climb to the top, gunslinger? Could it be that somewhere above all of endless reality, there exists a room?…

    “You dare not.”

    And in the gunslinger’s mind, those words echoed: You dare not.

Vol. II: The Drawing of the Three

  • Had he come this far just to die, then? He would not. And if he were to die in spite of his determination, he would die on his way to the Tower.
    • The Gunslinger
  • The door had hinges, but they were fastened to nothing—or so it seems, the gunslinger thought. This is a mystery, a most marvelous mystery, but does it really matter? You are dying. Your own mystery—the only one that really matters to any man or woman in the end—approaches.
    • The Gunslinger
  • When the only fast way you could get rid of the monkey on your back was to snap your spinal cord above that bunch of nerves, you were dealing with one heavy monkey.
    • Eddie Dean
  • As Henry Dean, the great sage and eminent junkie would have put it, Flip-flop, hippety-hop, offa your rocker and over the top, life’s a fiction and the world’s a lie, so put on some Creedence and let’s get high.
    • Eddie Dean
  • “Good. Call it fluttergork if you want, pr… Eddie. Just do it”
    • Roland
  • “Jesus Christ, when these DO shoot, they really blow holes in things”.
    • Eddie Dean after firing Roland’s gun in Balazar’s office.
  • “Who are you?” Eddie screams at him.

    “Your destiny, Eddie,” the gunslinger whispers.

  • There are people who need people to need them. The reason you don’t understand is because you’re not one of those people. You’d use me and then toss me away like a paper bag if that’s what it came down to. God fucked you, my friend. You’re just smart enough so it would hurt you to do that, and just hard enough so you’d go ahead and do it anyway. You wouldn’t be able to help yourself. If I was lying on the beach there and screaming for help, you’d walk over me as if I was between you and your goddamn Tower.
    • Eddie
  • You’re a Tower Junkie, Roland.
    • Eddie
  • Fault always lies in the same place, my fine babies: with him weak enough to lay blame.
    • Cort
  • In a world that was clearly going to hell head-first, what was so low about getting high?
    • Henry Dean
  • “God pisses down the back of your neck every day but only drowns you once”.
    • ‘Cimi
  • “Won’t somebody please explain where I am and how I got here?” the woman in the wheelchair asked – almost pleaded.

    “Well, I’ll tell you one thing, Dorothy,” Eddie said. “You ain’t in Kansas anymore.”

  • If you have given up your heart for the Tower, Roland, you have already lost. A heartless creature is a loveless creature, and a loveless creature is a beast. To be a beast is perhaps bearable, although the man who has become one will surely pay hell’s own price in the end, but if you should gain your object? What if you should, heartless, storm the Dark Tower and win it? What could you do except degenerate from beast to monster? To gain one’s object as a beast would only be bitterly comic, like giving a magnifying glass to an elephaunt. But to gain one’s object as a monster…To pay hell is one thing. But do you want to own it?
  • “Well,” Eddie said, “What was behind Door Number One wasn’t so hot, and what was behind Door Number Two was even worse, so now, instead of quitting like sane people, we’re going to go right ahead and check out Door Number Three. The way things have been going, I think it’s likely to be something like Godzilla or Ghidra the Three-Headed Monster, but I’m an optimist. I’m still hoping for the stainless steel cookware.”
  • “If we were going to rape you, you would be one well-raped woman by now”
    • Roland to Detta Walker
  • “I love you, Eddie. You have tried so hard. Been so patient. So has he—” she nodded toward the place where the gunslinger lay propped against the rocks, watching. “– but he is a hard man to love.”
    • Odetta Holmes
  • Later, with strange galaxies turning in slow gavotte overhead, neither thought the act of love had ever been so sweet, so full.
  • Control the things you can control, maggot. Let everything else take a flying fuck at you, and if you must go down, go down with your guns blazing.
    • Cort
  • The thunder of his own guns filled him with stupid wonder.
    • Roland
  • I am three women…I who was; I who had no right to be but was; I am the woman you have saved. I thank you gunslinger.
    • Susannah
  • By Profession, He was a Successful C.P.A. Pushing was only his Hobby.
    • – Of Jack Mort
  • When it came to murder, Jack Mort was an equal-opportunity employer.
    • – Of Jack Mort
  • Who was to say he had not sculpted the cosmos today, or might not at some future time? God, no wonder he creamed his jeans!
    • – Of Jack Mort
  • There ensued a short, violent struggle. The Gunslinger won, but it was a surprisingly hard go. In his way, Jack Mort was as divided as Odetta. He was not a schizophrenic as she was; he knew well enough what he did from time to time. But he kept his secret self—the part of him that was The Pusher—as carefully locked away as an embezzler might lock away his secret skim.
    • – Of Jack Mort
  • Do-Bees covered all the bases.
  • Yet somehow they still found a way to shrink back from the man in the Blue suit who came plunging down the stairs. It wasn’t much wonder. He was holding a gun,

and another was strapped around his waist. Also, He appeared to be on fire.

    • – Of Jack Mort/Roland
  • Jack Mort died alone.

i like the ryme

Vol. III: The Waste Lands

  • I do not aim with my hand;
    He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I aim with my eye.

    I do not shoot with my hand;
    He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I shoot with my mind.

    I do not kill with my gun;
    He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
    I kill with my heart.

  • Choo-Choo, thought Jake, and shuddered.
  • Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth.

    Yet his heart, that silent, watchful, lifelong prisoner of Ka, received the words of this promise not just with wonder but with doubt.

  • See the TURTLE, ain’t he keen? All things serve the fucking Beam!
    • Eddie Dean
    • Blaine the Mono
  • The gunslinger let me drop, and that is the truth; I still love him, and that is the truth
    • Jake’s essay, My Understanding of Truth
  • ‘At this nexus lies the Great Portal that so-called Thirteenth Gate which rules not just this world but all worlds.’
    • Roland, explaining the layout and path to the Dark Tower
  • “All is silent in the halls of the dead.”Eddie heard himself in a falling, fainting voice. “All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. Behold the stairways which stand in darkness; behold the rooms of ruin. These are the halls of the dead where spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one.”
    • Eddie Dean
  • Dad-a-chum,dud-a-chee,not to worry, you’ve got the key.
  • “Shake the hand that shook the world.”
    • Randal Flagg/Walter O’Dim

Vol. IV: Wizard and Glass

    • Blaine the Mono

    “It’s the world’s smallest violin, playing ‘My Heart Pumps Purple Piss for You.'”

    • Blaine the Mono and Eddie Dean
  • Why did the dead baby cross the road? … Because it was stapled to the chicken, you dopey fuck!
    • Eddie, to Blaine the Mono.
  • Ka like the wind
    • Susan Delgado
  • “Death for you, life for my crop.”
  • Time is a face on the water
  • It seemed to him that the most horrible fact of human existence was that broken hearts mended.
  • If you love me, then love me
  • “Might I recline briefly at your feet miss? Your beauty has loosened my knees. I am sure a few moments looking up at your profile from below with the back of my head on these cool tiles will put me right.”
    • Cuthbert Allgood
  • True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring—once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome… except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners.
  • “So do we pass the ghosts that haunt us later in our lives; they sit undramatically by the roadside like poor beggars, and we see them only from the corners of our eyes, if we see them at all. The idea that they have been waiting there for us rarely if ever crosses our mind. Yet they do wait, and when we have passed, they gather up their bundles of memory and fall in behind, treading in our footsteps and catching up, little by little.”
    • Susan Delgado. Last words.
  • There is no word, not even “No”, in his screams at the end. He howls like a gutted animal, his hands fused to the ball…Alain cannot pry his hands away from the ball, so instead he lays his hand on his cheek, touching him that way. Except there’s nothing left to touch. Nothing left…and the thing that rides West with Cuthbert and Alain…will not be Roland, or even the Ghost of Roland. Like the moon at the end of its cycle, Roland is gone.”
  • Oh, Christ. I left the world I knew to watch a kid try to put booties on a fucked-up weasel. Shoot me, Roland, before I breed.
    • Eddie Dean
  • Because often, silence is best.
    • Roland

  • I have no opinion. No, none at all. Opinion is politics, and politics is an evil which has caused many a fellow to be hung while he’s still young and pretty.
    • Cuthbert Allgood
  • Wondering if she wanted as badly as he did to be out of here, to be in the dark, to be alone in the dark, where he could put his false face aside before the real one beneath could grow hot enough to set it afire
  • Fools are the only folk on the earth who can absolutely count on getting what they deserve.
  • Above them, Demon Moon grinned and winked one eye through what appeared to be a shifting scrim of blood
  • I’ll pay ye back. By all the gods that ever were, I’ll pay ye back. When ye least expect it, there Rhea will be, and your screams will break your throats. Do you hear me? Your screams will break your throats!
    • Rhea Dubativo of the Cöos

Vol. V: Wolves of the Calla

  • “Do’ee say the world will end in fire or in ice, gunslinger?” Roland considered this. “Neither”,he said at last. “I think in darkness”
  • Near them, stuck on the branch of a tree, had been a note from the being Roland had just missed killing in Palace: ‘Renounce the Tower. This is your last warning.’ Ridiculous, really. Roland would no more renounce the Tower than he’d kill Jake’s pet billy-bumbler and then roast him on a spit for dinner. None of them would renounce Roland’s Dark Tower. God help them, they were in it all the way to the end.
  • And really, what could be so special about the number nineteen? Mystery Number, indeed.
    • Eddie
  • No one ever does live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves.
    • Roland
  • Do people in your world always want only one story flavor at a time? Only one taste in their mouths?
    • Roland
  • The whole world was losing its shit, going nineteen.
    • Jake
  • Who’s this Claudia y Inez Bachman?
    • Eddie
  • Now there was a fourth woman. She had been born out of the third in yet another time of stress and change. She cared nothing for Odetta, Detta, or Susannah; she cared for nothing save the new chap who was on his way. The new chap needed to be fed. The banqueting hall was near. That was what mattered and all that mattered.

    This new woman, every bit as dangerous in her own way as Detta Walker had been, was Mia. She bore the name of no man’s father, only the word that in the High Speech means mother.

  • Here comes Mia, daughter of none!
  • Your imagination is a poor thing, Roland.
    • Vannay
  • Dreaming. But not just dreaming. This was todash, the passing between two worlds. Supposedly the Manni could do it. And supposedly some pieces of the Wizard’s Rainbow could make you do it, whether you wanted to or not. One piece of it in particular.

    “They could get caught between and fall”, Roland thought. “Vannay said that, too. He said that going todash was full of peril.”

  • “Water if God wills it”, he reminded himself. “About the great matters, Roland, you have no say”.

    Not a comfortable truth, especially for a man on a quest such as his, but one he’s learned to live with.

  • Time is a face on the water.

    Roland felt gooseflesh run up his arms. Somewhere – perhaps in a glaring, blood-colored field of roses still far from here—a rustie had just walked over his grave.

  • “You said there were other worlds than these,” Roland said, “and there are. New York in all its multiple whens is only one of many. That we are drawn there again and again has to do with the rose. I have no doubt of that, nor do I doubt that in some way I do not understand the rose is the Dark Tower. Either that or—”

    “Or it’s another door,” Susannah murmured. “One that opens on the Dark Tower itself.”

  • Because of changes in time – a softening of time which I know you all have felt—I’ve quested after the Dark Tower for over a thousand years, sometimes skipping over whole generations the way a sea-bird may cruise from one wave-top to the next, only wetting its feet in the foam. Never in all this time did I come across one of these doors between the worlds until I came to the ones on the beach at the edge of the Western Sea. I had an idea what they were, although I could have told you something of todash and the bends o’ the rainbow.
    • Roland
  • Eddie had known who they were since River Crossing, when the old people had knelt in the street to Roland. Hell, he’d known since the woods (what he still thought of as Shardik’s woods), where Roland had taught them to aim with the eye, shoot with the mind, kill with the heart. Not three, not four. One. That Roland should finish them so, complete them so, was horrible. He was filled with poison and had kissed them with his poisoned lips. He had made them gunslingers, and had Eddie really thought there was no work left for the line of Arthur Eld in the mostly empty and husked-out world? That they would simply be allowed to toddle along the Path of the Beam until they got to Roland’s Dark Tower and fixed whatever was wrong there? Well, guess again.
    • Eddie
  • We deal in lead.
    • Roland
  • Three is a number of power.
    • Roland
  • I have an object of great power.
    • Callahan
  • We’re bound to do as you ask, if we judge your Calla in the White and those you call Wolves as agents of the outer dark: Beam-breakers, if you ken.
    • Roland
  • A tear spilled down Callahan’s right cheek, then another. He wiped them away absently. “I’ve never dared handle it, but I’ve seen it. Felt its power. Christ the Man Jesus help me, I have Black Thirteen under the floorboards of my church. And it’s come alive. Do you understand me?” He looked at them with his wet eyes. “It’s come alive.”
  • There was a part of her—a spiteful Detta Walker part—that would always resent Roland’s ascendancy in her heart and mind, but for the most part she recognized him for what he was: the last of his kind. Maybe even a hero.
    • Susannah
  • It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.
    • Susannah
  • Thankee-sai, long days, kiss my ass and go to heaven.
    • Eddie
  • When it came to pulling coals out of a hot fire, he’d put two dollars on Roland of Gilead for every one he put on God and the Man Jesus, those heavenly gunslingers.
    • Eddie, about Callahan
  • It’s the Way of the Eld. We are of that an-tet, khef and ka, watch and warrant. Gunslingers, do ya.
    • Roland
  • When the shooting starts, we kill what moves.
    • Roland
  • Roland was as much a prisoner of his rules and traditions as Eddie had ever been of heroin.
  • The gunslinger’s initial feelings for Eddie had wavered between caution and contempt for what Roland saw as his weakness of character. Respect had come more slowly. It had begun in Balazar’s office, when Eddie had fought naked. Very few men Roland had known could have done that. It had grown with his realization of how much Eddie was like Cuthbert. Then, on the mono, Eddie had acted with a kind of desperate creativity that Roland could admire but never equal. Eddie Dean was possessed of Cuthbert Allgood’s always puzzling and sometimes annoying sense of ridiculous; he was also possessed Alain John’s deep flashes of intuition. Yet in the end, Eddie was like neither of Roland’s old friends. He was sometimes weak and self-centered, but possessed of deep reservoirs of courage and courage’s good sister, what Eddie himself sometimes called ‘heart’.
  • First come smiles, then comes lies. Last is gunfire.
    • Roland
  • When everything’s a surprise, experience takes on a dreamlike quality.
  • Definition of a wanderer: a guy who’s always looking beyond.
    • Eddie
  • All of your lies will cross your eyes.
  • 5 minutes of worth of blood and stupidity
    • Roland
  • They burst up and out of the earth like dragons teeth

Vol. VI: Song of Susannah

  • We spread the time as we can, but in the end the world takes it all back.
    • Roland
  • Food and palaver don’t mix.
    • Roland
  • Anger is the most useless emotion; destructive to the mind and hurtful of the heart.
    • Henchick, of the Manni
  • I need no sigul. Not the potter but the potter’s clay, and I need no sigul!
    • Pere Callahan
  • Dad-a-chum, dad-a-chee! Not to worry, you’ve got the key!
    • Stephen King, found in a note to Jake Chambers
  • Dead, like diamonds, was forever.
  • You doom yourselves, Susannah. You seem positively bent on it, and the root is always the same: your faith fails you, and you replace it with rational thought. But there is no love in thought, nothing that lasts in deduction, only death in rationalism.
    • Mia
  • I refuse to believe that I was raised in Brooklyn simply because of some writer’s mistake, something that will eventually be fixed in the second draft.
    • Eddie Dean
  • I don’t think he needs to be immortal. I think all he needs to do is to write the right story. Because some stories do live forever.
    • Roland (of Stephen King)

Vol. VII: The Dark Tower

  • “May you find your Tower, Roland, and breach it, and may you climb to the top!”
    The teeth of his old enemies, these ancient brothers and sisters of a thing which had called itself Kurt Barlow, sank into him like stingers. Callahan felt them not at all. He was smiling as he pulled the trigger and escaped them for good.
    • Pere Callahan’s death
  • You must never draw until you know how many are against you, or you’ve satisfied yourself that you can never know, or you’ve decided it’s your day to die.
    • Susannah, remembering Roland’s lesson.
  • The bumbler did not bite, but said a single word. “Olan,” said he. Then he lowered his head, uttered a single sigh, and died.
  • So much you did; So much you did and so much more you would have done, aye, and all without a check or qualm, and so will the world end, I think, a victim of love rather than hate. For love’s ever been the more destructive weapon, sure.
    • Roland
  • Gunfire makes close relations.
    • Roland
  • Sometimes I think we’d all be better off if the people who mean well would just creep away and die.
    • Eddie
  • Any statement beginning with the words ‘In truth’ is almost always a lie.
    • Mordred
  • Even if the torture stops, I’ll die. And you’ll die too, for when love leaves the world, all hearts are still. Tell them of my love and tell them of my pain and tell them of my hope, which still lives. For this is all I have and all I am and all I ask.
    • The Beam
  • All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. These are the rooms of ruin where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one.
  • They were the hands of Gan, the hands of ka, and they knew no mercy
  • You are the grim, goal-oriented ones who will not believe that the joy is in the journey rather than the destination no matter how many times it has been proven to you.
    • Afterword
  • The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
    • Ending Text

The Wind Through The Keyhole

  • “A person’s never too old for stories. Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.”
    • Roland Deschain”
  • “In the end, the wind takes everything, doesn’t it? And why not? Why other? If the sweetness of our lives did not depart, there would be no sweetness at all.”
  • “It was not fair, it was not fair, it was not fair. So cried his child’s heart, and then his child’s heart died a little. For that is also the way of the world.”
  • “What if I fall?’, Tim cried.
    • Maerlyn laughed. ‘Sooner or later, we all do.”
  • “There’s nothing like stories on a windy night when folks have found a warm place in a cold world.”
  • “Pray for rain all you like, but dig a well as you do it.”

About The Dark Tower (series)

  • I’m never done with The Dark Tower. The thing about The Dark Tower is that those books were never edited, so I look at them as first drafts. And by the time I got to the fifth or sixth book, I’m thinking to myself, “This is really all one novel.” It drives me crazy. The thing is to try to find the time to rewrite them. There’s a missing element – a big battle at a place called Jericho Hill. And that whole thing should be written, and I’ve thought about it several times, and I don’t know how to get into it.
    • Stephen King Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview, Andy Greene, Rolling Stone October 31, 2014.

External links

Encyclopedic article on The Dark Tower (series) at Wikipedia

7 No-Rinse Cleansers For Cold AF Mornings

As much as we’d like to stay in denial, there’s no two ways about it — it’s getting colder here in Australia. That, of course, means it’s becoming about 10 times harder to resist the alluring pull of our warm, comfy beds. The last thing you feel like doing when you finally manage to get up is splashing your face with water while standing on cold bathroom tiles. But ironically, the colder months are when your skin needs the most TLC, in order to contend with the chilly conditions and dehydrating heating.

Of course, you could just multi-task and cleanse your skin in the shower. But washing your face with hot water is actually the worst thing you could do, as it strips the moisture from your already dehydrated skin. So, what’s a girl to do? Make a rinse-free cleanser your new best friend, of course!

From cleansing oils and micellar water to cream cleansers, there are plenty of types of no-rinse cleansers to choose from. You simply pop them on your skin, swipe em’ off (or in some cases, leave it on) and you’re good to go! It’s just as quick and convenient as using a makeup wipe, only way more efficient. So, not only will a no-rinse cleanser make your morning skincare regime more bearable, it’ll actually save you time! And you know what that means — 10 extra minutes in bed!

Flick through the gallery for some of our favourite no-rinse cleansers.

LUSH 9 to 9 Cleansing Lotion

There’s nothing more soothing than a gentle cleansing milk on your skin in the colder months — which is why this product from Lush is an absolute must-have! Not only is it perfect for lazy mornings, it’s also great for your evening skin regime as it doubles as a makeup remover.

Shop the Lush 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Micellar cleansers have had a serious moment lately — and for good reason. Not only are they super convenient to use, they give you a thorough cleanse without irritating the skin. This one from Garnier is a great all-rounder as it removes makeup, cleanses the skin and targets impurities.

Shop the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion

If you have sensitive or irritable skin, this cleansing lotion from Avene is a must-have. It’s fragrance-free, incredibly gentle and doesn’t require any rinsing or rubbing — you just slather it on and wipe it off with a tissue or cotton pad.

Shop the Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion.

Clarins One Step Cleanser

This no-rinse lotion from Clarins takes your time-saving even further by combining your cleanser and toner in one step! Not only does it remove makeup and the dry cells that lead to dull-looking skin, it also contains radiance-boosting orange extract. Oh, and it safeguards the skin against pollution, too. Is there anything this product can’t do?

Shop the Clarins One Step Cleanser.

La-Roche Posay Dermo-Cleanser

Another great one for sensitive complexions, this milky cleanser removes makeup and impurities without irritating the skin. In fact, the no-rinse formula is so soothing that it feels more like a moisturiser than it does a cleanser! It’s also enriched with glycerin, which helps to add moisture back to dehydrated skin.

Shop the La-Roche Posay Dermo-Cleanser.

Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi+ Skin Refining Cleansing Oil

Many Shu Uemura fanatics consider this the holy grail of makeup removers. While it will remove stubborn makeup, it will also do a whole lot more! The cleansing oil is enriched with antioxidants like green tea and moringa, that help to refine the skin and restore radiance. It’s also anti-pollutant and smells amazing, with notes of lavender, cardamom and geranium.

Shop the Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi+ Skin Refining Cleansing Oil.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser

Gentle, calming, rinse-free — this cleansing gel ticks all the right boxes for the colder months. It also helps to combat skin sensitivity caused by exposure to pollutants and harsh climate conditions. While you do have the option of rinsing it off, it comes off just as easily with a tissue or cotton pad.

Shop the Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser.

  • It’s good for your skin to remove makeup every night, but it can be a pain without the right makeup remover.
  • Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is our favorite makeup remover because it’s fast, effective, foolproof, and it can be used repeatedly without stripping your skin.

However tempting it is to fall into bed after a tiring day or a big night out, removing your makeup is a must. If you want healthy-looking skin, it’s the golden rule.

At night, your skin repairs itself, so if it is caked in makeup, it can cause more harm than good. Not only can leaving your makeup on overnight clog your pores and cause breakouts, it can accelerate the aging process, leaving you with dull skin and wrinkles. And, you’ll end up with smudges all over your pillow!

A good makeup remover should easily remove all traces of makeup without much, if any, rubbing. There’s an array of different types of makeup removers out there, from micellar waters and wipes to cleansing oils and lotions, each with different benefits and uses.

We’ve done our research and tested the best makeup removers on the market to come up our top recommendations. Whether you’re a devout double cleanser or prefer removing makeup on the fly, there’s something on this list for everyone.

Here are the best makeup removers you can buy:

  • Best overall: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water
  • Best cleansing oil: Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
  • Best cleansing oil solid: Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original
  • Best foaming cleanser: Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash
  • Best cleansing wipes: Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths
  • Best milk cleanser: Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser
  • See also: The best eye makeup remover you can buy

Updated on 10/23/2019 by Remi Rosmarin: Updated links, formatting, and prices.

The best makeup remover overall

source Bioderma

If you want a classic, no-fuss makeup remover that is effective, affordable, and has instant results, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is a winner.

Touted as a miracle cleanser that doesn’t need rinsing, Micellar water has seen a revival in recent years and is all the rage. Bioderma, considered the Queen of micellar waters, has a cult following. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is the best-selling version, and one bottle is sold every two seconds, according to the French company.

This award-winning, one-step makeup remover is designed to remove all makeup even waterproof mascara instantly. There’s no need to rinse, no oily residue, and no irritation. The oil-free, hypoallergenic formula is enriched with soothing cucumber extract and has been designed for sensitive skin, but it is ideal for all skin types.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is hugely popular with celebrities, and makeup artists, and is often used on runways as it is foolproof, efficient, and can be used repeatedly without stripping skin. An added bonus is that it is multipurpose, acting as a toner and moisturizer, too. If you are looking to simply your skincare routine, it’s ideal.

In testing, I was very impressed at how quickly it removed all my face and eye makeup leaving my skin soft, clean and refreshed with no residue. It worked well on water-resistant mascara and heavier eye makeup but I needed to use more liquid.

It’s not just me who loves this must-have from French pharmacies, it features on Style Craze and Women’s Health Magazine best makeup remover lists. It is one of Amazon’s bestsellers, getting an average of 4.4 out of 5 from more than 2,700 shoppers.

Although Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is the most popular Bioderma micellar water, you can also buy Bioderma Hydrabio H2O for dehydrated skin and Bioderma Sebium H2O for oily, blemish prone skin

Pros: Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin, fragrance-free, oil-free, can be used on both face and eyes

Cons: None

The best makeup remover oil

source Tatcha

For gentle but effective makeup removal in just one step, Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is hard to beat.

Fans of clean beauty will love this 2-in-1 cleanser and makeup remover from Japanese brand Tatcha. It promises to gently melt impurities, erase all traces of even long-wear and waterproof makeup, and deliver soft and silky skin. It is designed to thoroughly cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural moisture, leaving it balanced and nourished.

The soothing formula contains Japanese camellia oil, a lightweight ingredient that is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, plus anti-aging superfoods such as green tea, rice, and algae that aim to restore healthy-looking, youthful radiance

To use, simply apply one to two pumps to your hands, massage onto dry skin, then rinse with water. Oil cleansers are often used as part of a double cleanse routine. This is where you first use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and follow it with a traditional lathering cleanser and water to give your skin a thorough clean.

However, the beauty of Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is that you only need to do the first step. It is safe to use around the eye area, too, but be sure to remove contact lenses first.

In testing, I liked the subtle smell of the oil. It emulsified into a milk when I added water and removed my makeup effortlessly. My skin felt clean, soft, and smooth, and there was no residue. I was nervous the oil formula might irritate my skin or cause breakouts, but it didn’t react.

It’s not just me who loves Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, it is highly rated by sites such as Women’s Health Magazine and Elle. It also gets 4.5 out of 5 on Sephora with one customer saying, “You only need a small amount to fully cleanse all your makeup off including mascara and liner.”

Pros: Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin, safe for eye area, anti-aging, does not contain mineral oil, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, free from SLS, parabens, and phthalates.

Cons: Pricey, better for face makeup

The best cleansing oil solid

source Banila Co

Despite our love for oil cleansers, one of the major downfalls is that it’s an oil and has immense potential to leak out onto just about everything in its vicinity.

But that won’t happen with solid oil cleansers, and this one from Banila Co recently got upgraded with a higher melting point to withstand hot bathrooms and hotter summer temps. This also means you can shuttle it back and forth to the gym, and even take it on vacation, without any worries.

The original mineral oil formula, which was questionable and potentially irritating for some people, has also been upgraded to a cleaner one with ester oil and vitamin C-rich fruit extracts.

To use, scoop a bit of the cleanser with the included spatula (or just use your fingers), gently massage over your skin, be amazed at how smooth the solid melts into a thin oil, and rinse off with warm water. The water should turn a little milky as it emulsifies the oil and washed clean. The result is a super fresh complexion with zero oily residue.

The solid balm more than 600 5-star reviews on SokoGlam and the brand claims it sells a tub of the cleansing magic every three seconds.

Pros: Doesn’t melt easily, clean mineral oil-free formula, portable, inexpensive for the value

Cons: Smallest 3.38 oz. size may not be considered travel-friendly for some

The best foaming cleanser

source Pacifica

If you’re looking for an effective traditional foaming wash-off cleanser to remove your makeup, Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash is hard to beat.

Clean beauty fans rejoice, this wallet-friendly face wash from drugstore brand Pacifica makes removing makeup a breeze. It performs as well, if not better than foaming cleansers from premium brands.

Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash promises to remove makeup, cleanse, and tone your skin and deliver a glowing complexion. The lightweight gel-based formula is packed with natural, plant-derived ingredients such as coconut water, sea algae complex, and papaya extract that will nourish your skin.

I’m a huge fan of wash-off cleansers as I like the completely clean feeling you get. In testing, I loved the delicious tropical coconut smell. The liquid gel foamed up nicely and felt gentle on my skin. It washed away all my makeup and my skin felt squeaky clean and soft, but not dry.

Pros: Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin, free from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, vegan, cruelty free

Cons: Those with very dry skin might find it too drying

The best makeup remover wipes

source Koh Gen Do

For convenient and effective makeup removal when you’re on the go, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths are superb.

These oil-free, no-rinse wipes are a favorite with makeup artists as they are formulated to gently but quickly remove all traces of face and eye makeup including stubborn waterproof mascara, while at the same nourishing your skin.

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths are ideal to leave by your bedside for the days when taking off your makeup seems too much of a chore, for use pre- or post-workout, or when you’re traveling.

The organic cotton cloths are pre-moistened with mineral-rich spa water infused with essential herbs including rosemary leaf, sage leaf, lavender, and ginger to protect, calm, and hydrate your complexion.

In testing, I found the wipes felt thick and luxurious and had a pleasant scent. One wipe cleaned off all my face and eye makeup, quickly and easily, leaving my skin feeling soft and refreshed. There was no sticky residue and no irritation.

Pros: Suitable for all skin types, good for sensitive skin and eyes, effective on waterproof mascara, free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance, oil-free, alcohol-free, no need to rinse

Cons: Pricey

The best milk cleanser for makeup removal

source Avene

Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser is gentle but effective, easily removing makeup and impurities without needing to rinse.

Milk cleansers are ideal if you have sensitive or blemish-prone skin as they are known to be gentle, removing makeup and impurities without stripping your skin. Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser promises to take everything off including mascara and lipstick without leaving a sticky residue in just one step, and leave you with a glowing complexion.

The no-rinse formula contains lightweight ingredients such as hyaluronic acid to moisturize and spring water to soothe and soften your skin. To use it, you simply massage it onto your skin and remove the excess with a cotton pad.

In testing, the milky liquid had a pleasant fragrance. It quickly removed all my makeup leaving my skin feeling soft and hydrated.

Pros: Suitable for all skin types, ideal for sensitive skin, no-rinse formula, free from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, gluten-free, non-drying

Cons: None

Check out our eye makeup remover guide


The best eye makeup remover you can buy

Eye makeup is notoriously stubborn and difficult to remove, so you need a good, safe makeup remover in your arsenal.

To save you time and trouble, we have researched and tested the best eye makeup removers on the market according to consumers and experts, to come up with the best of the best. Only ophthalmologist-tested eye makeup removers are featured in this guide.

Here are the best eye makeup removers you can buy:

  • Best remover overall: Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
  • Best remover pads: Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover Pads
  • Best remover splurge: Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Intense Eye Makeup Remover
  • Best remover for sensitive eyes: Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover
  • Best remover for heavy makeup: Neutrogena Oil Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Check out our other skincare buying guides

source /Alena Ozerova

The best exfoliators you can buy for any skin type or budget

Whether you’re new to the exfoliation game or a seasoned skincare pro, Glossier’s Solution is the exfoliator you should be reaching for. Its powerful mix of acids dissolves dead skin cells and improves your complexion, giving your face a gorgeous glow. Here are all the best exfoliators we recommend:

  • Best exfoliator overall: Glossier Solution
  • Best drugstore exfoliator: Simple Kind to Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub
  • Best exfoliator for daily use: Dermalogical Daily Microfoliant
  • Best exfoliator for sensitive skin: Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub
  • Best exfoliator for uneven skin tone: Ole Henriksen Transforming Walnut Scrub

The best moisturizers you can buy

Everyone wants healthy, smooth, and soft skin. Dry skin not only looks dull and flaky, it also feels tight and itchy. The solution? A good moisturizer. Our favorite moisturizer for both face and body is the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, but there are several others that we would also recommend. Here are the best moisturizers you can buy:

  • The best moisturizer overall: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
  • The best facial moisturizer for under $25: Neutrogena Hydro Boost
  • The best drugstore facial moisturizer for oily skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat
  • The best inexpensive organic facial moisturizer: Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream
  • The best drugstore body moisturizer for very dry skin: Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion
  • The best inexpensive moisturizer for very sensitive skin: Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream
  • The best moisturizer with clean ingredients: Nécessaire Body Lotion
  • The best antiaging facial moisturizer for less than $25: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
  • The best drugstore hand cream: Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Hand Cream

The best sunscreen you can buy

Daily use of a good sunscreen will fend off sunburns today, and help prevent the skin damage that leads to aged, wrinkled, blotchy skin later on in life. Here are our top picks for the best sunscreen you can buy:

  • Best mineral-based sunscreen overall: All Good Sunscreen Butter
  • Best mineral spray-on sunscreen: Supergoop’s Mineral Sunscreen Mist
  • Best budget sunscreen: Thinksport’s SPF 50+ Sunscreen
  • Best facial sunscreen: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
  • Best sunscreen for kids: Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50
  • Best chemical-based sunscreen: Coppertone Ultraguard SPF 70

The best clay masks you can buy

Clay masks are an easy and cost-effective way to give your skin a boost without hitting the spa. Our top pick is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask because it is a super affordable all-natural mask that deep cleans your pores. Here are all of our recommendations for the best clay masks you can buy:

  • The best clay mask overall: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask
  • The best detoxifying clay mask: Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Mask
  • The best brightening clay mask: Tarte Tight & Bright Clay Multi-Mask
  • The best exfoliating clay mask: L’Oréal Paris Pure Clay Exfoliate & Refine Mask
  • The best hydrating clay mask: Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask

The best body oil you can buy

If smooth, supple skin is what you’re looking for, then the Fresh Sugar Ultra-Nourishing Body Oil is the bottle you want to reach for. Or, one of the four other best body oils you can buy:

  • Best body oil overall: Fresh Life Body Oil
  • Best all-natural body oil: Jao Goe Oil
  • Best body oil that’s not oily: Herbivore Jasmine Glowing Hydrating Oil
  • Best luxury body oil: Kypris Body Elixir Inflorescence
  • Best budget body oil: Burt’s Bees Body Oil
  • Best for skin and hair: Huile Prodigieuse

The best face cream for dry skin

If you’re one of those people whose face feels flaky whether it’s December or August, finding the right face cream can be difficult. But if full-on hydration and protection are what you’re after, Dr. Jart+ Ceramindin Cream is your best bet. In addition, we have four other face cream we would recommend that you check out:

  • Best face cream for dry skin overall: Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream
  • Best lightweight face cream for dry skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
  • Best drugstore face cream for dry skin: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
  • Best pro-approved face cream for dry skin: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
  • Best plant-based face cream for dry skin: Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Cream

I would go out on a limb and say that finding (and using) the best cleanser for your complexion is the most important skincare step. Washing away the day’s grime and removing make-up are both essential for healthy skin, and any products that follow need to be applied to a clean face.

‘If you are looking for a deep clean then a double-cleanse could be the answer,’ explains Consultant Dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto. ‘It involves using a cleansing oil, balm or micellar water to break down make-up, SPF and sebum on the surface of your skin first, then following it with a deeper water-based cleanse. This removes sweat, bacteria and old skin cells. A second round of cleansing will clean much deeper into the pores to remove any impurities.’

The number one rule is to think about your skin concerns and to choose your skin ingredients accordingly. Salicylic acid is a great deep exfoliant for oily skin, while thicker oil-based cleansers are suited to dry skins. ‘I believe less is more; there is definitely such a thing as too many active ingredients, says Dr Anjali. ‘Applying a large number of active ingredients onto the skin can trigger allergy, sensitivity or irritation.

‘It is much better to identify one or two skincare concerns and then use ingredients that are multi-purpose to address these. Just because there are 50 different ingredients on the market, it doesn’t mean we need to use all 50 of them. I think it’s about picking ingredients wisely that have multipurpose functions.’

So, whether you prefer a cream cleanser, thick balm, lightweight gel or nourishing cleansing oil, there’s one out there to suit your skin’s needs (and those of your bank balance, too). Armed with a hot flannel and these bad boys and we defy you not to look forward to washing your face…

Best micellar water

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, £3.99, Boots

Of all of the micellar waters out there (and boy, are there a lot of ’em), Garnier’s is both exceptional and insanely good value. It’s free of alcohol and perfume, making it a great choice for even sensitive skin, and makes light work of lifting away your best mascara and long-wearing eyeliner. Piece of cake. Yes micellar water is wonderful stuff but please, please, please don’t use it as your only cleanser; It’s an excellent make-up remover, but should be followed with a proper cleanse to remove things like excess make-up, dirt, pollution and SPF.

Buy now

Best cleanser for acne prone skin

La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream, £12.50, Lookfantastic

This particular cleanser is very gentle and soothing on the skin, with clever anti-friction technology so as not to further irritate skin that’s already a bit unhappy, which makes it a good starting place for blemish or acne-prone skin. Dr Justine Kluk often recommends this cleanser to acne patients in her clinic, so you know it’s a good’un.

Best cleanser for oily skin

Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel, £11, Boots

A gentle soap-free cleansing gel that works to refresh the skin and normalise oil levels, this one can be used all over the body – great if you struggle with back acne too.

Best cleanser for dry skin

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, £25, Fabled

‘Cleansing balms, such as Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, are great for dry skin types,’ advises Anjali. ‘Once massaged into the skin, they work to dislodge any make-up, pollution or sunscreen that is left on the skin.’

This deliciously thick balm does exactly what it says on the tub, taking the day’s make-up, SPF and oil off in a few easy sweeps, turning into an oil upon massaging that then rinses off easily with warm water. It’s a reliable cult favourite cleanser for good reason, and won’t strip your already dry skin of all its moisture. We love it.

Best cleanser for combination skin

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser, £16, Space NK

ExfoliKate is particularly effective here as it tackles both characteristics of combination skin – the AHAs, lactic and glycolic acid, break down dead and dry skin cells while also removing excess oil for a softer, more radiant complexion. The brand has just launched into its first physical store space at Space NK, so be sure to pop down and check out the products IRL.

Best cleansing oil

Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil, £34, Fabled

‘Cleansing oils are a favourite among many however, I don’t like to use oils or oil cleansers on acne-prone skin,’ warns Dr Anjali. ‘They can be highly comedogenic, so I’d avoid it if you’re prone to breakouts and blackheads.’

This oil is seriously lightweight and dissolves make-up SO easily, rinsing away as a milk upon contact with warm water. But perhaps even better is that it doesn’t leave you with blurry eyes after you’ve used it, something that’s common with an oil cleanser.

Best cleanser for sensitive skin

The Body Shop Aloe Calming Cream Cleanser, £8.50

‘For those that have a sensitive skin type, The Body Shop Aloe Calming Cream Cleanser is rich but not heavy. La Roche Posay Toleriane dermatocleanser is also a good go-to for those city-dwellers with sensitive skin,’ Dr Anjali suggests.

Best cleanser for blackheads

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser, £14, Beauty Bay

Mario Badescu is loved by many a spot-prone skin sufferer, and this cleanser is suited to anyone with oily skin that’s easily congested. It contains wonder exfoliating ingredient salicylic acid that breaks down those pesky plugs of dead skin and oil, helping to reduce their appearance over time.

Best cleanser brush

FOREO LUNA Mini 2, £95.20, Fabled

A face cleanser brush takes your daily face wash to the next level. Using one of these in your skincare routine will leave your skin feeling smoother and will give your pores a much deeper clean than just using your hands or cotton pads. The best, like the FOREO LUNA Mini 2, are designed to be gentle enough for every day use. This one has eight different intensity settings, so you can tailor your brushing to your skin’s needs.

Keep scrolling for more of our hero cleanser buys.

Can I just wash my face with water only? The first time I skipped the “soap” step was an act of mercy for my cheeks. It was winter, and despite all attempts to hydrate, moisturize, and set up petroleum jelly barriers, the skin was red and screaming. Adding face soap was like squeezing lemon on a paper cut.

So I went through the usual routine in the shower — shampoo the hair, wash the body, shave the legs — but I decided to give my face a pass. Was one “dirty” day really going to matter? Would anyone even notice if I waited another 12 hours?

I assumed I’d resume the sudsing up the next day, but it just … didn’t happen. Soon this was my new routine: I run water on my face twice a day, be it with a splash from the sink or sticking my chin and cheeks beneath the shower stream. That’s it.

How to Clean Your Face With Water Only

Along with an estimated 81 million Americans, my skin has always tended to be dry, but I’m also in the boat with the 40 to 55 percent of American adults who suffer from adult acne. Put together, this combination skin used to cost me hundreds of dollars a year as I hunted for the one magic product that would ward off the pain of a honking red zit without making my cheeks look like Santa Claus after a trip out to visit the reindeer.

I tried drugstore brands. I tried department store brands. I consulted with dermatologists and the aesthetician at the spa. Still, I walked around with patches here and zits there, my face always feeling like I’d been washing it with a potato peeler.

Until I stopped it all.

I don’t have perfect skin now. I still get a few pimples when I’m PMSing, and the area right above my lips tends to chap come winter time if I don’t pick up my water consumption. But the rest of the time, it looks like… skin. It’s clean. There’s no weird oily sheen, no dirt or flashing light that screams, “This woman doesn’t wash her face.”

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Can I wash my face with only water in the morning?

We’re trained as kids that soap is necessary, and the drumbeat only gets louder when we hit the teen years and the oils and bacteria in our pores start pushing pimples to the surface.

The American Academy of Dermatology ranks cleansers so high that they get top billing in the organization’s “Face-Washing 101” on its website.

“Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol,” the guidelines for the best way to wash a face state.

But do we really need soap — even if we’re not seeing any ill effects from skipping out on it? There’s an increasing amount of evidence out there that soaping up other parts of the body has drawbacks — from hands to hair.

Medical experts are divided straight down the middle. Giuseppe Militello, MD, a dermatologist with the Summit Medical Group in Summit, New Jersey tells FIRST the mix of oils and dead skin cells on our faces are akin to olive oil. When you pour water in cooking oil, the latter forms little globules, but it doesn’t wash away. It takes a detergent, the scrubbing factor in a soap, to do that, Dr. Militello says.

“Water alone is not going to cut it,” he notes.

But the more I’ve started opening up to other women about my dirty little secret, the more people I’ve found who do as I do. They wash their faces. They just don’t use soap.

Does washing face with just water work?

And a growing number of clinicians say washing your face with soap is overhyped. In fact, more than a few recommend trying a “water only wash” to avoid dry skin.

Kathryn A. Boling, MD, a primary care provider at Mercy Personal Physicians in Lutherville, Maryland says she rarely uses cleansers on her own face, and she tells patients it can be drying out their already dry skin.

“If you have oily skin or a lot of sweat you may need soap, but if you have dry skin, you can get by with nice, good water,” she says.

That works for me!

This essay was written by Jeanne Sager.

More from FIRST

Does Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda Really Help With Weight Loss?

3 Popular Vaginal Products That Are ‘Absolute Nonsense,’ According to an OB-GYN

The Best Ways to Get a Spotless Carpet Without Renting a Steam Cleaner

I didn’t wash my face (in the morning) for a week, and I don’t intend to anymore

Remember the days when we were younger and didn’t have to slap on a tonne of facial products and still look great?

Don’t even get me started on packing for a one-night staycation, much less for a holiday. I’d have to bring along my face cleanser, serum, hydrating lotion, mask and the list goes on.

It gives me minor anxiety each time I have to pack for a trip because I’d have to choose which bottles get left behind to cut down on baggage weight, and that will usually mess up my skincare routine.

I thought to myself, there must be an easier way to maintain my face without this many facial products, and chanced upon articles online about the benefits of not washing your face.


So, I decided to put myself through another beauty experiment: to stop cleansing my face.

But before you judge me and think I’m dirty, I’ll not be washing my face only in the morning for an entire week. My usual skincare routine of cleansing and moisturising will still be done at night.


I have combination skin, so my face gets oily in the T-zone and dry in other parts.

I started the first day of my experiment on a Sunday, knowing I’ll be home the entire day. So if my face feels uncomfortably oily or dry at any time of the day, I know I can remedy it quickly or maybe even call it quits.

I wasn’t quite used to just washing my face with water, but I enjoyed how quick it took to freshen up in the morning.

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

I had skipped putting on serum and hydrating lotion altogether too.

My joy was very shortlived when my face started tightening up and feeling like a prune from being too dry. But I wasn’t going to let it deter me.

To make up for the dryness, my face started becoming excessively oily midday. I couldn’t wait to wash my face in the night and give it the usual TLC.


I had a good 10 minutes more to sleep in because prep time is shorter.

This time, after washing my face with water, I applied a thin layer of aloe vera gel on my face to prevent it from drying up like the previous day.

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

I went on to apply sunscreen lotion and light makeup consisting of foundation and blusher.

Usually, my face gets really oily right after lunch, especially after having fried food.

But with this new routine, I noticed my skin produces lesser sebum. Even though it is still slightly oily, I don’t feel the need to wipe it or clean it with a tissue paper.

Surprisingly, day two went pretty well, even though some parts of the face like the chin area were slightly dry.


I’m all for lazy girl hacks, so by day three and four I’d become accustomed to the idea of not washing my face with cleanser in the morning. Anything to spend time more efficiently.

But because my chin and nose were dry, it started becoming itchy and a pimple or two broke out. Though, I must say it cleared up as quickly as it appeared and didn’t stay on for more than a day.

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh


By day five and six, I could feel that my skin was getting used to this new regime.

Before embarking on this experiment, I had tiny oil bumps around my jawline and cheekbones.

I thought the bumps would only go away if I go for my facial appointments regularly, but after being coerced by pushy therapists into buying their overpriced packages one too many times, I’ve since shunned facial treatments altogether.

Day six into the regime, the tiny oil bumps started clearing up and my skin looked brighter. Perhaps it was starting to balance out itself, and because it wasn’t excreting too much sebum, my pores weren’t clogged.

I even toyed with the idea of not washing my face with a cleanser at the end of the day because my face still felt fresh and clean.

Maybe one day I’ll get rid of my cleanser and stop washing my face entirely? We’ll see.


One week into the experiment and I almost broke the cycle. This happened after vacuuming the floor and breaking out in perspiration.

I instinctively reached out to get my face wash when showering. I kid you not when I say I had a “shoulder angel versus devil” moment.


A part of me wanted to place the face wash back on the rack, while another part of me was tempted to wash my “post-workout” face since the experiment would be over by the end of the day.

For the sake of accuracy, I reluctantly washed my face with water alone. I did, however, take a little more time to rinse my face under the water, fooling myself into thinking it’ll remove every trace of dirt and oil.

I thought my face would be disgustingly grimy throughout the day, but all was well even after putting on a full face of makeup.


My skin is nowhere near perfect after washing it only with water in the morning for a week, but my complexion has never been better.

If you do try this, my advice would be to stick it out for a week, as I did see my skin improving from the fifth day onward.

Instead of feeling like my pores are clogged with oil, the natural sebum produced by my skin now feels like a protective layer of moisturiser that isn’t overly greasy or intolerable.

The best thing I got out of this experiment is that my makeup looks almost matt, as a result of my face being less oily and my pores becoming smaller.

PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

I’m confident I’ll reach the day when my face is shine-free, and hopefully, I’ll be less dependant on skincare products (Read: I gave up moisturiser for two weeks).

I don’t think I’ll ever wash my face in the morning again since this has worked out for my skin. Also, with this regime, I foresee saving more money on skincare products since I’ll be using lesser of it. Little wins in life!

Do note that different skin types will yield different results, and perhaps consult a dermatologist or skin care professional if you intend to try this out.

ALSO READ: You’ve been washing your hair wrong all your life – I tried my hairstylist’s hack and it gave me healthier hair

Hey Girls,

Have you ever heard about the ‘water-only cleansing method’? There is no soap or facial cleansers included. We’ve all suffered with breakouts and blemishes. I went to my dermatologist and he told me that the best secret to clear and blemish free skin was to cleanse your face with water every single day. He specifically told me to not use any cleansing products, just water and moisturize daily. It worked and 6 months later, my skin is totally blemish free and clearer than ever. You’re probably curious and a little hesitant. Hear me out and you might just be tempted to try it too.

No More Tight Skin

On certain skin types, the skin tends to feel tight after the usage of facial cleansers. While all the unwanted oils are being removed from your pores, moisture is stripped from the skin and the skin’s PH levels get messed up. The simple cause would be because of the ingredients and chemicals in facial cleansers.

With pure water, dirt, debris and all the icky stuff in your pores can be removed and you won’t be left with tight skin. Water doesn’t contain anything at all and doesn’t strip moisture from the skin or mess up the PH levels of your skin.

Crappy Chemicals Are Easily Removed From Your Routine

Some facial cleansers contain chemicals that’ll harm the skin. Some famous ones would be Parabens, Fragrance (Parfum) and Sodium lauryl sulfate. What part do these ingredients play in a facial cleanser and how does it harm the skin?

• Sodium lauryl sulfate: If a product foams up or it’s a foam cleanser, it probably contains Sodium lauryl sulfate. This ingredient helps the product foam. It strips your skin of moisture and leaves it feeling dried out. It’s also known to be contaminated with 1, 4-dioxane, a probable human carcinogen according to the EPA. It can also cause possible mutilations and cancer as listed by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews.

• Parabens: We’re always told to avoid this ingredient as it’s a common preservative for facial cleansers. It’s also known to mess with your hormones by acting as a estrogen mimicker.

• Fragrance (Parfum): It makes a product smell amazing but it’s also possibly laced with a bunch of other dangerous chemicals, including endocrine disruptors like phthalates. It can also cause breakouts, problems to the hormone system in small amounts and it’s deadly for sensitive skin girls.

Even though most cleansers are paraben-free these days, most products still contain Fragrance and Sodium lauryl sulfate. It’s still best to steer clear of them and avoid it as much as possible because it is all going on your face.

Stinging, Burning And Irradiation No More

Stinging, burning and irradiation are all caused by harmful stripping of the skin. What in a facial cleanser causes these problems? Simple, soap!

Soap strips the skin of its natural oils and leaves your skin tight and dry. When the skin is tight and dry, it’s easily prone to breakouts, stinging, burning, peeling, irradiation, redness and etc. You may think that your skin needs to be squeaky clean, but that might be a little too aggressive for the skin and the skin’s natural oil balance would get messed up.

If you’ve got serious skin issues such as acne, you may need to wash your face more than once in a day. If you’ve got no serious skin condition, once or twice a day would suffice.

Naturally Detoxifies Skin

Ever heard of the ‘water detox diet’? It’s a method to cleanse your body and flush out all the unwanted toxins inside. You’re only allowed to drink water, no carbonated drinks, no caffeine and etc. It leaves you healthier inside and out.

Cleansing your skin with only water every night also naturally detoxifies the skin without any harmful effects. Unwanted toxins are washed away and the skin is left clean and blemish-free. Using a facial cleanser would be adding more toxins and chemicals to the skin.

If you’re a little hesitant to try this, don’t be and give it a go. It might not work for everyone, but you could be pleasantly surprised at the results too. I hope it turns out well, have a great one girls! Good luck!

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Skin Cleansing Regime with Milk Cream
VLCC Skin Defense Sandal Cleansing Milk & Rose Water Toner Review
Oil Skin Cleansing Methods
Best Oils To Use For Oil Cleansing Method
Rose Water Skin Care Tips and Ideas
Facial Oil Cleansing Method: Ask IMBB
3 Quick DIYs Using Glycerine and Rose Water For Winters
How to Prevent Dry Skin on Face in Winter
How To Do Simple Face Clean-up at Home
Simple Oil Balancing Cleansing Wipes Review
Bourjois Corail Aie Aie Contour Edition Lip Liner – Yay or Nay?
Sodium Laureth Sulphate in a Shampoo- Yay or Nay?

8 Hacks For Washing Your Face Without Water

So, maybe you’ve just left the gym, you’re traveling or you’re just too plain lazy — there are plenty of reasons why there may come a time in your life when you need to know these eight hacks for washing your face without water. I mean, really, it seems like a good thing for a girl to have in her repertoire, doesn’t it? You bet! Because sometimes it’s nice to ditch the sink and know you’re still getting that deep down cleaning your skin needed.

Too much water can dehydrate the skin, so even if it’s not because you’re too lazy to get up and press the “I’m still watching” option on Netflix much less wash your face, it might be good for you to go water-less every now and then. Even without the step of wiping with a dampened wash cloth, you can remove makeup and get rid of dirt and grime with these eight methods. Everything from micellar water to coconut oil are great options for skipping the water without neglecting to clean your face.

Check out these hacks for cleansing without water because, trust me, the day you feel like skipping going to the sink will come, if it hasn’t already. And with these hacks under your belt that day will be nothing less than glorious.

1. Micellar Water

Triple Action Cleansing Water, $12, Sephora

Oil molecules removes makeup and attacks deep down dirt and grime when using micellar water. All you have to do is dab on your skin and go. No rinsing required.

2. Cleansing Wipes

Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes, $5, Amazon

These will leave your face feeling fresh and good as new.

3. Cleansing Pads

Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Pads, $10, Amazon

Think of these as higher-concentrated cleansing wipes. These, in particular, work to clear acne as well as cleanse.

4. Mineral-Based Cleanser

Purminerals Mineral Quick Clean, $29, Amazon

This easy-to-use cleanser will leave your skin feeling refreshed and moisturized. Simply apply and wipe off with a tissue for a clean face.

5. Cream Cleanser

Olay Total Effects Nourishing Cream Cleanser, $7, Walmart

Cream cleanser go on like lotion, but have the added bonus of removing makeup and other unwanted things from the skin.

6. Cleansing Milk

Clarins Cleansing Milk With Gentian, $33, Nordstrom

All you need is a little bit of this and a tissue to complete your nightly face-cleaning ritual.

7. Coconut Oil

Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil, $13, Amazon

Add its makeup-removing capabilities to the long list of what makes coconut oil so amazing. Simply rub it over your face, working it into the skin with your fingertips, and the makeup’s gone.

8. Rosewater Spray

Soothing Face Mist, $18, Glossier

So, rosewater spray may not remove your makeup, but a few spritzes does help remove oil and dirt from the skin. Plus, it feels incredibly refreshing.

So, if you’re already planning of going without water while washing your face as soon as, well, tonight — I’m right there with you.


Images: Courtesy Brands (8); Giphy (1)

Photo: Getty

Lest you think that washing your face without water sounds like a ridiculous proposition, consider the facts. Water in and of itself can dehydrate all skin types; the pH balance from location to location is unreliable, so you could be throwing off your skin’s equilibrium without even knowing it; and sometimes, the last thing you feel like doing is hovering over the sink splashing yourself in the face. Doesn’t seem so ridiculous now, does it? Whether you’re concerned with conservation, going camping, or just want to give your skin a break, these three methods of cleansing sans water have you covered.

Micellar Water
If you’ve never quite bought into the idea of spending money on something that calls itself a “cleansing water,” let us assure you that micellar water is the real deal. It’s been around for ages, but it’s seen a recent surge in popularity as drugstore brands, rather than luxury and niche purveyors, have caught on and added it to their repertoire (the new Simple Cleansing Micellar Water is a notable standout). Micelles are tiny cleansing molecules that float in the watery formula. Because they’re oily molecules made of fat, or lipids, they’re able to absorb other oily debris, like dirt, sebum, and even makeup, and draw them away from your skin. When you apply the micellar water to your skin by way of a cotton pad, the molecules act like a magnet to the impurities—all this cool, wildly effective science, and all you need to take advantage of it is saturate a cotton pad in a micellar product. We’ve been loving Orico London Orange Micellar Cleansing Water & Make-Up Remover, a refreshing purifying cleanser that detoxifies and boosts radiance without irritating even the most delicate skin.

Cream Cleanser
Water can be extraordinarily drying to the skin, especially in the cooler months, when skin is already inclined to seasonal sensitivity. If your skin is dry to begin with, the last thing you need is to be splashing warm water on your face in the middle of January. Creamy, lather-free cleansers, like the wonderful Korres Greek Yoghurt 3 in 1 Cleansing, Toning, and Eye Make-Up Removing Emulsion, keep the skin’s moisture levels in check, and while you can rinse with water if that’s what you’re into, you can also use a dry or warm, damp cloth to gently wipe away dirt and makeup without upsetting the skin’s natural equilibrium.

Makeup Wipes
Cleansing wipes have earned a bad rap, and it’s true that, as your sole method of cleansing and makeup removal, they’re certainly not as effective as actual cleansers, but that doesn’t mean they can be beat for convenience. It’s far and away preferable to use a makeup removing wipe before bed than it is to not clean your face at all, so believe us when we say that they still deserve a place in your beauty repertoire, or at least on your bedside table. skin ICELAND Glacial Cleansing Cloths are downright dreamy—you rub the sides of the cloth against one another to create an actual lather that really works, and they never leave a tacky finish behind. Let’s just say that we never feel guilty for using them as our only cleanser after a late night out.

Read more from Daily Makeover: 4 Makeup-Removing Cleansing Wipes with Real Beauty Benefits

There’s been a lot of drought talk in the news lately, and for good reason because California is basically on a fast track to becoming the next Sahara Desert.

But Kristen Bell has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and Neutrogena Naturals to help us all conserve more water during Earth Month. The campaign challenges you to wash your face without water for seven days, instead asking you to cleanse with wipes or other dry cleansing products.

So, that only begs one key question. Is it good for your skin? Put in more vain terms — do you have to sacrifice your skin to help conserve valuable environmental resources? The answer is: It’s complicated.

Annie Jackson, the VP of Merchandising at Credo Beauty, an online natural beauty product retailer, points out, “Most conventional soaps and cleansers have wonderful suds we have become so accustomed to called surfactants.” These so-called surfactants break down oils and fats on your skin, which, as Jackson helps us understand, only sounds good. Stripping them away is not ideal because you’re robbing your skin of the oils it needs and replacing it with surfactants that your skin doesn’t need. Therefore, it’s not the worst idea to move away from your normal cleansing routine.

NYC dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner lets us in on a secret that yes, it’s OK to cleanse without water. “Especially in some people who have dry, sensitive skin, water can actually be drying,” he says. “Excessive water can paradoxically lead to skin dryness by stripping the skin of essential oils.”

But before you go home and break up with your face wash, dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman thinks you’ll be missing benefits of thorough cleansing by switching to a waterless routine and really only recommends this on a regular basis if you have extremely sensitive skin that can’t handle traditional cleansers.

One product with a home in my beauty bag lately is Fig + Yarrow’s Cleansing Nectar (Credo Beauty, $12). It’s a foamless, waterless face cleanser that’s perfect for a gentle (and fast) face wash sesh, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup and doesn’t need a ton of foaming bells and whistles (erm, surfactants) in your skin care.

More: 11 Things that happen when you go makeup-free in public

Towelettes are 99 percent effective, according to clinical studies done by Neutrogena. So, does this mean if we can make it a goal to get 1 percent less dirty than normal, we’re in the clear? Just kidding. Although, I might be on to something there. Hopefully, science is reading this.

Zeichner admits, “Cleansing towelettes are effective but may not provide as deep a clean as other traditional cleansers.” But here’s the other thing…

You really only need to be washing you face once a day unless you have really oily skin (which, keep in mind, could be really oily because your harsh cleanser is stripping away the oils and causing your skin to overproduce — see paragraph 4). You could be creating the vicious cleansing cycle for yourself and a little break from traditional cleansing could be just the skin reset button you’ve been looking for.

More skin care

7 Strange beauty products you should be using
Gel manicures are not as bad as we thought
How to clean your makeup brushes in under 5 minutes

No water face cleanser

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *