Skincare Review: Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review

I’ve already featured this cleanser (in my best of the beauty launches video) but Emma Hardie’s new Moringa Light Cleansing Gel is so utterly glorious that it absolutely needs a post of its own. For posterity. And for the fact that I think I might like this cleanser as much as (if not more than) than the original Moringa Cleansing Balm, which is quite the statement to make considering how much I’ve raved about the balm over the years!

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review

To recap: the original Moringa Balm is one of the loveliest cleansers ever made. I first reviewed it nearly nine years ago (original post here) and was genuinely taken aback at how a mere cleanser could be a thing of such seductive beauty. It opened my eyes to proper feel-good luxury beauty – the sort of luxury beauty that’s not about branding or labels or packaging, but about formulas so enjoyable and pleasing you can’t wait to do things to your face.

You need a very small amount of the Moringa Cleansing Balm, which you scoop out from the pot with fingertips, and it melts down to a rich oil that you massage into the skin to break down dirt and makeup. It’s fine over eyes, it rinses off clean, but it’s also the heady exotic scent (natural) and luscious texture (thick and unctuous) that I’d imagine keeps people coming back for more.

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review

Cleansing with this balm is an event, not a chore – sliding it over the skin feels as though a professional beauty treatment is in progress, a million miles away from what’s actually happening, which is (if you’re anything like me) a quick, lukewarm dunk in a toy-strewn bathtub where you have to try not shift about too much in case you get a plastic shark stuck somewhere inadvisable.

Buy Moringa Cleansing Balm at Space NK*

Removing is easy (balm, not shark) – this isn’t a product that leaves any sort of claggy residue, despite its richness. It begins to break down as you add water, but I prefer to press it off with a warm, damp flannel or – indeed – the cloth that comes with the balm when you buy it, which is a thick, soft, double-sided mega-flannel and not one of those thin muslin ones. My skin is left plump and dewy, it feels balanced, not stripped, and the whole process is just faultless.

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review

You can find Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm online at most of the big beauty etailers including Cult Beauty here* and Space NK here*. It’s £47 for 100ml, which puts it at around the same sort of price as the Elemis Rose Cleansing Balm but much less than my other cleansing luxury love, the Darphin Aromatic. Admittedly it’s the sort of price that will make many turn away at the first hurdle, without even getting to the trying stage, but for those who have tried and can justify the financial outlay, it seems to – very often – become a repeat buy.

(Important update for existing fans: there’s a whopping 200ml supersize version of the Moringa Balm at FeelUnique here* – it’s £72, which takes the equivalent price of a 100ml balm down to £36 rather than £47. Worth noting.)

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review

So then; what about this new Moringa Light Cleansing Gel? Just launched, it promises a lightweight cleanse that’s suitable for all skin types. Purifying and balancing, it’s great for oily skin, younger skin and sensitive skin and the moisturising formula won’t leave skin dry. Just clean.

I can confirm that it is precisely all of these things and probably more. This silky cleanser is lighter than the balm and those with oilier skin need not worry that it’ll be too heavy or cloying. (Though in all honesty, I never had a problem with the original balm for oilier skins – it still rinses off totally clean.) So yes, it’s lighter and it’s very hydrating and (importantly) it doesn’t leave cleansed skin feeling stripped or tight. But what is totally unexpected is that this light cleansing gel is also unbelievably rich and concentrated – in a product that’s pitching itself as a sort of Moringa Balm oily-skin alternative, it’s really quite a lovely surprise.

Yes, the texture is perhaps slightly more “bouncy” than oily (think OSKIA’s Renaissance Balm or the wonderful gel cleanser from Pestle & Mortar*), but the decadent feel – that “I’m having a face massage with a pricey facialist” feel – is still very much present. As is the magnificent smell.

Buy Moringa Light Cleansing Gel at M&S*

The Moringa Light gives best of both worlds, then; rich and luxurious and with the same moisturising sort of cleansing experience, but with the advantage that it’s suitable for (or I should say appealing to) all skin types. I could be persuaded to jump ship to the lighter version, if I’m completely honest, not least because I’m always dropping the open jar of the original balm into the bath as I root around for a face cloth. The pump action bottle is more convenient, better for travelling with (though I’d rejoice at the launch of a tube) and the lighter formula is more versatile without losing anything on texture or performance.

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review

If you love the original balm, then try this new marvel; if the original balm didn’t ever sound like it was for you, then…also try this new marvel. It’s £34 for 100ml and currently exclusive to Marks and Spencer here*. I’ve copied the full ingredients list below.

Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel review


Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, silica, peg-6 caprylic/capric glycerides, peg-60 almond glycerides, moringa oleifera seed oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil expressed, glycerin, phenoxyethanol, benzyl alcohol, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, aqua (water), juniperus virginiana (cedarwood) oil, limonene, linalool, parfum (fragrance), crithmum maritimum extract, moringa oleifera seed extract, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower, rosa damascena flower oil, disodium phosphate, citric acid, citronellol, benzyl benzoate, geraniol, citral, citrus nobilis (mandarin orange) peel oil.

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  1. Anna S
    April 27, 2019 / 1:37 pm

    I absolutely love the original Moringa cleansing balm, in fact, I think it’s one of the best out there; however, I have stopped buying it as I am appalled at the huge plastic tub which is so much bigger than the actual amount of product inside. So much unnecessary waste for such a gorgeous product and I dearly wish they would redesign the packaging to something less wasteful and more representative of the actual product size.

  2. April 25, 2019 / 4:15 pm

    I love the original so really interested in trying this. I think this version will be perfect for a morning cleanse, especially during the warmer months when you may not need as rich a cleanser.

  3. April 24, 2019 / 3:10 pm

    Ok, you’ve sold me on both! Although I think the original balm would be my choice – it just sounds like pure luxury for the skin.

  4. April 24, 2019 / 2:45 pm

    How come that I only now realized that the gorgeous photo background you use is your bath mat? Or at least I think it is.


    • April 24, 2019 / 4:48 pm

      Yes, I have three different ones. That’s why I don’t let people stand on them! : )

  5. Catriona
    April 24, 2019 / 8:30 am

    Ruth, did you happen to try the new one on your eyes? I noticed on M&S it didn’t state it was safe for eyes like the original balm and I wanted to check before purchasing! Many thanks.

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