I received some samples of the REN Hydracalm Cleansing Gel from a pharmacy lately (the SA was somewhat distracted by a very young child hanging out of an already precariously balanced display of nail varnishes and likely gave me more than she intended (four of them at 5ml each) - which I only realised when I got home).
Anyhow, plenty of them to give it a good use.
It smells a bit like your standard aloe-vera-in-alcohol-gel that you use when you've overdone it in the sun (but there's no aloe vera or alcohol in it). It feels a bit like it too, on first applying, it's quite cooling. Once you've added some water it lathers up slightly, but it doesn't froth up (no sodium laureth sulphate). It's used as you expect a gel cleanser to be used, with water. There's a bunch of flower blossom waters in it that do the cleansing and comforting bit. No tricks here.
There's not a huge amount to say on this one - it is intended to be used as a facial cleanser, not really a makeup remover per se however I have found that it really works, seriously cleanses and it did actually remove my makeup... but not eye makeup. You'll still need to use your eye makeup remover to get rid of that. My skin was nicely cleansed after use with no tight or dry feeling to it, in fact it felt rested and light.
According to Ren, their cleansing washes are "designed to thoroughly remove impurities without drying, stressing or irritating the skin. They do this by using skin friendly ingredients and avoiding petrochemicals, harsh sulfate detergents, irritating synthetic fragrances and colours, PEGs and parabens".
I've heard a lot about REN in the past from a few friends of mine who have used their products in the past and recommended them, but I hadn't tried them myself up until now. This definitely deserves further investigation, when I've used up my 20ml free samples (about twelve days' worth I'd say, nice!)
There are also a number of other cleansing wash alternatives - balms, milks and other gels - the Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel for normal skin and the Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel for combination skin (although strangely, for a gel formula cleanser, none for oilier skins).
Available at beautyboutique.ie, Arnotts, and at some (particularly) good pharmacies :-) for around €20 for 150ml (a decent size; should last around three months at that rate) I shall definitely consider purchasing this one!