Last year, Anna put me on to Devita's Solar Body Block. I liked the aloe vera, green tea and other good things. But, for some reason, my skin did not and, after several breakouts, I had to stop using it. Still, I didn't want to bear a grudge against Devita and when I came across the Aloe Vera Foaming Moisture Cleanser ($22.95), I pounced on it eagerly.

Aloe vera is a Devita signature ingredient and it provides the base for this gentle, moisturizing cleanser. There is good reason for honing in on aloe vera. Researchers at Tokyo Women’s Medical College in Japan have shown that certain lectins (a type of protein) in aloe gel may stimulate the immune system to increase production of killer cells. And the University of Texas in Galveston concluded that aloe gel clearly promotes wound healing. I have a a bottle of 100% aloe vera that is indispensible for treating mosquito bites - relief from itching is almost instantaneous.

The cleansing action (and Devita does actually remove makeup) is provided by the saponaria plant. Commonly called soapwort, the leaves have been used to make soap and shampoo for centuries. If the mood takes you, it is easy to make your own by boiling up a few leaves and stalks.

I haven't really got to the bottom of why there is cherry bark extract. This is usually used as an expectorant for treating coughs. I have only seen unsubstantiated claims that it is a hair and skin softener. However, cress makes perfect sense as it is rich in sulforaphane. This boosts protective and detoxifying reactions in skin cells.

Cinchona seems to me to be an inspired choice. This is the tree from whence quinine (used to treat malaria) comes from. Cinchona's antibacterial properties and the inclusion of panthenol (vitamin B5), which can help control over-production of sebum, would make this cleanser a good choice for acne sufferers.

Ingredients

Aloe Vera Gel, Soapwort Extract, Coconut Oil, Water Extracts Of Cherry Bark, Cress, Almond, Cinchona And Wheat Germ, Essential Oils Of Geranium Rose, Chamomile And Lavender, Wheat Amino Acids, Dl Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Lecithin.