If there’s only one beauty lesson that everyone should know, it’s that you should always remove your makeup. Leaving makeup on or even *shudders* sleeping in it, can cause a whole host of skin problems. From breakouts and dryness to inflammation and irritation, not having properly cleansed your face to remove makeup is a situation you really don’t want to find yourself in.
And I’m not talking a quick wipe over with a face wipe or micellar water either. Makeup should be properly removed with deep-cleansing formulas. But honestly, I get it, taking off your makeup every night with a proper cleanser feels like a lot of effort, and it can be all too easy to slip into bed with the promise to yourself that you’ll totally do a mask in the morning, right? The truth is, the reason taking makeup off after a long, hard day seems like such a chore is because it’s a really boring, time-consuming thing to do. Luckily, the humble cleansing balm is here to save your face.
That’s right, makeup removal no longer needs to be such a chore. You can wave goodbye to having to remove your eye makeup with a specific formula in order to keep heavily fragranced, soapy cleansers out of your eyes. The cleansing balm can (with a few exceptions - always read the back of the product) be used all over, tackling every last trace of makeup on your face to leave a glowing complexion. Plus, on top of all of that, they really help put the luxury back into your skincare regime. With beautifully scented formulas and rich textures with slip so great you won’t be able to help giving yourself a little facial massage, you’re never going to want to skip your evening cleanse ever again.
Interested? Keep scrolling for the everything you need to know about cleansing balms and to shop the best balms out there.
What Is a Cleansing Balm?
Simply, a cleansing balm is a product that works to cleanse your skin, but unlike a gel or cream formula, a balm tends to be slightly oilier with more slip. Celebrity facialist and skin expert, Michaella Bolder explains: “Cleansing balms offer a nourishing deep clean, helping to feed and nurture the skin while the oily balm acts as a magnet to attract dirt and grime, drawing it to the surface.”
What truly sets a cleansing balm apart from other forms of evening cleansers, is that they usually come jam-packed with nourishing, skin-loving ingredients. “Cleansing balms are a world away from oil-stripping facial wipes or basic micellar waters, both of which offer no nourishment or hydration to care and maintain a healthy skin condition. Short term benefits of using a balm is a healthy, clean and hydrated skin condition,” says Michaella.
How Do You Use One?
Using a cleansing balm is actually quite different in comparison to other, more traditional, cleansing methods. Unlike gel or cream formulas, balms are usually applied to dry skin, massaged in and then removed with a damp muslin cloth or flannel (this also helps with a gentle exfoliation, by the way).
Michaella says: “Cleansing balms are made to be used as often as needed but twice daily is what’s recommended. You should be cleansing your skin both in the morning and evening and a double cleanse in the evening is a bonus to keep your skin super clean and free of congestion build up. A balmy texture allows enough slip to massage this product into the skin to stimulate blood circulation and tone the facial muscles.”
Anything to Consider?
While I absolutely love a cleansing balm (I use one every single night to remove my makeup and haven’t touched a face wipe in years), it is worth highlighting that, just like all beauty products, balms aren’t for everyone.
“Some skin types (oily and acne-prone in particular) may find a balm cleanser too rich and sticky for their skins needs and this can result in congestion and left over, unwanted residue,” warns Michaella. If you find that your cleansing balm is causing unusual congestion, try adding in a second cleanse using a gel, cream or foaming cleanser that will help remove any excess oil or residue that could be causing breakouts.
Shop the best cleansing balms
De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm (£39)
If luxurious skincare if your thing, listen up. This super rich balm is jam-packing with nourishing (and amazing smelling) oils. Besides the fact it leaves skin feeling beyond soft and supple, the blend of aromas makes for the most uplifting of regimes.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (£25)
If you worry about cleansing balms being full of potentially irritating essential oils, here’s one for you. This simple but oh-so effective balm is a go-to for makeup removal. This lightweight, non-fragranced balm gets to work in a matter of seconds.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (£44)
Quite possibly one of the most well-loved cleansing balms around, this rich formula from Elemis is one of the best introductions to cleansing balms there is. Not only does it feel and smell amazing, it’s also full of Padina Pavonica, a particularly powerful skin-firming algae.
The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter (£11)
This rather uninspiring tin actually houses my desert-island beauty formula. I can never be without a tub of this stuff. It melts away makeup and grime in no time at all, smells divine and leaves skin feeling the best it can. It’s the absolute perfect product for sensitive skin. And, have you seen that price?
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm (£47)
Along with Elemis Pro-Collagen, this cleansing balm is one of the most well-loved out there, having won multiple awards. Not only does it smell absolutely divine (and I mean it), it also seems to calm, hydrate, smooth and plump all in one. It’s like beauty wizardry.
Willowberry Nutrient Boost Cleansing Balm (£30)
You might not have heard of this one before, but that’s not to say it’s not an absolute winner. It’s loved by celebrity facialists (and myself) because of its ability to not only melt away dirt and makeup wonderfully, but also leave the skin totally calm and properly plumped. I like to think of it as a spa in a jar.
Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm (£55)
Unlike other balms, this clever stuff actually helps to decongest and purify. Formulated with Hungarian moor mud and different clays, it actually works to clear congested pores while strengthening the skin barrier at the same time. I swear by this if I have a special event that I want to be looking my glowiest for.
Eve Lom Cleanser (£55)
What’s fabulous about this balm in particular is the fact it promises to work for almost every skin type. And while I suggest it’s never a great idea to reach for a balm if you have sore, acneic skin, I know a huge amount of people with varying skin types that swear by this balm. It’s a little expensive, sure, but the luxe formula makes it the ultimate treat for your skin.
Frances Prescott Tri-Balm (£46)
Besides the fact this solid cleansing stick is perfect for travelling, it’s also one of the best multi-tasking beauty products around. Simply twist up, scribble over the face and massage in. A combination of hyaluronic acid and moisturising oils will leave skin feeling hydrated and glowing, while pumpkin enzymes actually work to exfoliate, helping to prevent breakouts and leaving skin silky soft.
Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser (£29)
With the majority of cleansing balms containing a hefty amount of essential oils to give them that luxury, spa-like edge, Drunk Elephant believe essential oils are troublesome for the skin and therefore formulate without them. In fact, they also formulate without potentially drying alcohols, silcones, chemical screens, fragrances/dyes and SLS in order to produce the cleanest products out there. This cleansing balm is no less effective for it though, dissolving makeup and dirt with ease while leaving skin baby-soft. For a deeper cleanse, it also comes with a Bamboo Booster which acts as a physical exfoliant.
Pixi Double Cleanse (£24)
While most experts do advise a double cleanse, especially when using a cleansing balm, in order to give skin a truly deep clean, unless we have a constant reminder, it can be tough to find the motivation. This nifty cleanser, however, houses both a non-irritating balm and a cream cleanser to use afterwards.
Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£35)
This stuff might not be labelled as a balm, but it’s about as close to a cleansing balm as you can get without actually being one. Dispensed as a super thick, balm-like gel, when massaged into dry skin it melts into a silky oil that works to rid skin of makeup and impurities. On top of that, it also uses enzymes and vitamins to slough away and dead skin cells for next-level radiance.
Totally no fuss, this cleansing balm is super nourishing, given the price. For heavy makeup days, this little pot is the perfect thing to reach for if you’re short on time.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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