Resurrection of Cleansing Balms

I’ve recently discovered cleansing balms.  Not new by any means but thanks to YouTube beauty gurus touting their virtues they are certainly enjoying a revival of sorts.  Initially I avoided rich and buttery cleansing balms because I thought them old fashioned, they made me think of the old cold creams that my grandma used every night and because I tend to oiliness of my t-zone I live in constant fear of breakouts.

For the uninitiated this is what a cleansing balm looks like when applied and emulsified on the skin…

Sesora cleasing balm swatches

I decided to give them another try however when I began wearing long-wear foundation formulas, I just felt traditional cleansers didn’t remove them as well as I’d like and was looking for something that would break down the product more effectively.

Before I share my impressions of the following cleansing balms let me preface by saying that my skin is combination/dry with a tendency to oiliness in warmer months, I’m extremely sensitive and reactive and hate the feeling of heavy products on my skin.  While you may not share the same skin type as me I do feel all of these products are adaptable.  If your skin is oily you may wish to use a cleansing balm simply to emulsify and remove your makeup and follow with a wash off cleanser.  If your skin is dry you may wish to use only a cleansing balm.  Used correctly a cleansing balm will not cause breakouts on the skin.  While they are rich and oily they are manufactured with small molecules that break down in water leaving no pore clogging residue.

The first cleansing balm I tried was the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm.


This product has earned cult status among bloggers and YouTube-rs so it seemed a good place to start.  It contains Moringa seed extract (a potent anti-oxidant and very soothing), Wild Sea Fennel , Vitamin E, Orange, Neroli , Mandarin, Jasmine, Cedarwood and Rose Extracts.  Naturally with this delicious menu of ingredients the product smells divine!  Softly floral with a nurturing quality.  The balm itself is very rich and reminded me of lemon curd, it melts into the skin and becomes a soft oil that removes all traces of makeup very effectively.  A quick wipe with a hot and damp Emma Hardie Cloth (one side soft flannel and the other side muslin) and all traces are removed leaving the skin silky soft, cleansed and velvety.  This was my favourite!

Find it here

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm


Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm combines starflower, elderberry and optimega™ oils with rose and mimosa waxes, and anti-ageing padina pavonica.  The scent is very “spa like” and slightly herbal with a slight menthol quality, I found it really grew on me and love it now.  Very like the Emma Hardie Balm however a little smoother and more unctuous. Cleansed the skin equally well however I found it a little irritating around the eye area, the fumes of the essential oils made my eyes tear up so with this one I had to use a separate eye makeup remover.  I did really enjoying using this product and found a little went a very long way but would opt for the Emma Hardie over this one as I’d prefer to use one cleanser for both eye and face makeup.

Find it here

Clinique Take the Day Off


I found this one brilliant!  I really didn’t expect to like it because when I opened the lid it looked like lard and I’m a sucker for a nice, natural scent and as many of you know, Clinique products are all scent free.  This was however most effective in terms of the cleansing the skin; it removed all my makeup with one application and left my skin feeling balanced and clean.  More of a performance than experience product due to the lack of scent. Like many Clinique products, it got the job done.

Find it here

Body Shop Chamomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter


I stumbled upon this when I wandered into my local body shop looking for a Body Butter for my niece.  I wouldn’t normally think of the Body Shop for facial products but thought I’d give it a try as it seemed a good dupe for the Clinique Take the Day Off.  This one is harder than all the others and a quick swipe with warm (clean) fingers makes it come away as more of an oil than a balm.  The scent is pleasant without being incredible and it did emulsify the makeup well.  I felt this took quite a bit more however to be as effective as the others. Overall though, this is a great inexpensive option.

Note: this does contain synthetic waxes so while it’s wonderful for removing makeup I would recommend following with a wash off cleanser if your skin is combination to oily.

Find it here

If you haven’t already converted to cleansing balms I do recommend you try them, your skin’s pH will thank you and you’ll likely be rewarded with healthy and content skin.

Have you tried a good cleansing balm?  Let us know if you have we are always looking for more!