What Are Cleansing Balms? Plus My Faves!

My favourite skincare product has definitely got to be using cleansing balms; I simply love them. I love the scent and the consistency on my skin and how my skin feels when it’s all cleansed off with an Eve Lom muslin cloth! It was when I began using cleansing balms that I began to see a huge difference in my skins appearance and texture which of course the cloths have something to do with this because they’re gently exfoliating the skin each time you use them and I will discuss this below.

So what is a cleansing balm? A cleansing balm is a creamy rich cleanser that at room temperature has a solid form. It removes dirt and impurities from the face as well as dissolving makeup due to the natural oils within the product. These natural oils bind themselves to the impurities and excess sebum on your face and pores and lifts them off your face as oils are naturally attracted to each other so ‘stick’ together.

While cleaning the skin, cleansing balms also protect the skin and help to return the skin back to its natural moisture balance. They’re applied to a dry face using your fingers and with the heat of your hands and your face they become more emollient so a little really does got a long way.

Because of their naturally oily consistency, they’re ideal for giving yourself a mini face massage if you wish and have the time and because they feel so good, I am sure you will find yourself passing your hands over your face several times and this brings the blood to the surface of the skin, feeding it and promoting a glowing and more youthful and healthy complexion.

Now i know that when people with oily or combination skin hear the word ‘oil’ they naturally reject a product but it is important to understand that harsh cleansers are stripping your skin of the natural oil produced by your skin which is needed to keep your skin supple and young looking. By using these types of cleansers your skin goes into panic mode and begins to over produce sebum which results in clogged pores, breakouts and a congested appearance. Whatever your skin type, the idea of a cleanser is to cleanse away dirt and makeup and excess sebum and not to remove anything or cause a negative reaction of the skin. The key word in all things in life is ‘balance’ and if your skin feels tight and dry after cleansing then you know that all of the natural oils of your face have been taken away and this is the wrong product for your skin.

Now a lot of cleansing balms contain mineral oil which has got a bad reputation over the years which is undeserved and a lot of people do not understand what cosmetic mineral is so miss out on some truly great products. Below is what Paula’s Choice say about mineral oil:

Mineral oil is clear, odorless oil derived from petroleum that is widely used in cosmetics because it rarely causes allergic reactions and it can’t become solid and clog pores. Studies have found mineral oil and petrolatum (a semi-solid form of mineral oil more commonly known as Vaseline) can assist in wound healing, and are among the most effective moisturizing ingredients available.

Though its association with petroleum has caused people to say mineral oil is bad for or ages skin, the truth is that petroleum itself is a natural ingredient that comes from the earth, and that once it becomes cosmetics- or pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil, it bears no resemblance to petroleum itself. Mineral oil used in cosmetics is highly purified and completely safe.

All cleansing balms should be removed by a cloth and muslin is the best. Through using a cloth to remove the balm from your face you’re gentle removing the dead skin cells and dirt and grime as well as makeup. This ‘polishes’ the skin and leaves your skin with a lovely glow.

Now I have to confess that none of the balms I have used ever remove makeup efficiently and so I first use I micellar water and then use the balm to remove any residual makeup to ensure that my face is totally clean yet protected. For me, this is the best way to use a cleansing balm as well as morning and night before you apply your skin products.

If you live in a hot climate you will notice that your cleansing balm make become like a liquid. This is ok; you can continue to use it like this or put it in the fridge to return back to its solid form.

So I decided to share with you all of the cleansing balms that I have tried so far in case you’re looking for a new one to buy or if you are a newcomer to cleansing balms and was wondering which one to purchase.

So in no particular order, here they are….


Eve Lom Cleanser 100ml

I have to say first off that this is not a cheap cleanser; for €68.45 you get 100ml from lookfantastic.com who had first sent me a sample to try and it is from this sample that I knew I had to get the full size! Although this cleanser is expensive it really lasts a long time and mine lasted me for about 8 months.

I didn’t like the scent at first which can be overpowering but the results were so fantastic that I could live with it. Over the weeks, though, I came to love the scent which to me smells a little like lavender mixed with other herbs even though there isn’t any lavender in this product. Weird, I know…lol if you have sensitive skin then try to get hold of a sample first as the ingredients in this product could irritate your face.

Because I live in a tropical climate, this cleanser ‘melts’ to a liquid consistency so if you live in a country like me, make sure you keep your pot in the fridge where it will remain in its solid form and this can be said for many cleansing balms.

After using this cleanser my skin feels soft and supple and it totally clears my skin of grime and dirt and residual makeup.

What lookfantastic says about this product:

Regenerate your skin with the Eve Lom Cleanser, a multi-award-winning, multi-purpose skin cleanser, suitable for all skin types, that decongests, softens and leaves a highly receptive base for your beauty products to work with.

This exfoliating cleanser includes a unique blend of ingredients which each activate individual cleansing properties. Clove Oil’s antiseptic properties encourage clear skin, Eucalyptus Oil drains away toxins, Hops Oil tones, and Egyptian Chamomile and Cocoa Butter soften and soothe the skin. Without drying the skin, this Cleanser removes even the most stubborn waterproof makeup.


Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Peg-30 Lanolin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Aluminum Stearate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Peg-75 Lanolin, Phenoxyethanol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, BHT.

clinique_take_the_day_off_cleansing_balm_125ml_1410609848Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm 125ml

This cleansing balm has no scent and it is great for those with sensitive skins which are easily irritated by strong scents and many of the ingredients in skin care products. This is my least favourite of the cleansing balms I’ve tried; not because it doesn’t do it’s job or doesn’t perform like the others but because I don’t get that satisfaction or relaxation when I inhale the scent that I do with others balms which encourages me to spend a little extra time on a mini face massage.

As all cleansing balms, this comes in solid form which has never melted in the summer heat for me.

I bought mine for €27.45 from lookfantastic and this is what they say about this product:

Cleanse away the day with Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, a lightweight cleanser that transforms from a solid balm to a liquid oil on contact.

Suitable for all skin types, the non-greasy, non-drying cleanser works to quickly dissolve stubborn makeup from the face and eyes, including those with sunscreen, and leaves skin feeling thoroughly cleansed and clean. Rinses off to leave skin soft and purified.


Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, Peg-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Water, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol.


REN Rosa Centifolia™ No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm

I have tried a number of products from REN and I have to say that I am not too impressed. Saying this, I absolutely adore the REN Rosa Centifolia™ No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm. it’s rose scent is heavenly though sadly they add perfume which you can see in the ingredients list below. Still, I am in love with this beauty balm and it works wonderfully at cleansing away impurities and leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished.

REN USA write:

A rose infused cleansing balm that gently yet thoroughly melts away dirt and makeup. It sweeps away impurities, including waterproof mascara and the toughest of complexion products. It leaves skin cleansed, purified, calm, and glowing. It also conditions the lashes and brows.

Well really, any oil you put on your face is going to condition lashes and brows.

I bought mine from my local pharmacy here who stocks the entire range and I believe I bought it for around €25 for a 100ml tube.


Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Tribehenin, Glyceryl Behenate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Parfum (Fragrance), Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Viola Odorata Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Lecithin, Benzyl Alcohol, Oryzanol, Tocopherol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Eugenol, Linalool.


Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser 125ml

Going back to Eve Lom, I was sent this morning time cleanser as a free gift and to be honest with you, I see nothing different to the regular cleansing balm by Eve Lom apart from that it comes in a handy tube and it is cheaper! The scent, consistency are the same to me and though there is a slight difference in the ingredients, it performs the same, too. It is also easier to travel with due to the tube packaging.

I use this product day and night regardless that it is being marketed as a daytime cleanser. Here is what SPACE.NK UK say about this product:

Treat your skin to a brilliant start to the day with the Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser from Space NK. Added papaya enzymes gently exfoliate and brighten. Egyptian chamomile calms and soothes while antiseptic clove oil encourages clear skin. Hops oil tones and eucalyptus oil helps drain away toxins. This effective rinse-off cleansing balm—with no muslin cloth needed—is a great addition to the legendary Eve Lom Cleanser. The totally portable tube is also perfect for travel or the gym.

Wake up your skin with this luxurious cleansing balm packed full of essential oils that powerfully decongest and refine your complexion. Inspired by the original cult-classic Eve Lom Cleanser, this quick and easy rinse-off formula is a morning essential to get you out and ready to face the day with a soft, youthful radiance.

For £40 you get 125ml and again, this is going to last you for ages.




Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Hydrating Facial Cleanser

This is a newly discovered favourite and you can read about my detailed review HERE.


Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm 50ml

This is the culprit that got me hooked on cleansing balms initially and it came in a small pot from a lookfantastic beauty box. Saying that, this small pot lasted me around a month so I had enough time to get a good idea if this is a great product or a dudd.

Like all of the Omorovicza products, this is very expensive, and although it is a miracle in a pot, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay €57.45 for a 50ml pot. Maybe one day when I have the courage I will go for it because it truly is a remarkable product that does remove makeup very well.

My skin did not feel tight or stripped of oil after using this balm and it left my skin feeling soft, nourished, cleansed and supple.

The balm is a greyish-black colour and smells divine. It has the same consistency as all balms but this one is in a league of its own. This is what Cult Beauty has to say about this product:

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm is a nightly cleanser and super fast make up remover that relies on natural extracts, minerals from the Hungarian thermal waters and mud, plus the famous Hydro Mineral Transference™ to cheat your way to beautiful skin. The Hydro Mineral Transference™ is a brilliant Omorovicza invention that enhances the body’s ability to recognise a good thing, in this case the clays, vitamins, minerals and trace elements found in this product’s ingredients list.

Cleansing Balms come from some of the oldest traditions in beauty and one advocated over anything else in Asia for luminous skin. This black, oily balm is made with Hungarian Moor Mud and thermal waters – rich in clays that draw out impurities, clearing congested pores, while introducing key minerals calcium, zinc, copper & magnesium, which boosts the synthesis of collagen, strengthens the skin barrier and antioxidant defense against free radicals. An all in one facial cleanser and top notch make up remover.

Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Sweet Almond Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Heptanoate, Silt (Hungarian Mud), Jojoba Oil, Squalane, Beeswax, Polysorbate 20, Plum Seed Extract, Apricot Kernel Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum (Natural Fragrance), Limonene, Linalool, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acerola Fruit Extract, Vitamin E, Aqua, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium aspartate, Copper Gluconate.

That’s it, those are my favourites, and I hope this review will help you in choosing which cleansing balm you would like to try!


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