all you need to know about cleansing balms and oils & 8 product recommendations

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This is the third instalment of my Decoding Skincare Series, the first was about micellar water, the second was about vitamin C. In this post I’ll be letting you know about cleansing balms and oils. Using a cleansing oil or balm is the first step of my skincare routine each evening, whether or not I have worn makeup that day – it’s the one step that I never skip. It’s sets the tone for the remainder of my routine.

What is it
Cleansing balms and oils are the manual hardworkers of your skincare routine because they remove the makeup, oil, dirt and dried sweat that gathers on your face by way of being out and about during the day.

How to use cleansing balms and oils
Most balms advise that you apply on dry skin and massage into the skin, I do this for about 30 seconds, then add water to emulsify (this is when the product turns milky), I carry on massaging the milky phase into my skin for a further 30 seconds then I rinse off with lukewarm water.

My favourites
My ultimate favourite cleansing balm is the Banila Co Clean it Zero, I bought it in November 2018 on a trip to China and I’ve recently just finished it. I love it so much! I’m currently using the Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil.

Cost and availability
There are many cleansing balms and oils available across all price ranges. I’ve collated some below that are easily available in South Africa (there are many others). Let me know which ones are your favourites.

Cleansing balms and oils
Recommendations for cleansing balms and oils
*Cleansing balms and oils are in order of decreasing price/ml
  1. Avon Nutra Effects Oil to Milk Cleanser, 125 ml, R100
  2. The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, 200ml, R230*
  3. Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil, 125ml, R150*
  4. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptous Cleansing Butter, 90ml, R230*
  5. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, 125ml, R390*
  6. Mac Cleanse Off Oil, 150ml, R550
  7. Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil, 200ml, R950
  8. Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse Balm, 90ml, R725
    The * indicates products that I’ve used in the past

In doing research for this article I came across some products which are advertised as cleansing oils but when looking at the ingredients, it consists of 100% oils e.g. castor, almond, jojoba, grapeseed, etc. These oils are great but please beware that they are appropriate for cleansing your skin, they will not emulsify when water is added and they will just move around the makeup/dirt all over the skin. I do not recommend them. Always read the ingredients of products before you purchase.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nomali

    Thanks for this! Great to see there are more affordable options available locally now.

  2. Oreleona

    yess love using cleansing oils to remove my sunscreen and makeup before washing with my cleanser. It just makes the double cleansing more gentle on my dry combo skin!

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