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 properly cleansing your face to remove makeup is a situation you really don’t want to find yourself in.
And I’m not talking a quick pass 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 taking makeup off after a long, hard day seems like such a chore 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 be used all over (with some exceptions—always read the back of the product), tackling every last trace of makeup on your face to leave a glowing complexion. Plus, on top of all of that, it really helps 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 everything you need to know about cleansing balms and to shop the best balms out there.
Simply, a cleansing balm 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 cleansing balms 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 for and maintain a healthy skin condition. Short-term benefits of using a balm are a healthy, clean and hydrated skin condition,” says Bolder.
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.)
Bolder 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.”
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 leftover, unwanted residue,” warns Bolder. 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.