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Favorites: Cleansing Balm

Favorites: Cleansing Balm

Cleansing Balms

When it comes to removing the day from your face, there are a variety of products to choose from: makeup remover, good old fashioned soap, a milky wash, and cleansing balms… our current favorite way to wash our complexion clean.

Cleansing balms are like a hybrid of a makeup remover and an actual wash tucked away in the comfort of a large jar. They’re thicker in formula and usually packed with essential oils and antioxidants, so they’re a great choice for the colder climate that deplete and dehydrate the skin. These balms can be used on and around the eye area (use here is encouraged!), and, by nature, are more soothing and calming than your average cleanser. All skin types will find solace in a jar of cleansing balm, including sensitive skin. Most balms are multitasking – they’ll remove makeup and deeply clean away debris, all with a single use. Bonus points go to balms because they leave your skin glowing immediately, like you just spent the afternoon in a spa getting multiple face treatments.

When applying a balm, don’t be afraid of the changing consistency (thick and creamy to soft and liquid-y). Most balms should be applied to dry skin and massaged into it so that your complexion can benefit from the bountiful ingredients (when balming, the correct term is “melt” into the skin). Adding water will emulsify some balms, others can be used without anything. And all balms should be removed with a damp wash cloth or muslin cloth.

Charlotte Tilbury, creator of Charlotte Tilbury Multi-Miracle Glow Cleanser, Mask & Balm for Baby Soft Skin, urges users to apply the balm with her 5-step Pro-Collagen Wonder Workout (basically a self-soothing, anti-aging facial massage), and we’re loving the results.

Here are her directions: 1 – “Apply cream to the tips of the middle 3 fingertips of each hand. Blend into your cheeks starting from the lower cheek, near the mouth, in a sweeping motion up and out.” 2 – “Place your forefingers under your cheekbones, starting from the nose. Push upwards, into your bone structure, and outwards, smoothing your fingers along your cheekbones, finishing at your ear.” 3 – “Using your thumb and forefinger gently pinch your jawline, 2 seconds per pinch, moving along the line from your chin outwards.” 4 – “Apply cream to the tips of the middle 3 fingertips of each hand. Starting from the middle of the forehead, massage the cream into the skin in 3 circular motions, moving outwards towards the temples.” 5 – “Apply a light pressure on your temples for 5 seconds to finish the massage.” (View directions in their entirety here.)

Feast your eyes – and faces – on our very  favorite cleansing balms:

1. Charlotte Tilbury Multi-Miracle Glow Cleanser, Mask & Balm for Baby Soft Skin ($60) – A cream-to-oil balm that doubles as a deeply hydrating overnight mask. Apply to dry skin, melting away makeup and grime, and bask in the beauty of a luminous, glowing, baby soft complexion. Note: the scent is rather potent (pleasantly rosy)- so if you’re adverse to scents, then we wouldn’t recommend this specific balm.
2. REN Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm ($48) – Free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, this rose-infused balm will cleanse, purify, calm, and condition. And it even removes waterproof mascara! Recommended for all skin types.
3. Clinique Take The Day Off ($29) – A gentle yet effective cleanser that leaves all skin types uber soft and smooth to the touch. The balm is thick in consistency, but washes off without so much as a trace. Ideal for ultra sensitive skin.
4. Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm ($32 – $105) – This award-winning cleansing balm is formulated with Hungarian Moor mud for a wash that melts away the day while infusing minerals deep into the skin. Recommended for problem skin types.
5. Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood ($45) – Thick like honey with a slightly smokey scent (that would be the sandalwood and sage), this french favorite will melt into your skin (just add water!) and remove makeup, dirt, and pollution. Recommended for normal to dry and mature skin types.
6. Eve Lom Cleansing Balm ($50 – $135) – Probably the first of its kind (definitely the most regarded), Eve Lom’s Cleansing Balm is the ultimate in luxury. For acneic and problem skin, steer clear, as the base of the balm is actually mineral oil. But for those with dryer dispositions, this gentle cleanser will clean, comfort, and nourish.


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Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.