oil-based cleansing balm

New oil-based facial cleansing balms.

Am I the last one to know about using an oil-based balm as the first cleanse for one’s face – then double cleansing? K-beauty? The oil-based cleansing balm and double cleansing trends began in Korea – as so many new skin care products do. They have hit the mainstream.  In case you are a step behind as well – this is what my daughter has taught me.  And, hydrating your face is as good for men as it is for women.

When I was twelve, I learned to avoid any facial cleanser with oil, and I have never questioned that assumption. It turns out that oil dissolves oil, so an oil-based cleanser is perfect for removing make-up, sunscreen, pollution and dirt at the end of the day.  Balms are deep moisturizers, and most of our  faces can use all the hydration we can give them. I am a total convert to these balms.

Balms are easy to use – you don’t even need to wash your face.  You can rub on the balm with your fingertips and wipe it off with a damp washcloth.  Balms are safe for the skin under the eyes. The full double-cleansing ritual would include washing off the balm and using a second traditional, lathering facial cleanser; but the balm is enough for those tired evenings when ‘less is more’ in the grooming department.

Healthy skin tip: I have read that to get a deep cleanse it is ideal to wash upward and outward on your face because of the orientation of the follicles – then rub downward and inward when applying make-up.

Slaai Makeup Melting Butter Cleansing Balm

This Slaai Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser from a company called Drunken Elephant – a ‘clean beauty’ brand.  I have been using it for several weeks and I love it.  With a Marula oil base, it is fragrance free and deeply moisturizing.  I use it as part of a two-step cleansing process, but sometimes I just wipe off the surface and let it moisturize overnight.  I wish they made a small size for travel.  A small container of facial exfoliant is included.  $34 for 3.88 oz.

I have just begun using this cleansing balm from Beautycounter – another ‘clean beauty’ brand. It is fragrance free, deeply hydrating and highly recommended.   I ordered the Beautycounter Cleansing Balm through Beautycounter Director and Educator Suzanne Cabot.  She is knowledgeable and helpful.  I have learned a lot about ‘clean beauty’ from Suzanne. Order Beautycounter Cleansing Balm from Suzanne Cabot.  You can buy it for the same price directly from Beautycounter. 2.5 ounces of Beautycounter Cleansing Balm.  $72



Glamour’s top pick is Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.  This is Glamour’s description of this balm, “…a decadently thick, golden formula that never fails to lift my mood.”.  Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm with Facial Cloth. 3.52 ounces. $45.55



GOOP recommends this Almond Oil based Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm.  Sounds edible. Made with famous New Zealand manuka honey to soothe the skin.  It has a pleasant scent.  Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm 2.8 ounces, $62.



Yes oil-based facial cleansing balm

Allure’s top choice is YesToCoconut Ultra Hydrating Coconut Oil Cleansing Balm for Dry Skin.  They describe the coconut scent as delicious, so you need to decide how much you like coconut. YesToCoconut Ultra Hydrating Coconut Oil Cleansing Balm for Dry Skin, 4 Ounce. $7.50

Ponds cleansing balm




Pond’s Cold Cream Facial Cleansing Balm is not your grandmother’s cold cream!  Glamour recommends it as a budget choice with easy availability. Pond’s Cold Cream Facial Cleansing Balm, 3.38 fl oz.  $4.99 or available in Target and other stores.




Farmacy Make-up Meltaway Cleansing Balm with Echinacea does a good job of cleaning and moisturizing. It is recommended by Sephora. It has a pleasant, clean scent. I like this ‘mini’ size because it can go in my carry-on bag on the plane.  $22 for 1.7 Fl. Oz

Bonus pub quiz fun fact:

The Marula Oil in the Drunken Elephant Balm comes from the South African Marula Tree.  The Marula fruit ferments on the tree and it is like moonshine to elephants – hence the Drunken Elephant.


Love skin products? Read this great article on Look Luscious All Winter.

beauty strategies for winter