beauty / cleansing balms

cleansing balms.  let’s chat, shall we?

just three short months ago my face cleansing routine consisted of using aveeno positively radiant skin brightening daily scrub (as a cleanser), followed by witch hazel (as a toner/attempt to remove leftover traces of makeup.)  I had been using the aveeno cleanser for years and loved it, but the witch hazel was a newer addition to my routine.  it was all good for a while, but after several weeks, my skin started misbehavin’ – more frequent breakouts, it was dry, dull – no bueno.  i thought maybe it was the witch hazel, so i cut it out.  weeks later, after only using the scrub, i was still disappointed.  that’s when i took to pinterest and started reading up on using coconut oil as a cleanser.  so many rave reviews – it would make my skin glow!  it would remove makeup like magic!  i could use it to condition my hair!  life changing, apparently.  so i dusted off a tub of coconut oil that i found in the back of our pantry, checked the expiration date, shrugged my shoulders and gave it a go.  i tried it for a couple of weeks… the first week or so – my skin was glowing and felt so soft.  i was convinced that I’d found the holy grail of skin care.  but then – meh.  i still wasn’t getting the results i wanted.  my skin became dry and uneven.  long story short, turns out i was using a refined version of coconut oil.  in fact, i came across an article that actually listed the oil i was using as a no-no for skin care.  LOL.  of course.

in the meantime, i had found glossier (read my reviews here – love!) and their blog – into the gloss.  it was via ITG that i became increasingly interested in Korean skin care.  i read article after article about their strict regimen – the methods, the whys, the how-tos – and decided that i wanted to give it a try.  i was particularly curious about the double cleansing method:  step 1 – use an oil-based cleanser to breakdown makeup and remove impurities, followed by step 2 – wash with a foam cleanser to further cleanse the skin and remove all traces of makeup.  i have to say, I’ve been using this method for about three months (in conjunction with other products) and my skin has never looked better.

(i’ll share my entire skin care routine + products one of these days, but today – it’s all about dat balm.)

why you should use it…

-cleansing balms are oil-based.  and contrary to what you may believe – this is so good for removing dirt and makeup and other nasty things that cling to your skin.  not to get all chemistry 101 on you, but “like dissolves like.”  i have oily/acne prone skin, so i was hesitant and terrified to put oil on my face.  but ladies – it works.  in fact, you want to keep your face well hydrated with oil.  if your face gets too dry, the sebum of your skin will go into survival mode, producing MORE oil and most likely turning your face into a hotbed for bacteria and acne.  (I’ve always wanted to use hotbed in a sentence.)

-cleansing balms do a fantastic job of dissolving make up and sunscreen.  in fact, if you’re using a non oil-based (or water-activated) cleanser, it’ll have to work double time to remove impurities, often stripping your skin of – OIL – leaving your skin feeling tight and dry.

-cleansing balms remove even the thickest of make up – from concealers to foundation and layered mascara… it’ll remove it faster (and more efficiently) than I’d remove my clothes for Jamie Dornan.

-cleansing balms are often made with natural/organic ingredients.

-cleansing balms are nourishing, calming and leave your skin feeling super soft.

how you should use it…

-massage cleanser into your dry skin.  you’ll start to see the makeup dissolving within seconds.

-rinse off with warm water or a washcloth for a gentle exfoliating effect.

things worth mentioning…

-water-activated cleansers are okay, but use them as your second cleansing step.

-just because i didn’t continue with using coconut oil – doesn’t mean i don’t believe in it.  it’s basically the same as using the types of cleansers you see above, except it’s pure oil.

-i don’t think there’s anything wrong with the aveeno product i mentioned above.  it might actually be a great second cleanser!   i just haven’t tried it yet.

-i believe my previous skin care routine failed because i wasn’t cleaning and moisturizing properly.  i was using products that contained alcohol (a major no-no) and other chemical detergents that are not good for the skin.  the more oil i have introduced into my routine, the healthier my skin has become.

-for those of you who are questioning if double cleansing is too much cleansing – you’re wrong.  as  long as you’re using an oil-based cleanser to start, you’re on the right track.


on to the products!

first of all, i haven’t used all of the balms shown above, but I’m a beauty product review junkie, so I’m going to help you out a bit.  hopefully, you’ll find one that works for your budget and skin care needs.

1.  banila co clean it zero purity – i use this and i loooooove it!  this version is for sensitive skin.  i chose it because i wasn’t sure how my skin would react.  it’s free from artificial coloring, synthetic fragrance, parabens, alcohol and mineral oil.  best eye makeup remover I’ve ever used.  $25

2.  su:m37 miracle rose cleansing stick – this thing is “on-trend” and getting great reviews.  people are loving it for its gentle cleansing and convenience.  plus is smells like roses!  apparently a little goes a long way.  $34

3.  ren rosa centifolia no. 1 purity cleansing balm – a rose infused balm that’s free from parabens and all that jazz.  people with acne prone skin have mentioned that it has cleared up their acne over time, leaving their skin soft and with an even skin tone.  might i add – rose oils are so unbelievably good for your skin.  $48

4.  eve lom – apparently this cleanser does a myriad of things – improves circulation, opens pores, exfoliates, tones…  it’s pricey, but i included a pricier option for you fancy bitches.  (and i say fancy in the nicest way.)  it gets great reviews for being refreshing, hydrating and exfoliating.  the bad reviews suggest that it made their skin dry and flakey.  remember – with these products, a little goes a long way.  $50-$190

5.  brooklyn herbarium infused organic coconut oil – 100% organic, infused with calendula (heals wounds and skin irritations) and red clover (soothes skin inflammations.)  coconut oil is meant to reduce inflammation, support tissue healing, act as an antioxidant, softens skin and relieves dryness and flaking.  this product talks a lot about holistic baby (think diaper rash and cradle cap) and adult skin care, but coconut oil is coconut oil.  as long as it’s unrefined, like this one is.  there are no reviews available, so if you use it – let me know!  $23

6.  clinique take the day off cleansing balm – this appears to be a favorite among basic bitches everywhere.  LOL – just kidding!  but seriously, i did add it because women love clinique and they trust the brand, i guess.  of all the balms, this is the last one i would try.  I’ve never had good experiences with clinique products.  women seem to rate it high, though.  mostly for its ability to remove make up so well and not cause breakouts.  $28.50

as i mentioned, i love the banila co cleanser; however, i also believe in having options and switching up my products.  I’d love to try the su:m37 cleansing stick, but I’m also kinda obsessing over camp’s desert island wonder balm and board and batten’s “farm to skin” cleansing and conditioning balm.

I hope you found this post to be helpful.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


10. June 2015 by paige
Categories: Beauty | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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