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Cleansing Balm Review… My Top 2?

Have you tried the double cleanse method yet? If not, you definitely should give it a try. And to help you get started I tried 5 cleansing balms, and want to share my top 2 favorites with you in my cleansing balm review!

But before we get into the cleansing balms, let’s start with a general overview of the Double Cleanse Method and why you just might want to consider it.

What is the Double Cleanse Method

The Double Cleanse Method is as simple as it sounds, you are cleansing your face 2 times before applying your night time products.

The Double Cleanse Method is an Asian-inspired cleansing method. I’ve heard some people call it the Japanese cleansing method and others the Korean cleansing method. So, I’m just going to say it’s Asian-inspired, okay? Thanks.

Step 1 of Double Cleansing

In step one of the double cleanse you are washing your face with an oil based cleanser, like a cleansing oil or balm. This step breaks down your makeup, sunscreen, pollutants, dirt and impurities.

Step 2 of Double Cleansing

Step 2 is a gentle cleanse with a water based gel or foam cleanser or even a gentle cleansing bar, like Cetaphil. I’ve personally used both. I see step 2 as a washing away of the impurities and prepping the skin for all your yummy night time products.

Why You Should Consider the Double Cleanse Method

I’ve always been a little OCD when it comes to taking my makeup off at night. It’s something my Southern mama instilled in me and I’m so thankful she did. I think I can count on one hand how many times I have gone to bed at night without washing my face!

I heard somewhere that leaving your makeup on for one night has the effects of not washing your face for 7 days! Yuck!

So, let me show you a picture that I think illustrates why you should consider the double cleanse.

If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. That’s my makeup cloth after Step 1 of double cleansing!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you use one of the links and make a purchase I may earn a small commission. Your support of my blog is greatly appreciated!

What I love about double cleansing is

I know I am getting ALL the sunscreen, makeup, and dirt removed from my face. I literally have proof all over the washcloth!

Think about it, if you put product on top of a face that hasn’t been fully cleansed, that product is not going to do the work it’s supposed to do. It won’t be able to get past any leftover oil, sunscreen or makeup to penetrate your pores and skin tissue.

Remember how I said I was a little OCD about cleaning my face?

Before I started double cleansing, I had my own little test to determine how well a cleanser cleaned my face. If for some reason I tried another cleanser, I would always perform this test, like I was a little makeup scientist or something. And let me tell you people, the majority of cleansers out there do NOT remove all the product from your beautiful face.

So what was my test?

My test was a cotton ball and toner. If there was leftover makeup or such that came off on the cotton ball, I’d know the cleanser wasn’t good because it wasn’t fully removing my makeup. I stopped using toner a while ago because most toners are alcohol-based and dry out your skin.

Before I Double Cleansed?

Before I tired the Double Cleanse Method, I was happy with my cleansing routine. I guess I was double cleansing, just not with an oil based cleanser in Step 1.

I would use a cleanser, like Clinique All About Clean or Neutrogena’s All Natural Makeup Remover. I still love both of these, by the way. After rinsing, I would use the Cetaphil gentle cleansing bar of soap. I did feel like these products were working well for me, but I love the cleansing balms. If you wanted to try one of the Clinique or Neutrogena, I would recommend the Neutrogena. It did a great job of removing my makeup when I followed with the Cetaphil bar.

If I’ve convinced you to try the Double Cleanse Method, great! I didn’t review any cleansing oils as I was mainly interested in the balms. Balms turn into oils as you apply them. But I’d be happy to try some oils out if you’d be interested in a side-by-side comparison of cleansing oils to balms. Just comment at the end of this post.

But for now, let’s talk about the cleansing balms I tested.

The Cleansing Balms I Tested

For the blog post I tested the 5 following cleansing balms.

As you can see, I chose a variety of balms, from department store, drug store and Sephora/Ulta.

To note:

cleansing balm

So, which one did I like best?

I ranked the cleansing balms from my least favorite to the two I would purchase again in the future.

My Cleansing Balm Review

#5-Pond’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm
pond's cleansing balm

Cost: $10-$14; Walgreens around $10. Amazon $10 and up

Size: 3.38 fl.oz.

General Information About the Product:
  • Pond’s says this cleansing balm works best for dry skin types, and I would agree.
  • 2018 Allure Best of Beauty Award
My Thoughts:
  • It has a very light, fresh scent
  • It is very creamy, and light, but as it dissolved from the balm to an oil, it felt very greasy.
  • My face didn’t feel as clean after Step 1, almost like there was a film on my face.
  • After Step 2, my face felt dry as if my skin had been stripped.
  • I still had to use eye makeup remover to remove the rest of my mascara after Step 2.
#4 – Banila Co Clean It Zero Nourishing Cleansing Balm
clean it zero cleansing balm for the double cleanse method

Cost: $22.00 on Amazon

Size: 3.38 Fluid Oz.

General Information About the Product:
  • Banila Co is a Korean-based skincare company but has a headquarters in the United States.
  • There are several other cleansing balms by Clean It Zero and this one has the highest concentration of oils
  • Contains Ginseng Berry & Royal Jelly for added moisture
  • Formulated without: Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, Mineral oil, Alcohol, Artificial coloring
My Thoughts:
  • I like that it comes with a dipping stick to get the product out of the jar
  • Has a very light fragrance, almost vanilla-like.
  • Is light in balm form, but felt a little greasy as it turned to oil
  • Did an okay job of removing mascara
  • Face felt dry after Step 2
#3-Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm
Clinque Cleansing balm for the double cleanse method

Cost: $28.20 on Amazon; $31.00 on Clinique & Macy’s

Size: 3.8 Fluid Oz.

General Information About the Product:
  • Clinique says this balm is best for very dry to dry, dry combination, combination oily, and oily
  • Is free of synthetic colors, gluten, denatured alcohol, SLS, SLES, talc. It’s also vegan.
  • It is Clinique’s #1 makeup remover and has received thousands of 5-star reviews
My Thoughts:
  • It has a perfect creamy texture
  • Was not very good about removing mascara. Even after Step 2, I had to use eye makeup remover to fully remove my mascara.
  • My face did feel clean and hydrated after cleansing.
#2 – Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm
Then I Met You cleansing balm for the double cleanse method

Cost: $38.00 on Soko Glam

Size: 3.17 oz

General Information About the Product:
  • An award winning cleansing balm by Allure, Glamour, Vogue and more
  • A sorebet-like texture
  • Contains sea buckthorn which softens and brightens the skin (and also gives it the beautiful golden color)
  • Also contains persimmon extract, olive oil & vitamin E
  • Free of polyethylene, mineral oil, alcohol, silicone, parabens, artificial coloring and synthetic fragrance
My Thoughts:
  • This product also comes with a dipping stick, which is nice
  • Product feels smooth on skin and converts to a perfect texture of oil
  • You do have to rub water on your face after applying product to emulsify it. I didn’t like having to do this because water would drip down my arms and get the sleeves of my PJs wet
  • The product can be difficult to put on because the product breaks off into little chunks
  • It does a nice job of removing mascara
  • My face felt clean and hydrated
#1 – Physician’s Formula The Perfect Matcha 3- in- 1 Melting Cleansing Balm
Physician's Formula Cleansing Balm for the double cleanse method

Cost: $10.99 on Amazon; $13.49 on Physician’s Formula

Size: 1.4 oz

General Information About the Product:
  • Paraben-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • Contains antioxidants and good for your skin ingredients like matcha green tea, bamboo shoot, and lotus extract.
My Thoughts:
  • Has a creamy texture
  • Has a very light scent
  • Has a little tool to remove product from jar
  • Felt nice on my face
  • Removed makeup really well, even mascara
  • Face felt soft and hydrated

There are so many cleansing balms on the market today and it really is a great way to remove all the product, dirt and grime off your face.

Here are some others I want to try once I finish off my Top 2.

If you use a cleansing balm, let me know your favorite by commenting below. I’d love to hear about the products you enjoy!



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