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The process of removing layers and layers of makeup is one that no one looks forward to. It requires a bit of effort, and sometimes some extra elbow grease depending on how much makeup you’re looking to remove. Enter cleansing balms.
Rich in butters and oils, this alternative to soaps or gel cleansers melts onto the skin to effectively remove dirt and makeup without over-drying it. Not only does the balm formulation remove all makeup, dirt and sunscreen residue, but it leaves skin feeling super soft rather that stripped or tight.
Not all balms are created equally, though, and the one to look out for varies based on your individual skin type. To help you find your new favourite, here are eight cleansing balms that are fan favourites and come highly recommended by beauty editors, too.
This one is an award-winning cleansing balm that removes all makeup — even waterproof mascara. It does not strip the skin of its natural oils and instead, you’re left with baby-soft skin. The secret ingredient is Hungarian moor mud, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium carbonates to give a deep cleanse. Almond oil replenishes the skin, leaving it soft and silky-feeling. This cleansing balm is especially useful if you have dry and dehydrated skin, as the results are quite impressive.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $135
This cleanser is a hydrating option that instantly transforms from balm to cream to oil as you massage it onto the skin. Lotus flower extract removes dirt and leaves the skin radiant, while marshmallow root moisturizes. Ideal for all skin types, this balm features a sherbet-like texture that literally melts on the skin after gently rubbing it in.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $45
Using natural papaya enzymes, this balm hydrates and soothes the skin. Papaya is known to be a powerhouse super fruit with enzymes, seed oil and extract — they work wonders on the skin as they are a natural exfoliant that help smooth the skin while also soothing and brightening. The plush, sorbet-like formula very quickly dissolves from a cushiony balm to a milky oil, and works well on all skin types.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $42
This citrus-infused, aromatherapy cleansing balm with vegan natural extracts leaves the skin fresh, bright and soft. It's made with a boatload of powerhouse ingredients: rose hip fruit oil for boosting skin hydration, litsea cubeba fruit oil to detoxify pores and balance oil production, chia seed oil to moisturize and hydrate skin, lavender oil and apple fruit extract to exfoliate and brighten skin. This balm also works as an antiseptic for those who are prone to acne outbreaks or blemishes.
SHOP IT: Nudestix, $40
This is a three-in-one product that not only acts as a cleanser and makeup remover, but also as an effective anti-aging serum. Developed with plastic surgeons, the formula contains proprietary collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, and antioxidants that work together to provide intense hydration and radiance. For added hydration, use this as a face mask, leaving it on for 60 seconds.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $50
Founded in 2018 in the U.K., The INKEY List's mission is to make skincare easy to understand and simple to use. Their Oat Cleansing Balm is an affordable yet luxurious cleansing balm containing oat kernel oil to gently support skin’s moisture barrier and colloidal oatmeal to help reduce the appearance of redness and soothe irritation. It's a gentle balm that works really well on irritated and sensitive skin.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $13
This cream-to-oil formula also acts as a 3-in-1 formula, working as a cleanser, mask, and balm. It's suited for all skin types, especially dry and dull skin. It's formulated with antioxidant sea buckthorn seed oil and cranberry seed oil, which moisturizes the skin and stimulates circulation. Frangipani flower purifies the skin, rose hip and camellia oils regenerate skin to delay signs of aging and vitamins A, C, and E smooth the look of wrinkles.
SHOP IT: Charlotte Tilbury, $70
Formulated with No7's tri-vit complex and grapeseed oil, this cleansing balm protects the skin's natural, healthy balance while hydrating the skin. It also dissolves away make-up, impurities, and pollutants. It works best if you use a muslin cloth to wipe the balm, lightly dabbing away at the skin for bonus exfoliation.
SHOP IT: Shoppers Drug Mart, $14