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The Best Cleansing Oils & Balms for Your Skin Type

The Best Cleansing Oils & Balms for Your Skin Type

Best Cleansing Oils & Balms for Your Skin Type

In the past 10 years, cleansing oils and balms have become a staple on every skincare lover’s stash. It’s not only because they are the perfect products for double cleansing, but it’s also their ability to gently and effectively cleanse the skin. Let’s get to know these products a little better, and explore the options that suit each skin type the best!

Oil Cleansing 101

Before we start listing out products recommendations, let’s take a step back and look at the basics of “oil cleansing”: what is it, and what kind of products can you use to do it? What’s the different between a cleansing oil and a cleansing balm? Let’s find out!

What is oil cleansing?

Oil cleansing is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a skin cleansing process that consists of massaging an oil into the skin and allowing it to melt away excess sebum, impurities, and even makeup. The overall idea here is that “like attracts like”; therefore, a cleansing oil should naturally bond to impurities and make it so they’re easily washed away, without over-cleansing your skin.

But how are they washed away, really? If you slather oil all over your face, won’t you just… be oily? In a way, yes, and that’s why you’re supposed to remove the oil after application.

Fans of oil cleansing tend to follow one of three routines. The first couple of steps are always the same: they’ll apply their oil to dry skin and massage it in for a few seconds, or until their makeup has dissolved. The next step is where things can look a little different, depending on personal preference. They can:

  • Use a damp washcloth to wipe away the oil;
  • Add a little water to the face, which will turn the oil into a milky lotion that’s easily rinsed off;
  • Wash their face with a gentle water-based cleanser (aka a regular old face wash). This second routine is what we call “double cleansing”: cleansing your face twice, first with an oil-based cleanser, and then with a water-based cleanser.

What is a cleansing oil?

A cleansing oil is, to put it simply, an oil-based face wash. If you look through the ingredients of a cleansing oil, you’ll find that the formula often contains multiple plant oils, such as sunflower, grape seed, almond, or jojoba (just to name a few!) Alongside these botanical oils, some cleansing oils also contain gentle surfactants; these allow the oil to transform into a lotion when in contact with water, so it’s easy to rinse off.

That’s that on formulation. In terms of texture, cleansing oils can vary slightly, ranging from very very liquid to slightly gel-like. The texture won’t affect their function: it’s simply a matter of preference. Indeed, regardless of how liquid or creamy they are, most cleansing oils are effective at removing excess sebum, impurities, SPF, and makeup.

Here’s how to use a cleansing oil:

  1. Apply a few drops of oil to dry skin;
  2. Massage the oil into the skin for a few seconds, or until your makeup has dissolved. (Yes, your melting mascara will temporarily make you look like a panda, but that’s part of the fun);
  3. Remove the oil with a damp washcloth, or add a little water to transform the oil into a lotion, then rinse off. Alternatively, you can remove the oil by washing your face with a gentle face wash.

Keep in mind, of course, that different formulas may work a little differently. When in doubt, follow brand instructions for your specific product!

What is a cleansing balm?

A cleansing balm is, essentially, an oil-based cleanser in solid form. While cleansing oils tend to vary in texture between liquid and gel-like, cleansing balms vary between gel-like and, quite honestly, wax-like. Some cleansing balms look like clear jellies, some look like body butters, and some look like cold creams–there’s a world of possibility!

Despite the huge variation in texture, it’s important to keep in mind that cleansing balms all share the same benefits: they remove sebum, impurities, SPF, and makeup, just like cleansing oils.

Here’s how to use a cleansing balm:

  1. Apply a few dollops of balm to dry skin;
  2. Massage the balm into the skin for a few seconds. The texture of the balm will change as you manipulate it: it’ll basically melt into an oil;
  3. Remove the oil with a damp washcloth, or add a little water to transform the oil into a lotion, then rinse off. Alternatively, you can remove the oil by washing your face with a gentle face wash.

As always, refer to brand instructions for your specific product when in doubt!

Cleansing balm vs oil

There’s no clear winner in the “fight” between cleansing oils and cleansing balms. When it comes to benefits, the products are similar: they manage to remove all sorts of impurities and skincare products, from SPF to makeup, all without over-cleansing or stripping your skin.

The biggest difference will always come down to your texture preferences. Here at Care to Beauty, some of us love the luxurious feeling of applying a few drops of a silky oil to remove makeup; others prefer the sensation of applying a balm and working it into the skin until it transforms into an oil, as if by magic!

As oil-cleansing lovers, we’re fans of both cleansing oils and balms–and we’ll happy to share some of our favorite products below!

Our favorite cleansing balms & oils

We’ve already talked a bit about the characteristics of cleansing oils and cleansing balms. Now, we’re all ready to show you some products that, in our experience, work well on different skin types:

Uriage Hyséac Purifying Oil

Best cleansing oil for acne-prone skin

Uriage has relaunched their range for acne-prone skin, and with the revamp came this cleansing oil. Not only does it help to gently cleanse the skin without disrupting skin suffering from inflammation. Additionally, it contains salicylic acid in order to help reduce blemishes.


Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Best luxury cleansing balm

If you’re a skincare connoisseur, you’ve certainly come across the award-winning Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. Formulated with an exclusive blend of nine essential oils, this cleansing balm is among the most fragrant on the market; the texture is equally luxurious, effortlessly melting into the skin to remove any traces of impurities or makeup. A pea-sized amount of product is enough to bring out the luxe feeling of this balm, so why not treat yourself?


Shiseido Essentials Perfect Cleansing Oil

Best cleansing oil for oily skin

This cleansing oil purifies and cleanses the skin with a unique lightweight texture, leaving a non-greasy finish. It is suitable for all skin types, yet should be the oily skin types that appreciate the weightless texture the most. Don’t be put off by the fact that this is an oil, as it will entirely wash away, leaving no residue whatsoever. At the end of the process, your skin is free from makeup residue and oils as well!


Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

Best cleansing balm for sensitive skin

Clinique Take the Day Off was about to be discontinued a few years ago, but then came the wave of people searching for cleansing oils and balms. It became a hit product overnight and anyone who has tried it will hardly ever go back. It’s perfect for sensitive skin as it’s super gentle and fragrance-free. Additionally, it destroys any trace of make-up.


JOWAÉ Oil-in-Gel Cleanser

Best budget cleansing oil

This inexpensive alternative has been delighting people since it launched. It cleanses the skin and leaves a protective hydrating layer after, making it ideal for those searching for nourishing cleansers.


Evolve Gentle Cleansing Melt

Best cleansing balm for dry skin

This rich and nourishing formula is the perfect answer for dry skin. As people who suffer with dryness rarely like to cleanse with water, this formula bets on highly nourishing ingredients. Moreover, it’s 100% natural so it’s perfect if you’re into fully natural formulas.


Clarins Total Cleansing Oil

Best for normal skin

The new launch from the cleanser-king brand Clarins. It’s clearly undeniable that Clarins has made some of the most famous and luxurious cleansers on the market, but this new range comes with a new flare. This cleansing oil, suitable for all skin types, ensures that all impurities melt away and the skin is left refreshed. Additionally, it’s perfect for removing a full face of intense make-up.


La Prairie Supreme Balm Cleanser

Best cleansing balm for mature skin

This luxurious balm removes all the makeup and impurities for perfectly cleansed skin. Featuring a rich balm-to-oil-to-milk texture, it works to cleanse while respecting the natural skin barrier. All in all, this La Prairie solution is perfect if you’re looking for a non-drying make-up remover that feels lush. Use it not only to remove impurities but also to massage your skin and undo the stress of the day!


Mádara Melting Cleansing Oil

Best natural cleansing balm

This is an easy-to-apply and remove oil, that gently wipes away any impurities. This oil leaves the skin fresh and with a feather-like finish, ensuring it’s soft and clean.


Pestle & Mortar Erase Balm Cleanser

Best vegan cleansing balm

This natural and vegan formula destroys any residue of make-up or SPF. This melting consistency quickly turns into a nurturing oil that deeply cleanses the skin. This is the perfect solution if you’re looking for both a guilt-free alternative to high-end cleansers and a powerful cleanser. Lastly, it ensures that the skin stays hydrated despite the cleansing process.


If you’d like to explore a few more options, make sure to drop by the shop! We’ve got a massive selection of cleansing oils and balms all ready for your perusal. Happy cleansing!

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