In 2023, skincare routines have never been more complicated. Or expensive.
It’s hard to know which steps - and products - you need, and which ones you don’t.
And every man and his cleansing balm will tell you something different.
Speaking of cleansing balms…
To some, they’re an unnecessary extra step.
Others won’t wash their face without one.
Unsurprisingly, we sit in the pro cleansing balm camp - but not for the reasons you might think.
Honestly, this writer believes cleansing balms are a legitimate skincare game changer.
Read on to find out why, and which one to add to cart.
What Is a Cleansing Balm?
A cleansing balm, also known as an ‘oil cleanser balm’ or ‘balm cleanser’, is a type of face cleanser known for its lush texture and ability to melt away makeup.
Cleansing balms have a wax/solid oil texture that transforms into an oil when applied to dry skin, and again into a milky emulsion with water.
You’ll often find cleansing balms are used as the first skincare step when double cleansing (washing your face twice; once with an oil or balm cleanser, followed by a water-based cream or gel cleanser).
They’re also a staple in K-beauty/Korean skincare routines, and a must-have for makeup-wearers.
How Does a Cleansing Balm Work?
The thing that makes cleansing balms so damn good at their jobs is: oil.
“Oil attracts oil, meaning the oils in our cleansing balm attract and dissolve oil-soluble matter from the surface of the skin,” dermal therapist and Alpha-H's Clinical Training and Education Manager LeeAnne Leslie explains.
Such oil-soluble substances include sunscreen, makeup, dirt, pollution, and even excess oil (known as sebum) from the skin.
Once the oils in your cleansing balm have gobbled up oils on the skin, they are whisked away from the skin’s surface thanks to a molecule called a ‘surfactant’.
Surfactants bind oil and water together when water is added (i.e. when you rinse your face), allowing all the gunk to come off the skin, without leaving an oily residue behind.
6 Reasons to Try a Face Balm Cleanser for Better Skin.
Now, for some rapid fire info on why *literally* everyone can benefit from adding a cleansing balm into their skincare routine.
- Cleansing balms remove makeup and SPF.
We’ve already gone through the science of how cleansing balms work.
But we need to talk about just how well a face balm cleanser can break down even the most stubborn long-wearing makeup, too.
Think: Full coverage foundations. Water-proof mascara. Long-wearing red lipstick. Smudge-proof eyeliner.
Even matte finish mineral sunscreens or thick SPFs.
If you can wear it on your face, a cleansing balm can remove it.
- Cleansing balms won’t irritate your skin.
At least, we can guarantee our Alpha-H cleansing balms won’t.
Our cleansing balms contain a blend of natural oils that mimic your skin’s own protective barrier, meaning it can break down and remove oily substances, without messing with your skin’s natural, slightly acidic pH levels.
They leave skin feeling soft and supple - never dry, tight or stripped.
- Cleansing balms remove excess natural oils, too.
Not only will a balm cleanser get rid of makeup, sunscreen and general grime from the day, but it can also bind to and remove excess sebum.
Feels counterintuitive, but massaging an oily wax-like balm cleanser into the skin will actually help to lift the oil blocking your pores and contributing to blemishes and blackheads.
- Everyone can use our cleansing balms.
Yes, even oily skin-havers.
And those with sensitised skin.
Thanks to the lipid and surfactant formula, Alpha-H cleansing balms are suitable for all skin types, including oily, sensitised, blemish-prone and rosacea-prone.
But not all cleansing balms can claim this, so be sure to look into the formula of a cleansing balm before use, and patch test if in doubt.
- You can use it as a face mask.
Another thing that makes our cleansing balm extra spesh?
It doubles as a hydrating face mask.
And who doesn’t love a multi-tasking beauty product, right?
Glide a generous layer of the melty, buttery formula over skin and leave for 10 minutes for intense hydration.
We dare you not to become obsessed with how soft your skin will feel afterwards.
- Cleansing balms just feel really good.
Not only are our cleansing balms really effective, but they also feel really good on the skin.
And smell really good.
And look really good on your bathroom shelf.
You get the idea.
Best Cleansing Balm: Meet Alpha-H Melting Moment.
Now you know what a cleansing balm is and why you need one in your routine...
Meet the Alpha-H cleansing balms we’ve been talking up this whole time.
We might be biased, but we genuinely reckon the Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm is the best cleansing balm in Australia.
Nay, the world. Here’s why:
- Balm-to-oil cleanser texture.
- Waterless formula melts away makeup, sunscreen, dirt and excess oil.
- Won't disturb your skin's natural pH balance.
- Contains Australian Wild Orange Leaf Extract, Sandalwood Seed Oil and Grapeseed Oil.
- Australian-made, cruelty-free, vegan and free from sulphates, parabens, mineral oil and artificial fragrances.
- Comes in a chic monochromatic (and very generously-sized) tub.
- Has a natural citrus scent.
- Suitable for all skin types.
When the Alpha-H cleansing balm first launched, it sold out three times.
So, we decided to make Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm Plum.
It's a limited edition version of our viral balm, now with antioxidant-rich Native Australian Davidson Plum.
We only made one small batch of this juicy sweet-scented plum cleansing balm, so grab it before it inevitably sells out.
How to Use a Makeup Cleansing Balm.
Finally, our skin expert LeeAnne explains exactly how to use a cleansing balm for your best skin, ever.
“Scoop a grape-sized amount of cleansing balm into clean dry hands, and massage it gently onto dry skin over the entire face, neck and decolletage.”
“As you work it into the skin, the solid balm instantly melts, transforming it into a luxuriously silky cleansing oil.”
“After massaging for one minute, add warm water onto the skin with fingertips and continue to massage in gentle circular movements."
To remove, rinse with cool or warm water, or use a damp face cloth.
Follow with your water-based second cleanser, or go again with your balm cleanser for soft, radiant skin.
Then, apply your serums and moisturisers of choice, and clock off for the day!
- Tags: Skin Science