We love putting on makeup just as much as we love taking it off at the end of a long day. We have a soft spot for cleansing oils and cleansing balms that could melt every bit of makeup off—yes, even waterproof mascara—without making us tug and pull at our skin. They don't leave the face with an oily or slick finish because once they come into contact with water, they turn into a milky consistency that easily washes off!
Before we share with you our must-try cleansing oils and cleansing balms, we're answering a few Qs first:
How is an oil/balm cleanser different from a foaming cleanser?
A cleansing balm is actually a solid version of a cleansing oil. Both cleansers use *surprise, surprise* oil to dissolve sebum buildup, impurities, makeup, and bacteria from your pores. They suit a variety of skin types. Foaming cleansers, on the other hand, create a lather that removes water-based dirt and light makeup.
While the two types of cleansers are complete opposites of each other, using a foam wash after an oil-based one will enable you to get rid of leftover makeup and acne-causing bacteria. This method is better known as the ~*double cleansing method*~ and it's become famous for its abilities to deeply cleanse and purify complexions!
Will an oil/balm cleanser break my skin out?
Generally, oil/balm cleansers are incredibly gentle on the skin and leave it balanced and healthy. But we all have different skin types and what may work for someone may not work for you. Our tip? Either do a patch test on your skin or try to get samples of the product before committing to a full-sized version. When shopping for an oil-based cleanser, it's also best to check the ingredients to make sure you're not allergic to any of them.
Okay, I'm excited to try an oil or balm cleanser! What do you recommend?
We're glad you asked that! Below, we listed down the best cleansing oils and balms that won't leave a single trace of dirt and makeup on your face.
Dear Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil
Price: P1,200 for 150 ml
Where to buy: Watsons, Beauty Bar, Lazada
The Dear Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil removes makeup and dirt, moisturizes skin, and works to control your pores' sebum production. It contains antioxidants to protect your complexion from environmental aggressors. It also has a hypoallergenic formula so it won't irritate sensitive skin.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
Price: P1,400 for 200 ml
Where to buy: Shopee
Over the years, we've heard countless raves about the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil—and now we know why! Its base is antioxidant-rich olive oil that both protects and nourishes the skin. It contains simple ingredients yet it can dissolve anything. Plus, even if this oil's consistency is on the thicker side, it doesn't clog pores or irritate blemishes.
Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil
Price: P2,200 for 200 ml
Where to buy: Rustan's The Beauty Source, SM Megamall, SM Aura
Bobbi Brown's take on cleansing oil contains a special blend of moisturizing oils to thoroughly remove impurities without drying out the skin. Its lightweight texture makes it perfect to use during warmer months.
Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil
Price: P2,800 for 150 ml; P7,000 for 450 ml
Where to buy: Sephora.ph
Shu Uemura is famous for its lineup of cleansing oils. Our favorite is the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil because it contains eight(!) botanical oils that all work to help one achieve a clear, glassy-looking complexion.
BYBI Swipe Clean
Price: P2,670 for 100 ml
Where to buy: Sephora.ph
BYBI may be new to the beauty market, but their products are already a must-try. We recommend their Swipe Clean cleansing oil because it's gentle, doesn't sting the eyes (a major factor in what makes a good makeup remover), made from vegan and cruelty-free ingredients, and housed in eco-friendly packaging.
The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil
Price: P895 for 200 ml
Where to buy: Lazada, SM Beauty, Watsons, Shangri-La Plaza, Robinsons Galleria
For a more affordable option, try this one from The Body Shop. Their soothing and nourishing cleansing oil leaves the skin clean and soft and won't irritate sensitive eyes.
Banila Co. Clean It Zero Original
Price: P945 for 100 ml
Where to buy: Lazada, Trinoma, SM North EDSA
This famous cleansing balm is loved by many for a reason: It can dissolve the most waterproof makeup products, and once it's washed off, it leaves your skin balanced and soft. The OG Clean It Zero even contains vitamin C, hot spring water, and acerola extract to soothe and brighten your complexion.
Heimish All Clean Balm
Price: P975 for 120 ml
Where to buy: Go Bloom and Glow
Heimish's All Clean Balm transforms into a smooth oil texture once it's applied on your skin. It can effortlessly remove thick makeup and other germs you may have come into contact with during the day. It's paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and contains brightening oils to help even out your skin tone.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Price: P1,950 for 125 ml
Where to buy: Lazada, Rustan's The Beauty Source, SM Beauty
The Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is basically a solid version of their famous Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil. It cleanses skin thoroughly of pollution, foundation, concealer, and more without stripping it of moisture.
Human Nature Bare Necessity Cleansing Balm
Price: P375 for 1.41 oz
Where to buy: Beauty Bar, Ayala Malls The 30th, SM North EDSA
The Human Nature Bare Necessity Cleansing Balm easily gets rid of stubborn waterproof and smudge-proof makeup without requiring you to rub or tug on your skin. However, because this cleansing balm is made from all-natural ingredients, it does tend to leave a slippery film over the skin. Just wash your face with your regular foam cleanser after and it'll be gone!
Yadah Green Tea Pure Cleansing Balm
Price: P1,190 for 100 ml
Where to buy: Beauty Bar, Lazada
Yadah's Green Tea Pure Cleansing Balm contains natural green tea powder and olive oil to gently and effectively dislodge makeup, oil, and grime from your skin. It leaves your complexion feeling smooth, hydrated, and clean (not tight).
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm
Price: Price available upon request for 2.2 oz
Where to buy: SM Megamall, SM Makati, SM Aura, SM Mall of Asia
A cult fave, the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm melts onto your skin and transforms into a milky emulsion when in contact with water. It gently removes all traces of makeup and dirt from pollution. It also deeply purifies your skin to prevent excess sebum and bacteria from causing new pimples to pop up.
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