Cleansing balms are one of the hottest skincare products at the moment, and for good reason. Here are my favourites. Yes, you need one in your bathroom.
From my days as a facialist I have always loved using rich cleansing products to really work into the skin and remove makeup grime on a deeper level. I truly believe it’s the secret for clear and radiant skin.
I am a big advocate of the double cleanse routine (cleansing once with a deep cleanser followed by a second superficial cleanse to really clean skin), but if time is not on your side a cleansing balm is a great option. Not only do balms feel wonderfully indulgent, by the nature of massaging the product in and removing with a hot cloth you will reap all the benefits of an at-home facial.
Most cleansing balms will suit most skin types due to their nourishing and non-stripping nature but if you have particularly oily/acne skin you may want to seek out a more specific cleanser suited to your skin type.
Here are some of my favourite cleansing balms and ones I have been trialling recently.
My all time favourite – Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood
Made with Marula Oil (a powerful antioxidant), Sauge Officinale (a fancy French word for sage), and Ylang Ylang and Rosewood Essential Oils, this lavishly-rich, beautifully smelling cleansing balm transforms into a light, milky emulsion when mixed with a little water. Great for dry skin, it will cleanse away all traces of makeup while nourishing your skin.
£32 Darphin
The morning wake up – Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser
This cleansing balm revitalises and wakes up your skin. It’s made with aromatic cleansing oils, papaya fruit enzyme, and carrot oil that work to support natural collagen production while exfoliating, toning, brightening, and minimising the appearance of pores. Nice way to start the day!
£40 Evelom
The luxurious budget option – Charlie Locks Deep Cleansing Balm
This cleansing balm has a lovely texture, lighter than the two above, but easily workable on the skin and provides a lovely slip for massaging. It’s infused with Sweet Orange, Neroli, Mandarin and Clary Sage and is delicate enough to use on sensitive skin.
£13 Charlielocks
The anti-ager – Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm
With a bit of water this cleanser turns into a light milk, allowing easy and effective removal. The key ingredients of Sweet Almond Oil allows thorough cleansing while moisture delivery from Echium Oil (RevitElix™) helps perfect lines and wrinkles whilst improving skin elasticity.
£15.50 Johnlewis
From my experience the best way to use a cleansing balm is to firstly hold a hot cloth over your face to open pores and dampen the skin. Next take your cleansing balm, emulsify between your palms and massage into your skin. By taking the time to incorporate a facial routine you will instantly see the benefit.
A massage stimulates the muscles of the face and lymphatic system (the body’s way of eliminating toxins). There are over 300 pressure points on the face, which in turn relate to every part of the body, so when you give your face a good massage you impact every organ. Quite simply every area of the body responds to facial massage. It makes the face glow and takes the tiredness and sluggishness away.
A few minutes is all you need. Begin by massaging with gentle gliding movements, they must be gentle as well as stimulating and use upward strokes to give the muscles of the face a lift.
Next work in sections circling with your fingertips over the forehead, cheeks then jaw. Finish by sweeping upwards along the jawline with the heels of your hands out towards the lymph nodes behind your ear and along your neck.
When you have massaged for a few minutes remove with a hot face cloth or flannel and pat dry with a towel.
And, whilst it’s tempting in the evening to just use your cleanser to remove your makeup, do use a separate eye makeup remover as cleansing balms are rich and may irritate the delicate eye area.
This time of year is perfect for trying a cleansing balm. If the cold weather and central heating is leaving your skin less than radiant try a balm, add a massage and get your glow back.

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