Cleansing Balms That Remove Water-Resistant Makeup And SPF

By Tamara Corin | 21st September 2022

Upgrade your regular foaming or cream cleanser to a balm, and your skin will soon reap the benefits. Balms are specifically formulated to dislodge makeup, sunscreen and pollution that tend to stick to skin or unlikely to be fully removed with your usual cleanser. The thick consistency of a balm makes them a great choice particularly on dry skin and gives all skin types an extra hit of nourishment (which we could all do with post summer-hols). Plus, balms feel super luxe to use and are often accompanied with a beautiful scent to make your first skincare step that little bit more pampering. 

To get the most out of your cleansing balm, facialist Erica MacCallum recommends to “slowly massage into your skin which will warm up the balm and give better slip. Then, remove it with a flannel or face cloth to remove any oily residue that may be left behind.”

Here’s our curated edit of the makeup melters that are worth the £££…

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, £25.74

One of the pioneers of cleansing balms, this deliciously thick balm does exactly what it says on the tub, taking the day’s face off in just a few splashes. Transforming from a solid balm to a silky oil, and free of essential oils, mineral oil, and fragrance, making it a sensitive skin’s dream. A little goes a long way. 

Elemis Pro-Collagen Naked Cleansing Balm, £44

Just like the iconic original but unscented so it’s kinder to sensitive skin, this beauty editor favourite is much deserving of its fan club. This powerful balm (which is limited edition, but we expect/pray/beg it to stay!) deeply cleanses your skin to dissolve makeup without drying it out and almost guarantees not to cause irritation or breakouts. 

Oskia Skincare Perfect Cleanser, £37

Aptly named, this super nourishing cleansing balm is rich in youth-boosting vitamins, minerals, probiotics, essential fatty acids, and natural emollients to give skin a thorough and deep cleanse whilst restoring moisture levels and stimulating collagen production. Ideal for mature or hormonal skin. 

Olivanna Soothing Seed Oils Cleansing Balm, £42

If you want to elevate your cleansing step and ensure every last bit of your mascara is removed, this super-luxe creamy formula will get the job done effortlessly. Rich in anti-inflammatory plant extracts and omega-rich seed oils you can expect well-nourished and beautifully radiant skin that can skip a double cleanse. 

Eve Lom Cleanser, from £45

With a celebrity following that reads like a Hollywood movie casting list, this is well-deserving of its five-star rating. The signature blend of four aromatic plant oils—clove, eucalyptus, hops, and Egyptian chamomile will leave skin feeling hydrated, squeaky clean and pampered. And combined with the included muslin cloth, it exfoliates, tones, and improves circulation. A facial in a tub! 

Youth to the People Superberry Dream Cleansing Balm, £31

Like all of the brands eco-conscious, vegan products, this balm is infused with nourishing skin ingredients (hyaluronic acid as well as a blend of maqui, açai, goji, and prickly pear seed oils), that quickly dissolve unwanted build-up without stripping skin of its natural oils and encouraging a clean and natural glow. 

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm, from £24

This aromatic aquamarine cleansing balm will make double cleansing a breeze. Formulated with turmeric, moringa extract, papaya enzymes, and sunflower and ginger root oils that removes makeup effortlessly leaving behind hydrated and smooth skin. 

Augustinus Bader The Cleansing Balm, £58

This is luxe skincare personified with the same high-powered signature amino acid complex: TFC8 which is present across the entire Bader brand. Expect deeply nourished skin, that looks and feels beautifully clean and bouncy. 

Bamford Nourishing Cleansing Balm, £55

This restorative deep-cleansing balm is packed with a blend of six protective oils, including strawberry seed which strengthens the lipid barrier and promotes cellular renewal, yet its consistency is quite light compared to other balms. A great choice if anti-ageing is your main skin concern.

Wildsmith Active Repair Nourishing Cleansing Balm, £75

Just one whiff of this award-winning balm, and you’ll be obsessed. The surprising jelly-to-milk like texture makes application easy work and is super-effective in lifting makeup, even the waterproof varieties. It will instantly bring a spa-like element to your bathroom. 

Elf Holy Hydration Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm, £10

This gentle formula starts off as a balm but quickly turns to a luxurious oil, then finally melts into a soft and soothing milk. Hyaluronic acid penetrates the skin and keeps it looking and feeling plump, while the texture punches way above its weight. A steal at just £10. 

Beauty Pie Hot Oil Double Cleansing Balm, £45

This buttery balm warms as you rub and feels ultra-nourishing. It’s packed full of healthy oils and hydrating ingredients such as Baobab sarichee and rice bran oil that soften and soothe, while aloe juice keeps inflammation at bay. Its purifying formula makes it a sensible choice for skin that tends to have blackhead build up. Give your T-zone some extra attention! 

Versed Day Deserve Cleansing Balm, £13.20

Boasting a spellbinding spa-in-a-jar aroma (that’s eucalyptus and clover– think Tiger Balm), this hard-working cleanser will melt makeup without stripping moisture from your skin – thank you, vitamin E. Massage into your skin with wet fingertips and see the balm transform into a light, gentle milk that rinses clean and leaves no oily film behind.

De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm, £70 

An eye-watering price for a cleansing balm but this is more than just a skincare product but a scented ritual that has been formulated to relax the nervous system while nourishing skin and removing all traces of the day. Definitely too special to be used daily. 

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm, £37 

With an uplifting citrusy scent, this buttery balm first turns into an oil and then emulsifies into a milky liquid and leaves skin free from everything and anything. Expect clear skin which is soothed, nourished, and moisturised. Top tip: Use the spatula that comes in the packaging, so you ration accordingly! 

The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some products purchased through affiliate links.

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