Hi and welcome back to skincare 101! Ever wanted to use a cleansing oil or balm, and didn’t know where to start? Did you wonder, what are they? Why do we need them? And how to use them?
You may have also heard that they can be used as a replacement of makeup remover. But does that make them a cleanser?
Do you use them by themselves or with other products? How long are you supposed to leave them on your face? Is a cleansing balm better than a cleansing oil?
What is a cleansing oil or cleansing balm?
They are essentially the same thing in a different format.
A cleansing oil is a liquid and a cleansing balm is a more dense form of that same cleansing oil. Cleansing balms may look very different, but once applied to your skin they break down to an almost identical texture to the cleansing oil.
Obviously some of the ingredients differ to make one liquid and to make the other one physical. But they essentially do the same thing. We use them on the skin to get rid of any makeup, dirt, sunscreen and pollution that has accumulated throughout the day.
There are so many benefits to using a cleansing oil or cleansing balm. But one of the main ones is that it leaves your skin very nourished, soft, and moisturized before you go in with the cleanser.
Cleansing can be one of the harshest steps of a skincare routine. Which is one of the reasons we use cleansing oils or balms first.
What is the difference between cleansing oils and cleansers?
A cleansing oil and a cleansing balm are not the same thing as a cleanser.
One is oil-based and the other is water-based. The oil cleanser will easily break up any additional oil on the surface of your skin. So things like makeup, sunscreen, and all excess sebum produced. It will properly break it all down and move it around, so that you can follow up with a water cleanser afterwards to remove everything.
If we think about what happens when you put oil in water. They separate. Using solely a water-based cleanser to remove all that oil is never going to be as effective as first going in with an oil cleanser and then following up with a water cleanser. That’s why I personally believe everyone should be using a cleansing oil or cleansing balm before going in with a cleanser.
So please don’t leave a cleansing oil or cleansing balm on your face without properly washing it off afterwards. Because you’ll may cause a breakout.
How to use cleansing oils or cleansing balms?
Before you do anything DO NOT wet your face, do not put any water or splash water on your face. Oil and water don’t properly mix. If the cleansing oil is mixed with water it’s not going to be as effective.
Take a nickel size amount of a cleansing oil or balm and spread it across your fingers.
Start gently rubbing it into every area of your skin. Make sure you don’t miss any spot and really work it in. Do it for one minute at least. Any less than one minute means that you’re probably not getting all the makeup and dirt off of your face. But any more than two minutes can mean irritation redness and sensitivity.
Rinse your hands and then splash water on your face. Using water will make the oil emulsify. You want to spend about 30 seconds removing all the oil from your face. Make sure you get it all off your skin. An incomplete removal can cause clogged pores.
Use a water-based cleanser. If you want to know how to properly use a cleanser you might wanna check out our post “How to correctly wash your face“. Where we go into details about product ingredients, the proper techniques and some product recommendations.
What to avoid?
Now that you know what to do, here’s what not to do.
Like I said before do not use the cleansing oil or balm by itself. While these oils are amazing, if you leave them on your skin for a long period of time they could clog your pores. They’re great for removing makeup and dirt. But think about it. When you add an oil to your face and mix it around with all that makeup and dirt you technically aren’t removing the makeup and dirt from your skin it’s still sitting there. So if you aren’t using a water-based cleanser afterwards to get deep into your pores and push out all of that it’s still going to stay on your skin.
Do not leave it on for a long time. It should take about one to two minutes. If you are leaving it on your skin for like 30 minutes or an hour that means it has more time to settle in your pores. Which could make it a lot more difficult to remove. There’s no reason to keep it on your skin for a long period of time.
Some people think that double cleansing is using a cleansing balm or a cleansing oil twice in a row, without cleansing and that’s wrong. Just like i was saying before a water cleanser is necessary to remove all of that dirt and makeup.
Finally don’t be overly rough this should be a really nice peaceful experience and there’s no need for you to just be going ham on your face with a cleansing balm.
My favorite cleansing balm of all time is Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm. It’s like a mango smoothie for your face. It works so well, leaves your skin so nourished and hydrated!
If you are looking for a more affordable option Neutrogena Makeup Removing Balm is a great dupe!
I love The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm it has amazing ingredients for reducing irritation and sensitivity. If you have oily skin this is perfect for you, it’s slightly exfoliating and will get rid of all that excess oil that accumulates throughout the day.
There is all you need to know about cleansing oils and cleansing balms!
I hope this answered all of your questions. If you do have any more questions feel free to let me know in the comments. And make sure you continue the journey of learning the basics about skincare through my skincare 101 series.