Have you ever been stuck trying to decide between using a cleansing oil or a balm to remove your makeup? You’re not alone – it can be a tricky decision! Both products can be effective ways to remove makeup, but they work differently and have different benefits.

First off, let’s talk about cleansing oils.

About cleansing oils

Cleansing oils are a type of oil-based cleanser that helps gently remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities. They usually contain plant-based oils such as avocado, jojoba, and olive, which help to nourish and hydrate the skin as it cleanses. Because of their hydrating properties, cleansing oils are excellent for those with dry or sensitive skin types. They’re also very effective at removing stubborn waterproof makeup, as the oils can break down makeup and make it easier to wash off.

Product examples

One of the most popular cleansing oils out there is DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. This cult-favorite contains a blend of olive oil, rosemary leaf oil, and vitamin E, and is gentle enough for all skin types. It effectively removes makeup and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils. The oil is easy to apply. You just need to take a small amount of the palms of your hands. Then, rub your hands together to warm it up. Then, gently massage it onto your dry face. It will melt away your makeup and impurities, leaving your skin feeling hydrated and nourished.

  • Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil: This oil is another popular choice, with a rich and luxurious texture that leaves skin feeling hydrated. It contains a blend of botanical oils and can be used for double cleansing.
  • The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil: If you have sensitive skin, this gentle cleansing oil is ideal for you, as it contains chamomile extract that soothes and calms the skin. It has a lightweight texture and leaves the skin feeling refreshed.
  • Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil: This Japanese cleansing oil is known for its ability to effectively remove even stubborn makeup and impurities. It has a non-greasy formula and contains mineral oil for a deep cleanse.
  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil: This cleansing oil not only removes impurities but also contains nourishing botanicals that promote a more radiant complexion.
  • Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil: Is made with 100% plant-based squalane and vitamin C, making it a great option for sensitive skin.

About cleansing balms

Cleansing balms are solid cleansers that have a thick, balm-like texture. They typically contain a blend of different oils, like coconut, olive, or jojoba oil. As well as some type of emulsifier or surfactant, to help with rinsing. They work by gently lifting dirt, makeup, and other impurities off the skin, while also providing some degree of hydration and nourishment. Are best for those with normal to combination skin types, as they provide a gentle cleanse without stripping away all the skin’s natural oils.

Product examples

It’s worth mentioning that both cleansing oils and balms can also be used for double cleansing. Double cleansing is a popular Korean skincare routine. You use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and impurities. Then follow it up with a water-based cleanser to remove any remaining impurities. This helps to ensure that your skin is completely clean, and it also prepares your skin for the afterwards products.


So, which one should you choose? Well, it really depends on your skin type. If you have dry or sensitive skin, a cleansing oil is probably your best bet. But if you have oily or acne-prone skin, a cleansing balm might be a better option. And of course, it’s always best to do a patch test before committing to a full-size product to make sure it works well.

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