Battle of oil cleansers, Oils vs balms which should you choose for your skin type

Since you are here I can assume that you know enough about double cleansing and would like some help in choosing the best product for your skin. Although double cleansing is a centuries-old Japanese skincare philosophy most of us became familiar with the phrase courtesy of the skincare guru Caroline Hirons.

So here is a quick refresher, double cleansing is the process where you cleanse your skin in 2 steps. The first step takes off makeup oil or dirt while the second step cleanses your skin if you want to know more you can read this post.

What are the different options?

The first step uses oil to dissolve your makeup and this oil can it come as a sold balm or as a liquid. Here I will discuss the pros and cons of using either balm or oil and walk you through the process of choosing the best for you.

Cleansing oil

The cleansing oil is exactly that, a product which is liquid at room temperature and takes off your makeup. If a cleansing oil emulsifies on contact with water it can be used as both your first and second cleanse. Note that I said some not all if it does not rinse off properly the residue can clog your pores and lead to acne.

Some of the more popular cleansing oils are

L’Occitane Shea Face Cleansing Oil
Innisfree Apple Seed Cleansing Oil
ROHTO Hadalabo Gokujun Oil Cleansing
Neutrogena Ultra Light Facial Cleansing Oil
DHC Deep cleansing oil
Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser
L’Occitane Shea Face Cleansing Oil
Innisfree Apple Seed Cleansing Oil
ROHTO Hadalabo Gokujun Oil Cleansing
Neutrogena Ultra Light Facial Cleansing Oil
DHC Deep cleansing oil
Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser
L’Occitane Shea Face Cleansing Oil
Innisfree Apple Seed Cleansing Oil
ROHTO Hadalabo Gokujun Oil Cleansing
Neutrogena Ultra Light Facial Cleansing Oil
DHC Deep cleansing oil
Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser

Cleansing balms

These products are solid at room temperature however become liquid on contact with your skin once you rub them in. Balms works in the same way as oils and like oils, some balms emulsify on contact with water while others need additional help to be removed.

You can read a review of some the balms I have used here and choose from the recommendations below.

Colleen Rothschild Beauty Radiant Cleansing Balm
Benjabelle Organic Cleansing Balm
Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
PIXI By Petra Nourishing Cleansing Balm
Temple Spa :In the Beginning Deep Cleansing Melt
Banila Co Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm
Take The Day Off™ Cleansing Balm
Colleen Rothschild Beauty Radiant Cleansing Balm
Benjabelle Organic Cleansing Balm
Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
PIXI By Petra Nourishing Cleansing Balm
Temple Spa :In the Beginning Deep Cleansing Melt
Banila Co Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm
Take The Day Off™ Cleansing Balm

Oil vs balm how do you choose

Choosing the right cleanser is important because ensures your skin is clean without stripping your skins natural oils or clogging your pore. From personal experience whenever I use products that are not suitable for my skin it acts up in the form of erupting with acne and more recently allergic reactions.  So what matters when choosing a cleanser?

Preference

This is the easiest way to choose, which do you prefer? There is no point in using an oil or balm that everyone raves about if you absolutely hate how it feels on your skin. Skin care should be enjoyable, it’s not medicine so pick a product (oil or balm) with a texture that you can enjoy and just go with it.

I have used both and although I lean toward balms I have some oils in my rotation which I use them from time to time depending on how my skin feels.

Skin type

Depending on your skin type either an oil or balm may be better for you. Generally, cleansing oils are better for oily skin because they provide a deeper cleanse and but can be potentially drying to other skin types.

Cleansing balms, on the other hand, are much richer so are better if you have normal to dry skin. However, it still comes down to preference and the product you choose. I have oily skin and prefer to use a balm most of the time which directly contradicts with what I just recommended.

To make sure to pick the right product, look at the label if it says deep cleanse then stay away if your skin is dry or use it periodically. However, in general, I would say a cleansing balm is more suitable for a wider variety of skin types so if in doubt go for the balm.

Ease of use

This depends on the specific brand or product you use. Balms are easier to use because they are solid they are less likely to get into your eye unlike oils (this is an issue for me).

On the other hand, most balms require you use a warm washcloth to take off them off. This is something I absolutely HATE, so I make sure to choose one that emulsifies. Oil cleansers get winning vote here for the most part, although some may require a washcloth, hence my initial statement about the specific brand you choose.

Convenience

Balms are easier to transport without the threat of spillage while oils are more likely to spill. They are also not convenient to carry around if you travel a lot like me because I don’t want the stress of worrying if it has spilt. Since most balms come in tubs (some even have travel sizes) they are easier to throw into your travel bag and just go.

Most cleansing oils come in a vacuum pump bottle, so more sanitary than balms which get your sometimes grubby fingers scooping out the product.  So for the germaphobes among us stick with oil.

Consistency

This kind of linked to preference since cleansing oils come in different consistencies and thickness. So depending on what you like you choose the texture you like. Balms seem to have a similar consistency so there is not too much variation in the textures.

Life style and habits

If you tend to use heavy or full makeup daily then a cleansing oil may be better for you since it gives a deeper cleanse. Oils are a great choice if you are busy and want a simplified routine.Just choose one that emulsifies on contact with water which allows you to rinse your skin with no residue and you can cut out the second step altogether.If you wear little or no makeup then a balm would be better. round.

Price

This especially important since this is a product that is used daily and you will use a lot of? Most oils require you use at least 3 full pumps of product to get off all your make. So if you need to use a lot of product each time you cleanse you will go through a lot and the cost add up. With balms, on the other hand, you need much less to work with. The Clinique Take the Day off balm, for example, lasted me over 3 months despite my wearing heavy makeup daily.

Cleansing oil or cleansing balm? Which is better?

I can’t say, both have their good and bad points it all depends on you and your skin type.

Get samples so you can try a few to see what feels good. Then go with what works best for your skin and lifestyle. There is no one size fits all when it comes to skincare.

I started out with cleansing balms, then moved on to cleansing oils and now I use both depending on how I feel at the end of the day.  I do however tend to prefer the convenience and luxury of a balm (in my head).

Which have you’re tried and what do you prefer?  Let me know in the comments below and sign up for more tips and tricks.

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First published on Beauty in Lagos

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