Cleansing Balm vs. Oil: What’s the Difference?
Cleansers are the all-important first step in your skincare regimen, providing the rest of your products a pristine canvas to work on for optimal effectiveness. Unsurprisingly, many different types of cleansers, including oils and balms, are growing in popularity in the skincare market. While both use oil in their formulations, cleansing oils vs. balms are a matter of texture.
Balms and oils are gentle yet effective cleansing solutions that work wonders in removing dirt, makeup, and other pore-clogging impurities from your skin. They typically contain oils like sunflower seed, coconut, grapeseed, olive, or avocado oil. While cleansing oils have a liquid texture, cleansing balm makeup removers come in a solid form. These balms offer luxurious creaminess and multiple benefits, leaving your complexion glowing, clean, and clear.
Advantages of Cleansing Balm
1. It’s self-care that indulges the senses.
Indulging in a rich and velvety cleansing balm can be a delightful experience for your skin. Applying a balm to the face in gentle, circular massaging motions can have a soothing effect on your facial muscles to invigorate your mornings and help you unwind at night.
2. They leave your skin feeling great.
Skincare has come a long way since the days of facial bar soaps that stripped the skin of its natural oils and pH balance. Cleansing balms transform from a solid to a smooth, milky liquid texture with the addition of water, making them easier to rinse off.
3. They can adapt to different skin types.
A balm may be more solid than an oil, but it’s typically more lightweight for year-round use on any skin type. If you have sensitive skin, find a balm that’s free of fragrance or allergens.
4. They can go wherever you do.
Cleansing oil is a little tricky and impractical for packing in a suitcase or gym bag. Conversely, cleansing balms can go anywhere without leaking onto the other items in your makeup pouch.
5. They play well with others.
A balm is a must-have if you’re double cleansing for a thorough clean. Use the cleansing balm to do the heavy lifting (removing makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and debris), then follow it with a lighter, water-based cleanser that banishes dead skin cells and breakout-causing bacteria. A cleansing gel is an ideal partner for a balm because they work together beautifully to hydrate and refresh the look of your skin.
6. It melts away more than just your makeup
While other cleansers, like makeup wipes, focus solely on removing makeup, cleaning your skin with a gentle cleanser is important. Cleansing balms go beyond removing makeup alone — they effectively eliminate dirt, leftover SPF, grime, and bacteria from your skin and pores, leaving your skin feeling thoroughly cleansed and refreshed with just one use.
7. Great for a double cleanse
A gentle cleanse involves both water-based and oil-based cleansers. This method removes makeup with an oil-based cleanser and completes the process with a water-based formula. A double cleanse is perfect for individuals with oil or acne-prone skin and those who live in humid climates or wear makeup and sunscreen daily.
8. Gentle on the skin
Most makeup wipes contain alcohol and other harsh ingredients that dry out your skin and cause redness and inflammation. However, most cleansing balms have a gentle, lightweight, buttery texture that is kind to sensitive skin types.
You also don't need to worry about using a cotton pad or a wipe to remove the makeup, as they aren't always as gentle as you think. Using these products can cause micro-tears in the skin, leading to additional irritation. Our cleansing balm comes with a 100% cotton muslin cloth that’s gentle on the skin and helps eliminate any oily residue left over after use.
With a cleansing balm and a muslin cloth, you can literally wash the makeup right off your face, giving you a clear complexion in seconds and allowing you to continue your skincare routine with a clean face!
9. Reduce redness and inflammation
Cleansing balms are the ideal cleanser for sensitive and dry skin types as they calm stressed skin and combat redness, irritation, and inflammation. The soothing, lightweight formula removes makeup while visually improving skin tone and texture.
10. Great for acne-prone skin
A cleansing balm formula is the perfect solution if you struggle with acne. The balm will deeply cleanse your face without stripping away natural oils.
Disadvantages of Cleansing Oil
Cleansing oils aren't inherently bad for your skin; they're slightly different in texture than a makeup balm. Here are some of the disadvantages:
1. Can clog pores
If you have acne-prone or oily skin, be careful with oil-based cleansers, as many can clog your pores, leading to irritation and breakouts. Instead, look for formulas with non-comedogenic ingredients.
2. Sometimes contain harsh ingredients
Many cleansing oils contain harsh ingredients like irritants, sulfates, and alcohol that can strip your skin of natural oils and disrupt your natural pH balance. The best cleansers contain gentle ingredients that refresh and revitalize your skin.
3. Leaves an oily residue
Cleansing oils offer better hydration than soaps, but they can also be tricky to wipe off the skin, leaving behind a tacky residue. Make sure you remove excess oil before continuing your routine.
The Doubling Cleansing Method
If you want to try the double cleansing method with a cleansing balm, keep a few things in mind:
Step 1: Ensure water is the other cleanser's key ingredient.
Combining two oil-based products may be too much for some skin types.
Step 2: Find the cleanest option.
To avoid stripping away the natural moisture from your skin, be mindful of the ingredients in your cleansing balm. Opt for a cleansing gel that utilizes clean beauty ingredients and is free from sulfates and other potential irritants.
Step 3: Look for hydrating ingredients.
Cleansing gels are often best for those with oily or combination skin because of their astringent properties. However, your product should have hydrating ingredients to strike the perfect balance. Look for emollient-rich ingredients such as aloe vera or cucumber extract to help nurture and preserve the skin's moisture barrier.
Step 4: Consider your skin type.
If you have naturally oily skin, be careful with the double cleansing method. Using two cleansers at a time on oily skin may lead to a dry and dull feeling. However, double cleansing is a great way to eliminate bacteria build-up accumulating in your pores if you have acne-prone skin.
Step 5: Massage the skin.
When using this method, carefully massage the product into your skin without pulling or tugging, leading to irritation and micro-tears (especially if you cleanse twice daily!).
Step 6: Avoid overwashing your face.
Yes, you can overwash your face. Signs of overwashing include dryness, irritation, or redness. If you experience any of this, consider sticking to one cleansing method.
Using the Augustinus Bader Cleansing Products
The Cleansing Balm and The Cream Cleansing Gel are a powerful double cleanse duo, or you can use either alone. Both products contain botanicals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, other nurturing ingredients, and our proprietary TFC8® to support cellular renewal. Your complexion will look clean and purified, visibly improving your skin’s tone and texture.
This radiant-looking skin results from our innovative, science-backed skincare technology, TFC8. Like all of our products, our cleansers are consumer-tested to measure results. In these trials, 100% of users said The Cleansing Balm easily removed makeup and grime, while 98% agreed that The Cream Cleansing Gel soothed and calmed the skin.
You can use either cleanser in the morning and at night, but we recommend this double cleanse regimen for an elevated evening skincare experience:
● Massage a pea-sized amount of the balm into dry skin with your fingertips, moving gently in circular motions.
● Add warm water to emulsify the balm into a milky liquid as you continue massaging your face.
● Soak “The Cloth” (packaged with the balm) in warm water, then wipe away the excess with gentle circles.
● With skin still damp, apply The Cream Cleansing Gel to the skin until a light lather forms.
● Rinse the gel cleanser with warm water, pat dry your skin, and follow the rest of your skincare regimen.
A New Way To Cleanse
For an effective alternative to your cleansing balm oil-based cleanser, consider The Foaming Cleanser, our formula to lift grime, impurities, and makeup from the skin. The lightweight cream-to-foam texture will not strip the skin of moisture or disrupt the skin's microbiome, leaving you with hydrated and balanced skin with every use.
During our user-proven trials, 99% of participants agreed that this product cleansed their skin without stripping or drying it out. If you want to try the double cleansing method, The Foaming Cleanser is the perfect water-based cleanser to pair with your cleansing gel or balm, and it also works well on its own.
Cleanse Your Skin With Augustinus Bader
Cleansing balm vs. oil? It's no contest after you try The Cleansing Balm.
What sets our cleansers apart is that they're powered by TFC8® and backed by over 30 years of science and research. Every time you wash your face at night or in the morning, you can feel confident about the formula and the ingredients.
Whether you want to use a cleansing balm, a gel cleanser, or both, we're here to help.