Due to their thick and oily nature, cleansing balms can be a luxurious and hydrating way to remove make-up effectively. Best suited as a first step in a double cleanse routine, balm cleanser residue can be effectively polished away when followed by a thinner cream or water-based cleanser. 

To prevent bacteria from entering your cleansing balm it is a good idea to have a little tool such as a spatula or even a cotton bud to take the product from the container. Sometimes simply washing our hands is not enough to prevent our cleansers from being contaminated with germs when packaged in a tub without a dispenser. Some of the most iconic balm cleansers contain a lot of essential oils and are packed full of fragrance which however luxurious, can irritate sensitive skins. 


Is Fragrance-Free For Me? 


If you’re currently using prescriptive skincare or exfoliating acids it can be a good idea to switch to a more basic, fragrance-free cleanser during the duration of this treatment. Ingredients such as retinoids can increase our skin’s sensitivity and fragrances and particularly essential oils can be slightly irritating when used in conjunction, regardless of your skin type. 

If you do not have an intolerance to essential oils and fragrance and love the thought of a sensory cleansing experience then there are many beautiful products you can try in sample size before you buy. We’ve compiled a list of some cult balm and oil cleanser mini’s here for those who aren’t sensitive to fragrance. 



Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm 


A firm favourite amongst dermatologists, this thick formula comes in tube packaging which isn’t necessarily ideal due to the effort sometimes needed to squeeze the cleanser out! Nonetheless, this gentle balm is perfect for those with drier skin types who can find essential oil stripping to the skin. Formulated with oat kernel oil and colloidal oatmeal, the Inkey List’s cleanser claims to deeply hydrate whilst effectively removing all traces of make-up. 


Clinique TTDO 


Clinique’s easily identifiable purple tub is home to a fragrance free and gentle cleansing balm. This no nonsense formula breaks down make-up extremely well and when rinsed off thoroughly with a second cleanse should not lead to breakouts. The texture of this balm is very similar to coconut oil which when emulsified and warmed forms into a smooth oil application. Our only snag with this product in particular is sometimes our eyes can go cloudy when rinsing from the eye area. With this in mind, we would recommend using your second cleanse on your eye area rather than this balm. Unlike some thicker formulas, this gentle balm requires very little tugging on the delicate face area which is another huge plus for those with dry or sensitised skins. 


Drunk Elephant Slaai 


As a popular high-end brand, Drunk Elephant’s formulas packaging, results and even their smells have a cult following. In stark contrast, this thick balm has no fragrance and is the ultimate no-fuss make-up remover which is perfect for those with sensitive skin. If you’ve damaged your barrier before or have very delicate skin, the absence of fragrance in favour of healthy and nourished skin comes as no sacrifice at all. We can’t fault this balm at all, it removes stubborn make-up without leaving the skin squeaky clean and stripped. It is slightly on the pricier side which seems a given due to the brand’s luxury status but is worth every penny for those in pursuit of simplicity and gentle cleansing. 



Elemis Pro-Collagen Naked Cleansing Balm


We never thought we’d be able to include an Elemis Balm in a sensitive skin cleanser list. However, for a limited time, the brand has released a fragrance-free version of their beautiful pro collagen balm. We can safely say out of any cleanser within this category the texture of the Elemis formula is the most beautiful and seems the gentlest on our skin. With the texture of lemon curd and only requiring a gentle sweep, a fragrance-free version of this product could be a holy grail addition to our skincare routine.

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