I have been skeptical of cleansing balms for years. I’ve had countless cult-status products cross my desk, but no matter how popular and proven the balms were for others, they never worked for me. Recently, I was introduced to the K-beauty brand Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Purifying ($24) and decided to give it a try because I had heard so much about the product’s popularity in Asia. The brand assured me that the Purifying version wouldn’t overwhelm my oily skin, so I took it home eager to test it out.
The product comes with a small spatula to keep bacteria away from the product and allow you to scoop out the perfect amount from the jar. The consistency is rich and sherbet-like and promises to cleanse skin without stripping it of natural oils. When I first applied it on my dry skin, I felt the balm melt into an oil as I rubbed it into my face with my fingers.
I typically wear a lot of skin care and makeup, including sunscreen, full-coverage foundation, concealer, mascara, and liquid eyeliner. Removing them at the end of the day is usually at least a three- to four-step process, starting with a makeup wipe, proceeding to a micellar water and eye makeup remover, and ending with a cleanser. I was shocked that this balm truly removed every last trace of makeup from my face in a matter of seconds, and I didn’t have to follow it up with any other product.
After I rinsed it off, I was surprised that I didn’t feel any residue on my face. I expected to want to wash a second time with a cleanser to remove an oily feeling on my face, but there was none whatsoever. After using this balm, my skin feels hydrated and completely clean. Plus, it’s fragrance-free and so gentle that it hasn’t irritated my skin, caused any redness, or aggravated my acne.
While I was initially a skeptic, this balm has converted me into a cleansing balm fan. It hasn’t left my bathroom sink since I got it, and I’m thinking of purchasing a few backups so I never have to go a day without it.