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What Is The Difference Between A Cleansing Oil And Cleansing Balm?

Oil attracts oil, which is why an oil cleanser may be your new best friend. But they seem to fall into two distinct categories: cleansing oil and cleansing balm. What is the difference between a cleansing oil and a cleansing balm anyway, and how do you incorporate the oil cleansing method into your skin care routine? Read on for our guide to everything you need to know about oil-based cleansing.

What Is A Cleansing Oil?

Cleansing oils are so much more than your typical cooking oil. Formulated specifically for use on the face, cleansing oils are both hydrating and soothing, making them perfect for those with sensitive skin types and dehydrated skin. Unlike traditional cleansers that rely on detergents to break down oil, cleansing oils draw out the oil, make-up and impurities that congest pores with a “like attracts like” approach. Cleansing oils typically contain botanical oils such as sesame, almond, and grape seed that emulsify with water to rinse away cleanly.

What Is A Cleansing Balm?

As cleansing balms are formulated with many of the same ingredients as cleansing oils, the major difference is texture. While cleansing balms melt into an oil once massaged between your hands, they start in a more solid state. Cleansing balms can range from a wax-like salve to a creamy gel consistency, with many options in between. This mess-free texture can make a balm more convenient for travel and for application - especially if you are just venturing out into the world of oil cleansing.

Should I Use A Cleansing Oil Or Cleansing Balm?

You know you want to ditch makeup wipes, you know you want to gently but thoroughly cleanse by attracting oil with oil, but which cleanser should you choose - oil or balm? Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, and the best approach is to consider:

  • Which product best suits your lifestyle? Is an oil a great fit in your nighttime ritual, or is a balm better since you’re on the road?
  • If you prefer working with one texture over the other - do you prefer to massage in the oil, or melt down the balm?
  • If the key ingredients and benefits lineup with your skin care goals - do you need something more moisturizing or more balancing?

Detox and Renew With Stone Crop Cleansing Oil

Our Stone Crop Cleansing Oil harnesses the power of mighty microgreens to protect skin from the drying effects of environmental stressors. Leaving the complexion looking balanced, bright and young, the Stone Crop Cleansing Oil is lightweight with a fresh clean scent. Its sturdy pump bottle is the perfect addition to any vanity area.

What Is The Oil Cleansing Method And How Do I Do It?

The oil cleansing method is the general name for a routine, whereas an oil is used to wash your face. Typically this refers to using pure oils which can be tricky to measure and can cause clogged pores and irritation. We recommend using a cleansing oil or balm that has been formulated specifically for use on the face and can be used daily.

The following five-step routine can be used with either a cleansing oil or balm:

  1. Apply a quarter-sized amount of oil cleanser to the palm of your hand
  2. Warm the product between your palms, spreading to the fingertips
  3. On a dry face, massage the oil into your skin in circular motions - this is an excellent step to remove makeup
  4. Saturate a washcloth or muslin in very warm water. Ensure cloth is still wet, but not dripping
  5. Cover your face with a cloth to absorb oil and gently wipe away in a light, upwards motion, ensuring you do not tug or pull your skin

Want to take your oil cleansing routine one step further? Try double cleansing and cleanse first with an oil cleanser then follow with your favorite gel or cream cleanser. Unsure which cleansers to start with? Visit your nearest Eminence Organics Spa Partner where a highly skilled esthetician can help you create a custom cleansing routine.

Watch our Lead Skin Care Trainer Natalie Pergar in this In The Mix video to learn more about other different types of cleansers including oil, cream and gel options. 

Are you a fan of the oil cleansing method? Which do you use, a cleansing oil or a cleansing balm? Let us know in the comments below and share with us on social media.

This article was originally written in June 2018.