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Beauty/Skin/Cleansers
Top 10 Cleansing Balms

We Ranked The Most Popular Products For This Underrated Cleansing Method

We Ranked The Most Popular Products For This Underrated Cleansing Method

Few things feel better at the end of a long day than, well, washing the day off your face. Even if you did something as low-impact as your normal work commute, the outdoor elements can be unkind to your skin, leaving the type of dirt you may not see but can definitely feel. And for those who wear makeup, the evidence is more clear-cut. Foundation is the last thing you (and your dermatologist) want on the bedsheets.

Double cleansing is the most popular solution, but let’s be real—the wrong product combo can wreak havoc on your skin, leaving it vulnerable to more skin issues than you started with. Take makeup wipes, for example. They’re the perfect solution for those on-the-go beauty emergencies, but when overused, they can cause skin irritation and increase sensitivity.

Why Choose A Cleansing Balm

Cleansing balms, on the other hand, are easier on the face but just as effective. Instead of aggressively scrubbing makeup and dirt, the soft texture of a cleansing balm melts into the skin so you can smooth away the grime before following up with a second cleanser or the rest of your routine. Even if you aren’t wearing makeup, cleansing balms can be used as a stand-alone cleanser and are especially beneficial for those with sensitive and dry skin, as they are often made with ultra-hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.

Still, the range of cleansing balms is as versatile as other products in your routine. While searching for your perfect match, you’ll want a formula that speaks directly to your needs. For example, if you are allergic to certain preservatives or fragrances, you’ll want to seek out clean beauty brands. Price is another factor to consider, but, even with a specific cost in mind, the choices can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered the best-reviewed cleansing balm options at every price point.

How We Found The Best Cleansing Balms

To pull together this list, we consulted our unbiased, proprietary algorithm, which identifies products using data from beauty editor reviews, social media word-of-mouth, and bestseller roundups. The result? A clean sweep. Keep reading to give your skin care routine the upgrade it deserves. 

Next up, check out the 10 Best Makeup Removers. Opening image: target.com

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January 20, 2022

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Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings


Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

Our Score

3.55

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: This eco-friendly antibacterial balm is made with eucalyptus oil, which makes it super gentle and safe for the eye area.

WHO IT'S FOR: This product is made for all skin types, but it's especially beneficial for those with dry skin. 

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


E.l.f. Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

Our Score

3.59

WHO IT'S FOR: This versatile solid balm melts into a hyaluronic acid-rich cleansing formula that feels excellent on dry skin.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This formula contains ceramides and peptides that help strengthen the skin’s protective barrier.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Smoothing Enzyme Cleansing Balm

Our Score

3.66

WHAT IT DOES: This makeup remover and cleanser smooths texture with papaya enzymes and protects against the elements with blueberry extract.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This formula is suitable for all skin types and formulated without restrictive and potentially harmful ingredients. 

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


BeautyCounter Counter+ Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm

Our Score

3.79

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: With jojoba, avocado, sunflower, and bergamot, this oil-rich balm can also be used as an overnight facial mask.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This formula also contains lotus extract, a powerhouse ingredient that increases skin luminosity.


Banila Co. Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm

Our Score

3.8

WHAT IT DOES: This drugstore cleansing balm is made with a proprietary formula that prides itself on cleansing the skin without disturbing moisture balance.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This is formulated without irritating ingredients, so it's super gentle on the eyes.


Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

Our Score

3.95

WHAT IT DOES: This award-winning K-beauty staple contains the star ingredient sea buckthorn oil, which protects and softens the skin.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: It also contains persimmon extract, which boosts skin brightness.


Youth To The People Superberry Dream Cleansing Balm

Our Score

3.95

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This lightweight but heavy-duty cleansing balm effortlessly melts away waterproof makeup and full-coverage foundation.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This formula was made specifically for oily and combination skin types. 

Eco Friendly

Eco Friendly

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

Our Score

3.96

WHAT IT DOES: This clean and cruelty-free cleansing balm gently melts stubborn makeup with the help of sunflower and ginger root oils.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Papaya enzymes provide gentle exfoliation. 

Eco Friendly

Eco Friendly

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

Our Score

4.08

WHAT IT DOES: This fragrance-free favorite is suitable for all skin types and melts down into an oil for a comfortable, moisturizing feel.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: The vegan formula is also safe to use around the eyes. 


Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Our Score

4.1

WHAT IT DOES: This incredibly versatile product transforms from a balm to an oil to a cleansing milk.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This is made with a blend of nine essential oils and two underrated floral waxes (rose and mimosa).

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