When I was in my teens and twenties, my objective when washing my face was to strip every last bit of oil from my face. Ah, those were the days. Matte was the thing to be back then.
Now that I’m in my late 30s, I’m more into the add-all-the-oil-to-my-face phase, and that’s why I’m into using oil cleansers as the first step of my skincare routine. But now I’ve switched to this DIY Cleansing Balm from Ina De Clercq’s recent book, DIY Beauty, and I’m a total convert.
This DIY Cleansing Balm is a copycat recipe inspired by Goop by Juice Beauty’s Luminous Melting Cleanser. Which, FYI, is a whopping $90. That’s a lot for any budget! So why not make it at home for less?
How To Make a Cleansing Balm Makeup Remover
The principle behind a cleansing balm is that like attracts like—the oils in the cleanser help to pull out the oils in your skin from makeup and sebum without actually stripping your pores like a more astringent cleanser might do. Science, y’all.
If you’re tackling a specific skin issue, you may want to add up to 15 drops of essential oil to the cleansing balm as you make it—lavender to soothe irritation or tea tree oil [source] if you’re one of those lucky people who deal with dry skin, inflammation, and breakouts at the same time [source]. (That would be me.) If you are continuing to experience skin irritation, contact your dermatologist for further guidance.
To use your DIY Cleansing Balm, you’ll wet your face first. Then warm up a small amount of balm by rolling it between your palms and gently massage it onto your face. You can follow this cleansing step with toner or do a 2-step cleansing and use another mild, non-stripping cleanser afterward.
Cleansing Balm FAQs
Why is my skin suddenly craving oils and balms?
As we age, oil production lessens, and the result is drier skin. While breakouts tend to be fewer, skin can look or feel parched due to this hormonal shift. So it is normal for a typically oily skin type to transform over the years into a combination or dry skin type.
Can I use the cleansing balm for any other purpose?
Yes! A cleansing balm can be used as a mask or even an overnight moisturizer. Just be sure to apply the balm to clean skin.
Are there any other essential oils I can add to my cleansing balm?
Sure, you can add a variety of essential oils. Frankincense is a beautiful anti-inflammatory oil to include in your balm recipe [source]. Geranium is great for all skin types as well [source], along with chamomile [source].
Sometimes I can’t get the consistency of the balm right. What am I doing wrong?
Depending on the climate or temperature of the room you store the balm in, it could affect the firmness or liquidity of the balm. If you’re having trouble keeping it solid after the initial refrigeration, feel free to pop it back in the fridge to solidify it again.
For more copycat recipes from favorite beauty brands like Herbivore, Lush, Burt’s Bees, and more, check out DIY Beauty by Ina De Clercq on Amazon.
- 3-ounce airtight container
How to Make:
- Melt beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the ingredients have melted.
- Take the double boiler off the heat and stir in olive oil.
- Pour the melted mixture into the airtight container. Let the balm set 2–3 hours before use. Place covered in the refrigerator to quicken the cooling process.
How to Use:
- Dampen your face with warm water. Take a chickpea-sized amount of balm out of the container using a spoon, a spatula, or clean, dry fingers.
- Apply the balm to your face and gently massage your face with your fingertips.
- You can use this balm to carefully remove eye makeup too. Just make sure you don’t get any in your eyes.
- Use a warm, damp washcloth to wipe away the balm and makeup gunk. Follow with a mild toner or flower water to remove all traces of the cleansing balm.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.259