Nothing feels better than a clean fresh face before you hit the sheets, right? And what better way to achieve that than a good ol’ double cleanse?
The double cleansing method is a huge trend in the Korean skincare routine. You start with an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based facial cleanser (such as a foam cleanser) for the perfect deep cleansing.
Usually, removing makeup with an oil-based cleanser is the best way to get rid of all residue. You can choose from two types- oil cleanser (liquid) or balm cleanser.
Balm cleansers effectively remove makeup, SPF, dead skin cells, and oil-based impurities without stripping the natural oils from the skin. Due to their formulation, they are excellent for dry skin types.
Though Korean skincare products are generally safe (free from harmful chemicals like SLE, SLS, alcohol, and fragrance to name a few), it is best to choose those with nontoxic and nonirritating ingredients that do the job without being harsh on your skin. Otherwise, you can end up harming your skin in the long run.
For instance, some hyped-up Korean cleansing balms include unsafe ingredients like disodium or tetrasodium EDTA (carcinogenic parent compound), phenoxyethanol (dangerous for pregnant ladies), mineral oil, PEG-100 (derived from ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen), and fragrance (we all know it is a big no-no when it comes to skincare).
Since there are so many options out there, it might be difficult for you to choose the best korean cleansing balm for your skin type. This is where I come in, for I have done the hard work to make things easier for you.
Here is my list of the safest and best Korean cleansing balms that are made up of skin-friendly ingredients.
5 Best Korean Cleansing Balms – Reviews
The best Korean cleansing balms work better than other cleansers as they gently cleanse and remove makeup residue and oil-based impurities without damaging the skin barrier.
This makes them perfect for removing heavy or stubborn makeup such as waterproof mascara etc without the fear of moisture being stripped away from the skin.
Our verdict: Best Korean cleansing balm for removing makeup and moisturizing the skin
If you have a sensitive skin type, this is one of the best Korean makeup removers for you.
The Cica-7 complex is a skin-fortifying and nourishing ingredient, which also delivers a good amount of hydration to the skin.
This K beauty product contains hydrating elements like shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, and avocado oil. They restore the lost moisture and make sure the skin stays hydrated and supple.
The sherbet texture instantly melts upon contact, yielding a silky oil that can effectively remove dead skin cells, excess sebum, residual impurities, and even waterproof makeup.
The best part? This makeup remover balm is free from harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, and alcohol, making it the best Korean cleansing balm for sensitive skin.
PRO TIP: You can also get this cleanser in oil-based liquid version which is a bit cheaper than the balm (check it here). I think it is an awesome choice if you struggle with acne breakouts. It calms irritated skin and helps to prevent blackheads and whiteheads. And it doesn’t cause your face to break out!
It’s definitely one of my favorite Korean oil cleansers.
Why You Will Love It
- Hydration burst
Most users love how it leaves their skin hydrated after using this balm cleanser. The moisture from this cleansing balm helps protect the skin’s moisture barrier.
- Sensitive skin-friendly
One of the features girls with sensitive skin love about this cleansing balm is how gentle it is on their skin.
Because more often than not, people with sensitive skin have a hard time finding suitable products for their skin.
The soothing ingredients help keep acne flare-ups and irritation at bay, making it a good choice for people with acne-prone skin as well.
- Gentle on the skin, tough on the makeup
Despite being a gentle cleanser, users love how this balm cleanser is great for removing makeup residue, whether it is waterproof eye makeup or heavy full-coverage makeup.
- Hygienic packing
It comes with a spatula so you don’t have to worry about contamination of the pot. Just take some balm with the help of the spatula and massage it on your face to get things going.
Keep In Mind
Some users complain about the scent being too strong for their liking.
Our verdict: Best Korean balm cleanser for all skin types, including sensitive skin
As the name suggests, it contains papaya which is known to remove dead skin cells with its enzyme Papain.
Hence, the papaya enzymes and papaya seed oils are a perfect blend that offers gentle exfoliation along with nourishment.
The result? Clean soothed and smooth skin with an improved skin tone.
This cleansing balm contains natural ingredients that make it such an amazing makeup remover for sensitive skin. For instance, blueberry extract helps boost the skin’s radiance with its antioxidant properties.
The Apricot kernel oil is known for its nourishing and soothing effect, thanks to vitamin E and fatty acids.
The texture is sorbet balm that turns into a luscious milky oil, removing all oily residue, sunscreen, stubborn makeup (including eye makeup), and other impurities.
The best part? It is free of harsh chemicals like PEG, mineral oil, and alcohol, so you don’t have to worry about skin irritation.
Why You Will Love It
- 2-in-1 action
As this balm cleanser doubles up as an exfoliant and a soothing cleanser, most users love how one product can get both jobs done simultaneously.
- Great for all skin types
Among the advantages, users mention the diversity of this balm as it is suitable for all types of skin. The nourishing ingredients really make it the best Korean cleansing balm.
- Jampacked with natural ingredients
Most users love this eco-friendly cleansing balm being full of natural constituents. They love how their skin feels dewy and glowy after using this nourishing Korean cleansing balm.
- Dissolves makeup effortlessly
This cleansing balm can easily dissolve thick make up, including waterproof mascara, and does not irritate the eyes.
Keep In Mind
One of the users mentions how the exfoliating action left their skin a little dry.
Our verdict: Great Korean cleansing balm makeup remover for people with dry skin
It contains a plethora of moisturizing ingredients that cleanse the skin effectively while maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier, so the skin does not feel overly dried after the cleansing routine.
This makeup remover contains jojoba oil that nourishes and balances the skin with its vitamins and fatty acid content.
Evening primrose oil improves skin tone and appearance.
And lastly, the moisturizing pear fruit extract improves elasticity and fights free radical damage, leaving the skin hydrated and soothed.
Why You Will Love It
- Great for dry skin
Most women love how this cleansing balm melts away makeup without stripping their skin of natural oils, making it the best Korean cleansing balm for dry skin type.
- Nourished happy skin
The users claim that regular usage of this K beauty cleansing balm has multiple benefits. It makes the skin supple and dewy, thanks to antioxidants and fatty acids.
Keep In Mind
Some users do not approve of the super-thick consistency that needs to be emulsified really well before use.
Our verdict: Moisturizing Korean Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm
This lightweight cleansing balm is suitable for almost all skin types and will give you all the spa feels (thanks to the Eucalyptus oil) while perfectly dissolving your makeup.
It contains a mix of nourishing ingredients such as Vitamin E, jojoba oil, avocado oil, eucalyptus oil, clove oil, and apricot kernel oil. Sounds like your skin is in for a treat!
As you may know, jojoba oil is loved for its moisturizing and antioxidant properties.
It also speeds up the natural wound healing process, making it a great choice for people with acne scarring (however, it is not the best choice if you’re currently struggling with acne breakouts).
The Vitamin E in this lightweight makeup-removing balm fights free radicals, boosts skin health, and keeps inflammation at bay.
The apricot kernel oil is the best combination of vitamin C and E partnership as they work to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, while boosting radiance and softness.
Why You Will Love It?
Hello, soft skin!
Most users love how amazingly soft their skin feels after using this cleansing balm. This is definitely due to the blend of natural oils, especially jojoba and apricot kernel oil.
- Safe for the eye area
One of the most raved features of this balm cleanser is how gentle it is on the skin, especially the eye area.
Women who have had some trouble with other cleansing balms while removing eye makeup love how effectively this product removes their eye makeup without irritating this sensitive area.
- No greasy residue
The reason this cleansing balm runs out of stock so quickly is that it does not leave an oily/greasy residue afterward, which can often happen when using balm cleansers.
Users claim that using this balm is like rubbing silk into their skin.
Keep In Mind
A few users do not approve of the eucalyptus/clove scent.
Our verdict: Best K-beauty makeup remover balm for oily and acne-prone skin
This is the best Korean cleansing balm for cleansing clogged pores, making it suitable for oily, sensitive as well as acne-prone skin types.
This makeup remover contains PHA which is a water-soluble exfoliant that gently removes dead skin cells, SPF, excess oil, makeup, and dirt, leaving the skin smooth and clean. It does not disrupt the skin barrier.
To balance it, the cleansing balm contains jojoba oil and sunflower seed oil. They restore moisture while nourishing the skin.
The orange peel oil helps soothe and brighten skin with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Why You Will Love It
- Great for oily skin
Most users with oily skin love how this cleansing balm keeps oil production in check, helping with acne reduction.
- Holy Grail for sensitive skin
Mostly, exfoliating products can be harsh on sensitive skin. But since this contains PHA, it is great for sensitive and dull skin.
Most women with sensitive skin who use this product rave about how it offers gentle exfoliation and instant makeup removal without leaving them with irritated skin.
- Perfect for people with eczema
This K beauty balm does not irritate the skin so it is great for individuals with eczema.
Many users love how it works effectively without flaring up their eczema.
- Minimizes the appearance of pores
What girls love the most about this balm cleanser is that it removes gunk from the blocked pores and reduces their size temporarily.
- Bye bye blackheads
With this balm, you can say bye-bye to your blackheads as it effectively removes them, along with whiteheads, stubborn makeup including eye makeup such as waterproof mascara and eyeliner, sunscreen, excess oils, and any residual impurities.
PRO TIP: This cleanser also comes in liquid version – as a cleansing oil. I find it less drying for the skin, but not as effective as the balm for removing heavy makeup. If you’re struggling with dry skin, it may be worth trying out. Check this PHA cleansing oil here >>
Keep In Mind
A few users with very sensitive skin find it drying when used alone.
This balm also has another variant with AHA/BHA, but since it contains “shady” ingredient – disodium EDTA, I only recommend the PHA version.
Final Decision: What Is The Best Korean Cleansing Balm For Removing Makeup?
In my opinion, the best Korean cleansing balm among all these is this Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm. The reason I chose this is that it acts as a makeup remover and gentle exfoliator at the same time.
There is one more thing that makes it one of the best Korean cleansing balms: it’s suitable for all skin types, even sensitive and reactive skin!
Other Popular Korean Cleansing Balms
Now these favorite cleansing balms from some top-notch Korean beauty brands are really popular among the masses as they deliver good results, but they do contain a few questionable ingredients that I feel you should know about.
This cleansing balm is a cult favorite amongst all K beauty balm cleansers because of its pore-clarifying and triple-acid action. It has a blend of AHA, BHA, and LHA that exfoliates the skin surface while removing gunk from the pores.
Apart from that, Banila Co Clean It Zero balm serves as one of the most loved makeup removers, with a sherbet-like texture.
It also contains anti-inflammatory jojoba seed oil as well as tea tree leaf extract and tea tree oil, which are amazing for balancing oil production and fighting acne-causing bacteria.
So it’s really loved by people with oily and acne-prone skin.
However, it contains ingredients that are “shady” in my opinion e.g. synthetic wax, PEG-10 and PEG-20 (PEGs contain ethylene oxide which can cause certain cancers).
There are also other variants of this cleansing balm, but they contain harsh chemicals like PEG-15, Phenoxyethanol, acrylates, and fragrances, so they may irritating for delicate facial skin.
I think there are safer options (which I reviewed above) that are well worth the money!
Packed with a blend of essential oils, grape seed oil, coconut oil, and shea butter, the Heimish All Clean Balm removes waterproof makeup, sunscreen, grime, sweat, and old skin cells without causing any irritation.
It is suitable for all skin types and is quite effective for removing blackheads and whiteheads.
However, it contains PEG-20 and PEG-8, which is why I’m personally not a fan of this product.
This is a hydrating cleansing balm that can dissolve makeup aptly while delivering hydration, thanks to the marshmallow root.
Users love how it rinses off easily, leaving no residue behind. the Lotus flower extract imparts exfoliative characteristics to this Korean beauty product as it contains AHA.
However, it contains PEG-10 and PEG-20, which is why I wouldn’t personally use it, despite the fact lots of websites names it as one of the best Korean cleansing balms.
Another hyped product is this cleansing balm which melts stubborn makeup and sebum while nourishing the skin with antioxidants and fatty acids.
The Sea buckthorn oil helps with hydration, wrinkles, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation.
And while it may be safer than many other makeup removers, it still has ingredients like PEG-8 and PEG-20, which is why I am not a fan of it.
What Is Double Cleansing In Korean Skincare Routine?
The two-step double cleanse method in Korean skincare routine is a sure-shot way to get clean fresh skin. The first step involves cleansing your face with an oil-based product (cleansing oils or cleansing balms) followed by using a water-based cleanser as the second step.
Double Cleansing For Oily Skin
Double cleansing is just as beneficial for oily skin as other skin types because this skin type is more prone to oil build up and blocked pores, which can lead to acne breakout. Since cleansing balms are lipophilic, they attract oil and remove excess sebum, which reduces acne.
Cleansing balms that contain purifying ingredients like charcoal, tea tree oil etc are great for oily skin.
Double Cleansing For Dry Skin
Dry skin can benefit from double cleansing if you do it every alternate day. Doing it every day can leave your skin with dry patches and irritated areas, especially in winter.
It is notable to choose cleansing balms with hydrating ingredients such as shea butter and jojoba seed oil etc to keep the skin hydrated.
Always follow with moisturizers to maintain the skin barrier.
How To Double Cleanse Your Skin?
Here is a step-by-step guide to double-cleanse your skin:
- Scoop out some cleansing balm or cleansing oil with a spatula onto your clean hands.
- Massage the balm in circular motions on your dry face to melt away all makeup, oil, and residual impurities. You’ll notice the solid consistency transforming into a milky oil.
- Add water to emulsify the cleansing oil or balm. Focus extra on the eyes if you’re wearing eye makeup.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Proceed to the second step i.e cleanse your skin with a water based cleanser (e.g a foam cleanser).
- Rinse it off and pat your skin dry.
- Follow up by moisturizing ingredients.
What Is A Cleansing Balm?
A cleansing balm is a makeup remover with buttery consistency that melts into liquid upon contact with skin. It is used for the first step of the double cleansing method.
A cleansing balm, similar to a cleansing oil, repels water and attracts oil, so it is a perfect makeup remover along with other benefits according to skin concern and types.
How Do You Use Cleansing Balm?
- Get some cleansing balm on your palm and rub it in circular motions on your dry face, emulsifying it with water to melt the makeup, sunscreen and all accumulated impurities through the course of the day.
- Rinse it off with tepid water.
- Follow up with water-based cleanser to remove any oil residue.
Do You Use A Cleansing Balm First In Korean Skincare?
Yes, you use a cleansing balm as the first step in Korean skincare. After it, you follow with a water-based cleanser.
Is Cleansing Balm Good For Oily Skin?
Yes, cleansing balm is good for oily skin. This skin type can really benefit from double cleanse as a single cleanse might leave behind impurities that exacerbate acne.
The Benefits Of Using A Cleansing Balm As Your First CleanseHere are a few benefits of using a cleansing balm as your first cleanse:
- Great for acne: Since cleansing balms are great at removing oil residue and clogged pores, they reduce acne breakouts.
- Great makeup removal: Using a cleansing balm ensures that you’ll get rid of all the stubborn makeup that just won’t come off with micellar water or wipes. It also removes all impurities and dirt that your face has collected throughout the day.
- Good for removing mineral sunscreens: Some mineral sunscreens (e.g. containing titanium dioxide) are hard to remove with a single cleanse , so using a cleansing balm will help dissolve it effectively.
- Better penetration of subsequent products: Using a cleansing balm will help in deeper penetration of active products in your skincare routine.
- Happy hydrated skin: According to the formulation, cleansing balms protect the moisture barrier of the skin without leaving it overly dry.
Difference Between Cleansing Balm And Oil-Based Cleanser
- Different consistency: A cleansing balm is solid at room temperature whereas an oil cleanser is a liquid. However, a balm becomes liquid when used for the cleansing routine.
- Hygiene: With cleansing balms, you need to make sure you do not contaminate the packing with your finger (it can introduce bacteria). This is why it is advised to scoop it out with a spatula, often provided by the manufacturers. Whereas using cleansing oil has no issues regarding hygiene as they come with a pump or a dropper. Just remember to use it before the expiry date.
- Convenience: The cleansing oil is definitely more convenient to use because you don’t have to worry about losing the spatula. However, since oil is runny, it can disperse easily and fall off your hands as opposed to the cleansing balm.
- Quantity: Since cleansing balms are quite concentrated, a little amount of product goes a long way. Whereas you might require extra cleansing oil for your cleansing routine.
- Travel-friendly: A cleansing balm is easy to carry around, with no worries of spillage. However, the same cannot be said about cleansing oil. It might spill over and make a huge mess, ruining your vacay mood.
The purpose of this article is informative and entertaining. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Safety should be your priority.This article contains affiliate links.
All pictures in this article with YouAreBeautie logo belong to YouAreBeautie.com and were taken by the owner of this website. All these images are copyright-protected. Sources of other pictures:
- Pictures of COSRX Pure Fit Cica Balm belong to COSRX Brand. Source: https://www.cosrx.com/
- Pictures of WANDER BEAUTY B.O.M. Voyage Cleansing Balm belong to Wander Beauty Brand. Source: https://www.wanderbeauty.com/
- Pictures of Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm belong to Versed Day brand. Source: https://versedskin.com/
- Pictures of HANSKIN Pore Cleansing PHA Balm belong to Hanskin Brand. Source: https://hanskin.com/
- Pictures of Banila Co Clean It Zero Balm belong to Banila Co Brand. Source: https://banilausa.com/
- Pictures of Heimish All Clean Balm belong to Heimish Brand. Source: https://heimish.us/
- Pictures of Belif Aqua Bomb belong to Belif Brand. Source: https://belifusa.com/
- Pictures of Then I Met You Balm belong to Then I Met You Brand. Source: https://thenimetyou.com/