I’m a huge fan of cleansing balms and have been using them for years. They tend to not only be excellent at removing makeup, even cutting through full-coverage foundation and waterproof mascara, but are often emollient as well and don’t leave skin parched or feeling stripped.

I keep a few of these on rotation for various reasons, and have listened to recommendations from friends on what their favorites are too. You have have a lot to choose from, so let’s get started…

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

This clean beauty superstar features papaya enzymes to add in some natural exfoliation, as well as turmeric and ginger root oil. It transforms from a sorbet-like balm to silky oil to milky lather to remove makeup effortlessly with zero residue. ($34, via Sephora)

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Balm

A K-beauty cult favorite, this deep cleansing balm is especially formulated for sensitive and reactive skin types. ($22, via Ulta)

Banila Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm

Another Asian Beauty favorite, this OG cleansing balm continues to deliver at an affordable price point. ($19, via Ulta or Walmart)

The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm

A runaway success, this budget balm is often sold out for a reason. Get your hands on it when you can. ($9.99 via Sephora)


Milani Green Goddess Cleansing Balm

Another budget beauty hero, this makeup melter with cannabis sativa seed oil is an ideal first step in any double cleanse. ($11.97 via Walmart)

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

With thousands of near-perfect reviews on Sephora.com, this wildly popular longtime beauty favorite is probably the most popular out of all of these. ($31, via Sephora)

REN Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia™ No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm

Clean beauty hero REN, offers a gentle but highly effective balm. Tip: use as a 10 minute hydration mask before washing off for even softer skin. ($29, via Sephora)

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

And finally, my current favorite! While this balm works on any skin type, the addition of collagen makes it especially suitable for more mature skin and is a great addition to your anti-aging arsenal. If you really want to spoil yourself, go for the Rose Cleansing Balm. ($64 via Ulta or Elemis)

Any favorite cleansing balms that I’ve left out? Share below in the comments!