Using Cleansing Balms Without A Cloth

Using Cleansing Balms Without A Cloth

Prior to discovering cleansing balms, I was a big fan of cleansing oils. Double cleansing in the evenings became a daily ritual, even when I wasn’t wearing makeup. On makeup-less days, I double-cleanse to remove all traces of sunscreen on my skin. As much as I loved cleansing oils, they were truly a pain in the behind to bring along when travelling. Once, a tiny bottle of cleansing oil spilled all over my toiletries case. Thankfully there were double zips on the case, which prevented the cleansing oil from leaking onto my clothes. Needless to say, all of my beauty products were oily and I spent a good hour giving everything a good clean. I had to throw the toiletries case away because there was no way I could remove all of the oil that had seeped into and set onto the fabric.

The discovery of cleansing balms was like a hallelujah moment for me because it didn’t just mean I don’t have to buy bulky bottles of cleansing oils anymore, but it will be a breeze to bring along with me when I’m travelling. The only difference with cleansing balms compared to oils is the use of muslin cloths. It’s recommended that you use a muslin cloth (sometimes provided with the cleansing balm) to massage the skin and wipe the balm off the skin.

I’ve used muslin cloths, flannel cloths and face towels with cleansing balms and personally, I much prefer using a face towel with cleansing balms. They’re easier to buy and often cheaper than muslin or flannel. Call me fussy but I don’t really like the feel of muslin on my face. Flannel cloths aren’t my thing either because it feels as though I’m washing my face with the sleeve of my pyjamas. 😛 A lovely, thick face towel does the trick and between you and me, it feels more luxurious on the skin than a piece of thin muslin.

Having said that, while I enjoy the occasional use of a cloth with cleansing balms, most of the time, I don’t bother with one. As I double cleanse daily, this means that I’ll have to use a new face towel each time. I find it icky to reuse the face towel for my next cleanse, especially if I’ve used the towel and cleansing balm to remove foundation off my face. Along with the face towels I bring with me to the gym and face towels I have to use when I cleanse my face … heck, that’s a whole lot of towels to buy and launder. And you know how much I detest doing laundry. 😛

Using Cleansing Balms Without A Cloth

Is it okay to use a cleansing balm without a wash cloth? Of course it is! I use cleansing balms like I do cleansing oils. I apply a dollop of it on my dry skin, massage the balm onto my skin until it becomes really oily and then I wet my palms and massage my skin further, emulsifying the oils to a milky substance. I would then rinse my face with water (usually in the shower) and voila! Clean skin!

Even though it’s feels good to remove cleansing balm with a cloth, we often forget that those cloths (muslin or face towels) exfoliate our skin as we massage and wipe the balm off. When this is done daily, that’s daily exfoliation, which really isn’t necessary, especially if you’re also using chemical exfoliants like AHA. It’s also one less thing to worry about when you’re travelling.

What I like to do is use a hot face towel with my cleansing balm twice a week. It feels pretty damn good on the skin after I’ve removed all traces of oil and dirt off my face with a hot towel before I cleanse my skin again with a regular gentle cleanser.

So if you like to use a cleansing balm without a cloth but worry if it’s better to use a cloth, in my experience, there’s nothing wrong with not using a face cloth with a cleansing balm. As it’s part of a double-cleanse routine, I don’t worry if I don’t have a cloth to wipe off all traces of dirt or if the cleansing balm leaves a slightly greasy residue on the skin. If you’re looking for a cleansing balm that doesn’t leave a hint of greasiness behinb, a very good cleansing balm that definitely doesn’t require a cloth is Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. It’s one of the best cleansing balms I’ve used.

When travelling with a cleansing balm, I pop the jar of cleansing balm into a small zip lock bag and I never have to worry about leaking cleansing oils every again. In your face, cleansing oils!

What about you? Do you use cleansing balms? If you do, do you prefer to use it with a cloth or without one?

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18 comments… add one
  1. Kathryn

    I started to use face cloths to take off my cleanser after reading Caroline Hirons blog. I just bought 8, and through them into a bucket with Napisan then wash the lot. I like the feel of the washer/flannel/face cloth on my skin. Don’t too keen on muslin. What is the Antipodes like? I’ve tried a few of their products, and really like them 🙂

    1. Tine

      Ahh good idea to Napisan the lot. I should have Napisan-ed mine too. One of the muslin cloths I have was stained with foundation and no matter how many times I washed it, it’s still stained with beige here and there. 🙁
      Love Antipodes products. My HG cleanser is their Juliet cleansing gel. Whenever Priceline has their 40% off sale, I stock up. Their cleansing balm is very similar to the expensive Eve Lom cleansing balm but at a fraction of the price. Their serums and moisturisers are good too. Recommended!

  2. Tracy

    I use a cleansing balm every day as well and I definitely understand about the amount of towels that can pile up after a week. I picked up a pack of baby face cloths at Target which are the perfect size for removing product from your face. Plus their super small so they add any real bulk to my laundry. Personally I feel like I get more product off my face and do a little exfoliating at the same time. They’re also super soft and gentle because their made for babies delicate skin.
    Tracy recently posted..In Defense of the RBF – Resting Bitch FaceMy Profile

    1. Tracy

      *they DON’T t add any bulk – oops on the typo 🙂

    2. Tine

      Ohh that’s a good idea; I might check out baby face cloths too. My stash of face towels are getting higher because they’re so bulky. I’ve tried the thinner ones from IKEA and it’s like rubbing my face with sandpaper. 😛

  3. Kendra Kammer

    I know this is strange, but I actually use Target brand baby wipes. They are really soft, and I can just throw them away afterwards, grime and all. I rinse them with hot after before I use them.

    1. Tine

      Hmm do you use those baby wipes to wipe off cleansing balm? If you do, then it’s something I gotta try!

  4. Paris B

    Good points raised Tine and the warning on over-exfoliation using face cloths which happened to me. Yikes! Not something I want to repeat. It was a scary and awful experience! That said, I think whether or not you use a face cloth with your cleansing balms depend on the type of cleansing balm used. Some are easy to rinse off – Clinique, Banila & Co but those that are usually more beneficial to skin, being formulated with oils, can barely be rinsed off your skin – Antipodes, Emma Harding, Omorovicsza etc. I prefer the latter type of cleansing balms, although I like Clinique’s – it’s affordable and efficient and is easy to clean off with or without a face cloth! 😀 For face cloths, I use hankies for babies. They’re small and dry fast and are fairly affordable. I don’t like muslin either. I feel it’s too harsh on skin. Generally, face towels are too big and thick for my liking. So the square ones work best! 🙂
    Paris B recently posted..Got it on a whim but keeping it as a staple – the miracle of the SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing StickMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I never thought of hankies for babies! I’ll be sure to check out Target/Kmart for this. For me, since I’m double-cleansing, it doesn’t matter if the oils on the skin aren’t properly removed with a warm cloth, the 2nd cleanse step will remove all of them anyway. Which is why I don’t use a cloth with my cleansing balms much anymore, whether they’re “oily” or not. 1-2 times a week of a hot thick towel? Oh yeeaahhh it’s good. But daily with that many cloths to launder? Er no thanks 😛

  5. Jane

    I have found my own solution to the facecloth dilemma – I knit my own! I use 100% cotton yarn and knit a small square – way smaller than the standard facecloth size. It’s important to use cotton – the acrylic yarns feel disgusting on the face (I’ve tried!). The cloths don’t get dirty (the reason why later) so I use a clean cloth each day and just toss them in with my clothes in an ordinary wash cycle – no presoaking required. I TRIPLE cleanse! I use make up remover and/or micellar water to remove my make up and then I do the double cleanse (i.e. oil/balm and foaming cleanser). So the bulk of the dirt is taken off in the first cleanse. When I get to the basin, most of the dirt is gone so the cloths don’t get clogged with make-up. A good cleansing balm or oil should emulsify as soon as you splash water on your face so there isn’t much need to scrub away with the cloth anyway. I’m a beginner knitter so there have been quite a few dodgy cloths but I keep them and they get taken with me on holiday and then tossed in the bin after each use so that holiday washing is kept to a minimum.

    1. Tine

      Jane, I take my hat off to you on knitting your own facecloths. Seriously! What an awesome idea! It’s also a great way to use up those leftover yarn!

      Actually, on days when I do wear makeup, I triple-cleanse like you too. Micellar water to remove makeup, cleansing balm and then cleanser. I only started doing this when I realised that I was staining my cloths with foundation when I was using cleansing balm + cloth to remove foundation and those stains won’t come off no matter how many times I wash them. >.<

  6. Issy

    I found a cleansing balm I love but it doesn’t emulsify in water! It makes it really hard to get off (definitely needs a cloth) and I need to cleanse well afterwards.

    I am a big fan of ones that do emulsify though, I tend to rinse them off then cleanse again to take care of any residue.

    1. Tine

      How strange that a cleansing balm doesn’t emulsify in water. I’ve never heard of one like that. Which one is it?

      1. Issy

        The one I tried was the Trilogy one! Maybe I was doing something wrong – but it never seemed to emulsify for me 🙁

  7. Rachel

    I love cleansing balms too.. but I can’t be bothered to wash too many cloths for the sake of makeup removal! I’ve since used facial wipes. The best wipes for me is by Guardian’s own brand. It’s fragrance and alcohol free and only about RM7 for 25 pcs! So I don’t feel guilty about wiping makeup and cleansing balm off and then throwing it away.

    1. Tine

      Hmm you’re the second person to use wipes with cleansing balm, how interesting! I’ll give it a go the next time I use a cleansing balm. 🙂

  8. Swati

    I too do not like to use a different face towel everyday. They just accumulate! I refer using paper napkins, the soft ones to cleanse off the balm. I just do not like to follow with a face wash simply. It is probably more psychological than actual cleansing issue. I am in love with the Clinique balm. But, it’s too darn expensive for Indian currency 😔
    Swati recently posted..Fab Bag August 2016 Beauty Box ReviewMy Profile

  9. Mel

    Using Cleansing Balms in the shower is a great tip to dodge having to use a cloth! I’ll have to try and get a sample of the Clinique one you spoke of.
    Mel recently posted..Bio-Living Cell Therapy at Victory ClinicMy Profile

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