The Clean it Zero cleansing balm is definitely a fan favorite k-beauty product, one that has become available internationally due to its popularity (I know this is sold on Amazon and other sites). There are already tons of reviews you will find online about this product, most of them are unanimous in dubbing this the best product of all oil cleansers they’ve ever used. In terms of the pros I don’t have much to contribute that hasn’t been said already. I do, however, may have a more unpopular opinion on this line, and it’s not so much that I don’t like the product. I think it works well for what it claims to do, but I do believe it’s become such a favorite because of the massive cult following it already has going for it, rather than from the product itself. I say this because I don’t really get what makes it so special. It’s a good product, but there are tons of other oil cleansers that, in my experience, also delivers the same type of results and benefits for comparable prices.
I think it’s great when people find a product that they love. If it really is that all these individuals love this particular product after trying tons of oil cleansers out there that haven’t been as good, then it’s definitely just my skin that wasn’t particularly affected by it. Everyone is different!
A brief intro to double cleansing:
The double cleansing ritual is generally more common in Asian skincare, but I do see a good amount of both drug-store and high end oil cleansers in the Western market these days. Double cleansing is a two step routine — step one is an oil based cleanser to remove oil based impurities such as sebum, spf, pollutants, and makeup. Water-based cleansers come second for water based impurities and the rest, as they are not as effective alone in removing those impurities. It is recommended that you follow the double cleansing routine twice a day, morning and night, but I personally find it sufficient to use the method at night time.
The products listed here fall as a first step category of the double cleansing process. The cleansing water is a more mild cleanser; this I use primarily for a quick touch up cleanse at the end of the night if I had already showered a few hours before bed, or to spot remove bits of eye makeup on the water line, or to remove lip products. Again, nothing particularly noteworthy about this product, but it does get the job done.
The cleansing balm is more of the type of cleanser we are talking about in the double cleansing routine. The Banila Co Cleansing Balm is known for its texture, which sits as solid until scooped out and melted onto your skin.
I’ve seen many raves about the consistency, about how smoothly it goes onto your skin. While it does melt into more of an oily consistency, it doesn’t feel as sticky and oily as other oil cleansers might feel. My understanding is that these products don’t actually contain oil, which I think is cool.
But the thing is, I don’t really find the consistency particularly noteworthy. It kind of reminds me of one of reduced coconut oil. Generally with oil cleansers I could use a pea sized amount to get the minimum amount of product off my face, but it seems like with this cleansing balm, I have to scoop out quite a bit more than I would expect to be able to smooth it out evenly across my face.
One of its other claims is that using the cleansing balm will get your skin back to “zero point,” back to its natural state without over-drying or stripping away its natural oils. It does this with natural, skin-friendly ingredients such as vitamin C, papaya extract, rooibos leaf, and bamboo extract.
These ingredients sound charming, and based on what is listed, I expected that the cleanser would give off a delicate, subtle herbal scent. Problem is that the balm has no fragrance at all… It doesn’t have bad smell, but it does smell a little like plastic in my opinion. As for the promise of being a gentle cleanser, I’d say it doesn’t dry out my skin, and would deem it safe for pretty much any skin type. Those properties, however, are found in a lot of other oil cleansing products, so I wouldn’t say that they they make this one particularly special (hopefully I get a chance to amass a list of a few examples of other good oil cleansers!)
Overall, it’s not a bad product. I don’t mind using it, and it’s relatively inexpensive. One noteable perk of having this product is for its travel friendly features. The balm is a solid state and comes in a tub rather than a pump. The packaging itself is really cute, not by lux level aesthetics, but cute to add some color to your skincare set up on your bathroom counter. I do love the pink!
Also if you are reading this and are among the mass following who are obsessed with the cleansing balm, please let me know what makes it in particular stand out for you! I can’t figure it out on my own.
I do also want to point out that while this product is fairly unimpressive to me overall, there are a good number of products from Banila Co that I find to be wonderful, including an amazing skin care mask that actually works! Ooooh some future post foreshadowing!!