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> pillowcase from grubby make-up marks come morning. Win.

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Skin Notes
The best balm cleanser
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Finding the best balm cleanser can make all the difference in your routine. Their purpose is to remove all your make-up and grime from the day, clearing the way for your skin to receive a second cleanse (which gets right down in the pores to actually clean your skin). Oh, and it'll save your silk pillowcase from grubby make-up marks come morning. Win.

There’s basically nothing these guys can’t remove from your face – even heavy foundation and waterproof mascara. But do you need to spend loads on a good balm cleanser? I put two of the best in the beauty game head to head. In the blow-the-budget corner, we have Clinique’s cult Take The Day Off Balm, and in the budget corner, The Body Shop’s ever-popular Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. But which one is the best?

 

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Blow-the-budget buy: Clinique Take The Day Off Balm 125ml, £23

The texture: It’s luxuriously thick, so a little goes a looong way.  It provides good slip for melting away make-up – even waterproof mascara and hardwearing face paint. The consistency doesn’t thin out as you massage and then disappears with water, without leaving an oily residue.

The ingredients: There are no essential oils or fragrances in this – so great if you’re prone to irritation or breakouts.

Effectiveness: For the ultimate remove-every-inch-of-foundation cleanse, team it with a damp cleansing cloth. Everything will be gently removed, leaving skin comfortable afterwards. As it emulsifies with water it can temporarily make your vision cloudy if you use it to remove eye make-up.

Bargain buy: The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter 90ml, £10

The texture: Butter by name, butter by nature. It’s very silky upon application and a dream to massage into the skin. The consistency isn’t as thick and reduces down more to an oil as you massage, so for heavier make-up you might need use a little more.

The ingredients: It has shea butter in it. Sound the *acne klaxon*. but if you’re not spot-prone this shouldn’t be a problem as long as you thoroughly remove it with a muslin or flannel. Feels very comforting on normal, dry and sensitive skin types. It has a subtle fragrance – so something to consider if this irritates your skin.

Effectiveness: Even heavy make-up is lifted away and this one is far more friendly around the eye area than Clinique’s TTDO.  The consistency thins slightly as you massage but it is still very effective – it just takes a bit more massaging. I noticed that my skin felt particularly soft and soothed after using this, it really is like a cup of camomile tea for your skin.

 

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The verdict:

For heavy make-up, I would recommend Clinique, as the texture is very thick, allowing it to really break down any potential pore-clogging products. Coupled with the non-irritating ingredients, it’s less likely to break you out and it virtually disappears in contact with water, so you can rest assure every last scrap of make-up is gone. Take The Day Off will also take the night off too, no matter how cray you went with your contour.

However, if you typically wear minimal make-up, then The Body Shop’s is just the ticket. It’s less heavy duty than TTDO but will leave your skin really nourished and soft. If you’re acne prone or particularly sensitive though, I would recommend going for Clinique’s as the ingredients are especially blemish and sensitive-friendly. Yes, you might spending a little more, but not only do you get for ml per pound, you also need a teeny amount, so it’ll last you for ages.

Now your make-up is off, it’s time to follow up with the perfect second cleanse. Find yourself a personalised cleanser match with our quick quiz…

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