My skin is my everything. I might go weeks, even months without a manicure or properly conditioning my hair, but I will never miss a day of washing my face. In the past, I've been a devout disciple of cream cleansers because of the dry nature of my complexion; however, about a year ago, I started to embrace the world of cleansing balms.
Formulated with a blend of essential oils and some sort of solid (often beeswax, other times mud), the formula polishes skin (especially when used in conjunction with a muslin cloth) while leaving it feeling hydrated and soft. Usually encased in a jar, owing to its waxy texture, these face washes are best for people who are truly devoted to their skin. This isn't a pump-and-rinse situation. Instead, you'll unscrew the jar, rub the balm all over a dry face, then wash and rinse with water and a face cloth.
I tested eleven different kinds of cleansing balms to see which one would reign supreme in my medicine cabinet. Scent played a huge factor; the heavier and more medicinal it was, the less likely I'd be to use it often. Texture was also important because I needed the product to glide smoothly over my skin. Many of these cleansers come with their own spatula; however, I didn't try any that weren't soft enough for a quick scoop with my fingers, or come off easily without a face cloth (this is one step I'm willing to skip). While all of these cleansers are meant to remove makeup, I always do a prerinse with cleansing water on makeup-heavy days. That's just personal preference and allows me to feel I'm doing my clogged pores a service. Click through to see which of these cleansers won out the tour of balms.