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I’m a clean freak when it comes to skin. I believe that the secret to clear and flawless skin is a solid cleansing routine. As a loyal user of cleansing oils, I never thought to try other forms of cleansers until now. The many facial wash options in the beauty market include cleansing balms, cleansing oils, micellar waters, cleansing foams and gel washes. I decided to try a cleansing balm to see how it compares to cleansing oil. Over the course of two weeks, I alternated between using ARTOIS’s ATVT Fresh 18 Cleansing Oil and SKIN&LAB’s Porebarrier Cleansing Balm to see which of these products are better at washing off makeup, dirt and impurities on my skin.
Find out if I’m Team Cleansing Oil or Team Cleansing Balm after trialing this duo!
ARTOIS’s ATVT Fresh 18 Cleansing Oil
What it is: A gentle cleansing oil formulated with 18 botanical oils carefully sourced by the brand. It boasts hydrophilic and lipophilic properties to thoroughly cleanse skin of makeup, dirt and excess sebum while keeping skin moisturized. The formula’s star ingredients include 75% grapeseed oil to do the heavy-duty deep cleansing, alongside olive fruit oil to condition skin and hippophae rhamnoides oil to revitalize and soothe skin. It also contains camellia japonica seed oil and vanilla planifolia fruit oil to leave skin hydrated and glowy.
My experience: I pumped twice to get a generous amount of cleansing oil, and massaged it over my made-up face that included waterproof eyeliner. During cleansing, the bulk of my foundation melted away easily, but it took a few more rubs to remove the eyeliner. I added a few drops of water to emulsify the content. Despite the 18 different oils infused, the cleansing oil smelled mostly like lemongrass, perhaps from the May Chang oil. I like that the formula easily rinsed off well with water, unlike other cleansing oils I’ve used in the past. The entire process with the cleansing oil felt soothing and therapeutic thanks to its featherweight texture and relaxing aroma reminiscent of a Thai spa.
SKIN&LAB’s Porebarrier Cleansing Balm
What it is: A vegan cleansing balm that effectively melts away makeup, dirt and impurities on skin. It’s formulated with BHA-Barrier Complex™ to remove excess sebum in pores and gently exfoliate dead skin cells on skin, while protecting the skin barrier.
My experience: Again, my face was entirely made up when I used SKIN&LAB’s Porebarrier Cleansing Balm. I used the accompanying scoop to pick up a nice dollop of the sorbet-like balm before rubbing it over dry skin. I thought the balm would have a hard texture, but it was super soft and instantly melted as I massaged it over my face. The balm felt light and gentle yet quick and effective in removing makeup and grime from my face. I didn’t need to add water to emulsify the content. The balm also boasts a nice clean scent. Overall, the cleansing process felt super nourishing and gentle on skin even with the balm’s exfoliant properties.
I started off this trial in the hopes of decisively figuring out whether cleansing oils or cleansing balms are better at cleansing. Instead, I discovered that both ARTOIS’s ATVT Fresh 18 Cleansing Oil and SKIN&LAB’s Porebarrier Cleansing Balm get the job done, so I’m unable to make a solid conclusion. It took a little longer to cleanse my face using ARTOIS’s cleansing oil than SKIN&LAB’s cleansing balm, but this difference was minor. Both cleansers effectively removed makeup, excess sebum and other residue on my skin without stripping it of moisture. They both deserve long-term spots in my vanity cabinet and I’ll continue to use them on separate occasions. Perhaps the only conclusion I can draw from this two-week trial is that I’m Team Neutral when it comes to cleansing oils vs. cleansing balms!
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