Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm Review

Are you still scrubbing at waterproof makeup with damp makeup wipes in 2024? It may be time you considered a cleansing balm. This Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm review has an affordable alternative that may just cause you to ditch the wipes.

Cleansing balm, cleanser balm or cleansing oil? What’s the difference?

What is a Cleansing balm or Cleanser balm?

A cleansing balm is a skincare product designed to effectively remove makeup, impurities, and sunscreen from the skin. It typically comes in a solid, balm-like form that transforms into an oil-like consistency when applied to the skin. The balm is massaged onto dry skin, where it works to dissolve and lift away makeup and other debris.

One of the key features of cleansing balms is their ability to break down stubborn, long-wearing makeup and provide a thorough cleansing experience without stripping the skin of its natural oils. After massaging the balm onto the skin, it is often emulsified with water, turning into a milky texture that can be easily rinsed away.

Cleansing balms are popular for their gentle yet effective cleansing properties, making them suitable for various skin types, including dry and sensitive skin. They are often formulated with nourishing ingredients such as oils, antioxidants, and botanical extracts to leave the skin feeling clean, hydrated, and refreshed.

What is a Cleansing oil?

A cleansing oil is a similar skincare product designed to remove makeup, impurities, and excess oils from the skin. It typically comes in liquid form and is applied to dry skin as the initial step in a double-cleansing routine. Cleansing oils are formulated with oils or oil-based ingredients that help break down and dissolve various types of makeup, sunscreen, and other oil-based impurities on the skin.

The process involves massaging the cleansing oil onto the face, where it binds with the oils on the skin’s surface and in makeup products. When water is added, the oil emulsifies, turning into a milky texture that can be easily rinsed away. This emulsification allows the cleansing oil to be washed off, taking away the dissolved impurities with it.

Cleansing oils are suitable for various skin types, including dry and sensitive skin, as they often leave the skin hydrated and don’t strip away natural oils excessively. They are part of the double-cleansing method, where a water-based cleanser is used afterward to ensure a thorough cleansing routine. The use of cleansing oils has gained popularity for their ability to provide an effective and gentle way to remove makeup and cleanse the skin.

Related: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Review

What are the differences between cleansing balm and cleansing oil?

Both cleansing balms and cleansing oils are effective in removing makeup and impurities, but they differ in their formulations and textures.


  • Cleansing Balm: Comes in a solid, balm-like form. It melts into an oil-like consistency when applied to the skin.
  • Cleansing Oil: Comes in a liquid form.


  • Cleansing Balm: Applied as a solid balm, often scooped out of a jar or container. It transforms into an oil upon contact with the skin.
  • Cleansing Oil: Applied directly as a liquid to dry skin.


  • Cleansing Balm: Typically contains a combination of oils and waxes. Some formulations may include additional beneficial ingredients.
  • Cleansing Oil: Composed primarily of oils or oil-based ingredients.


  • Cleansing Balm: Emulsifies when it comes into contact with water, turning into a milky texture that is easily rinsed off.
  • Cleansing Oil: Also emulsifies with water, transforming into a milky consistency for easy rinsing.


  • Cleansing Balm: Often packaged in jars or tubs.
  • Cleansing Oil: Typically comes in bottles with a pump or dispenser.

Skin Feel:

  • Cleansing Balm: Can feel more solid initially but melts into a nourishing oil on the skin.
  • Cleansing Oil: Starts as a liquid and maintains a more fluid consistency during application.

Ultimately, the choice between a cleansing balm and cleansing oil often comes down to personal preference. Both are effective in removing makeup and cleansing the skin, and individuals may find that one suits their skincare routine or skin type better than the other.

Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm
Inside Cerave’s Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm Jar

My experience with the Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm Review

Before trying this balm, my introduction to the cleansing balm world started with Heimish’s All Clean Balm. A 4 ounce jar of makeup removing ease. It lasted me about a year and was the cheaper option to the cult favourite Farmacy Green Clean Natural Makeup Remover at the time. Now the All Clean Balm goes for $18, which is still affordable considering how long it lasts but I wanted to try something new.

While checking out the options available on Amazon, I came across the Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm and right away I knew it was new. It piqued my interest because I currently use the foaming facial cleanser and I’ve been on a use the same line of products kick lately and thought I’d give it a try.

It did help that the balm was a small 1.3-ounce product going for $8 which meant I could give it a try without committing too much money to a product that may not work.

How well does it work?

As with most balms, a little goes a long way and it’s the same with the Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm. My makeup glides off and is easily washed away. The main difference I’ve noticed between the Cerave cleansing balm and the Heimish All Clean balm is how clean my skin feels afterwards. Heimish gives a better clean. It feels like you could get away with it as your only cleanse. However, the Cerave balm leaves a slight residue or feeling that completely goes away after using a second cleanser.

What does it feel like?

The Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm goes from balm to oil in the palm of your hand. It’s smooth and easy to manipulate.

Is it value for money?

This is the money question. With its smaller size (1.3-ounce) going for $8 you would rack up $32 trying to buy four ounces of product. Meanwhile, the Heimish All Clean Balm delivers the same amount in one package for $18 for four ounces. With that math, the All Clean Balm appears to be better value for money.

Watch the review on YouTube

Final thoughts

I like both products! But if you’re an occasional makeup wearer, whose products typically lasts a long time just the Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm is perfect for you. However, if you are an everyday makeup user you may want to consider a balm like the Heimish All Clean Balm with more product per package. Overall the good news is whichever makeup profile suits there is a cleansing balm out there for you. Ditch the wipes today!

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