[Spoiler: If you have to pick one between the two, go with the balm.]
I’ve always wanted to try a cleansing balm. Not the Eve Lom kinds, more Clinique Take the Day Off. [Actually I wouldn’t mind trying the Eve Lom types too but I can’t imagine doing that in the morning when I’m always in hurry – yes, I know what some of you are thinking but I’d rather get a few more winks than wake up earlier than necessary ha ha :P] Unfortunately Clinique’s pricing is super marked-up here (like MAC and Lauder stuff) and I’m mot willing plonk down my money when I know I’m being gouged. After 2 years of wanting to try it, I still haven’t gotten my hands on the Clinique balm. At this rate I don’t think I ever will.
Anyway when I started reading good things about the Body Shop Chamomile balm I decided to give that a go instead. I also picked up the cleansing oil in the same range since people seemed to like it too and you never know, you just might hit gold right?
I didn’t like this cleansing oil at all. It does on ok job in cleansing, not particularly strong or efficient. It’s just alright. Doesn’t sting the eyes though and never gave me a bad reaction. The biggest problem I have with it is that it just doesn’t feel like it rinses off completely, like there’s a clingy film of ‘something’ on top of your skin. I always double cleanse (I’m in the school that views makeup removal + skin cleansing as two separate things) and every time I used this I couldn’t wait to wash my face properly. Of all the cleansing oils I’ve used in my life so far, this is very near the bottom.
I’ve always been the grin-and-bear-it type and will grudgingly finish the bottle anyway and consider it a lesson learned. As I’m nearing the late 30s I think more along the lines of life being too short to waste on dud products like this.
Comparatively the cleansing balm is a much more pleasant experience. It is very mildly perfumed, turns quickly into a liquid when in contact with your hands, both cleanses and rinses off much better than the oil. This is my first experience with cleansing balms though but considering the price it seems to be a decent offer from the Body Shop.
Other cleansing oil recs: my HG cleansing oil is from Fancl. Drugstore bargain recommendation would be the softymo Speedy (pink one), although I hear the Bioré is just as good. These are both somewhat hard to get though. More accessible, I’ve just tried Shiseido’s and I like it. Better than the one from MAC. I might be biased but I think it’s better to stick with Japanese brands when buying a cleansing oil. But YMMV: shu uemura’s pink one broke me out way back when. Otherwise I have this cleansing oil review from the past.