Sunday, 1 May 2011

Botanics Soothing Cleansing Balm

I tried this after hearing a few product raves. I'd been after a balm cleanser for a while and this sounded like a good, inexpensive introduction. The packaging is nice and simple, it smells delicious but I haven't been able to get on with it at all.

The product is a solid balm which melts with the warmth of the skin. I find it easy enough to massage in but it is extremely oily. It doesn't emulsify with water and I find it impossible to wash it off without leaving a heavy amount of oil residue on the skin. I use a dampened muslin cloth (not the one that comes with it) to wash it off but even the texture of the cloth is not enough to remove the oil.

I don't feel at all happy with leaving this amount of oil on my skin. It's entirely possible that this wouldn't clog the pores but I do worry about that possibility. Whenever I've used it, I've ended up washing my skin with a foaming face wash afterwards, which seems to defeat using the balm cleanser in the first place.

I do wonder whether this would work better for different skin types. The residual oil may work well or not be detectable on drier skins. Sadly for me this hasn't been a good buy. It's a reasonable price, smells lovely but as it doesn't wash off well, it's definitely a thumbs down for me.


  1. What a shame this wasn't any good! If it leaves too much residue behind, it must make you wonder how much makeup is still on your face too. Thanks for the review!

  2. Thanks for this review, I had been interested in buying but now that you've mentioned how oily it is - I think I'll stay clear!

  3. if you're still looking for a balm cleanser, i have lancome's baume eclat & really rate it. smells beautiful & washes off really easily with no residue :)

  4. I've heard a lot of things said about this cleanser, but Botanics and my face don't agree. However I do quite like their body care range. I took the mini versions on holiday with me when I went to France and got well tanned.

    They helped me a) not peel and b) maintain my tan for ages.

    Ms Red


  5. i have this, and wasn't getting on with it at all at first (was using Liz earle cleanse and polish muslins, and like you said they just didn't remove the balm) but am now using a towel-material flannel run under hot water to remove it, which seems to work really well. xx

  6. Ahhh a good idea but one that was not thought through properly? Interesting or it probably means it works better on the older skin or skin that's really dehydrated. Thanks Jane for bringing attention to more interesting products. X

  7. I tried this and didn't like it at all. It also left an oily residue on my skin and I had to wash it off with another cleanser. Such a shame because it has lovely ingredients x

  8. I too bought this becuase of all the raves, it made a real mess of my skin, I let the first lot of breakouts heal and then tried it agan to be sure and the same thing happened, really wished I'd never tried it, like you say it left a real residue on the skin x

  9. Dear Kenneth has hit the nail on the head! Older drier skin (mine!) loves this!! I ADORE this cleanser, my old dry skin completely loves it and it is left feeling soothed, nourished and plumpcious! Clearly this is an old bags delight! xx

  10. Thanks for the review, I am going to stay clear of this as I much prefer balms that emulsify and feel like they are properly washed off. I am currently trying Ren's one and unfortunately that doesn't really emulsify either. I think I am going to go back to my good old cleansing oils!

  11. I ADORE this too, but a rough muslin works much better than a soft one for this balm. I don't find it oily at all.. It just leaves my skin radiant.

  12. I have this in a queue to try out soon. I have learned from years of oily oil cleansers that it is best for me to wash off the remaining oily residue with a facial washing powder or the clarisonic mia. Thia may sound counter productive BUT I love oils and balms to remove a faceful of makeup.

  13. Thank you so much for your comments on this one. They made for very interesting reading. I can’t decide whether it’s a ‘your mileage may vary’ situation or whether there is quite a variation in the batch formulation. It certainly seems that for some of you this has been a star buy but others had the same experience as me.

    @dempss: That is my exact concern. If it doesn’t emulsify, the makeup will not be washed off which doesn’t appeal at all. I quite like oil cleansers so this was a disappointment.

    @BBH: I quite like oil cleanser but the ones I’ve used have emulsified and rinsed off no problems. It sounds really variable whether people get on with this but it certainly wasn’t a hit with me.

    @Pippa: Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have a look at that as I like Lancome.

    @Ms Red: The body care sounds good. It’s interesting that you don’t get on with Botanics face products. Have you worked out if it’s a particular ingredient?

    @Sophie: I guess I must have used this with a flannel too. I tend to rotate between my EL muslins and a stash of flannels. It’s good that you’ve found a technique that works for getting it off. I really was hoping for success with this one.

    @KennethSoh: I think you must be right and others have certainly reported great success with it. My worry is that if it doesn’t emulsify, the makeup and grime won’t be carried away as you rinse it off. It’s great that the highstreet are catching on to the demand for oil and balm cleansers though.

    @Claire McDonnell: It’s interesting to hear that it wasn’t just me that had this problem. I was surprised by the heavy residue and wasn’t convinced it was cleaning my face properly.

    @Replica: I’m really sorry to hear that it messed up your skin. I guess I’m not surprised though because of the residue you wouldn’t really want to go down the route of using a rough cloth to remove it either as that would make things worse. It definitely seems to have mixed success.

    @Debbie: It’s really interesting to see how much success with this varies. Do you tend to remove your makeup with something else first? I really worry that if the oil absorbs rather than emulsfies, it won’t remove makeup properly.

    @Meeta: I really like oils too and hoped I would have success with a balm. I was worried that I would experience this with all balms (this was my first) but I’ve since tried a sample of the RBR one and it definitely rinses off no problem with my usual technique. I would think this one would be best avoided by those with reactive skin.

    @Stina: I think the comments are really interesting. It definitely shows that it will work for some and not for others. I find I can’t use a rough muslin as I get a rash at the tops of my cheeks. It’s why I didn’t use the cloth provided and probably part of the reason why I haven’t got on with it so well?

    @Old Cow: I’m rather partial to oils to but this my first balm. I’ve since used a sample of the RBR balm cleanser and had no problems with that. I really liked the RMK oil cleanser that I tried and I guess that came with a soapy wash for afterwards. I never had this level of residue with any of the others I’ve tried though.

    Thanks for all of your comments,
    Jane x

  14. Hey, I just bought this the other day, have to say I LOVE it! I have oily/combination skin and I found it really made my skin even out and feel fresh. I put the hot cloth on my face for a few seconds and then rub the balm off in a circular motion all over and it all comes of.
    One thing that maybe I do different maybe is the toner afterwards, I bought the Botantics spritzing toner to spray on my face and wipe off with a cotton pad, which just thoroughly cleans my face.

    I would really recommend this cleanser, its so fun to use too, who doesn't love a good hot cloth cleanse, it's like being a kid again having a flannel! Lol!


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