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Beautycounter Cleansing Balm Review: My Dry Skin Must-Have

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Beautycounter has been discontinued! Read about what happened to Beautycounter (and when it might come back) here. In the meantime, I have lots of great recommendations for Beautycounter product swaps linked in this post. Also, be sure to join my email list so you can be the first to know when your Beautycounter favorites come back.

Are you wondering what all the fuss is about the Beautycounter Counter+ Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm or wondering if it’s the right product for your skin type? I’ve got you covered in this post! I’ve use it for over three years (including multiple versions of it), and am here to give you an honest and detailed review of the Beautycounter Cleansing Balm. I also shared step-by-step tips on how to use it to get the best results when you use it.

I not only love Beautycounter’s skincare products, but I love their mission and their commitment to safety. They have an entire “Never List” of ingredients they don’t use in products that other beauty brands do. Their Cleansing Balm is an extremely hydrating product without any scary ingredients!

If having safe and clean products is the most important factor in choosing a cleansing balm, the Beautycounter Cleansing Balm is the one you want. If you’re a little more lenient in terms of ingredients, I’ve recently preferred the Colleen Rothschild Cleansing Balm since it’s more hydrating and doesn’t sting my eyes. You can read my full review of the Colleen Rothschild Cleansing Balm here.

Today’s review is focused on the Beautycounter Cleaning Balm (the cleanest choice in terms of ingredients), since it’s a cult favorite and I have lots of thoughts!

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm Review

I used the Beautycounter Cleansing Balm for years (I just recently started using the Colleen Rothschild Balm, which I mentioned above) and it thick balm worked wonders for my dry skin. It’s a daily makeup removing balm and cleanser that removes make-up and nourishes and replenishes skin. While I initially wanted to just try it out (I had a different balm I was using and liked just fine), the Beautycounter Cleansing Balm quickly became part of my skin care routine. I actually started looking forward to washing my face each night, which is a big deal for me since I’ve always hated taking off my makeup!

The Cleansing Balm was the first skincare product I tried from Beautycounter that really made me look at switching all of my products to the brand since the results were dramatically better than everything else I was using at the time (including Origins, Ole Henrikson and other high-end brands). I ended up swapping the vast majority of my skincare (and makeup!) to Beautycounter soon after trying the Cleansing Balm years ago.

Let’s talk about the ingredients:

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm Key Ingredients

Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm has a few key ingredients that help promote and support healthy, vibrant skin. It soothes irritation while creating luminosity.

  • Jojoba Seed Oil and Avocado Seed Oil: these are key ingredients for nourishing and moisturizing
  • Lotus: this plant has been revered for its skin-brightening properties for centuries.
  • Apricot (prunus armeniaca) Kernel Oil: this helps moisturize your skin and can help protect from signs of aging.
  • Shea Butter: this protects and hydrates your skin too. It’s great for things like eczema!

Cleansing Balm Benefits

Not only does the balm provide vital nutrients to the skin for replenishing, nourishing and regeneration but it also helps promote a brighter complexion. You should see a significant increase in skin hydration, brightness and skin smoothness after one use.

Beautycounter recently reformulated their Cleansing Balm to improve the texture and to add lotus. I liked the previous version just fine but the new one feels so much more luxurious. It’s much smoother (the previous had a tiny bit of graininess) and the addition of lotus makes it smell even more amazing. I especially love the new glass container, which is not only sustainable, but also beautiful. I just leave it on my bathroom countertop.

How to Use the Cleansing Balm by Beautycounter

1. Apply the balm

Before you apply the balm, make sure your face is dry and not damp. Then, take an an almond-sized amount of balm from the container onto your fingertips. (Trust me – you don’t need more since a little goes a long way!)

2. Massage the balm into your skin

Using circular motions, massage an almond size amount onto dry skin, applying gentle pressure to the cheeks, forehead, and eyebrows. This helps relax your facial muscles, promotes oxygen and blood flow in your skin and (perhaps most importantly) helps get the product into your skin and pores to really dissolve impurities and makeup.

How to use Cleansing Balm
3. Remove with a wet washcloth

Once the balm has turned into an oil and you’ve massaged it into skin, wet a cleansing cloth with warm water and gently wipe the balm off your skin. I use a muslin cleansing cloth but a regular damp cloth works too. Just make sure it feels gentle on skin and not abrasive. Wetting the cloth with warm water is key to help open up pores and fully remove the balm so your serum and moisturize can more fully penetrate. Do not try to only rinse it off without a cloth!! The product is NOT designed to be rinsed off. You have to wipe it off with a cloth or else your pores will clog.

4. Optional: Splash face with tepid water

I prefer splash my face with tepid or lukewarm water after I wipe it off. Never hot water though, since that can actually dehydrate your skin. Cool water is also okay to use.

5. Complete your routine.

Follow the balm with a toner, treatment (e.g. a serum) and a moisturizer. I use the Countertime Essence, Radiance Serum and Supreme Cream. Those products have transformed my dry skin!

To use the balm as an intense overnight moisturizing mask

First wash your face (whether with the balm or another cleanser) and gently pat your skin dry. Then, apply a thin layer (about a black bean size) of the balm to clean skin. Only apply more if you feel you need it – don’t pile it on. You need just a thin, even layer. Then just leave it on overnight and wake up to smoother, softer skin. You’ll just wash your face as normal in the morning. Since it absorbs overnight, you won’t need to wipe it off.

My Honest Beautycounter Cleansing Balm Review

It removes every trace of makeup without needing a second cleanse and without feeling like my skin is stripped.

My skin feels more hydrated after I cleanse with this, which is not what I typically experienced with face washes. Similar to coconut oil, the solid formula turns to an oil when you massage it into skin and it helps remove makeup, dirt and impurities without stripping skin. However, unlike coconut oil, it doesn’t leave your face feeling greasy. I tried washing with coconut oil for a month or so before I found Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm and it was a total disaster for me! It made me breakout and it was just an oily mess. So while the texture is somewhat similar, the results are entirely different.

It feels easier to use than foaming face washes.

I used to dread washing my face at night – why does it feel like so much work?? But with the cleansing balm, it feels like less effort than foaming face washes, and it certainly feels more luxurious. I think since it’s applied to dry skin and removed with a cloth, it feels less messy than cleansers that get water all over the sink. (Hey, maybe I’m just a little messy but I think that’s part of why I like the balm formula so much!)

It’s a great bang for your buck since it is a multi-use product and a little goes a long way.

It can be used as a daily cleanser, as a replenishing overnight mask, and as a soothing balm for dry spots anywhere on your body. I’m often asked “how long does Beautycounter cleansing balm last?” And since you use an almond-size amount of product, each container lasts 6-12 months! (It will vary on how long it lasts depending if you use it AM and/or PM and how often you use it as a mask.)

It’s travel-friendly and minimizes what I have to pack for trips since I take the balm to act as both my cleanser and moisturizer.

While I don’t typically use the balm as my daily moisturizer, it can work for that. (I just use a tiny amount!) And, since it’s a solid formula, it’s carry-on friendly which means I don’t have to decant into a smaller container like I do with liquids. And that helps me travel with only a carry on!

What I don’t love about Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm

Stings my eyes

I don’t like using it to remove my eye makeup since it can sting and if it gets on my contacts, it’s a blurry mess. I prefer to use an eye makeup remover or makeup wipes instead.

Quick tip:

Some people with acne-prone skin find that Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm helps prevent breakouts since many times breakouts are caused by skin that is actually too dry. I personally experienced this for YEARS and couldn’t figure out why nothing helped my acne-prone skin. Then, during a facial an esthetician told me that I actually had very dry skin and I was using products that were far too harsh. My skin was overcompensating by producing more oil, which clogged my pores and led to breakouts. Once I started using skincare products designed for dry skin – like the Cleansing Balm – I very quickly saw an improvement in my breakouts.

So, while some people with oily, breakout skin love the Cleansing Balm, if you have naturally very oily skin you may not find this is the best cleanser for you. Those with oily skin are typically happier with Beautycounter’s CounterControl line, which is specially designed for oily skin. But, if you want to try the Cleansing Balm for your oily skin, Beautycounter has an amazing return policy. If it doesn’t work out, you can send it back in 60 days for a full refund (no matter how much product you’ve used).

My results with Beautycounter Cleansing Balm

After just one day of using Beautycounter Cleansing Balm, my skin felt incredible. It was so nice to not experience the tightness that I typically do with cleansers. After a few months, I started to notice that my skin was more radiant and even.

Now let’s fast forward to four years of using Beautycounter Cleansing Balm. You can see a visible difference and my skin is radiant without a trace of makeup (pictured below!). Okay, well I do have mascara on. But I don’t have any foundation or any sort of coverage on my skin. That’s right after wiping off the balm.

Beautycounter cleanser for dry skin

If I am being totally honest, my skin used to be pretty lackluster. Here’s what my skin looked like before I used the Cleansing Balm. While it was clear, there was zero brightness or radiance, even after my breakouts cleared up.

skin condition before

But when I added in the Cleansing Balm (and the Beautycounter Overnight Peel), I really started to notice an improvement immediately and especially over time. Here’s a photo after a few months.

beautycounter consultant compensation

And here’s a photo after three years.

Beautycounter cleanser for dry skin

And here’s what my skin looks like after 5 years!

Natural Spring make up look #LTKbeauty #LTKSeasonal

skin comparison now and 5 years ago My skin routine now includes the Cleansing Balm for my PM cleanser (these days I’m using the Colleen Rothschild Cleansing Balm as an alternative since it’s what I have on hand) and the Countertime Lipid Oil for my morning cleanser. (I prefer the balm at night but don’t love it as a morning cleanser for no reason other than habit.)

I use the cleansing balm as an overnight mask 1-2 times a week, and use the Beautycounter AHA Mask  once a week. While they are very different products, it’s perfect balance for me to help keep pores clear and also keep my skin hydrated!

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    3 responses to “Beautycounter Cleansing Balm Review: My Dry Skin Must-Have”

    1. Just FYI, I don’t believe the new balm, which is what you show in the pictures, has cranberry, raspberry or vitamin c.

      • Good catch! We wrote this post before the new balm came out and then took new photos recently. We’ve updated the post! Thanks!

    2. Wow. I love this stuff. TeriLyn introduced it to me because even as a 30-something year old I can struggle with acne breakouts. This is a cleanser that really helped. It’s a bit waxy in texture so I use a wash cloth to apply and really work into my skin all over. I recommend 10/10. Thanks, TeriLyn.

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