South Korea is at the forefront of beauty innovation today. One of the new products that Korean beauty brands have brought to the market is the Korean cleansing balm.
It’s a new alternative to cleansing oils that is portable, doesn’t leak, and turns into a soft and luxurious emulsion when you add water to it. You really should try it to upgrade your daily skincare routine.
|Banila Co||Premium-level balm. For normal and combination skin. Non-toxic.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Heimish||Contains shea butter. Perfect for sensitive, normal, dry, or combination skin.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|I'm From||Contains fig oil water and ficin. Great for dry, sensitive, and combination skin. Vegan and non-toxic.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|I Dew Care||Balm with blueberry extract. Good for all skin types. Vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Tonymoly||Contains peach extract. Amazing scent. Great for all skin types.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Whal Myung||Luxury product with an 124-year-old 11-herb formula. Non-toxic, has no preservatives. Perfect for people with dry, sensitive, allergy-prone skin.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Hanskin||Manufactured by a biopharmaceutical company. Ideal for oily and combination skin.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Aromatica||Lovely smell. Great for cleansing acne-prone skin. Vegan, cruelty-ftee, non-toxic.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Innisfree||Contains Jeju volcanic clusters. Good for people with oily skin and large pores that are prone to clogging.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Mizon||Contains Hyaluronic acid and Cica. Perfect for sensitive, dry, and aging skin.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
Best Korean cleansing balm
BANILA CO Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm
Banila Co Clean It Zero Original is a popular premium-quality Korean cleansing balm.
It contains active botanicals, clean hot springs water, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C that nourish the skin and brighten hyperpigmentation.
According to the manufacturer, this product is non-toxic.
It contains no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oils, alcohol, or artificial colorants.
This Korean cleansing balm is ideal for combination or normal skin.
Even though it’s an oil cleanser it won’t make your skin oily and won’t clog your pores.
This balm helps your skin regulate oil and sebum production and deeply cleans out pores.
After you’ve taken a bit of product from the jar with a spatula, rub it in your hands.
You’ll see the buttery texture turn into oil.
This is the cleansing oil that you should apply to your skin.
Massage it gently all over your face, including the eyelids if you’re wearing eye makeup.
After that, add a bit of water and continue massaging it for a minute or two to emulsify it and help it dissolve makeup, oils, and dirt.
Then rinse the balm off with lukewarm water.
Your skin will feel soft and moisturized.
Follow the oil cleansing step with a foam cleanser that’s best for your skin type to remove any remaining balm, oils, or impurities.
This balm is the original version of Banila’s popular cleansing product.
It has a very light and pleasant fruity scent and comes in a cute cotton candy pink jar that would look lovely on any vanity table or bathroom shelf.
The jar contains a spatula applicator.
So you won’t have to pick the product from the jar with your fingers.
And water won’t get into the product that way.
A little bit of this balm goes a long way. One jar will last you for a long time.
There are also Purifying and Revitalizing versions of this product.
The Purifying balm is great for dry and sensitive skin and the Revitalizing balm works really well for oily skin, especially if it’s prone to acne.
Heimish All Clean Balm
Heimish All Clean Balm is another popular Korean cleansing balm.
It contains shea butter, citrus herb oil, coconut extract, and a white flower complex.
The legendary and vitamin and fatty acid-rich shea butter is one of the strongest hydrating, skin healing, and calming ingredients available today.
It also contains antioxidants that fight aging.
Citrus herb oil has a skin brightening effect. It fights hyperpigmentation and fades acne scars.
Coconut extract has a moisturizing effect and helps to lock moisture in your skin to prevent it from drying after cleansing.
The white flower complex consists of 6 extracts from white flowers that also brighten your skin and fade dark spots.
This product is perfect for sensitive, normal, dry, or combination skin.
It also comes with a spatula applicator.
You’ll need to scoop 3-4 spoons of this balm with the spatula for one cleansing procedure.
The balm turns into oil in your hands and into a milky emulsion when you add water while massaging it over your face.
The manufacturer suggests using cotton disks to remove makeup easier.
Rinse the emulsion away with water several times. This won’t dry your face, thanks to strong moisturizing components.
This balm dissolves all the impurities and removes all kinds of makeup without damaging the skin.
It also unclogs pores and leaves no oily residue.
[I’M FROM] Fig Cleansing Balm
This Korean cleansing balm is formulated with 7.8% fig oil water.
The product contains a special natural moisturizing factor (NMF) obtained from figs and ficin.
The natural moisturizing factor is a combination of components naturally found in the skin.
The I’m From balm delivers NMF topically to the skin to treat dryness and irritation.
Ficin, also spelled as ficain is an enzyme derived from figs.
It has the same pH factor as the skin’s own pH so it prevents skin damage.
Ficin is effective against inflammation and helps to fade acne scars and pigmentation.
The figs that I’m From uses in its fig line are grown in Yeongam.
Yeongam has an ideal oceanic climate for growing figs, with low pollution levels and low quantities of pesticides used in the process.
This balm is great for dry, sensitive, and combination skin.
It makes the skin soft, properly hydrated, clean, but not irritated.
It’s easy to rinse so you won’t need to rub your face too much.
This product is completely vegan. It contains no animal-derived ingredients.
The manufacturer also promises that their products are non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals.
I DEW CARE Berry Melting Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm with Jojoba Oil
This Korean cleansing balm’s main ingredients are blueberry fruit extract, jojoba oil, and clean glacier water.
Blueberry fruit extract is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the skin from negative environmental impacts. It also has anti-aging and skin softening properties.
Jojoba oil mimics the skin’s natural sebum.
So it’s great for moisturizing and healing the skin, and for treating various skin conditions.
This hydrating cleansing balm works great for all skin types.
The product has a sorbet-like texture and a mouth-watering blueberry scent.
It comes in a cute lilac jar with a tiny spatula applicator.
You need to scoop a blueberry-sized portion out of the jar and apply it to your face.
The product has a smooth texture and goes on well.
The manufacturer promises that all their products are always clean, non-toxic, formaldehyde-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, vegan, and are never tested on animals.
The only downside of this balm is that it’s not too easy to rinse off. So be careful not to rub your face too much.
Just use a foam cleanser right after the balm to remove it completely.
TONYMOLY Peach Punch Sherbet Cleansing Balm
This Korean cleansing balm has a sorbet texture and is formulated with 5,000 ppm peach extract, peach water, and a blend of natural oils.
The oils have a skin conditioning, hydrating, and calming effect.
Peaches help your skin regenerate.
They contain powerful antioxidants that have an anti-aging effect and help your skin glow.
This product has a delicious natural peach scent and comes in super-cute packaging that looks like a peach.
There’s an adorable tiny spoon applicator inside.
This is hands down the prettiest cleansing balm jar on this list. And the smell is not chemical at all.
Tonymoly balm leaves the skin soft and moisturized. It’s great for all skin types.
Whal Myung Meltaway Cleansing Balm
Whal Myung is a luxury Korean skincare brand.
This manufacturer bases its skincare on a secret recipe that uses a special 11-herb formula.
This formula is 124 years old and dates back to the Korean royal court. It has its roots in the traditional herbal medicine of Korea.
The manufacturer promises that their cleansing balm is hypoallergenic.
They also state that they only use natural herbal ingredients that prevent skin dryness and irritation after cleansing.
These herbs have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
They improve blood circulation in the skin, brighten dull complexion, and make the skin soft and hydrated.
The product is free from parabens, sulfates, and mineral oils.
There are no preservatives in this Korean cleansing balm.
However, it has a very long 3-year shelf life and is good for up to 1 year after you open the jar.
Whal Myung manufactures it under sterile conditions.
This balm also has a nice scent based on a unique fragrance created by a professional perfumer from South Korea.
It’s perfect for people with dry, sensitive, allergy-prone skin.
The product has a thick texture that melts into a lather.
That’s why a small amount of product goes a long way. If you scoop too much balm it would be difficult to rinse it off.
Hanskin BHA Pore Cleansing Balm
Hanskin products are formulated and manufactured by a subsidiary of Celltrion.
It’s a biopharmaceutical company from South Korea that also manufactures innovative biosimilar products. For example, antibodies for treating arthritis.
So Hanskin uses pharmaceutical and scientific R&D in the development of their products.
This cleansing balm contains alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), ceramide NP, and plant-based ingredients.
AHAs are water-soluble acids obtained from sugary fruits.
They gently peel off dead skin cells to help your skin generate new cells.
This evens out the skin tone and fades acne scars and pigmentation.
Ceramide NP is a long chain of lipids naturally occurring in the skin. Its use in cosmetics helps to moisturize the skin.
Hanskin cleansing balm removes makeup, cleans pores, eliminates blackheads, and regulates the skin’s oil production, hydrating the skin in the process.
This product is ideal for oily and combination skin. It won’t leave your skin feeling greasy even if you don’t use a foam cleanser after that.
AROMATICA Orange Cleansing Sherbet
This balm looks like an orange sorbet with a nice sweet smell of fresh oranges.
It has a non-irritating and non-drying formula with clean and natural ingredients.
The main components of this product are sunflower seed oil and organic babassu seed oil.
Both sunflower seed oil and babassu seed oil are super-rich in vitamin E.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals and aging.
The babassu seed oil also has strong antibacterial properties, which is great for cleansing acne-prone skin.
According to the manufacturer, this cleansing balm is non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, and works for all skin types.
The fragrance used in this product is made of natural essential oils.
Innisfree Pore Clearing Balm with Volcanic Clusters
Innisfree is mostly famous for its products that are based on ingredients coming from the South Korean volcanic resort island of Jeju.
This cleansing balm contains Jeju volcanic clusters.
These are volcanic microparticles that are smaller than the skin’s pores and have excellent oil and dirt absorbing properties.
So these clusters can penetrate pores and clean out blackheads.
The balm melts into an oil that contains these tiny particles.
After you’ve applied it to your skin, rub the problem areas of the face, especially the T-zone, for 3-5 minutes to unclog your pores.
If you use this balm regularly you’ll see the difference soon. Your pores can become tighter and blackheads will be gone.
This balm is good for people with oily skin and large pores that are prone to clogging.
Mizon Cicaluronic Cleansing Balm Makeup Remover with Cica and Hyaluronic Acid
This soothing and hydrating Korean cleansing balm contains hyaluronic acid and Centella Asiatica.
Hyaluronic acid is a string moisturizing ingredient that helps the skin hold water inside.
Centella Asiatica, also known as Cica, is one of the most popular ingredients used in the Korean beauty industry today.
It’s a skin superfood that contains special acids that help the skin heal and restore itself quickly.
Cica erases small wrinkles and crow’s feet.
It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
This product is perfect for sensitive, dry, and aging skin.
What is a Korean cleansing balm?
It’s an oil-based cleansing product that has a different texture.
It provides deep cleansing of your skin, removes oil, dirt, sebum, and makeup without over-drying or damaging your skin, regardless of its type.
Cleansing balms don’t come in liquid oil form. They have the texture of butter or balm instead.
When you apply a cleansing balm it turns into oil. And when you add a bit of water to it the oil becomes a milky emulsion that dissolves makeup and impurities and gently cleanses your face.
It’s effective against water-resistant makeup, which can’t be taken off with foam cleansers.
Oil cleansing is the first step in any skincare routine.
Cleansing balms also contain additional ingredients to moisturize, calm, and nourish your skin during the cleansing procedure.
That prevents the skin from feeling dry or tight.
When should I use my Korean cleansing balm?
Use it as the first step in your skincare routine, regardless of how many steps that routine involves.
Of course, it’s ideal for the 10-step Korean skincare routine:
- Oil cleanser: Korean cleansing balm
- Foam/cream cleanser
- Sheet Mask
- Eye Cream
- Sunscreen (morning) or night cream (evening)
It’s recommended to use a cleansing balm as the first (oil cleansing) step of the 2-step cleansing routine, where the second step is foam cleansing.
Korean cleansing balm vs cleansing oil
Cleansing balms and cleansing oils are both oil-based products that turn into a cleansing emulsion when you add water to them while applying them to your face.
They perform the same function of oil cleansing your skin.
However, they have a different texture.
A cleansing balm has a hard buttery texture while a cleansing oil is a liquid oil.
A balm comes in a jar and a cleansing oil comes in a bottle with a pump.
That’s why an oil bottle lasts you longer than a jar of balm.
At the same time, you don’t need to worry about the product leaking if you buy a cleansing balm.
So a jar of balm is much more convenient for taking with you when you’re traveling than a bottle of oil.
In addition to that, a balm may be a better option for people allergic to some active ingredients in oils.
Korean cleansing balm vs foam cleanser
The use of a cleansing balm is the first cleansing step of any skincare routine.
And foam cleansing is the second step.
Cleansing balms remove makeup and oil-based impurities, while a foam cleanser is not effective enough for removing makeup. Especially waterproof makeup.
However, always use a foam cleanser after the cleansing balm.
Water will not rinse the cleansing balm well enough.
So after you’ve used the balm and rinsed it off with plain water, you should perform the next step of your skincare routine.
You should cleanse your face with foam and water.
The foam cleanser will remove all the remaining cleansing balm and all non-oil-based impurities. For example, dirt and sweat.
It also provides deeper cleansing of your pores and helps to remove blackheads and other tough impurities that the balm has broken down but not fully wiped out yet.
Double cleansing is necessary to remove all the impurities and to ensure your face is squeaky clean.
Don’t use an oil cleanser or a foam cleanser alone.
They must work together to make your face fully clean and ready for the application of moisturizers, serums, and other active products.
Don’t worry, your skin won’t become too dry after the double cleansing procedure.
Korean cleansers always contain moisturizing and nourishing components to prevent this from happening.
Is it OK to use a Korean cleansing balm for oily and combination skin?
It’s not only OK but perfect to use this kind of product for oily and combination skin
You always need to remove makeup, oil-based dirt, and excess sebum from oily and combination skin or you may have breakouts.
Balms gently cleanse and remove makeup without leaving the skin oily or clogging pores.
They are even better for oily skin than cleansing oils.
You can select a balm that regulates and absorbs the skin’s oil or contains particles that clean out pores and dissolve blackheads.
How often should I use it?
Use a balm 2 times a day, every single day, in the morning and especially in the evening, when you need to remove makeup after a long day.
No need to let your skin rest between uses. This product is formulated for safe daily use.
How to use a Korean cleansing balm?
All cleansing balms have a thick texture.
You’ll need a spatula to pick the product out of the jar.
Pretty much all balms come with a small spatula that helps you apply the product.
Pick a small portion or a few mini spoons of the balm and place it in your hands.
Rub it between your hands.
When the balm gets warm with rubbing it melts into an oil.
Distribute this oil all over your face.
Unlike masks, an oil cleanser is meant to be applied over the eyelids and lips.
This is necessary to remove eyeshadows, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick.
After you massage the oil in, add a bit of water to create a cleansing emulsion on your face.
Continue massaging your face for 1-2 minutes to dissolve all the makeup and dirt.
You can use cotton disks to help you remove stubborn makeup.
Just rub your face very gently.
When you’re done, rinse the remaining emulsion away with lukewarm water.
Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your balm to get the idea of how to use the product in the best possible way.
What is the next step after the balm?
After rinsing the oil-based cleanser, wash your face with a foam cleanser to remove any remaining oils, dirt, and sweat.
How to store it?
Never store your balm in the bathroom.
The hot and humid environment of the bathroom can break the balm’s texture and it may melt.
So the best way to store it is by placing it in the fridge.
This also helps to preserve natural ingredients better.
If you don’t want to keep it on the same shelf as your food you can buy a special mini-fridge for your vanity table and place all your skincare products, balms, and masks there.