Cleansing Balm Comparison

Are you a cleansing balm user? I switch between a cleansing balm and a cleansing oil most nights. I love both! I’ve used and shared a couple cleansing balms over the last year or two, so I thought I would share what I like about each one, in case you’re looking to try one out!

The three that I’ve used are Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm, Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, and Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. I would recommend all three of them, but if you’re a normal person and don’t want three different cleansing balms in your drawer, here’s my review of each:

Colleen Rothschild Cleansing Balm

As is true of every other Colleen Rothschild product, this is like a little spa experience in a container. This balm is super luxurious. It feels similar to vaseline as you’re working it in your fingers and onto your skin. It melts my makeup right off, even mascara. It does have a bit of a scent to it, but it’s not strong and doesn’t cause my skin to smell afterwards. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized, which I like, but it does feel like you have something on your skin after rinsing it off. I do my usual nighttime serums and moisturizer after using it and they go on like usual. It’s gentle and leaves a velvety-smooth finish. You can also buy a mini size!

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

I’m a big fan of Elemis products, this balm included! I would compare this one to the CR one in luxuriousness, with a few differences. I like the scent of this one better than CR, but it’s not much of a factor for me, since I only smell it for the two minutes I’m using it on my skin and then it’s gone. This one also melts my makeup right off and is gentle on my skin. It has a slightly less oily feel to it – my skin doesn’t feel quite as velvety-smooth after using. All in all, it’s a strong rival to the CR balm, especially since they’re almost the exact same price. You can also buy a mini size!

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

The newest cleansing balm that I’ve tried and my current go-to. What I really like about this one is that it turns into an oil in your hands. The other two balms retain a more solid consistency as you’re using them, whereas this one gets much more thin. I like that it’s easy to work into my skin, removes all of my makeup, and doesn’t leave behind any sort of residue or feeling on my skin. It’s not quite as luxurious, but it is effective! It also has very little scent to it. For almost half the price, it’s a great option! You can also buy a mini size!

You can’t go wrong with any of them! If you still can’t decide, try the mini versions to see which one is your favorite.

Hi there!

Lauren Bown Lifestyle Blog is an online destination where I share my personal style, beauty finds, and bits of life in hopes to inspire other women to feel good in their skin and find the beauty in the ordinary.

browse the archives

shop my instagram

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.9.21
    Katie said:

    Thank you for sharing! The one I have used most is the Farmacy cleansing balm. It is so effective, has a nice scent, and seems to be a similar consistency to the Clinique balm. It’s only downside (which might be true of other balms) is it almost feels like I have a hazy film over my eyes after I’m done using it. But I just squirt some contact solution in and I’m good to go!

    • 2.16.22
      alisha said:

      same with the hazy eyes, maybe I’m just rubbing too much in my eye area.

  2. 2.9.21
    Kathleen said:

    I have been using the Clinique balm for a while now, and I’m very pleased. I have Elemis next as it was part of the Ulta sale .. Also, another one to note that is on the lower price scale but I think works well too is the No. 7 Neurishing Cleansing balm. For the price it’s not bad.

  3. 2.9.21
    Kristin said:

    This was great! I see that a lot of people use this for double cleansing but do you? It feels ok not to wash again?

    • 2.10.21
      Lauren said:

      I don’t double cleanse – just don’t feel the need to!

  4. 2.9.21
    Kelly M said:

    I tried the Clinique based on your recommendation and love it. Thanks for spending time sharing your experiences.

  5. 2.15.21
    Patty H said:

    I have been using the Clinique Take the Day Off for a few years now! I love it because it does get my stubborn waterproof mascara off very well (I have to wear waterproof because regular mascara slides off my eyelashes). I only use it at night and I feel like it cuts through the makeup. I tend to have oily skin and was worried about using something like this but it does not affect my oiliness at all. And I rinse well , twice with nice warm water and a washcloth.
    My only recommendation is to make sure you buy it where they sell it quickly. If it is old it will have that rancid smell that oils can get.
    Oh, and I love that it has a smaller travel size and I don’t have to worry about it leaking.

  6. 2.16.22
    alisha said:

    love the clinique!

  7. 2.16.22
    Amy said:

    I use the CR balm but am curious to try the options you shared. The only thing I don’t like about the CR balm is the packaging. Wish beauty supplies had more eco-friendly containers.

    • 4.10.24
      Amy C said:

      I completely agree! The Colleen Rothschild balms and recovery moisturizer come in containers that are so thick and heavy, and the packaging is a lot too. This is my one issue with them also. In this age of progressing towards sustainability, wish they would make some changes! The balm is great and the muslin cloth it comes with is fantastic. Ready to try one of the others.