My obsession with cleansing is never ending. Over the last few years I’ve really seen the positive impact a great routine and a fabulous product can have on the texture, radiance and suppleness of my skin – so much so that even the thought of a face wipe alternative leaves my knees trembling. I’ve tried hundreds of different cleansers over the years, but in 2015 I think the offering is the best it’s ever been. There are a huge number of effective products available for an affordable price point, offering an indulgent experience in your bathroom to cherish every evening. Because what better incentive to effectively cleanse every night than an invigorating and beautifully scented formula? (Have a read of my post on why double cleansing is so important here.) Right now I’ve been flipping between five different cleansing balms, oils and creams that really leave my skin feeling squeaky clean – without causing that tightness that’s so familiar with foaming products. Here’s the lowdown on each and why they’re definitely worth a try.

1. Caudalie: Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil (£18.00) 
The newest addition to my cleansing line-up, I don’t know why Caudalie haven’t been a go-to brand for effective cleansers before. This 100% natural and incredibly lightweight oil contains sunflower, castor, sweet almond and grape seed oil – meaning it smells amazing. It’s an incredibly gentle yet effective cleanser, which leaves the skin feeling perfectly cleansed, refreshed, soft and moisturised. I love this as a second cleanse as much as a first, proving its value in any skincare routine.

2. Balance Me: Cleanse & Smooth Face Balm (£20.00) 
Formulated with arctic cloudberry and polishing oatmeal, this rich balm leaves skin looking brighter and feeling comfortably clean. Roman chamomile and red mandarin smooth away daily grime, while gently polishing oatmeal buffs away dead skin cells and encourages cell renewal; the result is a supple complexion that practically glows. I do find that this tends to leave a touch of residue behind, so just make sure you follow with a toner to remove any excess before applying your night cream.

3. MeruMaya: Melting Cleansing Balm (£15.50) 
This is a great starting point for anyone looking to up their cleanser game, thanks to the easy-to-use formula and effective results. MeruMaya are known for their incredible formulas and affordable price points, and their Cleansing Balm is a perfect example of that; the formula contains sweet almond and echium seed oil for a nourishing result that simultaneously removes that day’s build-up. When you mix the balm with a little water it instantly turns to a milk, allowing you to massage the formula into every area of the face.

4. HerbFarmacy: Exfoliating Cleanser (£17.50) 
Made by hand using organic ingredients grown on the HerbFarmacy Farm in rural Wales, this beautiful cleanser features soothing marshmallow and apricot kernel oil to leave skin feeling thoroughly cleansed and hydrated. It also contains jojoba beads and white clay to gently exfoliate and lift away any dead skin from the surface, providing a thorough experience that’s perfect for daily use. The exfoliating beads are incredibly gentle, leaving skin feeling clean not stripped.

5. Trilogy: Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm (£19.50) 
Enriched with mango butter and coconut oil, this cleanser effortlessly lifts away impurities to leave your skin feeling fresh, clean and supple. The rich balm melts upon contact with warm skin, easily dissolving even the most stubborn of makeup; many other balms are great at removing the initial layer, but struggle with mascara – Trilogy have created something that rids you of everything in a jiffy. This could possibly be my new favourite.

Have you tried any of my five current favourites? Do you have any other cleansers you can’t live without? 

All the products featured are available online and in stores now.

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. TT
    October 28, 2015 / 11:59 am

    These are all quite expensive – could you recommend some cheaper products perhaps?

    • Hayley Carr
      October 28, 2015 / 12:43 pm

      They're not expensive if you think about how much use you get out of them – they're all £20 or under, which will provide you at least 6-8 weeks worth of use. You get what you pay for and I would never just recommend something based on price.

    • TT
      October 29, 2015 / 4:22 pm

      I think that there are quite a lot of people who are not able to spend £20 on a cleanser. I just wondered if there were any less expensive products which you would recommend, like the Body Shop's chamomile range, mentioned in another comment

    • Hayley Carr
      October 30, 2015 / 8:50 am

      The chamomile range is ok, but most cleansers worth buying will be in the £15-20 range because they're effective and contain beneficial ingredients. I'll never base a recommendation on price and will only recommend products that are great; unfortunately most cheaper alternatives are not up to scratch.

  2. Yujung Kim
    October 28, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    They all sound so amazing!!! I really love cleansing balm Xx

  3. The Bookish Reader
    October 28, 2015 / 12:50 pm

    I love Merumaya products, they smell amazing. My current favourites are Body Shop camomile cleansing oil (£11) (or the butter version for travelling), REN clarifying clay cleanser (£19) and Oskia renaissance cleansing gel (£28). All well worth the money, my skin has never looked better.

  4. Keen On Beauty
    October 28, 2015 / 12:59 pm

    I've been mostly using cleansing milk to remove my makeup. But this winter I'd like to try a balm or cleansing oil. I thought to get Clinique Take the Day Off Balm, as I've heard a lot of good things about it. But your recommendations sound so good, I'll check out these products too! Thanks for sharing :)"A leave-on exfoliator I swear by" //

  5. Pam Scalfi
    October 28, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    not tried any of these, but trilogy sounds like the one I would enjoy using the most.Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  6. Ciara Rose
    October 28, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    These are some great products! My favourite cleanser is the Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm. Although it is pricey, I feel that it is so worth it and the benefits for my skin are never ending! I need to try out that Caudalie cleansing oil and I'm also a big fan of Trilogy skin care. I often use their rose hip oil as I find it great for diminishing the look of scars and blemishes! Great post and thank you for the recommendations, very helpful xxCiara Rose | AllureImpassionedGoddess

  7. Style De Vivre
    October 28, 2015 / 3:36 pm

    I can personally vouch for Caudalie! I have very sensitive and dry skin, and their products have always worked well for me. I tried their cleansing oil a couple of weeks ago and I fell in love with it… Great selection!

  8. Glam O'Clock
    October 28, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    I also have the Trilogy balm and it works well but I sometime struggle to scoop the right amount. It smells so good though! XxAlly |

  9. Rachael McClenaghan
    October 29, 2015 / 11:02 am

    I have eyed up the Trilogy balm but I just find I use too much of balms . I'm scoop happy! Rachael x | N o v e m b e r S t o r m s | | I n s t a g r a m |

  10. Cheryl Wooodman
    October 30, 2015 / 8:39 am

    I LOVE cleansing balms! I am actually launching my own next month :). Love that Balance me use oats in theirs too, oats have so much good for skin, they work instantly which is why they are also good in a cleanser, that you dont leave on for too long. Especially good for balancing skin, as they get your skin pH back to normal! Horray :)

  11. Anonymous
    November 3, 2015 / 10:06 am

    What would you recommend for oily skin Hailey?

    • Hayley Carr
      November 3, 2015 / 6:14 pm

      Oils are actually great for oily skin – oil attracts oil and that – plus, some will 'trick' your skin into thinking it's producing enough oil so may actually reduce it. But tbh cleansers tend to be universal; as long as you're not using a stripping foaming wash and you have dry skin, you should be good.

  12. Becky Smith
    November 4, 2015 / 12:10 am

    I haven't tried many cleansing balms but my favourite is definitely the Balance me one. I don't have any at the moment but have been through several tubes of that stuff x Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

  13. Lucy Stanistreet
    November 8, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    I love the Merumaya cleansing balm… That and Ole Hendriksen are my faves! Definitely need to try the Caudalie one 🙂

  14. Anne Roy
    November 9, 2015 / 11:55 am

    I have been using White Rabbit Lime and Coconut water which effectively gets the slap off … also smells divine … I also use their Comfort Cleaning Balm …

Leave a Reply


Looking for Something?