I love double-cleansing. Not necessarily the process itself. Not when I’m drunk late at night, or just simply knackered after a long day. I take so long! But obviously I love the results of double-cleansing, that deep-clean feeling without feeling dry and tight. The certainty of having removed really every last bit of make up and/or sunscreen or whatever has rested on my face.
But of course, efficacy is all down to the right products. And while I’ve delved into my second step cleanser at length already here, now it’s time to talk about my favorite first step cleanser of the moment, The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter.
What it is
A wax-based, fragranced cleansing balm for removing make up, sunscreen, sweat, sebum and other impurities. Conveniently, The Body Shop has put up its ingredients along with explanations on what does what:
Ethylhexyl Palmitate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Synthetic Wax (Binder/Emollient), PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (Emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Skin Conditioning Agent – Emollient), Caprylyl Glycol (Skin Conditioning Agent), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Aqua/Water (Solvent/Diluent), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (Emollient), Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract (Natural Additive), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster).
The texture is not dissimilar to hardened coconut oil, and sort of cracks under pressure. But it melts easily and quickly making it no different than any other cleansing balms I know of.
Who is it for?
My skin is normal, M’s skin is oily, acne-prone. And we both have had no problems with this balm whatsoever.
Although, and acne-prone should take note, ethylhexyl palmitate, a palm oil derivative which this cleansing balm is based on, is highly comedogenic. In fact, it has a comedogenic rating of 4 from possible 5, which means it is likely to cause or aggravate acne.
However, I find this has not come to pass neither for me nor M in the whole seven months I have been using the Butter. Probably because the balm emulsifies upon contact with water, and because we always follow up with a second water-based cleanser afterwards.
Judging from the ingredients, I think dry skin types will handle this one well as well. Only sensitive skin probably should heed additional caution because it does contain no small amounts of fragrance. Normally, this would be a red flag for me too. But since I use the balm strictly for double-cleansing I know the fragrance will get rinsed away right after. Fragrance is more of a problem if it remains on the skin.
When and how to use
I don’t usually wear make up, and not any of the hard to remove kind anyway. But I wear sunscreen, and sunscreen is no easy feat to take off either – although you can’t always see it with the naked eye. So whenever I’ve used make up and/or sunscreen during the day, The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter is a must for me come evening. Otherwise, I just use a foam cleanser for cleansing.
So for double-cleansing, I take a almond-sized amount of the Butter, rub it in between my dry palms to warm it up, then gently massage my dry face with it. I actually massage it for quite a bit and really work it in using circular, out- and upwards motions. I pay special attention the side of my nose wings or in my brows. And while massaging my nose, I will also apply a little pressure in order to drive out sebaceous filaments inside. Afterwards, I rinse the Butter off completely with lukewarm water – never hot! Then I immediately follow up with a mild and gentle foam cleanser.
The thing I like the most about the Butter is of course how well it works. It really melts down sebum, sweat or other dirt effectively and thoroughly. I find it also helps to loosen the sebum plugs on my nose and makes them come out more easily under systematic pressure.
Apart from that, massaging my face with the balm for at least a minute also makes my skin a lot softer and smooth afterwards. And I’ve hinted at this before, mistaking it for the effect from the Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Foam Cleanser. But no, my apologies, it was this cleansing balm all along.
And this quality I especially love about the Butter. Because softening my skin does improve its overall quality, not only where texture is concerned. Even M noticed after using the balm for the first time. He now double-cleanses regularly to clear out his pores and soften his skin as well. It re-sets his skin to absorb skin care better and minimize acne outbreaks. He’s been quite happy with it like me, and it’s the one indulgence he took up all by himself.
The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter is a very neat little product I will be repurchasing over and over. In fact, I already did several times. Bonus points for being a little cheaper than my former fave, the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. But I love it in its own right really, regardless of price or anything. Yes, for now, I don’t plan to switch back.
How has your experience with cleansing balm been, good or bad? Any experience with the The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter in particular? Share in the comments below!