Let's get one thing straight: cleansing balms can be brilliant for all skin types, if you know how to use them. For so long, the typically oil-based ingredients list has put off those with combination or oily skin - which is understandable, because adding more grease to your face does seem a bit counterproductive. Consequently, those who don't have dry skin have often looked enviously at the nourishing, calming balms on offer, then gone back to stripping their skin of all the natural oils. Meanwhile, even those with the “correct” skin type often reach for lathering formulas on the assumption that they cleanse more effectively. Thankfully, neither of these myths are entirely true: you'll need to adjust how you use the balm depending on your skin type, but cleansing balms can be used by all - and with the winter weather wreaking havoc on our skin, there's no better time to discover how much your skin craves one.
So, what are the advantages of a cleansing balm? Firstly, they're oil based, which makes them perfect as a first cleanse in your double cleansing routine. Our Gentle Cleansing Melt utilises the gentle, non-comedogenic baobab oil, which contains high doses of both protein and vitamin A. Oils are fantastic at breaking down stubborn layers of makeup, and prep skin nicely for the second cleanse, which is designed to do a deep clean of the skin without having to deal with a layer of external pollutants.
If your skin is on the oilier side, follow this first cleanse up with a water-based cleanser, to remove any residue of the first cleanser and balance oil production. We love our Daily Detox Facial Wash for this: it contains moringa peptides, which regulate sebum production as well as being both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, meaning breakouts are kept to a minimum. They also protect the skin from microparticles of pollution, like car fumes and cigarette smoke, by preventing them from sticking to the skin - a must in any modern city!
However, if you’re concerned about dryness anyway, feel free to continue your second cleanse with the same, oil-based cleanser you used in the first one. The baobab oil used in our Gentle Cleansing Melt isn’t just good for removing makeup, and brings us to our second reason for using a cleansing balm: they nourish skin, rather than stripping it of natural oils. The vitamin A in the product protects skin from UV damage, which keeps sun-induced ageing to a minimum. Perhaps more interestingly for those with already-parched skin, it also stimulates fibroblasts, which are cells deep within your skin that produce collagen. This collagen strengthens skin, meaning moisture is retained more effectively, and wounds are able to heal more quickly.
This also works with another of vitamin A’s benefits: it protects skin against infection. The antioxidants naturally found in baobab oil protect the skin the damage caused by free radicals from oxidative stress. You can have too many free radicals in your body due to a combination of pollution, stress, UV damage, and diet, but antioxidants help to rebalance them and prevent harm. And it’s not just the baobab working to protect your skin: the vanilla, as well as adding a delicious, soothing scent to the balm, also contains antioxidants. Combined, these properties mean healthier skin with fewer breakouts, wrinkles, and sun spots - a winning formula, if you ask us!
Due to its thicker, balmy formula, the Gentle Cleansing Melt needs some working into dry skin - but this works to its advantage. Massaging the face has myriad benefits: firstly, it stimulates the natural production of collagen in your skin - so, combined with the high dose of vitamin A in our Gentle Cleansing Melt, you’ll have bouncy, plump skin in no time! It also increases circulation and boosts blood production. Lack of circulation, whether caused by sleep, air pollutants, or a less-than-ideal diet, can lead to skin looking pale, dull, and puffy. Luckily, a quick massage stimulates the face’s lymphatic system, meaning freshly oxygenated blood and the nutrients it carries can flow more easily around the skin, which leaves you with a rosy glow!
Interestingly, massage also has acne-fighting benefits: we’re often told not to touch our faces for fear of transferring oil, bacteria, and dirt to our skin, but massaging in a gentle cleanser with clean hands can be really beneficial. The increased blood flow from massaging the skin means skin can heal more easily, and also stimulates lymph nodes beneath the skin, which kick starts the lymphatic system and pushes toxins out. Fewer irritants plus quicker healing means fewer breakouts all round, further proving that balms can be great for oilier skin types!
Having massaged the balm into your skin, simply add water to transform it into a silky, creamy milk that carries away surface pollutants and makeup as it goes. It’s not just physical benefits you get from massaging a gentle balm into your face, though. At Evolve, we’re big believers in the idea of taking some time out of the day for yourself: this could involve catching up on your favourite show, doing ten minutes of yoga, or - our choice - indulging in a bit of slow beauty. Taking the time to appreciate how the product feels on your skin, and inhaling the delicious smell whilst giving yourself a facial mini-massage can be hugely beneficial for your stress levels. High stress levels can lead to all sorts of problems, including increased cortisol levels, which lead to dull skin amongst many other health problems; and tense muscles, which can cause both wrinkles and subtle aches. Trust us - you’ll be surprised at how much a couple of minutes of massage improves your mood! You’ll be left with skin that looks and feels rejuvenated, plump, and cleansed, and your mood is uplifted, making you ready either for a peaceful night’s sleep, or to face the day ahead.