Are These The Best Drugstore Cleansing Balms From Just $6?

Cleansing balms have become an increasingly popular choice in skincare routines worldwide, and for good reason. These luxurious balms offer an effective and gentle way to remove makeup, dirt, and impurities from the skin, leaving it feeling clean, hydrated, and nourished.

Like other skincare products, the world of cleansing balms offers a variety of options with unique qualities. To help you find the perfect fit, I took it upon myself to thoroughly test numerous popular formulas. Through careful evaluation of consistency, oiliness, hydration, cleansing prowess, and appearance, I have curated a list of the best drugstore cleansing balms.

So read on to find everything about the best drugstore cleansing balms, including ingredients, benefits, application, and my personal experience and results.

What is a Drugstore Cleansing Balm?

A drugstore cleansing balm is a type of facial cleanser that uses oils and emollients to effectively remove dirt, makeup, and buildup from the day without the need for harsh scrubbing. These balms cleanse your skin without stripping its natural oils and damaging the skin barrier, making them an excellent choice for those looking for gentle yet effective cleansing options.

Cleansing balms are typically solid or semi-solid, and they melt into a smooth oil upon application to the skin. This allows them to easily dissolve makeup, sunscreen, and other impurities while maintaining your skin’s hydration levels. The balm-to-oil formula is especially useful for breaking down hard-to-remove makeup, such as waterproof mascara and long-wearing liners.

The best drugstore cleansing balms are known for their affordability and accessibility, as they can be easily found in local drugstores and supermarkets. They often cater to different skin types, such as:

  • Sensitive skin: These cleansing balms are formulated with gentle ingredients designed to minimize irritation and inflammation. For example, The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm is suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Dry skin: Cleansing balms for dry skin often include hydrating ingredients to retain moisture and nourish the skin. The Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm is an example of a product designed for dry skin types.
  • Oily skin: Products for oily skin, such as the Clean It Zero Pore Clarifying Cleansing Balm, often focus on deep-cleaning and removing excess oil without over-stripping the skin.

In summary, best drugstore cleansing balms are affordable, accessible, and effective skincare options for those looking to gently cleanse their skin without stripping its natural oils.

Benefits of Cleansing Balms

Cleansing balms offer a unique and effective way to cleanse the skin. They come packed with numerous benefits that cater to different skin types and concerns. Let’s dive into some of the key advantages of incorporating the best drugstore cleansing balms into your skincare routine.

Gentle Cleansing:
One primary benefit of cleansing balms is their gentle cleansing action. The balmy texture and nourishing ingredients work together to remove impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils. This makes them an excellent choice for people with sensitive or easily irritated skin, as they won’t cause any tightness or discomfort.

Cleansing balms are known for their hydrating properties. They usually contain a blend of nourishing oils, like this balm, which help to maintain the skin’s moisture levels while washing away dirt and grime. This makes them a perfect option for individuals with dry or dehydrated skin, as the balms help to lock in moisture during the cleansing process.

Makeup Removal:
Another benefit of cleansing balms is their ability to dissolve makeup effectively. The oil-based formulas are designed to break down even the most stubborn cosmetic products, such as waterproof mascara and long-wearing foundation. For instance, Neutrogena Makeup Remover Melting Balm, effortlessly removes makeup without leaving a greasy residue behind.

In summary, cleansing balms are a versatile and beneficial addition to any skincare routine, offering gentle cleansing, hydration, and makeup removal for all skin types. While there are many options out there, it’s essential to find the best drugstore cleansing balms suited to your specific skincare needs.

Key Ingredients in Cleansing Balms

Cleansing balms are a popular choice for removing makeup and impurities from the skin. They usually contain a mixture of oil and emollients that help break down stubborn makeup and dirt. Some key ingredients found in many best drugstore cleansing balms are Vitamin E, Japanese pearl barley, orange peel oil, and emollients.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from environmental damage, like pollution and UV radiation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe irritated skin. This makes Vitamin E an essential ingredient in many skincare products, including cleansing balms.

Japanese pearl barley is known for its impressive skincare benefits. It contains a rich blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide nourishment and hydration to the skin. Its presence in cleansing balms helps to keep the skin soft and moisturized while effectively removing makeup and impurities.

Orange peel oil serves as a natural source of Vitamin C, promoting a brighter and more radiant complexion. This essential oil also possesses antibacterial properties, which can help remove excess dirt, oil, and bacteria from the skin. Additionally, orange peel oil adds a refreshing and invigorating scent to any cleansing balm.

Emollients are essential in creating the silky, luxurious texture of cleansing balms. These ingredients help to hydrate and soften the skin by forming a protective barrier that locks in moisture. Common emollients include shea butter, cocoa butter, and plant oils such as coconut oil, sunflower oil, and jojoba oil.

In conclusion, these key ingredients work together to provide an effective and nourishing cleansing experience. Drugstore cleansing balms can be an affordable and gentle option for skincare enthusiasts looking to maintain healthy, vibrant skin.

Best Drugstore Cleansing Balms

In this section, I will share a detailed review of the best drugstore cleansing balms:

Heimish All Clean Balm

The Heimish All Clean Balm has become a beloved staple in my skincare routine. This cleansing balm truly lives up to its name, effortlessly removing all traces of makeup and impurities from my skin.
The standout feature of this product is its impressive ingredient list.

It contains natural oils like shea butter and coconut extract, effectively dissolving stubborn waterproof makeup without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. Additionally, it includes botanical extracts such as lavender and rosemary, which provide soothing benefits.

I particularly appreciate that this cleansing balm is suitable for everyone, including sensitive skin. It doesn’t cause irritation or breakouts, which is a huge plus.

JUNO & Co. Clean 10 Cleansing Balm

The JUNO & Co. Clean 10 Cleansing Balm is one of the best drugstore cleansing balms for its luxurious cleansing experience. What sets this cleansing balm apart is its 10-ingredient formula. When I apply it to my skin, it effortlessly glides and melts away makeup and impurities, leaving my skin feeling thoroughly cleansed.

Enriched with ingredients like apricot kernel oil and rosehip oil, it cleanses and provides hydration to my skin. I appreciate that it doesn’t strip away my skin’s natural oils, leaving it soft and supple after each use.

Emulsifying this balm with water is a breeze, as it quickly transforms into a milky consistency that rinses off easily. No greasy or sticky residue is left behind, which is a huge plus. The only downside is the added fragrance.


Neutrogena Makeup Remover Melting Balm

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Melting Balm is a staple in my skincare routine when removing makeup and impurities effectively. What I particularly appreciate about this product is its transformative texture. The balm starts as a solid but quickly melts into a oil upon contact with the skin.

One of the standout features of the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Melting Balm is how easily it rinses off with water. It emulsifies beautifully, transforming into a milky consistency that effortlessly washes away, leaving my skin refreshed. I also appreciate that it doesn’t leave any greasy or oily residue, a common concern with some cleansing balms.

However, it could have done a better job clearing my waterproof eyeliner and mascara.

Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser

Pond’s Cold Cream Cleansing Balm has become a trusted staple in my skincare routine for its gentle and effective makeup removal. The balm has a soft wax-like texture that feels incredibly nourishing on the skin. As I massage it onto my face, it effortlessly melts away makeup, including stubborn waterproof products, without any harsh rubbing or irritation.

It contains ingredients like mineral oil and beeswax that help to lock in moisture and protect the skin’s natural barrier. After rinsing off the balm, my skin feels supple and refreshed, without any dryness or tightness.

Note that this cleansing balm has mineral oil, which personally doesn’t bother me but could be a concern for some. Additionally, there is a light fragrance in the product that may affect those who are sensitive to scents. However, considering its effectiveness and affordability, this drugstore cleansing balm is a solid option for your skincare routine.

E.l.f. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting

When it comes to the e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm has become a go-to choice for many due to its impressive performance and hydrating properties. Its solid consistency transforms into a silky oil upon application, effortlessly melting away makeup, dirt, oil, and other impurities.

Once you add water, it emulsifies into a milky texture, making it easy to rinse off without leaving any residue behind. Infused with nourishing ingredients like squalane and rosehip seed oil, it cleanses and helps replenish and moisturize the skin.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm is affordable, offering impressive performance at a wallet-friendly price.

I don’t particularly appreciate that it comes in a compact 2 oz jar, which may not last as long as other drugstore cleansing balms. It does have a subtle fragrance, so individuals sensitive to scents should keep that in mind.


Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm

Formulated with nourishing ingredients like sea buckthorn, camellia, and shea butter, the Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm effectively dissolves makeup, dirt, sunscreen, environmental pollutants, and other impurities.

This fragrance-free cleansing balm is gentle on the skin, ensuring a soothing experience while leaving my skin feeling soft without any dryness or stripped sensation. I noticed that this cleansing balm effortlessly removes even waterproof mascara and makeup, and there’s no need to worry about any strange film being left behind.

For individuals with sensitive skin, the Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm is a fantastic option, as there are limited choices for unscented cleansing balms. Its formula prioritizes gentleness, making it a reliable choice for those with easily irritated skin.


Palmer’s Coconut Monoi Cleansing Balm

Palmer’s Coconut Monoi Cleansing Balm offers a delightful combination of coconut, monoi, and sweet almond oils to remove dirt and makeup effectively. Enriched with shea butter, cocoa butter, and vitamin E, this cleansing balm eliminates impurities and keeps the skin hydrated throughout the process.

Thanks to its coconut oil-based formula, even stubborn eye makeup is effortlessly wiped away. While including various natural ingredients is impressive, I noted that added fragrance pleasantly combines floral monoi and coconut oil scents.

Considering its size of 2.25 oz, if you use Palmer’s Coconut Monoi Cleansing Balm frequently, it will finish quickly. However, the affordable price point compensates for this, making it one of the most budget-friendly best drugstore cleansing balms available.

Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm

The CeraVe Cleansing Balm is a fantastic option for those concerned about pore-clogging ingredients that come with cleansing balms. Its non-comedogenic formulation sets it apart, ensuring that it won’t clog pores or exacerbate acne-prone skin.

It is free from soap and fragrance, making it ideal for sensitive skin. Additionally, it is allergy-tested, alcohol-free, and devoid of parabens, eliminating common irritants that can cause skin reactions.
If you have dry skin, you’ll be pleased to know that the CeraVe Cleansing Balm contains nourishing jojoba oil to help retain moisture and ceramides that strengthen the skin barrier.

While there are numerous positives, it’s important to note that the jar size is small, with only 1.3 oz of product. While the directions suggest using a pearl-sized amount, I have found that a slightly larger quantity is necessary for thorough makeup removal. Despite this minor drawback, the CeraVe cleansing balm remains reliable for gentle and effective cleansing.


Best High-End Drugstore Cleansing Balms

In this section, I will discuss some popular high-end alternatives to best drugstore cleansing balms. These products offer more luxurious experiences and may provide additional benefits.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

The Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is a fan favorite that melts away makeup, pollutants, and daily grime to reveal soft, radiant skin. Its key ingredients include elderberry oil, starflower oil, and padina pavonica, which work together to nourish the skin while cleansing.

Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Balm

Clinique’s Take the Day off Cleansing Balm is another popular option in the high-end cleansing balm category. This lightweight, non-greasy balm quickly dissolves makeup and sunscreen, leaving the skin clean and comfortable.


Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm

Glow Recipe’s Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm combines fruit enzymes with nourishing oils to gently exfoliate and cleanse the skin, providing a unique and refreshing experience.

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

Then I Met You’s Living Cleansing Balm is known for its nourishing formula that combines antioxidant-rich seaberry oil and olive oil to promote a soft and moisturized complexion.

Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm

Naturopathica’s Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm boasts an ingredient list featuring manuka honey, which is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it perfect for sensitive skin types.


Augustinus Bader The Cleansing Balm

Last but not least, Augustinus Bader’s The Cleansing Balm uses their signature TFC8 complex to promote skin health and improve the skin’s overall appearance while providing a thorough cleanse.

How to Use a Cleansing Balm?

Cleansing balms are a popular choice in skincare routines as they effectively remove makeup, dirt, and oiliness from the skin while keeping it nourished and hydrated. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a cleansing balm:

  1. Start with dry skin: Cleansing balms work best on dry skin since the oils in the balm need to interact with the oils on your face and makeup. Avoid washing your face or wetting it before applying the balm.
  2. Scoop out a small amount: Use a small spatula or clean fingertips to scoop a pea-sized amount of cleansing balm from the container. Remember, a little goes a long way.
  3. Warm up the balm: Rub the balm between your fingers to warm it up and soften its texture. This will help it spread more evenly onto your skin.
  4. Massage onto your face: Gently massage the cleansing balm onto your face using circular motions. Focus on areas where you have makeup, oiliness, or dirt. Spend at least 30 seconds massaging the balm to ensure that it effectively breaks down all impurities.
  5. Add water: Wet your fingertips and then continue massaging the balm onto your face. The balm will transform into a milky consistency, making it easier to rinse off.
  6. Rinse thoroughly: Rinse your face with lukewarm water until all traces of the cleansing balm are gone. You might need to rinse a few times to ensure that there’s no residue left on your face.
  7. Pat dry: Use a clean towel to pat your face dry gently. Avoid rubbing your skin to minimize irritation.
  8. Follow up with the rest of your skincare routine: After using a cleansing balm, you can continue with your regular skincare routine, like applying a face wash, toner, or moisturizer, depending on your skin needs.

The best drugstore cleansing balms are an excellent addition to your skincare routine, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. They effectively remove oiliness and impurities without stripping your skin of essential moisture, leaving your face feeling clean, refreshed, and nourished.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cleansing Balm

When selecting a drugstore cleansing balm for your skincare routine, it’s essential to consider several factors that suit your individual needs. In this section, we’ll be discussing some important factors like formulas, consistency, appearance, cleansing ability, and finding affordable options.


Cleansing balms are available in various formulas, often catering to different skin types and concerns. Look for a formula with ingredients that match your skin type – whether you have sensitive, dry, oily, or combination skin. For instance, if you have sensitive skin, opt for a cleansing balm with soothing ingredients like chamomile or calendula.


Cleansing balms come in different consistencies, ranging from solid to semi-solid balms and rich, oily textures. The consistency you choose should depend on your personal preference and the needs of your skin. A balm with a solid consistency might work best for dry skin, while a more oily texture could be suitable for removing heavy makeup.


While the appearance of a cleansing balm might not impact its effectiveness, it can contribute to a more enjoyable skincare experience. Look for balms with a pleasant texture and color, this can make your daily cleansing routine more enjoyable and might even encourage you to stick to your skincare regimen.

Cleansing Ability

The primary purpose of a cleansing balm is to effectively remove makeup, dirt, and impurities from the skin. Ensure the balm you choose has a good cleansing ability and can easily break down makeup, even waterproof or heavy cosmetics. When choosing a product, be sure to research its performance as a cleanser and whether it leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed.

Affordable Option

Since you’re looking for best drugstore cleansing balms, it’s essential to find an affordable option that meets your budget without compromising on quality. Remember to compare prices between various drugstore brands and read reviews to understand the effectiveness of the cleansing balm. This way, you’ll find a product that delivers both affordability and quality.

By considering these factors, you’ll ensure that your chosen drugstore cleansing balm is tailored to your needs, leaving your skin healthy, clean, and rejuvenated.


And there you have it, an introduction to the remarkable selection of best drugstore cleansing balms now available in US drugstores. With the rising popularity of the double cleanse method for makeup removal and skin cleansing, we can expect to see even more cleansing balms gracing the shelves of mass retailers shortly.

As for the new cleansing balms I’ve enjoyed trying, most of them have impressed me. However, the Heimish All Clean Balm Cleansing Balm is still the no.1 for me.

If you have any personal favorites among the best drugstore cleansing balms I should try, I’d love to hear from you. Please give your suggestions in the comments section below.

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