January 23, 2018

Sephora Cleansing Oil-in-Balm Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

Sephora Cleansing Oil-in-Balm is new cleansing balm that promises to transform into an oil upon contact with skin to remove makeup easily. This isn’t any great innovation by any means as you’ve likely tried plenty of cleansing balms already from a variety of different brands both mid-range and budget friendly with popular picks from Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm to Korean’s cult favorite Banila Co Clean It Zero.

I actually don’t really need a new cleansing balm since I found two holy grail cleansing balms that I really love and use daily in my routine those being the Nooni Snowflake Jelly Cleansing Oil and Farmacy Beauty Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm. Both are great at removing my makeup, don’t strip my skin, and wash clean away.

However, like any good skincare junkie when something new pops up I have to try it to make sure that I’m not missing out on something awesome thus that lead to my purchase of Sephora Cleansing Oil-in-Balm.

If you’re looking for an balm-to-oil formula I highly, highly recommend trying Nooni Snowflake Jelly Cleansing Oil because Sephora doesn’t get the consistency, formula, or texture right at all. This is a mess of a product with absolutely little thought put into the formula and merely something that churned out to play catch up with other brands who have successfully brought the concept of cleansing balms to the US market. Not to mention the entire Nooni line is on sale at the moment at Ulta for Buy 1, Get 1 50% off.

Sephora has been know to surprise and delight with their collection but they do produce some major misses and this Cleansing Oil-in-Balm is one in my opinion.

One of the first things to address is the fact that this contains coconut oil. Coconut oil is a fantastically hydrating oil but some skin types are averse to it and it can catch itchiness. I think it deserves mentioning should this be an issue for anyone. It does have a light coconut fragrance which I found pleasant.

Now, where they go wrong with the formula is the fact the use a floral wax base combined with castor oil which creates a dense less than balmy consistency. This formula reminded me a lot of what I experienced from NYX Stripped Off Cleansing Balm and Equate Wipe the Day Away Cleansing Balm both of which proved irritatingly hard to remove. The point of a cleansing balm is that it melts upon contact with skin and emulsifies upon contact with water. Sephora’s formula is dense and hard from the get go. You have to really massage this in to break it down. Needless to say it does not transform into an oil and isn’t even really all that balmy at all. I felt like I was rubbing a waxy ball of Chapstick into my skin. The good news? Once I actually rubbed it in it did emulsify easily enough with water but it left behind a good deal of makeup as I followed up with micellar water after my cleanse and my facial cotton had makeup residue on it. It does rinse clean away, doesn’t leave behind a film of any kind, and it didn’t strip or dry my skin out.

I’m not really sure what it is that went wrong with this formula but it’s just too dense and difficult to use as is. It could be a combination of the oils and waxes used that give it such a terrible consistency but all in all this was a horrible fail for me. I would recommend skipping it as there are far better options available in the cleansing balm world. The US has finally caught on to this Korean trend and there’s no shortage of options available of it from a variety of brands including from E.L.F. Cosmetics!

Sephora Cleansing Oil-in-Balm is available at sephora.com.

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • kimkats

    Well, poop. I was hoping that sephora would have another home run on their hands with this, but it sounds like a massive fail. Sorry you spent your hard earned sheckels on it Muse, but I appreciate you saving me mine!

    But now I’mma have to investigate the snowflake jelly cleansing oil stuff… the Ulta website says even my lil ulta has it!! AND I got the 20% off coupon, soooooo……………….

    • Isabella Muse

      aw it’s ok! ;-D at least someone saves $$ from NOT buying it. Awesome! I hope you like it!

  • kjh

    You turned me on to the Nooni, for which I will be eternally grateful. Since thus far it’s as good as it gets, not sure I need to look further. But, that’s what we do, eh? Thanks for a warn off.

    • Isabella Muse

      me either. I found two cleansing balms I love and really shouldn’t bother! But you know, beauty junkie, we just keep looking for that next best thing 😀

  • Mary Kay

    My HG cleansing balm is Elemis. I adore the scent which is particularly enticing in creating a nighttime routine. I may try the Nooni because Elemis is pricey but I totally adore it. I did not care for the Farmacy.

    • Isabella Muse

      Elemis makes a very nice cleansing balm! I can’t blame you loving it 😀