Yes to Cucumbers Exfoliating Cleaning Balm ($10.99) is a new exfoliating cleansing balm that the brand launched for the Spring 2018 which acts to not only cleanse skin but also to gentle exfoliate it as it removes makeup.
As you know, Yes To introduced two new cleansing balms for Spring 2018 one of which I already reviewed was the Yes to Coconut Coconut Oil Cleansing Balm. I’ve always been a rather big fan of cleansing oils or balms and I’m happy to see how readily available they have become in the US market as a majority of my favorites are from Korea.
Yes to Cucumbers Exfoliating Cleaning Balm is a rather unique offering since it acts as a cleanser and a exfoliate which I haven’t personally seen in the cleansing balm world but hey, if St. Ives can give us Facial Oil Scrub why not a exfoliating cleansing balm too?
I have to admit I like the idea of this more in theory than actual use. I mean, what’s not to like right? Think about it. It cuts your cleansing and exfoliating in half since it acts to do both at once. However, it doesn’t quite work out that way for me.
The product arrives in a chubby squat jar with a rubber scublet tool to gently work it into your skin and also, in its own right, the tool actually smooths and exfoliates as it works the balm into your skin. Unlike traditional cleansing balms you can use it on dry or wet skin. Although I think you get better scrubbing action on dry skin since adding water emulsifies the balm a little quicker as you move the tool around your face. If you never used a cleansing balm that’s actually how it works. You apply it to your dry skin, work it in, and add a little water to emulsify it. It’ll go milky and at this point you can rinse it clean away. Although, in my experience with the Yes to Coconut Coconut Oil Cleansing Balm formula it doesn’t exactly go milk but it does thin out and breaks down easily once water is added and does rinse clean away. However, the Yes to Cucumbers Exfoliating Cleaning Balm seemed to act a little different. It does break down but seems to leave behind a bit of a film as water beaded off my face a bit during the rinsing process. It didn’t leave me tacky, sticky, or greasy after I patted my face with a towel. It didn’t leave me feeling tight and my face felt lightly hydrated after.
The formula is a traditional soft balm which has tiny little beads in the mix. Yes, I cringed. I do not like anything with beads. Not shower gels, not hand soap, definitely not facial cleansers. I visited their website and I am unsure if these are biodegradable since they didn’t melt down as I scrubbed. I also found them difficult to rinse off and I had a few little tiny green dots on my face after I rinsed. Oddly enough, there is some graininess to this formula which might offer some exfoliation but I need something a little grittier for my drier skin. None the less it still left me fairly smooth if not completely de-flaked.
Sadly, the beads are one of the reasons this fails at being a hybrid formula. Really though, even if they used sugar or something else as part of the scrub it would still fail as a cleanser since you wouldn’t be able to use it around your eye area. Not to mention I was worried and concerned during the rinsing I’d somehow get one of the beads in my eyes.
I have to admit the smell on this is awful. I find it ironic this is for sensitive skin as the fragrance will likely be an issue with sensitive users. I’ve expressed how much I disliked it in prior Yes to Cucumber reviews. It’s a really synthetic cucumber scent that gives my a headache and makes me feel nauseated. It’s quite strong.
The scent and the exfoliating beads were a deal breaker for me. I think I like the idea of Yes to Cucumbers Exfoliating Cleaning Balm a lot more than I like the way it works. It’s impossible to fully cleanse makeup off your face as well as exfoliate with just one product in my opinion especially if you’re one that uses cleanser around your eyes like me. I’m stick with the Yes to Coconut Coconut Oil Cleansing Balm instead.