May 2, 2019

Not Everyone is Going to Like Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
3 stars out of 5

It’s time for my Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser review! Excited? Don’t be! Because not everyone is actually going to like the Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser formula! Oh my god! Panic! Mass hysteria!

First off, Drunk Elephant has a stellar reputation so anything they do is by default gets labeled as brilliant and awesome and innovative before anyone even tries it! Secondly, I think people are obsessed with cleansing balms at the moment and if you’re a Drunk Elephant fan it’ll bring you a good deal of joy that you can appease your need for more cleansing balm choices especially ones that are available from a potential favorite brand.

According to the brand’s creator this wasn’t an easy formula to master. That could be because it lacks certain fillers, fragrances, etc that other cleansing balms have. There are no essential oils here, no silicone, no mineral oil…it’s a clean formula created with a host of different moisturizing oils (this is a potential downfall for this formula which I’ll explain more in a moment).

Korean and Japanese skincare and beauty has infiltrated our shores in the last five years and I couldn’t be happier about that. As a long time K and J-Beauty lover it’s so nice to see brands I love from Asia being so readily available at stores here in the US. But most important of all many skincare trends in Asia have influenced our market quite heavily cleansing balms being one of those trends.

Everyone has a cleansing balm available today! From Clinique’s cult favorite Take the Day Away Balm to Pond’s newest Cleansing Balm there’s something for everyone in the cleansing balm world.

Now, cleansing balms are no longer innovative nor unique to the US market. They have become fairly standard at drugstores as well as from mid to high-end brands. That makes Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser a little late to the party. However, what sets their formula apart is the fact it is formulated with a host of excellent ingredients but also, they include a tiny Bamboo Booster along with the larger cleansing balm! This Bamboo and charcoal powder acts to gently exfoliate skin and can be used twice a week mixed with the cleansing balm. Honestly, you’d probably get about a week maybe two weeks out of this really small sample (0.10 oz). I’m actually not going to talk much about it because I have a separate post and review for that add on. I do think maybe it’s a sneak peeks of sorts that perhaps Drunk Elephant will release in a larger size at a later time. Or at least I hope that’s the plan because otherwise, I think including this is utterly stupid at this size. If I can’t replenish it what’s the point!?

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser arrives in a 3.88 oz jar which is $34. It has a magnetic spoon/spatula that attached to the top of the jar just like Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer. I always lose my spatulas so I love the magnetic top! I just pop it on top, it sticks, and when I need it again I know where it is!

Price wise this is a little higher than one of the most popular cleansing balms on the market which is Clinique Take the Day Away Cleansing Balm that’s $29.50 and the same size. But is it is bigger and cheaper than Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm which is $34 and 3.2 oz. It’s also cheaper than It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm which is $38 and 2.82 oz. The price toes the line between being higher and mid-range however, it is a lot cheaper compared to many Drunk Elephant offerings which pleased me as I would have been upset had they priced it at $45-$50 range. For me, that’s just to high to pay for a cleanser you know?

They recommend this for all skin types but I personally think drier ones will like it best. It’s a solid balm formula which melts into an oil as you apply it on your dry face. Cleansing balms are no different from cleansing oils in the fact you apply them on dry skin, add a little water to emulsify, and rinse.

Drunk Elephant’s formula is created with a host of amazing fruit and seed oils. It’s literally jammed back with oils! I think that does make the formula melt faster but it may also hinder it. I can totally dig all the oils as I have drier skin and they feel great. I also like that the formula just melts down into this gorgeous creamy oiliness. Now here’s the bad news….this is difficult to wash off. It doesn’t quite emulsify and break down as easily as many cleansing balms do. They recommend rinsing with cool water and I’m all about lukewarm water myself as it doesn’t strip your skin. Hot water just doesn’t really agree with my drier skin so lukewarm to cold is great for me. However, sometimes some cleansers need a bit of hot water to rinse them completely away. This is one of those formulas that needs a bit of heat to get it to break down and melt away so you can rinse it away easily. Some reviews reported they needed a wash cloth to remove it all and yeah, that’s an option. I’m not going to lie this isn’t the easiest formula to rinse away. Some people reported that it didn’t remove waterproof mascara nor did it do well with sunscreen but I had no issues. It most definitely removed my makeup very easily. I had no makeup residue left behind! Although, difficult to rinse it away it did finally break down and it didn’t leave behind any oiliness nor any greasy feel or finish. It’s a very rich balm but it does at some point finally break down, rinse away, and leaves skin feeling quite soft. I do feel like a little goes a long way with this formula. I used a little over the size of a quarter and it was a bit too much and was not only difficult to break down but did leave behind a bit of a film. Using less produced way better results.


I’m going to throw it out there and say that the people that will love this the most is those with drier or aging skin. You have to put a little backbone into removing it and that will irritate some people who want a quick one and done with their cleansing. I didn’t mind so much as I enjoy my nightly skincare ritual but sure, when I want to go to bed fast and just want to get things done quickly this likely won’t be the easiest cleansing route to go.

Did I like it? Yes. It’s fragrance-free, creates a lovely oil as it melts down, and removes all my makeup easily without stripping. Did I not like the time it took to remove it? Debatable. Like I said, I don’t mind when I have time but if I’m tried and just want to go to bed it might be an issue for me!

Would I recommend you buy it?

Yes, if you have dry skin I think you might love this one!

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is available now.

Have you tried it?

What did you think?

Where to buy


Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is a new cleansing balm that’s 3.88 oz in size and $34. This is a solid balm cleanser that turns into an oil upon contact with dry skin that acts to remove makeup. It contains a host of amazing oils. Sheesh! Pretty much the entire formula is oil! Which is great as I really think this formula is fabulous for drier skin. All in all, I felt it did a great job removing my makeup. However, it is a formula that doesn’t quite emulsify as easily as other cleansing balms I’ve used in the past and it proves a little difficult to rinse completely off. Once it it is removed it leaves skin lightly hydrated without any film left behind or tightness.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Lauryl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Glycerin.


  • Very rich and lightly hydrating on drier skin.
  • Doesn’t leave skin tight nor dry.
  • Removes makeup easily.


  • Difficult to remove, lots of rinsing required or even a wet washcloth.


Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser seems an ideal pick for drier or aging skin in my opinion.

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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  • Michelle

    I love Drunk Elephant in general for their moisturizers, sunscreen and retinol. This sounds like a miss for me, as I love my Clinique Take the Day Away balm. I so wish they’d make a BHA-only exfoliant, I know they would make it right (correct pH and concentration), that’s the only thing missing from their line that I would use.

  • varya

    Great and thorough review. A cleansing balm that needs such manipulation or quite warm water is NOT something my truly sensitive/rosacea prone skin can use. I really wish brands would stop with the “this product is good for everyone” marketing nonsense.

    • Isabella Muse

      ITA! They try to cater to the whole world and they just have to realize everything is not good for everyone!

  • Abbey

    I love it, but I always double cleanse. It’s definitely not a one and done for me, because there is a residue left and I’m acne prone. I like it because it breaks all my makeup down without stripping my skin, but I can totally see how some people would hate it.

    • Isabella Muse

      YAY! I like it too! I double cleanse as well! I actually didn’t notice anything left behind unless I overused it. A little goes a long way and I felt like if I used too much it was a bit of a pain to break down and it did leave a bit behind so I started using a little less and that helps ;-D

  • Beth

    I am a huge DE fan but this did not work for me. I have very dry skin and while I loved the initial experience as you mention in your review the effort required to remove it was just not something I see fitting in well with my nighttime routine. Unfortunately I am returning mine 🙁

    • Isabella Muse

      I like the texture a lot. It breaks down into this fantastic oil! But yup, removal is a real issue! I almost hauled out a washcloth to just wipe it all off because it isn’t a traditional cleansing balm that rinses right off sadly! I’m not a chemist but that may because it’s packed with so many oils! The water and oil are just bouncing off each other here and the water is having a hard time cutting through all the oil to break it down. Just a guess!? shrug! It’s nice, I like it a lot, but there’s effort in the removal! Aw sorry 🙁 thank god for good returns right?

  • MissMercurial

    I appreciate your balanced review! Wayne Goss did a review and was so enthused that I automatically was skeptical. But your evenhanded treatment of the matter is much more realistic and I like that you also compare its price.

    • Isabella Muse

      I didn’t see Wayne’s review yet! I have to watch! He’s a pretty big fan of DE but I’m surprised he didn’t drill at the fact it didn’t rinse away and break down well! thanks!!!!!!!!!! I appreciate that. I like to include all the facts and everyone that reads the review can just go from there ;-D

  • Carla

    If I’m being honest (and I know it’s unpopular opinion) but I actually wish that it had a little bit of a scent to it. I find that–stupid as it is–part of the reason that I love the Farmacy balm is because I love the scent that it has from the lime oil in it. The DE balm’s LACK of any actual smell is almost off-putting to me.

    • Isabella Muse

      You aren’t alone. I’m ok with fragrance in skincare too! As long as it’s a nice scent ;-D I like the Farmacy lime-y scent too!

  • kimkats

    Hmph. Think I’m going to pass on this. there’s no reason they couldn’t have made this rinse clean(er). I’ll have to admit – I’m a die hard TTDO fan, so that’s the standard they all have to live up to, and a lot of them don’t. 🙂 but hey – you saved me some $$ with this, Muse. 🙂

  • Christina

    Sounds like I’ll be sticking to my Farmacy Green Clean, then. I love that stuff, which is saying a lot, since I typically never like any cleanser or balms.

  • Charlotte

    Sounds like this might be a good option for my double cleanse routine – perhaps a replacement for the Burt’s Bees cleansing oil I’m currently using, which is supposed to be so great but I find really irritates my eyes.

    Muse, have you ever tried the Boots Botanics (which is a Walgreens brand, at least here in the states) cleansing balm? It’s similar to this in that you’ll probably want to follow up with a second cleanser, but I loved it. I got scared off of it because it contains essential oils, though I never found it irritating, even when used around my eyes).