We always do a double-take when we see the words “cleansing” and “balm” plastered across a jar. A product can cleanse or it can moisturize, but both? And effectively? Hard to say.
Our editing department purchased RMK’s popular Moist Cleansing Balm and gave it a few test runs. We also analyzed the ingredients and, later on in this article, explain how to properly use the product. Here’s what we learned during testing.
RMK Moist Cleansing Balm
What is RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm?
RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm is a cleanser made up of skin-healthy botanicals, including squalane (sugar-cane derived), shea and mango butter, as well as avocado, rosehip, and olive oil. It comes out of the jar in a solid wax-like state but melts into an oil when it touches skin. It’s thick and spreads easily.
It’s as much a moisturizer as it is a cleanser. Side note: we were really feeling the baby pink color scheme.
How to Use the Moist Cleansing Balm
The product comes in a jar with a spatula. You scoop and you apply.
- Scoop out a small grape-sized glob of cleanser.
- With dry hands, gently massage the cleanser into makeup until it has completely dissolved into oil.
- Wet your hands with warm water.
- Continue massaging your face, allowing the water to mix with the cleanser until it has emulsified.
- Rinse off with warm water.
Simple enough, right? There’s only two things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure you apply the cleanser with dry hands. If you apply with wet hands, the formula may emulsify and lose cleansing power.
Second, have the cleanser emulsify after you finish cleansing. As you know, oil repels water. However, if you mix in the water bit by bit, blending until you’re left with a milky emulsion, it’ll be easier to get a clean rinse.
How to Use the Moist Cleansing Balm on Your Pores
Here’s part II of our how-to series.
Instructions on How to Clean out Your Pores
- Scoop out some cleanser and apply over problem areas (blackheads, the white build-up at the sides of your nose, ect.).
- Gently massage the cleanser in with a cotton swab.
- Wipe off excess with a dry cotton pad.
- Rinse off with warm water.
※RMK recommends using their cotton pads, which contain RMK Cleansing Lotion. If you don’t own them, then you can substitute with any old cotton pad or swab you find in the drugstore.
Do Not Use RMK’S Cleansing Balm on Your Eyelash Extensions
The glue that’s used to attach your extensions to your lashes is weak to oil. So if you have extensions, we recommend avoiding all oil cleansers, unless they specifically state they’re safe for eyelash extensions.
Unfortunately, RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm makes no such claims, so we’d stay away just to be safe.
Putting RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm to the Test
We had a group of editors–all with dry or sensitive skin–put RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm to the test. Specifically, we were looking for the four following factors.
Test ①: Cleansing Power
Test ②: Ease of Use
Test ③: Signs of Irritation
Test ④: Ingredients
Test ①: Cleansing Power
We tried the cleanser out on the following products.
Products We Tested on
- Waterproof Mascara
- Shimmery Eyeshadow
- Waterproof Eyeliner
- Lip Tint
- Liquid Foundation
The eyeshadow and foundation came off, but the cleanser struggled with waterproof items. It’ll work fine for those who wear light makeup. However, if you use long-lasting products around your eyes, we suggest you use the Moist Cleansing Balm in conjunction with a dedicated eye makeup remover.
Didn’t Effect Any Noticeable Change in Our Pores
As for pores–we felt clean and refreshed after cleansing with the balm, but we didn’t see any differences in the size or color of our blackheads.
However, it cleared away some dead skin and buildup–so the cleanser might have just needed some more time to work on pores.
Test ②: Ease of Use
Because skincare should be a form of pampering, not a chore.
Skin Feels Smooth and Hydrated after Use
Skin felt clean, soft, and hydrated after cleansing. Just make sure you give the formula time to emulsify before rinsing off because the oil can feel thick and sticky.
RMK didn’t mention anything about double cleansing, but if your face feels greasy after using the Moist Cleansing Balm, we recommend following up with a face wash.
Scent of Roses May be Overpowering for Some
The balm smelled strongly of (artificial) roses. It felt almost overpowering when we were cleaning up the pores on our nose.
If you like perfumes, you may like the Moist Cleansing Balm. If you’re sensitive to scents, you’ll probably hate it.
Test ③: Signs of Irritation
Because you only have the one sheet of skin.
(To Us) Skin Actually Felt Healthier After Use
We didn’t experience any itchiness or breakouts both right after use and the following day. If anything, skin felt smoother.
Makeup went on more easily than usual. We weren’t sure if it was because the balm cleared away dead skin, but foundation didn’t get caught on any dry or uneven patches (as it usually does).
Test ④: Ingredients
Because you need to make sure the ingredients are fit for your skin.
This is a Ethylhexyl Palmitate-Basted Cleanser
Ethylhexyl palmitate is an ester derived from palm oil. There’s a very low risk of irritation associated with this ingredient, and it smooths out skin, which is why it can also be used as an emollient.
It’s also quite high in cleansing power, which means it may be dehydrating. After cleansing, we recommend following up immediately with a good moisturizer.
Contains Six Popular Hydrating Ingredients
That being said, there are six other ingredients that are popular emollients. They help soften skin and lock in moisture. Here they are (again).
The 6 Main Moisturizing Ingredients
- Shea Butter
- Mango Butter
- Avocado Oil
- Rosehip Oil
- Sugarcane Squalane
- Olive Oil
The Final Verdict: Moisturizes as It Cleanses. Worth Your Money–Just Don’t Wear Heavy Makeup
So the short answer is yes, RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm can both hydrate and clean. However, it only has enough cleansing power for base makeup and lighter products–so if you wear waterproof items, we suggest using a separate eye makeup remover. It did clear away some buildup and dead skin, and it may improve blackheads over time.
Texture was thick and goopy. The cleanser spread smoothly over skin; we didn’t feel any rubbing or tugging. It’s more than worth the price–as long as you like the smell of roses and don’t need to remove anything long-lasting.
Worried that RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm Might Not Work for You After All? Here Are Some Other Options
So we know RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm isn’t for everyone. That’s why we’ve tested over 50 Japanese cleansers and separated the wheat from the chaff. If you’re looking for something strong, we recommend checking out the oil cleansers; if you want something gentle, try a milk cleanser. Click below for more details!
We put RMK’s Moist Cleansing Balm to the test. Though it may lack in cleansing power, it was surprisingly hydrating. It’s worth it if you wear light makeup or need something to get you through the dry spell of winter.
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