THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil Review

THREE’s a higher-end makeup and skincare brand, famous for their use of botanicals. Their goal is to make products that beautify you in the purest, most natural way.

This time around, our editing department purchased THREE’s Balancing Cleansing Oil and put it to the test. We looked at cleansing power and what ingredients were used. We then judged both the efficacy of the product and just how gentle it was on skin.
  • Last updated: 10-24-2019
Table of Contents
THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil 1

THREEBalancing Cleansing Oil

$51.49

What Makes This Cleansing Oil Popular?

What Makes This Cleansing Oil Popular?

THREE produces cosmetics, body lotions, and haircare products. They source ingredients solely from Japan and love organic essential oils.


This cleansing oil of theirs is 88% naturally-derived ingredients. It's based off botanical oils similar in structure to human sebum, which are supposed to cleanse, hydrate, and repair skin--all at the same time.


At around 4,000 yen in Japan (and even more in America), this cleanser may look expensive, but if it does everything it claims to do--nourish skin as it removes makeup--then it's well worth the price.

Putting THREE’s Balancing Cleansing Oil to the Test

Putting THREE’s Balancing Cleansing Oil to the Test
We had a group of editors put THREE’S Balancing Cleansing Oil to the Test. Specifically, we were looking for the following three factors.
Test ①: Cleansing Power
Test ②: Hydration
Test ③: Ingredients

Test ①: Cleansing Power

Cleansers are also supposed to double as makeup removers.

Clears Away Base Makeup, but Should be Used in Conjunction with Eye Makeup Remover

Clears Away Base Makeup, but Should be Used in Conjunction with Eye Makeup Remover
We tested the cleanser out on the following products.
Products We Tested on

  • Waterproof Mascara
  • Eyeshadow
  • Waterproof Eyeliner
  • Lip Tint
  • Liquid Foundation

The eyeshadow and foundation came off, but the mascara, eyeliner, and lip tint left behind residue. If you wear waterproof items, try loosening them up first with a dedicated eye makeup remover. Then finish up with this cleanser.
Your face will feel greasy, even after rinsing off. We recommend double-cleansing–that is, following up with a face wash. Then make sure you end with moisturizers.

Has a Spreadable Texture and Soothing Scent

Has a Spreadable Texture and Soothing Scent
The cleanser was thin but slick, like extra virgin olive oil.
It had a head-clearing scent, derived from a blend of citrusy essential oils (orange peel and bergamot). It reminded us a bit of incense. It was sweet, sour, and musky, and though many people found it relaxing, whether you’ll like the fragrance all comes down to a matter of personal taste.

Test ②: Hydration

We used a moisture analyzer to measure water levels in our skin right before, right after, and five minutes after cleansing.

Formula Proved to be Silky Smooth and Hydrating

Formula Proved to be Silky Smooth and Hydrating
The silky texture spread readily over skin. Hydration levels went up by 16.3 degrees.
Even after five minutes had passed, the device was still showing values far higher than it did when we measured before cleansing.
Hydration Levels

  • Before Cleansing: 47.4
  • After Cleansing: 63.7
  • Five Minutes after Cleansing: 60.6

Test ③: Ingredients

We asked a specialist who used to work in cosmetics R&D to look at the ingredients list for us. We then discussed the likelihood that sensitive skin will react to the formula.

Preserves Enough Moisture for Dry Skin, but Essential Oils May Result in Sensitization

Preserves Enough Moisture for Dry Skin, but Essential Oils May Result in Sensitization
This cleanser is largely based off of grape seed oil, which is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and linoleic acid. These botanical fats (as opposed to mineral oils) give you a good amount of cleansing power without being too dehydrating. They’re especially suited to those with dry and/or sensitive skin.
There are, however, a ton of essential oils crammed into this formula, something to watch out for if you know you’re sensitive. Still, we don’t want to over-exaggerate the risks of using essential oils. As long as you use them in the correct concentrations, most essential oils will benefit and not harm your skin.
And while the cleanser does help hydrate skin, you should always seal in the moisture with good toners, lotions, and creams.

The Final Verdict: A Moisturizing Botanical Cleanser. THREE’s Balancing Cleansing Oil Earns Our Seal of Approval

The Final Verdict: A Moisturizing Botanical Cleanser. THREE’s Balancing Cleansing Oil Earns Our Seal of Approval
The cleanser is slick, moisturizing, and smells amazing. It uses as many natural ingredients as possible and is mild. It’s a good choice if you’re worried about stressing out your skin.
Just be aware that it doesn’t work on waterproof products. If you wear long-lasting makeup, you’ll likely have to buy a separate makeup remover.

How to Use and Warnings

How to Use and Warnings
We do not recommend this product if you have eyelash extensions. The glue used to attach the extensions to your lashes is weak to oil and its integrity will likely be compromised. You also should not wet your face or hands when applying, so no bathtime cleansing.
One round of cleansing should take around two or three pumps of product. A bottle should last you two to three months. After you’ve dispensed the proper amount, use the pads of your fingers to gently massage the product into your face with circular motions. After the cleanser has thoroughly mixed with your makeup, rinse off with warm water.

Summary

We put THREE’s Balancing Cleansing Oil to the test. We liked how it smelled and felt going on skin and how moisturizing it was. Though you may need a dedicated remover for more long-wearing products, we think it’s one of the best mild cleansers around.

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