Who Has the Best Cleansing Balm?

cleansing balm
This blog post may contain affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase through one of these links, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please note that my reviews are 100% my own personal opinion.

REN, Farmacy, and Biossance Review

Who has the best cleansing balm? Cleansing balms/oils and double-cleansing seem to be the new beauty trend everyone is adding to their skincare routine. And I have to say, I think it is a great trend and I hope that it sticks around for a long time. I have been double cleansing my skin at night pretty much since I started wearing makeup, I just didn’t know that’s what it was called 🙂 !

If you haven’t heard, double-cleansing is when you remove your makeup first and then wash your face. What a revolutionary idea right?! OK, so I think the majority of us are already doing this in some form or another.

Makeup wipes used to always be my first cleanse prior to washing my face before negative environmental repercussions crossed my mind. Then entered micellar water. The magical water that instantly dissolved my eye makeup 😮 , what?! But now my friends, we are in the era of the cleansing balm/oil and I am glad we are here.

For the past year or so, I have been trying out different cruelty-free, cleansing balms/oils. I have mainly used three different cleansers: Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm, REN Rosa Centifolia Purity Cleansing Balm, and Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil.

Are they Clean Beauty?

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

Farmacy advertises as a clean ingredient, farm-to-face skincare company focusing on locally sourced and produced ingredients. All of their products are cruelty-free and free of synthetic fragrance. All but six of their products are vegan.

Key Ingredients: Sunflower and Ginger Root Oils, Turmeric and Moringa Extract, and Papaya Enzymes. This balm has *approximately 33 ingredients listed. One of the ingredients listed is polyethylene. Polyethylene is a microplastic that we used to see a lot in facial scrubs with the exfoliating beads in them (now banned). Farmacy has a statement by the ingredients list that the polyethylene they use is not solid and that it melts with water. I am no expert, but I don’t think this makes a difference. In my humble opinion, it is not a clean beauty ingredient for humans or the environment. If you would like to understand more about microplastics I will link an article I read here and if you would like to know what other types of microplastics to look out for, I found a great resource here.

REN Rosa Centifolia Purity Cleansing Balm
photo from allbeauty.com

REN advertises as a clean skincare company using ingredients that are sustainably sourced and sustainably packaged. They are cruelty-free and all of their products are vegan.

Key Ingredients: Almond Oil, Lecithin, and Rosa Centifolia flower water. This balm has *approximately 23 ingredients in this formula including Parfum(Fragrance). While all of these three cleansers have a smell to them, REN is the only one to have fragrance listed in the ingredients. We are all learning that fragrance can be an irritant to our skin. I have had eczema for years and have always steered clear of fragrance in my products. That being said, this balm did not irritate my skin that I could tell.

Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil
photo from biossance.com

Biossance advocates as a “No Compromise Beauty” company with non-toxic, sustainable products and packaging using biotechnology. They are a vegan company and ban over 2,000 toxic ingredients in their formulas.

Key Ingredients: Squalane and Antioxidants. Simple, straight-forward, love it! There are *approximately 20 ingredients listed for this formula. The majority of the ingredients listed are other types of oils such as lavender oil and oat oil (listed with their somewhat unpronounceable scientific names of course).

How do they Perform?

All of these three cleansers do their job in removing makeup. I would say Farmacy removes it the best, Biossance is second, and REN comes in third. With all of these cleansers, I still use a bit of micellar water on my reusable cotton round afterward for any residual mascara/eyeliner.

Farmacy Green Clean comes in a tub form with a plastic spatula to dig out the product. Not my favorite packaging. It has a soft balm consistency that is easily spread onto the face with minimal tugging. The balm has a pleasant plant-like smell to it that is not overpowering. It rinses off well with no residue left behind.

The REN Rosa Balm comes in a squeeze tube packaging. It has a thicker consistency (almost like petroleum jelly) that is a little hard to apply onto your dry face without tugging. The Rosa balm smells like roses. The REN Balm leaves a residue after rinsing, but it easily washes off with your second cleanse (using a different cleanser). To note: I found the formula began to separate after a while. At first, it was just the thick balm and then I began to get some straight oil coming out along with some balm.

Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Oil comes in a pump. It has an oil consistency, surprise, surprise. It easily glides onto the skin and in my opinion, feels the best when massaging onto the face. Biossance Oil has an orange-y, citrusy scent. Water quickly breaks down the oil. It easily rinses off with no residue left behind.

How Much do they Cost?

Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm – 3.4 fl oz – $34

REN Rosa Centifolia Purity Cleansing Balm- 3.3 fl oz – $29

Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil – 6.7 fl oz – $30

Who has the Best Clean Beauty Cleansing Balm/Oil?!?

the best cleansing balm

Biossance for the win!!!

Squalane & Antioxidant Cleansing Oil | Ful…

An antioxidant-rich, No Compromiseâ„¢ cleansing oil that gently removes long-wear makeu… [More]

Price: $30.00

The Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil is my favorite first step cleanse. Even though I thought the Farmacy Balm did a slightly better job removing makeup, Biossance outshines it with the luxurious facial massage vibes, ease of use, wonderfully subtle citrus smell, cost per amount of product you get, and the company’s commitment to sustainable, non-toxic ingredients and packaging.

*I counted the ingredients but may have missed one or two.

This blog post may contain affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase through one of these links, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please note that my reviews are 100% my own personal opinion.


  1. February 26 2020 / 7:23 pm

    I’ve never tried a cleansing balm before but that Biossance sounds really nice! Great review (:

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      February 26 2020 / 10:50 pm

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. February 27 2020 / 12:32 pm

    I’ll have to check out the Farmacy brand. I am using Lush products because everything breaks out my skin. I had no idea what double cleaning was either but I do it everyday as well.

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      February 28 2020 / 1:51 am

      I really like Lush products! I have a hard time finding products that won’t irritate my skin as well. Thanks for reading!

  3. February 27 2020 / 12:47 pm

    Bummer on polyethylene in Farmacy, I was drawn to that one at first glance because I like the look of the texture. I’ll have to take a look at Biossance though!

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      February 28 2020 / 1:49 am

      Right?! Such a bummer! The Biossance one is really lovely though!

  4. February 27 2020 / 1:05 pm

    Love these natural face alternatives! Good review!

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      February 28 2020 / 1:48 am

      Thanks for reading!

  5. March 1 2020 / 1:48 pm

    This review is awesome! When I have more cash, I’m totally going to come back and buy!

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      March 2 2020 / 12:00 am

      I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  6. March 1 2020 / 2:01 pm

    I always enjoy when people talk about facial products as I have no idea what I’m looking for when I shop. Thank you, this was very helpful!
    Im running low on my current facial care – I’ll have to look into these!

    • Kelsey Castleberry
      March 2 2020 / 12:01 am

      I love skincare reviews too! Always good to research before you buy, especially when it comes to skincare. Thanks for reading!

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