Balm cleansers: A sensual experience 

Let’s pause for a moment to sing the praises of cleansing balms. What, exactly, are they? They’re thick, rich cleansers packed with oil and emollients that melt when they come into contact with skin. They remove dirt and makeup without stripping skin of its moisture and also latch onto and remove excess sebum — the icky stuff that causes blackheads, blemishes and enlarged pores.

A lot of people worry about the wisdom of using oil-based cleansers, fearing they will cause oily skin to become more oily. Actually, the opposite is true: Using cleansers that are too drying causes skin to produce more oil. This results in larger pores and increased acne.

Balm cleansers are applied to dry skin and massaged with the fingers. Don’t rush the process, or you’ll miss a fantastic sensation: As the oils in the balm begin to melt, you’ll be left with a thick, warm concoction that feels amazing. Take time to give your face a sensual massage that improves circulation as you cleanse. Once you’ve finished your mini-spa experience, wash away the balm with a wet, warm — not hot — washcloth or muslin cloth.

I think by now you’re aware that I’m a big fan of cleansing balms. Since that’s established, here are my favorites:

  • Sunday Riley’s Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm — This is a soft blue balm-to-milk cleanser. Here’s the company’s description: “Using gentle, clean-rinsing, sugar-based cleansers, it moisturizes with cocoa butter and mimosa flower wax while soothing with deep-blue, azulene-rich, essential oils of blue tansy and German chamomile. Vanilla and sweet orange essential oils help to relax the mind for a tranquil, spa-like experience. It rinses clean effortlessly while thoroughly removing makeup and gently purifying the skin.”
  • Jordan Samuel Skin Plié Treatment Cleanser — This is a lovely gel-to-oil cleanser. The company says it uses “olive, jojoba, and grapeseed oils to remove every trace of makeup, while sugarcane, apple and willow bark extracts provide a gentle exfoliation to leave the skin hydrated, soft and absolutely pristine.”

Many women view their facial cleansing ritual as something to get done in a hurry. By adjusting their thinking to view it as a pleasure, they’ll enjoy the process and even look forward to it. Cleansing balms can help: There’s no way around it; the warm, silky slippery sensation they produce is almost like an orgasm for the face!

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