17 Best Drugstore Cleansing Balms for Cleaner Skin

17 Best Drugstore Cleansing Balms for Cleaner Skin

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Whether you’re into double cleansing or not, a drugstore cleansing balm would make a great addition to your skincare routine.

They’re reliable products to remove makeup, even stubborn waterproof ones. So you won’t have to go hard on scrubbing your face and risk irritating your eyes and skin.

manicured hand holding a silver container of cleansing balm

Many drugstore cleansing balms these days are formulated with skin-loving oils and ingredients. So you won’t really need more reasons to consider using it.

Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best drugstore cleansing balms to make the journey easier.

e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm
Editor's Choice
  • Extremely hydrating
  • Contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Easy to rinse
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
Premium Pick
  • Pea-sized amount that goes a long way
  • Has Padina pavonica algae for hydration
  • Elderberry starflower oils to improve skin health
Albolene Hydrating Cleansing Balm
Budget Pick
  • Improved with hydrating formula
  • Has jojoba oil and shea butter
  • Still an affordable cleansing balm

What Is a Cleansing Balm?

As its name suggests, this skincare product is a balm meant to be used for facial cleansing.

But it’s different from other cleanser formulas because it leans toward using oil-based ingredients, which other cleansers try to avoid. 

The main idea is to use oils and emollients to attract oils to remove them from the face. So you’ll find that the best drugstore cleansing balms are designed to “melt away” makeup products.

Many cleansing balms also come out of the tub in a sherbet-like texture. But they transform into a silky oil consistency, so it easily spreads and collects makeup, dirt, excess oils, and other impurities.

Thanks to skincare innovations over the years, it’s now easy to find drugstore cleansing balms formulated to nourish the skin. 

Because these balm cleansers often contain emollients, you’ll also find plenty that can hydrate the skin.

How to Use Drugstore Cleansing Balms

Your choice of drugstore cleansing balm will likely include instructions on how best to incorporate it into your skincare regimen.

But cleansing balms are commonly used as part of the double-cleansing process. It’s typically the first product you will apply on a dry face.

As mentioned, cleansing balms normally have a transforming formula. And most of them emulsify as you gently massage them onto your face for about 30 seconds. Then you can wash it with lukewarm water.

Most cleansing balms can be used day or night. But some products are specifically recommended to be used for PM cleansing. So as always, read the label.

Some cleansing balms won’t require a second wash with a facial cleanser. However, it’s common for cleansing balms to leave a film after it’s rinsed off. 

If this bothers you, you can go ahead and complete the double-cleansing procedure.

Excited to start a new cleansing routine? Check out our curated list of the best drugstore cleansing balms in the world today!

Best Drugstore Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Melting Balm

Your skin needs all the care it can get after a long day of wearing makeup, and this Neutrogena cleansing balm can help you with that.

Key benefits: Skin feels soft after cleansing; dermatologist-tested; doesn’t feel greasy


  • Vitamin E
  • Coconut oil
  • Camellia oleifera seed oil

It’s tough enough to remove stubborn makeup products but gentle enough to leave your skin nourished after cleansing.


It’s impossible to make a list of the best drugstore makeup removing balms without this crowd-favorite Neutrogena product.

Waterproof makeup, especially mascara, is great, but it can be difficult to remove since they’re meant to stay on your lashes. So if you love these products, do yourself a favor and give yourself this makeup remover.

Thousands swear by this cleansing balm’s makeup melting capabilities without stripping off moisture from your skin, thanks to the inclusion of coconut and camellia seed oil

And it’s formulated with vitamin E for an added boost of nourishment in every use!

POND’s Cold Cream Cleansing Balm

When talking about drugstore cleansing balms, this one’s definitely a classic favorite.

Key benefits: Moisturizing; immediately melts heavy makeup; can be a daily cleanser


  • Formula won’t clog pores
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-greasy texture

Moisturize your skin while removing stubborn makeup, dirt, and other impurities with this popular cleansing balm!


This is one product that needs no introduction because it’s likely been recommended to you. And for good reasons!

Thousands swear by how easy and fast it works to melt away makeup. But it also works great as a daily cleanser to get rid of dirt and impurities lodged in your skin.

While it’s meant for deep cleansing, this POND’s cleansing balm is infused with moisturizing ingredients making it a great companion to dry skin.

JUNO & Co. Clean 10 Cleansing Balm

Apparently, you only need 10 ingredients to keep the skin nourished and moisturized when double-cleansing.

Key benefits: Oil-based cleansing formula; effective even on waterproof makeup; has only 10 ingredients


  • Fermented Japanese pearl barley
  • Orange peel oil
  • Vitamin E

It won’t just remove makeup; it can also clear dirt and buildup!


We can’t make a list of the best cleansing balms without this product for several reasons.

This one comes with a smooth oil texture to help easily remove makeup, even waterproof makeup. But it does so without causing harm to the skin, thanks to its 10-ingredient formula.

When it comes to skincare, having more ingredients isn’t always merrier. And that’s one of the advantages of this Juno skin cleansing balm.

Out of its 10 skin-loving ingredients, the highlight is fermented Japanese pearl barley. It’s a rich source of vitamins that Juno says will help regulate the production of melanin. 

That means it helps brighten the skin and reduce dark spots with continuous use.

Best Drugstore Cleansing Balm for Dry Skin

e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

Melt your makeup without leaving your skin dry with this fan-favorite cleansing balm!

Key benefits: Texture transforms to effectively remove makeup; results in smooth and plump skin; cruelty-free and doesn’t contain harmful ingredients


  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Ceramides
  • Peptides

It has the best ingredients to leave your skin hydrated after every wash.


Are you here to find a cheap cleansing balm that’s great for removing makeup and is specifically designed to hydrate the skin? Then this e.l.f. product is what you’re looking for.

A jar of e.l.f. holy hydration cleansing balm, sitting on a marble table.

It’s formulated exactly to make your makeup “melt” as the balm transforms into an oil-like consistency.

This works great as a double-cleansing product because it contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides. That means you’re thoroughly cleaning your face while reinforcing it with these powerful hydrating ingredients.

And it’s hands down one of the best affordable cleansing balms, too, that won’t compromise your skin!

Beauty of Joseon Radiance Cleansing Balm

Looking for a Korean cleansing balm to add to your routine? You won’t regret trying this one!

Key benefits: Great for removing eye makeup and waterproof mascara; moisturizing; gentle and doesn’t irritate the eyes


  • Rice bran oil
  • Rice seed water
  • Oatmeal extract

It’s an up-and-coming cleansing balm that deserves all the praise it's getting for how effective and moisturizing it is!


This K-beauty cleansing balm has been gaining positive reviews, and many swear by how effective it is for removing makeup.

What we love most about this is that it’s amazing for removing waterproof eye makeup and mascara, so you won’t have to use an extra product to deal with that. And it has a gentle formula too, so it won’t irritate your eyes.

But Beauty of Joseon’s rice + grain complex is what makes this Korean cleansing balm a hit. It’s packed with amino acids and minerals that keep the skin moisturized.

Kimtrue Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

With a long list of nourishing ingredients, you’re getting more than just a makeup remover with this cleansing balm.

Key benefits: With moisturizing plant-based active ingredients; gently cleans the pores; doesn’t need to emulsify


  • European blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) seed oil
  • Panthenol (B5)
  • Cantella asiatica root extract

Taking care of your skin starts with cleansing part of your routine, and this Kimtrue gem will help you achieve just that.


You’ll fall in love with this makeup remover and cleansing balm because of how packed it is with nourishing ingredients to improve the overall health of your skin.

It’s infused with a slew of extracts and oils derived from plants, including marigold flower, moringa seed, and European blueberry. With all of them combined, you’re bringing moisture back to your skin.

So while you’re removing makeup and buildup from other products, this balm is also absorbing dirt and other impurities lodged in your pores for a deep yet gentle cleansing action.

Don’t like the extra work of emulsifying cleansing balm on your face? Waste no time and get this one because it doesn’t need that extra step to deliver its deep cleansing benefits.

Best Drugstore Cleansing Balm for Oily Skin

Best Drugstore Cleansing Balms for Sensitive Skin

BANILA CO Clean It Zero Revitalizing Cleansing Balm

Here’s a cleansing balm that rejuvenates the skin while removing dirt and even waterproof makeup.

Key benefits: Deep cleansing action; creamy texture transforms into smooth oil upon application; hydrating and protects skin from free radicals


  • Resveratrol
  • Grape seed extract
  • Olive oil

Your sensitive skin will greatly benefit from its hypoallergenic formula too!


Banila Co has an entire line of cleansing balms under its Clean It Zero collection. But this one stands out for its added benefits.

It’s formulated with resveratrol, a chemical commonly found in grapes, that’s known to penetrate the skin well and provide antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. It also contains grape seed extract and olive oil to brighten the skin!

It has a mild citrus scent and is hypoallergenic, so people with sensitive skin types can still enjoy its deep cleansing action that doesn’t dry out the skin.

Heimish All Clean Balm

This cleansing balm works so well that you won’t have to cleanse twice!

Key benefits: Transforms into an oil and milky texture for fuss-free cleansing; lower risks of eye irritation; can also clean off dirt and blackheads


  • Citrus herb oil
  • Coconut extract
  • Shea butter
  • White flower complex

It works well for removing makeup, dirt, and even blackheads!


Like many of the best cleansing balms here, the Heimish All Clean Balm transforms into an oil and then milk upon use. But its gentle formula stands out! It’s so gentle that it shouldn’t irritate your eyes.

While cleansing balms are typically designed for double cleansing, this is where this Heimish product differs. It works so well that it won’t require a second wash.

It also features moisturizing ingredients like coconut and shea butter, along with citrus herb oil and white flower complex that produces a mild, non-lingering fragrance. So it’s very suitable for sensitive skin types.

Cerave Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm

Here’s the ultimate cleansing balm for sensitive skin!

Key benefits: Suitable for all skin types; non-comedogenic; not greasy; you’ll only need a small amount every cleanse


  • Ceramides
  • Jojoba oil
  • Fragrance- and soap-free

Its ingredients and formula make it suitable for other skin types as well!


The idea of using a cleansing balm can throw some people off, especially those worried about pore-clogging ingredients. But that’s what’s great about this CeraVe cleansing balm: it’s non-comedogenic!

Its best feature has to be its gentle formula that doesn’t include soap and fragrance, making it very suitable for sensitive skin types. 

It’s also allergy-tested, has no alcohol, and doesn’t contain parabens. So you won’t have to worry about common irritants.

If you have dry skin, you’ll find this one great too! The CeraVe cleansing balm contains jojoba oil that helps retain moisture and ceramides that strengthen the skin barrier.

As a makeup remover, many favor it because it works well in melting away even waterproof mascara and sunscreen.

Best Drugstore Cleansing Balm for Acne-Prone Skin

Physicians Formula The Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm

Worry not about acne breakouts caused by double cleansing with this Physicians Formula product!

Key benefits: Multipurpose deep cleanser; hydrating; recommended by acne-prone users


  • Matcha green tea
  • Bamboo shoot
  • Lotus extract

It’s from a brand known for delivering sensitive skin-friendly products. What’s not to love?


Deep cleansing doesn’t always go well for people with relatively more reactive skin. But if that’s your struggle, this Physicians Formula cleansing balm can be your friend.

It’s designed to deeply cleanse the skin to remove makeup, oil buildup, dirt, and other impurities. 

But that deep cleansing action is balanced with hydrating ingredients like matcha green tea, bamboo shoot, and lotus extract. So you won’t have to worry about stripping your face of its natural oils and moisture.

It also works great on acne-prone skin, making this one of the best facial cleansing balms out there. It’s recommended by people with this skin type, and it’s also hypoallergenic, so it should be great on sensitive skin too!

AOA Studio Green Tea + Vitamin E Cleansing Balm

With green tea as one of its key ingredients, you won’t have to worry about acne breakouts.

Key benefits: Has skin brightening effect; gentle on the skin; packed with healthy ingredients; affordable product


  • Green tea
  • Vitamin E
  • Healthy pH level for the skin

You’re getting the benefits from skin-loving ingredients without spending too much!


Green tea is one of the best ingredients in skincare products if you’re prone to acne, and it happens to be one of the main features of this cheap cleansing balm.

Polyphenol compounds found in green tea have an antioxidant effect, and research shows it might help regulate sebum production, which can then help prevent breakouts. 

Green tea also reportedly has anti-inflammatory properties, so it may help soothe the skin, reduce redness, and ease skin irritation.

On the other hand, your skin will also benefit from vitamin E’s antioxidant and restorative properties. The cleansing balm’s label also indicates that it has a pH level of 6, which is good for maintaining the skin’s pH balance.

AOA Studio’s cleansing balm is already relatively affordable, but it’s even more economical because you’ll only need a small amount for the entire face in every cleanse.

To maximize its cleansing action, you should apply and massage it over dry skin first. Then, splash your face with water and continue massaging the product so it emulsifies.

Best Affordable Drugstore Cleansing Balms

SheaMoisture Even and Radiant 3-in-1 Melting Cleansing Balm

Its 3-in-1 claim refers to its ability to remove impurities and makeup all while keeping the skin soft and moisturized.

Key benefits: Multipurpose cleanser; moisturizing; great for daily use


  • Raw honey
  • Nourishing oils from coconut, macadamia seed, and sunflower seed
  • Fragrance- and paraben-free

Here’s one cleansing balm you ought to try from this trusted drugstore brand!


Some drugstore cleansing balms work well even when used as part of your daily skin cleansing routine. And the SheaMoisture Even and Radiant 3-in-1-Melting Cleansing Balm fits that category.

Its highlight ingredient is raw honey, which helps minimize dark spots and acne blemishes, so you’re not just removing dirt and makeup when using this cleansing balm.

The formula is also infused with skin-nourishing oils to feel soft after cleansing and over time.

For all these skincare benefits and its price, this one’s definitely a steal!

Albolene Hydrating Cleansing Balm

An upgrade to Albolene’s beloved original cleansing balm!

Key benefits: Improved hydrating formula; easily removes makeup without intense scrubbing; developed by dermatologists


  • Jojoba oil
  • Beta-carotene
  • Shea butter

You might fall in love with this new formula; it’s infused with more nourishing ingredients.


Albolene introduced its new line of hydrating skincare products in 2022, including this new and improved cleansing balm.

So far, it’s already getting the same love as the original cleansing balm because of how it easily removes makeup. And you still won’t have to scrub your face for this to work intensely.

What sets this apart from the original cleansing balm is its added ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter. That’s where the added hydrating benefits come from.

And good news! All that improvement doesn’t come with a significant price change, so it’s still an affordable cleansing balm. 

For its cost and how effectively it cleanses and hydrates the skin, you’re not compromising your skin even with one of the best cheap cleansing balms out there.

Best High-End Cleansing Balms

ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

For a luxurious skincare experience that works, invest in this popular cleansing balm.

Key benefits: Polyethylene-free; little product goes a long way; has essential oil blend that softens and soothes the skin


  • Elderberry oil
  • Starflower oil
  • Padina pavonica algae

Works great for removing makeup and even blackheads!


You may be surprised by how affordable this cleansing balm is, but it’s one of the premium products you’ll find with an effectiveness that justifies the price.

A jar of elemis pro collagen cleansing balm marble table.

You’ll be happy to invest in this cleansing balm because it works great for removing makeup and other impurities without leaving a film, which you normally get from cleansing balms.

Two pictures of a person's hand applying elemis pro collagen cleansing balm.

But what we love about this is that a little bit of product in every use truly goes a long way. So a single purchase can last you an ample time.

Farmacy Green Clean Cleanser + Makeup Remover Balm

Love skincare products packed with natural ingredients? Then you’ll love this one!

Key benefits: Easily melts makeup with healthy oils; gentle exfoliation; improves skin texture over time


  • Sunflower and ginger root oils
  • Turmeric and moringa extract
  • Papaya enzymes

Now you can remove makeup and double-cleanse while introducing healthy ingredients to your skin.


Natural ingredients in skin care are a huge hit for obvious reasons. And if that’s what you’re looking for in a makeup remover, you’ve got to try Farmacy’s cleansing balm from its Green Clean series.

Every skincare action it offers is made possible with natural key ingredients. It’s great for removing makeup, even stubborn products formulated for long wear.

But its makeup-removing effect mainly relies on sunflower and ginger root oils. So you’re thoroughly cleaning your face without stripping it, which makes this balm great for dry skin types.

This one lives up to the name “cleansing balm” too because it also works great for removing pollutants, impurities, and sunscreen residue with the help of papaya enzymes and extracts of turmeric and moringa.

Not everyone wants a fragrance-free cleansing balm. And if you enjoy a mild, fruity scent, you’ll enjoy Farmacy’s cleansing balm.

Don’t worry because its fragrance is not synthetic and comes from a blend of bergamot, lime, and orange oils.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

You don’t have to steer clear from cleansing balms if you have oily skin with this Clinique crowd-favorite.

Key benefits: Non-comedogenic; allergy-tested; non-greasy; suitable for dry and oily skin types


  • Safflower seed oil
  • Silky formula
  • Fragrance-free

A cleansing balm that lives up to its name for fuss-free makeup removal at the end of the day.


Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is suitable for oily skin types, ironically, because its key ingredient is safflower oil.

The common belief is that oily skin types must completely avoid cleansers that contain oils, such as cleansing balms. That’s not entirely accurate, though.

Many natural oils work well on oily skin types because they have very low comedogenic ratings, which means there’s minimal to no chance of them clogging your pores.

And safflower seed oil’s comedogenic rating happens to be zero!

So it’s unlikely to exacerbate your skin condition if it’s prone to getting oily. But the same ingredient makes this cleansing balm great on dry skin.

Safflower seed oil has linoleic acid that improves the skin’s moisture level while still being lightweight.

This cleansing balm is also great for removing stubborn, long-wear makeup, and you’ll have no difficulties rinsing it off with water.

Naturium Purple Ginseng Cleansing Balm

Whether you have sensitive, dry, acne-prone, oily, or combination skin type, this makeup-removing balm is for you!

Key benefits: Transforming consistency easily melts into the skin; cleanses by dissolving dirt and skin products; suitable for all skin types


  • Purple ginseng
  • Plant-based esters
  • Oils rich in linoleic

With its tried-and-testing cleansing action, it’s not surprising that many consider this the best cleansing balm and makeup remover.


Purple ginseng is relatively less often used in skincare and hair products, but that doesn’t make it any less effective than other more commonly used ingredients. 

Its composition reportedly helps with addressing redness, comedones, and control shine. And its oil blend includes some of the most nourishing ingredients used in skin care.

What makes it an even better makeup remover is it’s formulated for all skin types!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Popular Cleansing Balm?

Some of the most popular cleansing balms come from drugstore brands, which you can also find in the list above.

Thousands have tried and stayed loyal to drugstore cleansing balms like Neutrogena Makeup Remover Melting Balm, POND’s Cold Cream Cleansing Balm, and Albolene Cleansing Balm. 

Aside from how great they work on the skin, they are some of the best affordable cleansing balms on the market.

Can I Use Cleansing Balm Everyday?

Yes, especially if a drugstore cleansing balm is specifically formulated for everyday use. 

Look for dermatologist-tested cleansing balms with gentle formulas for the best experience possible.

Should I Use a Cleansing Balm if I Don’t Wear Makeup?

Cleansing balms are often used as part of the double-cleanse method, which many believe should only be done when wearing heavy makeup. 

Oil-based products are often used in the first round of cleansing, followed by a water-based cleanser.

But using a cleansing balm for a double cleanse can also be beneficial even if you went out the entire day with a bare face. Cleansing balms can help remove sunscreen, and sunscreen is a product you should wear daily.

They’re also great for breaking down oily buildup, pollutants, and other impurities. In this case, your regular facial cleanser can perform better in removing dirt and clearing the pores.

If you’re going to incorporate cleansing balms into your daily skincare routine, it’s best to look for products that are gentle on the skin and formulated for daily use.

Find the Best Drugstore Cleansing Balms for Your Skin’s Needs

Drugstore cleansing balms are great products to have in your at-home skincare arsenal.

pink background with cleansing balm and other skincare products in clear containers

They’re great for gently removing makeup and are commonly formulated as mild cleansers as well. But there are special products that work great in removing blackheads and other impurities.

So don’t waste any more time and find the best drugstore cleansing balm for your needs!

Discover More Drugstore Skincare and Makeup Products

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