I’m just in the final stages of writing a blog post on a few lots of beauty products I indulged in when I went to Singapore and Thailand in July (it’s rude not to take advantage of duty free, right?) Anyhow, it occurred to me that this little ripper of a product from Clinique, which has been around for a while, it’s just new to me, is so blinking good it deserves it’s own post: It’s my top beauty purchase of 2013. It is so good that I have been waxing lyrical about this lately, instead of recent makeup finds.

Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm
Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

I got this Take the Day Off Balm in Singapore as I was becoming acutely aware that my usual cleansing routine wasn’t getting all the makeup off my face at the end of the day, even after using a face wipe and double cleansing… I used to see traces of foundation on the cotton pad after I’d wiped toner over my face – a bit of a giveaway my standard routine wasn’t cutting the mustard. A couple of friends, whose opinions are usually ‘bang on’, had both been raving about oil-based pre-cleansers. So, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon.I’ve been trying to think of the best way to describe Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm. The best I can offer is that it’s a lard-like substance… Not a good opening line, I know, but trust me. This product is a pre-cleanser, removing every trace of makeup, including eye-makeup, before you get stuck in and give it a good cleanse as normal (I want to emphasise you don’t use this in the place of a cleanser). This product removes all of my makeup, including waterproof mascara and waterproof eyeliner, paving the way for me to get stuck in with my usual cleanser (Cetaphil, in case you were wondering) and a clean flannel (Briscoes!).

How does it work? You scoop a teeny amount of balm out of the (nicely packaged) tub with dry fingers. A surprisingly little goes a long way. The balm, which you also apply to a dry face, melts into a milky- oil that across the skin and you just massage it in using your fingertips all over your face and eye area. Wait, I can hear you thinking, did she say “oil?”. Yes I did. If, like me, you have oily skin – don’t fret: The balm completely rinses away, leaving behind no oily residue. In fact, far from making your face oilier, the opposite is true: This type of cleanser doesn’t strip the skin, it actually encourages the sebum gland to produce less oil. I’ve found in the month since I started using this that my skin is actually less oily, rather, more balanced and dare I say it… My face looks less lined (PC speak for wrinkly).

How clean is my face now? Remember the cotton-pad and toner test? I have a perfectly white cotton pad now post toning. For my skin though, perhaps the proof of the pudding is really the noticeable lack of zits breakouts since I started using this Balm, evidence that my skin is relieved I’ve finally started washing it properly. I no longer buy face wipes and eye-makeup remover, I don’t need them. This balm is truly a one-stop-makeup-removal shop.

Price? At NZ$64-$68 for a 125ml tub it seems a pricey product but, actually, a little bit goes a long way, I’ve used barely one third of a tub despite using it every night for five weeks.

All up, this balm has made an incredible difference and it’s now a key part of my evening routine. Clinique, well done.   Have you tried it? Thoughts? Comments? Have you tried any other oil-based pre-cleansers? I’d love to hear about your findings!

Where to buy? Farmers, pharmacies. NZ$64-$68. Strawberry Net often have it for NZ$62.