Those of you who know me at all know I'm a huge fan of the 2-step cleansing process, especially for those who wear makeup (which, presumably, would be everyone reading this). Starting with an oil-based cleanser followed by a regular lotion or foaming cleanser is, in my opinion, the absolute best way to ensure that your skin is truly pristine before you continue with your skin care routine. I already love Clinique's Take the Day Off Balm and Bobbi Brown's Cleansing Oil, but being the junkie I am, I'm always on the lookout for something new. So when I was introduced to Bobbi's EXTRA Balm Rinse cleanser, I couldn't resist giving it a try.
EXTRA Balm Rinse Cleanser is just what it says it is: a thick balm that, when emulsified with water on the skin, rinses cleanly away. It removes all foundation and sunscreen, and even does a good job with eye makeup. It feels luxurious on the skin to someone like me with drier skin. It's simple to use: simply take a small amount on your fingertips, warm for a moment in the hands, then apply in a circular motion all across the face and, if desired, around the eye area. Once you have massaged the product in for a moment (I give it about a minute), add a bit of water to emulsify it to a milky consistency, then rinse off.
As I stated, this is a very thick balm, with a consistency not unlike Vaseline. It only takes a little (I use a good dollop on the tip of my ring finger) to take off everything. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin once you've warmed it well between your fingers; it thins out quite a bit using that technique. However, because it is a balm (and therefore feels wonderful on dry skin), it may take a bit of getting used to for those of you with oilier skins.
Here's a shot in the jar to give you an idea of the consistency:
As you can see, it's thick enough to "peak" in its container. Unlike Take the Day Off Balm, it doesn't look waxy or need to be scraped out of the jar, but it does stay a bit heavier on the skin, even when warmed. However, it's very easy to work with (much less messy than an oil, which tends to run through your fingers and down the sink before you can get it onto your face), and when used properly, it rinses off cleanly and completely. The skin is left feeling very soft and hydrated, not tight and dry, but there is no filmy residue left behind. Simply clean, glowing skin. Adding to the luxury of this product is the scent, which is a very natural lemony fragrance. It's divine.
EXTRA Balm Rinse can be used alone since it washes off so cleanly, but again, I use a second cleanser (Currently Foaming Non-Detergent Cleanser, which I will review soon) afterwards "just in case."
Bottom Line: I'm glad I tried this one. Being a melting balm, it's easy to work with and very soothing to the skin. It leaves no residue and rinses easily and cleanly from the skin. Plus, the fragrance is amazing...clean, fresh, and lemony-herbal, with no hint of a synthetic tinge. It's a joy to use. Given that you need so little and it comes in a huge 7.3 oz jar, I'm thinking this will take me through the harsh months of winter without a problem, making the $55 price tag much more bearable. If you have dry skin, I highly recommend this, and if you are oily, it's a great addition to a 1-step cleanse.