I was into skincare before I was into makeup, so over the years I’ve tried a veritable ton of cleansers. Brands, formats, whatever. What I hadn’t tried, though, was a cleansing balm. After hearing Lisa Eldridge (I think) mention the Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm being a cost-effective alternative to a more prestigious offering (the Eve Lom one), I decided to find it. As it turns out, my local Target carries it – but it can also be found at Ulta, on drugstore.com and on Amazon (if you’re willing [or don’t have a choice but to] to pay double for it, that is).
Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm, $7
Famous is my love (read: disdain) of long product names, but I found that I’m willing to endure it for this little jar. Cleansing balms generally aren’t the type of product one uses to dominate their cleansing routine so much as supplement it; to give it a little boost or pleasant change to the routine. For me, it will not supplant my routine of Cetaphil Gentle + my Clarisonic, but will instead be a welcome once- or twice-per-week addition to it.
Personally, I’m not concerned if what I’m using on my face is organic – but if that is a quality you’re seeking in your beauty products, this claims to be 97% organic. I have no idea how to validate whether or not this is marketing shenanigans for you, so I’ll leave that much to you if you’re concerned about it.
Anyway, you use Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm in the way that you would use any similar product. Scoop out some of the translucent yellow balm with a clean finger, emulsify it between your hands, and smooth it over your face. The balm has a scent, but it is not prominent, heavy, or obtrusive – it’s a little herbal, a little floral, but it doesn’t annoy me, so that speaks to its subtlety. Nothing lingers after removal.
Then, take the muslin cloth and soak it in warm water for a moment. I commit what many consider a no-no by going as warm as I can stand, then I drape the cloth over my face, ensuring good contact with my, “problem areas;” for me, that’s my forehead and nose. Once it’s cooled a little, I massage my face with the cloth and then rinse the product away. I had removed my makeup with a makeup wipe prior to use, and this picked up what I missed (user error, not poor performance of the wipe) with ease.
If I’m doing a double-cleanse (I usually am), I proceed with my routine. If not or, when any other cleansing is done, I then dampen the muslin cloth with cool water and pat my skin with it. Your skin is left feeling moisturized, but not sticky, greasy, or otherwise.
The first time I used Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm (and I used it on its own), I woke up with softer skin. I needed less moisturizer than usual both before bed and the following morning. I continue to experience these results regardless of if I use it alone or not. It is incredibly gentle.
The Bottom Line
I’ve been using it for over a month-and-a-half now, and suffice to say I’m satisfied, will gladly repurchase, and do recommend. I have not used the Eve Lom product and knowing how much it costs compared with how much this costs and its performance? I won’t be buying it, ever, that’s for sure. I do think I have a sample of it in my stash, though, so I will attempt to locate it so I can do a comparison.