Cleansing Balms – My Thoughts and Ramblings

OK let me preface this by saying I am no Caroline Hirons.  My only stake in this game is my own skin – literally! I have combination/oily skin which has been getting drier as I age or maybe its because I live in Colorado. Or maybe both reasons??? See first sentence.

The cleansers of my yesteryears  (Clinique’s Liquid Facial Soap is one that I used for years)  were too drying and provided no other benefits for my skin.  I now use Philosophy Purity Made Simple as a first cleanse. This removes even stubborn mascara and does not leave my skin feeling like an old shoe.

Time for changes.

Cue the “Cleansing Balms”. I find that a cleansing balm keeps the moisture (or replenishes – not sure – see first sentence) in my skin. I wanted to try a few with ingredients that were nourishing for my aging skin. Here are my thoughts on the ones I’ve tried.

     Darphin Aromatic Purifying Cleansing Balm

Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm – I purchased this from Amazon and this is a bit pricy.  The tiny 0.4 oz packages cost $66.76.  This can also be purchased from Darphin’s website.  The picture above is linked to Darphin’s website.


The Aromatic Purifying Balm has the most dense texture of all of them.  And it is truly aromatic. This has a “mediciny” fragrance. My husband says an ‘herbal, menthol kick”.
It has a consistency of vaseline but when you massage it into warm skin it turns into a velvety, buttery texture. Some people leave this on their face overnight.  I would not try this as I have oily skin. I remove with a warm wash cloth.


I do like this one.  This leaves my skin feeling soft and silky.  It does not cause any breakouts on my skin and most importantly leaves it feeling hydrated. I am not sure I will repurchase this just because of the price.

                           Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Ellemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm – this one was also purchased from Amazon. I linked the above picture to TimeSpa also. This contains 0.7 oz. and cost $13.20. Amazon also has a 3.7 oz. package for $29.51.

This balm has a velvety texture like chocolate pudding. When massaged into the skin it feels pretty much like the Daprhin.


The Elemis cleansing balm has a slight lemon scent but there is also that slight medicine smell in the background. I do enjoy this one. It melts in much easier than the other two balms. I will use this one for travel since it is in a travel friendly size.

                      REN Rosa Centifoliia Cleansing Balm

REN Rosa Centifoliia Cleansing Balm – This was purchased from Sephora and comes in at a whopping 5.1 oz. This one is the most economical coming in at $48.00.  In my opinion it works just as well as the others.

This has a thick consistency. IMG_6737It almost looks like Vaseline in the tub but when massaged into the skin it turns into the same velvety, buttery consistency and melts right in.

The REN is the least aromatic of the three I’ve tried. It smells kind of like Vaseline to me. Nothing special.

This works great. It leaves my skin feeling soft and full of moisture. I use a warm wash cloth to remove since this is pretty greasy.


I will be repurchasing this one. REN does what I want it to do which is cleanse and hydrate and it does so at a great price point. What more can i ask? Make the bed? I would love to hear how others have used cleansing balms and what are the results.

PM Fall & Winter Skincare – Over 40

I am just realizing that skincare for a 40 something year old needs to be completely different from yesteryears. This is a fight – knock down, drawn out, no holds barred affair to keep my skin looking healthy. I am pretty sure that there are no potions that will completely stave off the inevitable aging but can we at least slow it down?

I did quite of bit of research, and by that I mean I’ve watched tons of YouTube videos and read oodles of blogs, in an effort to see what other women are doing to keep their skin as young looking and as healthy as possible. Turns out there are as many routines and “I swear by’s” as there are women.

I have combination/oily skin and I have figured out a routine that works for me – well a few routines really. This post will focus on my PM routine. As it turns out I had one thing really wrong.  I thought because I had mostly oily skin I should avoid oils at all costs. Nope. Totally wrong.

First Cleanse

Purity Made Simple

I use a double cleanse routine I got from Caroline Hirons.  I start in the shower with Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple to wash off all my makeup and/or sunblock. This I consider my 1st cleanse. Some say the shower is too hot for the face but I don’t take hot showers and I find it works just fine for my first cleanse.

Second Cleanse

Next I use a cleansing balm. I have tried three of these and they all work well. There are a few differences in texture, fragrance, and price. Since I have oily skin a simple rinse will not do to remove the residue from the cleansing balms. I use a warm washcloth to remove. Darphin Aromatic Purifying BalmElemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing BalmREN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Balm are the ones I have used.  The REN retails for $48.00 and contains 5.1 oz. The Darphin was 67.99 on Amazon and the Elemis, also from Amazon, was $13.20 for 0.7 oz. I think I will stick with REN because its more economical and works beautifully.

REN, Darphin, Elemis
Cleansing Balms – Ren, Darphin, and Elemis


Next in my PM Routine is toner. I use the Radical Skincare Age Defying Exfoliating Pads. This comes in a 4.35 oz package and cost $75.00.  I would certainly not use this on sensitive skin. It does have a little sting but I figure that’s the good stuff working!

Radical Skincare Age Defying Exfoliating Pads
Radical Skincare Age Defying Exfoliating Pads

This is something that I recently added to my routine.  Caroline Hirons says an acid toner is a must for women over 40. Its pretty much at the top of her list. I love what she has to say about Anti-Aging. OK – one more from Mrs. Hirons. She shoots from the hip and is hilarious! The last tip in this blog post really put some things into perspective.


I apply a serum every night after toner.  Right now I am using REN Radiance Perfection Serum. This comes in a tiny bottle which holds 1.02 oz and cost $55.00. I only need a small amount of this to cover my entire face. I let the toner dry first and then apply to my face and neck.

REN Radiance Perfection Serum
REN Radiance Perfection Serum


I use  two moisturizers. I use the REN Rose O12 Moisture Defense Oil. This is my favorite part.  My cleansed skin gets to soak up this oil.  The smell of this one is a little bit unpleasant even though it says “rose” in the name. This is a very small bottle.  It has in only 1.02 oz and cost $80.00 but a little goes a long way and  – it – feels – fabulous!

REN Rose O12 Moisture Defence Oil
REN Rose O12 Moisture Defense Oil

After I am done massaging in the oil I use the REN V-Cense Revitalizing Night Cream. This comes in a pump bottle that holds 1.7 oz and cost $55.00. Again this can be construed as a bit pricy but I apply it over the oil and I only have to use a tiny bit.  This moisturizer also kills the smell of the oil.  According to some blogs I’ve read, nothing penetrates the skin after applying oil.  That makes sense to me but putting the moisturizer over the oil neutralizes the smell and it also makes your face less greasy. So… why not?

REN V-Cense Revitalizing Night Cream
REN V-Cense Revitalizing Night Cream

This is my PM routine and I love the way my skin is improving.  Hopefully in another few weeks I will have turned back the clock.  Is that asking too much?