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    Why Everyone Should Be Using An Oil Cleanser In Their Skincare Routine

    There aren't many products out there I would credit as my hero but this is one of them.

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    One of the most common causes of skin problems like acne is actually improper cleansing. Because then you're actually just slathering on serums, moisturizers, and all your other products on still-dirty skin. That was me, too, some years ago when all I was doing was using a basic cleanser and calling it a night. Who was that girl?

    Salon Line

    That means double-cleansing is actually the most important step of your routine β€” you need a clean base for your other products to even work!


    After unsuccessful trips to the derm and Western products doing absolutely nothing to stop my acne, hyperpigmentation, and oily skin from bidding me goodbye, I switched to a Korean skincare routine, willing to try something new, and discovered the wonders of double-cleansing, particularly the Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm β€” which is what I'm here to talk to you about today, my lovelies!

    the pink container
    Nusrat Sultana / BuzzFeed

    But first, what is double cleansing, you might wonder? Just what it sounds like β€” a two-step cleansing method that originated in Asia and calls for first using an oil-based cleanser, then following it up with a water-based foam cleanser. Oil cleansers remove oil-based impurities like makeup and pollutants while water cleansers remove water-based impurities like sweat and dirt.

    And just to be clear β€” it's a myth that cleansing oils are bad or cause breakouts for oily skin and this is coming from a very oily-skinned gal (seriously, I cannot leave the house without oil-blotting sheets or I'll end up with a face as shiny as an oil barrel in two hours).

    Cleansing oils are made to be extremely gentle, use plant-based oils, and get out the gunk on your skin that a water cleanser can't get, breaking down stuff like SPF and excess sebum. And it's good for ALL skin types, oily and combo included!

    Which brings us to the star of this show, the Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm, which, I kid you not, I have been using for six years, and even when I decide to switch it up and change my oil cleanser, I have yet to find one that matches up to this and always go back. TBH, I credit this for getting rid of my acne β€” I don't use any acne medication or any products with salicylic acid because harsh 😩!

    Nusrat Sultana / BuzzFeed

    Throughout high school and college, I struggled a lot with acne, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation, and tried everything from harsh derm-prescribed medications to microbead face washes to improve my skin. Nothing helped until I took things into my own hands, did my own research, and switched to a Korean skincare routine.

    Weeks of properly double-cleansing meant everything I used after, from toner to serum, would sink in better, and I began seeing improvements: fewer and fewer breakouts until eventually my skin cleared up completely, hyperpigmentation slowly fading, and a brighter skin tone. Even my mom's friends took notice! You bet I never looked back.

    It comes with a spatula and has a solid sherbet-like texture that transforms into a silky oil when you rub it in. Admittedly, I lose the tiny spatula every time so I just use my finger. Scoop up a bit and massage into dry skin gently to dissolve makeup and dirt. Then add some water to your face and massage more β€” this is when the oil turns into a milky liquid! Lastly, rinse with water and follow up with your water cleanser.

    Nusrat Sultana / BuzzFeed

    For super heavy eye makeup, you can also take a bit of the balm, rub it on your eyes (as we've established, it won't irritate!), then use a napkin or cloth to wipe it off.

    Unlike my holy grail oil cleanser, I do change my water cleanser often because I like trying new ones. Currently, I follow this up with with the Skinfood Egg Pore Foam or the Meebak Cica Gel to Foam Cleanser. Then I dry my face and go through with the rest of my routine (yes, I do the 10-step Korean skincare routine, so for your sake, I will not list out all the steps here).

    There's many reasons I stan this balm. First, it's so incredibly gentle with its ingredients that it can be used on kids! Even though in the past six years I've inevitably gotten it into my eyes while taking off eye makeup, it has never irritated or burned my eyes. I get surprised every time, like "hey, aren't my eyes supposed to be burning right now?" That's how ya know!

    writer with the milky balm foamed up all over her face
    Nusrat Sultana / BuzzFeed

    Not only does it melt off the most stubborn makeup, but it also brightens with vitamin C-rich acerola extract and mildly exfoliates. It has no parabens, sulfates, or alcohol either. And while the description says there's a fresh rose scent, it's like barely there β€” people mention they smell the scent but personally, I never smell anything. Maybe my nose doesn't work the same. I use the original pink one but it's also available in Nourishing, Purifying, and Revitalizing, and in two sizes.

    Second, it's a cleanser that's actually hydrating?? Whether I use it on its own or with a water cleanser, it never leaves my skin feeling tight or stripped, only nourished. When I get lazy and don't double-cleanse with this, I immediately notice a difference in my combo-oily skin. My skin texture slowly gets worse, I start breaking out again, and my skin feels more congested and dull. This is literally a skin savior for me.

    When I do use it diligently every night, I never break out unless I do something stupid (like skipping my routine when I'm tired), and my skin maintains a calm and bright acne-free temperament that I very much enjoy, thank you. It also means the rest of the products I use β€” any essences, serums, and lotions β€” can actually do their job and not be blocked by makeup residue and pollutants.

    writer showing dewy hydrated skin after going through skincare routine
    Nusrat Sultana / BuzzFeed

    Plus, because you don't need a lot, the tub lasts me a good four months. I also just love the convenience of a balm formation and the tub container. I've tried cleansing oils that come in liquid form in pump bottles like this one and well, not a fan. Nothing against the cleansers themselves, I just find the ones in pump bottles to be messier, leakier, and more inconvenient for traveling. It's kind of a nightmare trying to pack an already-opened pump bottle for a trip.

    Balms are super easy to pack and travel with, no mess or leaks that you have to worry about, and maybe I'm just biased but I feel like balms get makeup and dirt off much easier and faster than liquid oils do!

    But you don't have to just take my word for it. This cleansing balm is beloved for tons and tons of people across Amazon, Soko Glam, and Ulta!

    Soko Glam, Ulta

    "Fun in a jar! Just to clarify, I’m such a lazy person, if putting makeup is going to require having to put so much work into taking it off later, I'd rather not even start. For a long time, I practiced this lazy girl motto, but then Banila's Clean It Zero balm found me and changed my horrid ways. It’s so simple to just scoop up a dollop and spread across your face. Waterproof mascara and eyeliner melt away, granted you’ll look like an evil inked faced troll, but when you do rinse it off, you are left with a smooth, hydrated surface of skin. It’s washing away a bad day to reveal the good underneath we forgot. I also massage my face to help with my oversensitive sinus and the ultra-smooth glide the balm creates provides the best surface to do so. Been buying for years and will continue. " β€”Ava

    "Where has this balm been all my life?! I got into K-beauty because I was so impressed at how this took off ALL my makeup without a single trace left. It glides on so smoothly and smells heavenly. So good that I just bought three more tubs to last me well into next year!" β€”Michelle

    At around $19–$27 depending on what size/type you get and with how long it lasts, it's been a great investment for me that doesn't break the bank and does enough for my skin (in conjunction with the rest of my routine) that I keep going back to it and will continue to. Truly a holy grail.

    writer showing dewy hydrated skin after having gone through a 10-step korean skincare routine with text saying "my skin after I finally got energy to do 100000-step skincare routine after a week"
    Nusrat Sultana / BuzzFeed

    Get it from Amazon, Soko Glam, and Ulta for $19+ (available in four types and two sizes). Let me know how it works for you! Here's to good skincare!

    Yash Raj Films

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