When I first started exploring cleansing balms, I came across the REN No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm. It came highly raved by many and I have enjoyed using many things from REN so when I had the opportunity, I picked up a tube at the store last year (REN is sold at Ken’s Apothecary here in Malaysia).
I have to admit, I’m not quite blown away by the efficacy of the product even though I love that it’s a proper wipe off balm cleanser as opposed to a emulsifying one. Is there a difference you ask?
Yes there is. I find that a wipe off balm cleanser, which is usually thicker and needs warming up, is less drying than a cleansing balm that emulsifies and doesn’t employ the use of a muslin or any face cloth. But as I use a face cloth regardless, it doesn’t really matter to me.
Those who like this REN cleansing balm rave about the scent, texture and efficacy. I’ll tell you that 2 out of 3 work for me, but which 2?
Well no prizes for guessing, but the one that doesn’t work for me is the scent. The No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm is part of the Rosa Centifolia range which smells of roses, as the name implies. The smell is that of fresh roses (not cloying musty rose scents) and if you love the smell of fresh sweet roses, you’ll love it. It’s strong. At least to me.
The other thing I dislike (a lot) is the tube packaging. You’d think a tube works right? Makes it easy to squeeze out and all that? Oh boy! You couldn’t be more wrong than that.
Because this is a balm, it’s quite thick and if you’ve ever had to try to squeeze a fairly thick product out through a small hole, you’d soon realise you have your work cut out for you. I also was a bit wary because the initial squirt of product was watery so it appears that the product will separate in the tube. All in all, the tube is a bad bad idea. A tub makes more sense for balms and I have read that REN will go back to putting this into a tub soon. Smart move coz I’m sure they lost quite a few customers!
The product is rather thick as you can see fro the photo and you have to warm it up a little before applying to your skin as you would a regular cleansing balm.
Remember, you’re working with a dry face, dry hands situation here! Do not wet your hands. I like to warm it up a little before applying it to my face and then smooth it over and massage it in. Many people find this a hassle but I love it. Different strokes, people
Massage it in enough and it’ll take on a smoother consistency and then I use a warm face cloth to wipe off the product. REN includes a piece of muslin cloth in the box which is a nice thought, especially for someone new to using a cleansing balm. I don’t use it as I use regular face cloths but it’s there if I need it and I do when I travel, because muslin clothes dry more quickly!
After cleansing, my skin is lovely and clean and smooth and soft and just all round nice feeling. I don’t find it drying and although it says that it’s for all skin types, I personally feel that in our local weather, those of a drier skin disposition will like this better than someone with oilier skin. Not to say that it won’t work, it is after all a cleanser, but oilier skin types may prefer a cleansing oil for deeper cleansing.
I didn’t experience any breakouts using this but I don’t use this daily because the scent does get to me. I’m more than halfway through my tube but I won’t repurchase. Not until it comes in a tub and the scent is reduced or removed, because I otherwise do like the product very much.
In a nutshell
The popular REN No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm is a wipe off balm cleanser. The 100ml comes in a tube which is a pain in the butt but I have read that they will be changing it to a tub which makes a heck more sense as the balm is rather thick. You have to warm it up with dry hands before applying to dry skin and then massage it in. It feels comfortable and wipes off clean and leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and clean. What I don’t like however is the rather strong scent of fresh roses which will however, appeal to someone who likes the smell of roses. I have no plans to repurchase unless the scent is made less strong and the packaging reverts to a tub.
Pros: Muslin cloth is included in box, Leaves skin feeling clean and soft, Lovely thick balm makes facial massage a pleasure, Easy to remove with warm cloth
Cons: I find the scent too strong, Tube packaging sucks
Who will like this: Anyone who likes the smell of roses, Anyone who likes using wipe off cleansing balms
Here is the ingredient list for those interested.
Have you used this REN cleansing balm? Do you like the smell of fresh roses in your skincare?
This is one of the more popular cleansing balms out there but maybe not locally as cleansing balms have yet to get a foothold here. I think it’s quite a nice one provided you can handle the scent of roses. I personally don’t like the scent of roses (I know, Ms. Strange! ) so that explains why I don’t like this one as much as I should!
UPDATE JULY 2014: I’m not ashamed to eat humble pie and revise my opinion! I’ve been trying to finish this up so I have been using it almost daily and I must say, I and my skin like it! It makes my skin feel so soft and comfortable and while the rose scent still is a bit strong for my nose, I like the balm for what it is. Now, I’m even contemplating a repurchase in the future! Definitely one of the ones my skin likes better.
For other cleansing balms I’ve tried, check out the MWS Cleansing Balm Repository, an on-going collection of cleansing balms as I try them
REN Rosa Centifolia No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm Price: RM159/100ml | £23/100ml Availability: Ken’s Apothecary stores or selected online stores