When I first declared love for cleansing balms I had people telling me “Try the Bobbi Brown one! Loads of product, great value! Smells amazing!” and you know what I thought? Wait a minute – Bobbi Brown? They do skincare?!
Apparently they do! And apparently I’m told that some of their skincare isn’t too bad which made me curious, because I don’t always associate known makeup brands like Bobbi Brown and Nars with skincare. But when you know of the big companies backing them who do do skincare (Estee Lauder Group and Shiseido Group respectively) then it sort of makes sense doesn’t it? 🙂
So one day, I was given the opportunity to try the Bobbi Brown Extra Rinse Balm cleansing balm and after I’d finished up a few of the ones I had in rotation, it was time to break this out and see how I felt about it.
I use the word “break” in a rather hesitant way, as this product comes in a large, heavy glass jar and that just spells disaster all over the bathroom! So I am very careful to keep this out of the wet area and as I use dry hands to handle it, accidents can be minimized, but not eradicated. Please be very careful because it is large and unwieldy.
I’ve given this almost 2 months use to see what I think about it, and apologies to the fans out there, I’m afraid I’m a little on the fence about this one.
I can’t fault the quantity. Although it’s expensive at about RM245 a jar, there’s a hefty 200ml of product in there which is a lot more than many other cleansing balms in the market. So once you break down the price, it isn’t that bad. Oh and it will last you a long long time, because you don’t really need that much each time you use it.
See? It’s large!
The yellow balm is as the name implies, a balm texture. It is sticky and doesn’t come with a spatula but that doesn’t bug me. I just dig right in with fingers. Dry ones mind you! You don’t want to use wet fingers because I’m sure it’ll spoil the product.
As with most cleansing balms, this operates on a dry hands, dry face method of cleansing. Scoop out a generous amount of cleansing balm depending on your personal preference. I am quite generous as I like to perform a little massage and you need lubrication.
You will notice that the texture is sticky. It’s like the balm sucks at your fingers when you try to scoop some out and when you do, it’s sticky.
See? You may notice the texture, which is a translucent yellow and a balmy texture that is unlike that of the Antipodes one which has a more buttery texture.
I’ve read of people experiencing problems using this because it’s so sticky and hard to use on skin but I didn’t experience problems. So here’s how I use it to give you an idea.
- Scoop out a generous amount and place in palm of hand.
- Using the other palm, rub at the balm to warm it up and spread it out in your hands. It starts out sticky but gets easier to work with as it warms up.
- Apply to face and massage. There is a warm sensation on skin and it’ll soften further.
- After a few minutes, add some warm water to melt the balm, continuing your massage, to emulsify the product.
- After a few more minutes, rinse off.
Warming it up in your palms makes it easier going on your face and minimizes painful tugging at your facial skin. As you massage, the balm will feel softer and it gets easier to handle. There is a strange warming sensation on the skin for a short while that I can’t explain. However, unlike balms like The Body Shop one or even Clinique, it does not turn into an oil. It remains a balm and I like that. I am not much of a fan of those that turn into oils.
Another point to note is that this balm is easily washed off without using a face cloth. You can just rinse it off after emulsifying it a little with warm water. I however prefer to use a face cloth and although I enjoy it, I know people find it a hassle so if you don’t like those wipe-off balms, you will prefer this one.
Another thing to note – the strong citrus smell. It is very strong and very sweet. I always feel like I’m washing my face with orange cordial or an orange rind whenever I use this because it is so strong! Some people will enjoy this, and although I do enjoy citrus scents, I actually find this a bit too much. A light scent is fine, but something this overwhelming doesn’t sit well with me.
Also, because of this strong citrus smell, I took a look at the ingredients and noticed that it contains citrus fruit extracts which I will warn can be irritating to sensitive skin so I will exercise a little caution if you do have sensitive skin.
It cleans my skin well enough, leaving it soft and feeling smooth and lovely but the strong citrus smell doesn’t sit well with me and I have a feeling that it dries my skin a little so I don’t use this every evening as I would usually do. I’ve been alternating this with another simply because I feel that my skin doesn’t tolerate this cleanser as well as it should.
It is however, convenient due to it’s rinse off formula so what I’d like to see is for this to come in a smaller, handier tub, maybe not in glass so we don’t have accidents in the bathroom and a lower pricetag. It’s not a bad product, I don’t think, but it can be prohibitive for people who may not be sure if the formula or ingredients will suit them.
I’ll use this up, as I did the one from The Body Shop that I emptied just recently, but this isn’t one I’d repurchase. The hunt is back on!
In a nutshell
The Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse is a balm cleanser that can be easily rinsed off with water instead of having to use a wash cloth or face flannel. The texture is quite sticky but once you warm it up in your hands, it’s quite easy to apply to skin and massaging it lightens the texture somewhat. The strong citrus scent appeals to many, but it does not appeal much to me and I will caution anyone with sensitive skin to take note of the citrus oils used as that can be irritating to skin. This cleans my skin well although if I use this too often it feels a wee bit drying so I use it on alternate days, alternating with another balm cleanser. I will suggest following up with another cleanser as this is the first step of a double cleansing routine and it does remove makeup although I didn’t test it on my eye area. The citrus makes my eyes water. The glass jar is large, heavy and unwieldy so this is one instance when I think a plastic jar will do better in a bathroom.
Pros: Cleans skin well and leaves it soft and clean, Balmy texture makes it useful for massaging over skin, Those who enjoy the scent will enjoy using this, Rinse off formula makes it very convenient
Cons: Glass jar is heavy and awkward especially in the bathroom, Citrus scent is far too strong
Who will like this: Anyone who enjoys strong citrus scents, Anyone familiar with using a balm cleanser and prefers a rinse off formula
Here is the ingredient list for anyone keen to see if you can use this
Some of you may be wondering if you can use this as a makeup remover and cleanser in one. My answer is yes you can, however I don’t recommend it. The reason I say so is because I would never use this around my eyes (too strong and too much tugging) and if you’re going to remove your eye makeup first, it would also make sense to remove your face makeup first. That’s what I do as I do not believe in all in one products. So I’d remove my makeup first with a cleansing water (I don’t bother if it’s too clean) and then I follow up with a balm cleanser for my face area (never eyes!) and end with another face cleanser. That’s me 🙂
Have you used this Bobbi Brown Balm? Have you tried other Bobbi Brown skincare?
I haven’t tried other Bobbi Brown skincare but they actually have a treatment lotion that intrigues me! Also I’ve read their face moisturiser is quite good. Thoughts? 🙂
Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse Price: RM245/200ml Availability: Bobbi Brown counters and stores
32 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
I actually adore the Antipodes one. It’s relatively affordable if I pick it up when there’s 25% off. I’m actually repurchasing this one and am not going to risk trying new stuff! I love using a washcloth as well. Hot washcloth, close my eyes, and the warmth from the cloth melting the day away. It’s therapeutic!
Paris B says
The Antipodes cleanser is super awesome! I’m waiting for the day I go back to it. Makes my skin feel so clean and smooth and I love using a wash cloth. I swear it makes my skin look and behave so much better!
I’ve proclaimed my love for this one, and I still love it. I don’t have a problem with tugging though. I always melt it in my hand before massaging it onto my face. Scents are so personal, and I love this one. So refreshing! On my normal sometimes combo skin, this one is awesome 🙂
Paris B says
Comes down to a preference thing I suppose. I don’t have a problem with it tugging but I know some people have reported that they are dragging their skin all over the place. I like how it softens after massaging into the skin and I like that. I do find the smell too strong but then scents are very personal so, can’t please everyone! 😉
awww… too bad you don’t fancy the scent. About bath room accident, mine had dropped onto bath tub which is hard tile, the height where it had dropped from was about 1 foot. The glass jar survived, but the plastic cap broke… This balm, because it’s so thick, can easily be decanted into smaller pot for travelling. No leakage whatsoever. 😀
From my experience, their jars’ lids are too fragile even though look sturdy. The body will survive but the cap usually lasts too short for my liking. Pity coz the jars are lovely and I would love to keep them but always have problem keeping the lids unbroken.
Paris B says
Sadly I did find the scent too “orangey” for my liking 🙁 But I’ll take your word for the strength of the glass! 😀 Not going to experiment that’s for sure hehe… But you do have a good point about decanting it. It’s so thick, it won’t leak
I have used this years earlier. I love the texture and the citrus smell (maybe the smell is overpowering but I love citrus smell, make my head feel clear, haha). The balm didn’t dry out my skin, more like keeping the moisture in. I have sensitive skin and the whole time I used this, I’ve never experience negative effect. But maybe different people with their sensitive skin might have different effect?
However, like in your review, I find that the jar is too big to handle (maybe the size is much better for a guy LOL) so perhaps either we have to find a much smaller jar to put the product in (kinda similar like in restaurants where they put chili sauce in smaller container from big packets, hehe) or Bobbi Brown needs to make a smaller packaging, lower-risk-to-drop jar/bottle/tube. I wonder if they purposely make all products in Extra line in big size, maybe to save more cost.
Paris B says
Scents are such personal things aren’t they? 🙂 Good to know you like this one Fathin – I can imagine one jar can last ages! I personally find the scent a bit too much like orange cordial which is why it doesn’t appeal as much, but I know most people will love it 🙂 I have a friend whose skin is sensitive to citrus oils hence my caution as citrus oils are known to irritate skin and can cause long term skin sensitivity 🙂 As Ting has mentioned in a previous comment, decanting this is definitely an option although I think a smaller jar makes more sense although maybe not economical sense.
I’m quite familiar with their skincare when I was exploring all types of brands. I actually quite like their hydrating toner and I’ve used their cream cleanser before which I didn’t really like. A lot of people tell me their scrub is good too but I’ve not tried. Their range is not too bad la in skincare if my skin isn’t that hard to please 🙂
The balm sounds lovely although the smell sounds like a push off.
Paris B says
Xin told me about their scrub too! It comes in dry form and you can mix up as much as you need and I thought it was very interesting! 😀 You might be interested that I was told their stuff don’t have mineral oil 😉 As for the balm, it isn’t bad – very fresh citrus scent just not to my taste 🙂 I’m happy to let you have some to try if you like 🙂
hey that sounds good! can can… 🙂
Sze Ling says
Ditto! I just can’t get over the large glass jar. It’s so not practical. And I think their ever-so-popular buffing grain is also in a glass jar. Sigh. Probably the only reason why I’m so discouraged to try these.
Other than that, I’ve heard so many good things about these two products. Glad to see you reviewing one of them. 😉
By the way, Real Techniques has some new brushes in the market. Eyeing the retractable kabuki brush. 😛
Paris B says
Yes the buffing grain is in a glass jar but I’m told it’s easy to decant and take travelling coz it’s dry and you can mix it up with stuff. Am really keen to try it 😀 I think the Extra Balm Rinse is good even if not quite to my personal taste. Ooh be careful about retractable kabukis. They are sometimes quite flimsy although the Ecotools one is quite good too! 😉
I have used other things in their Extra line, both the day cream and night cream. Both are too much to use in Taipei’s hot summer, but in the winter it’s lovely, especially if I head to Canada.
Paris B says
Mmm with my dry skin I think I’d like something that works well in winter right? 😀 Thanks for letting me know, I’ll take a look at the creams next time!
I have not used any Bobbi Brown skincare before and I will probably not purchase this either after your review. Pretty happy with my Clinique cleansing balm as it gets the job done with minimal fuss. Probably when it finishes, I would like to check out the Antipodes one because you have been raving about it so much 🙂
Paris B says
Haha oops! 😛 I’m currently trying the Clinique balm! Divided thoughts on it for now >.< I do love Antipodes, but you have to use a wash cloth with it coz it doesn't rinse off.
I love the scent and the warming sensation on the face when I used this; however, I feel like I would need to spend longer time to massage my entire face, and I personally don’t find this balm remove makeup efficiently (read:tugging). It is not time-efficient for me and I still see traces of foundation on my face when I use this. Perhaps I have been spoilt with cleansing oils, and as much as I love its scent, I am still gonna pick cleansing oil in an instant.
Paris B says
Absolutely need more massage and no, I don’t think it’s a great makeup remover either but because I don’t use it as one as I remove makeup first and then follow up with another cleanser, so it didn’t quite bother me, but thanks for noting that 🙂 I think cleansing oils are great stuff, but my skin just hates them right now >.<
Actually these days I use an Avene milk cleanser followed with a Bifesta cleansing water to make sure I get everything off. Seems to be doing the job and easier on my pocket compared to Shu Uemura 😛 I find that when I use the cleansing milk first there’s less tugging on the skin and it’s not so drying compared to if I were to use the Bifesta cleansing water alone. Been meaning to try cleansing balms, I even saw one at the Faceshop. Seems like everybody’s hopping on the balm bandwagon!
Paris B says
Good to know you’ve found a combination that works Applegal 😀 Cleansing milks are more gentle on skin that’s for sure and definitely not drying. I still like the whole rinsing and washing face routine so while I do use a cleansing water, I use it as a makeup remover and still wash my face thereafter. I think balms have always been there but just less prominent than cleansing oils. I had to switch coz of my skin taking a dislike to oils and the change in my face cleansing routine but in the big scheme of things I love how cleansing balms make my skin feel! 😀
I used their skincare many years back but the results don’t leave me impress and also some of the products broke me out if I were to use them everyday….most likely too ‘nourishing’ for our climate perhaps? I do quite like the scent of their skincare though which drew me to try them out in the first place.
Paris B says
I have noticed some of the creams are a bit heavy which might explain how it doesn’t work as well in our climate but I’m told they’re slowly incorporating lighter textures to suit us 🙂 Now that you mention the scent, yes! They all do smell quite lovely and relaxing 😀
Effa Haniza says
I don’t have this in my list and am more glad after reading this. The smell would puts me off. Hehe.. I’m still itching to get the Emma Hardie one though! 😛
Paris B says
Haha not a fan of citrus smells Effa? 😀 I can’t seem to find Emma Hardie online and I read that it wasn’t all that great so I’m passing on that one. Trying to be good 😀
This sounds interesting Paris. I might give it a try. Thanks for sharing!
Paris B says
My pleasure! See if you can get a sample before you invest! 😉
What about decanting it?
Paris B says
Absolutely possible coz it won’t slop around or leak for the most part. But just not something I generally do to my skincare while at home but possible for travel.
Beauty Box says
So interesting! I def would like to try this because I would prefer a rinse-off balm than one that needs a muslin cloth. I like BB’s extra eye repair cream – it’s very good for dry winters and there’s so much product so it lasts forever.
Paris B says
Oh then I think you’d like this one YuMing! 🙂 It rinses off quite easily without leaving any residue so it definitely appeals to the non-wash cloth users. I’ve heard lots of good things about their creams so I might have to give it a go soon 🙂