The Skin-ny: Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm

I like a good cleansing balm. Specifically, I like the It Cosmetics Bye-Bye Makeup Cleansing Balm; but at $38/2.82 oz, buying a jar at at full price would officially make it my Most Expensive Cleanser Purchase Ever, and I try to be economical when it comes to cleansers. (Leaves more room in the budget for fun stuff!) So I’ve been searching for alternatives. Banila Co Clean It Zero did a fine job removing makeup, but necessitated a second cleanse. I barely want to wash my face once at night, much less two, so the search continued.

Then I picked up a deluxe sample of the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm with a Sephora order, and I’ve found a new — albeit still expensive — favorite. The pale green balm is texturally similar to the It Cosmetics stuff — somewhat plush, melts easily on contact with the skin but isn’t too greasy. No second cleanse is necessary — it emulsifies and rinses easily and leaves my skin feeling hydrated and soft, just like the It Cosmetics stuff does.

My reason for preferring the Farmacy balm to the It Cosmetics balm is stupid, but whatever: it smells like fresh lime sherbet. You might think, “great, added fragrance, just what I need,” and that’s a fair complaint. It’s just what I need, though — the fragrance is so lovely and refreshing that it makes me look forward to washing my face at night, a phrase I never thought I’d type.

AND, because the fragrance and texture are so pleasant, I tend to massage it around my face longer than is strictly necessary for makeup removal. As I started working it a bit longer, I was surprised when I began noticing the occasional bit of hardened sebum underneath my fingers — the extended massage seems to be dissolving pore gunk just enough to loosen it from my pores. This isn’t happening on the “professional extraction” level, of course, but it’s nice to know that a couple pieces of pore gunk are coming out every day or two. I suspect this would have worked just as well with the It Cosmetics cleansing balm, but it didn’t have a seductive lime sherbet fragrance, so I never bothered.

The only drawback? At $34/3.2 oz, this isn’t much more economical than the It Cosmetics option. Given how far my .4-oz sample lasted, I imagine a full-sized jar would last me a few months, but still — not gonna happen.

Ingredients: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Peg-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Peg-10 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Amino Esters-1, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Amber Powder, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid.

Tried it? Liked it? Hated it? Have any cheaper alternatives? Do tell!