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This Korean Beauty Balm Is the Best Makeup Remover

Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero Purity will make you actually enjoy washing your face.

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Banila Co. Clean It Zero Purity
Banila Co. Clean It Zero Purity ($22.25)

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I’ve always hated washing my face. I got a bottle of Cetaphil when I turned 13, decided it wasn’t doing anything, and swapped it out for some Clean & Clear, figuring — as we all did — that the tube with the beads would scrub “impurities” away the best. When I learned those little plastic balls had been destroying the environment, I started hunting for an alternative.

I found something fancy and organic at Sephora and used it religiously, applauding myself for buying a product that stripped dirt away so well it made my skin tight. And then I learned that tightness was actually a blaring alarm: I don’t typically have dry skin, per se, but I’d been dehydrating it each time I cleaned it off. The tight feeling was a signal that yeah, I’d removed the grime and concealer from my face at the end of a long day, but I was also potentially damaging the protective barrier of my skin.

There’s a way to take makeup, sunscreen, and that film of sweat off your face without taking — via beads or shells or foam — that barrier with it: cleansing balms. Made of solidified moisturizing oils, balms melt even the most waterproof mascara.

Buy Here Banila Co. Clean It Zero Purity, $22.25

Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero Purity is the holy grail of cleansing balms. Made predominantly of argan and evening primrose oils (whereas most balms are full of acne-inducing coconut or mineral oils), it’s great for sensitive skin. It responds quickly to heat, turning to a creamy liquid on contact, but doesn’t get so oily it drips down your chin. I like to massage it into my lips and the backs of my hands, too, letting the oils moisturize those delicate areas while it lifts all the makeup — that I’ve worked so hard to keep in place, layering primer and foundation and concealer and powder and setting spray — off my face.

Just rub the balm into your skin, watch an episode of It’s Always Sunny, rinse it off, and you’re ready for step two of the double-cleansing method: a liquid-y (and properly pH-balanced) cleanser of your choice.