We’re a little late with this one this month, needless to say the run up to Christmas is flying by but I’ve been looking forward to this edition of save, spend, splurge for a while now. There has never been an edition of this series where I have loved all three products I’m talking about as much as I love these three. This is actually quite problematic. I have no idea how to conclude this post with a winner. Anyway, today we’re talking about cleansing balms.
Cleansers in general I feel are quite controversial as far as how much you should be spending; there’s the camp that believe a cleanser should be super cheap as it’s basically the only skin for a minute or two. Then there’s those who think you should buy a quality cleanser as the effectiveness of the products that follow rely on you having beautifully cleansed skin, and if you’re into facial massage you obviously want something that feels lovely on the skin. I’m in the second group, but quality doesn’t always have to mean pricey as we’re about to discuss.
Today’s products range from £8.99 to £48.
I believe this is the first time this has happened but all of these brands are cruelty free, although none of them are 100% vegan. Emma Hardie are currently awaiting leaping bunny status and Omorovicza regained their CF status after exiting the Chinese market in 2015. All of these products so the cost per 100ml are as following Botanics is 70ml making it £12.84 per 100ml, Emma Hardie is 100ml so the price stays at £39 and Omorovicza is only 50ml, coming in at £96 per 100ml. Currently patting myself on the back for picking products with such huge price differences this time. Emma Hardie are both made here in the UK, Omorovicza products are produced in Hungary.
As these products are all balms the differences between them are quite narrow, they of course all melt down into an oil but they are slightly different. The Botanics balm is the thickest, the oil is quite heavy and thoroughly moisturising, I love the texture of this balm as I have dry skin but I don’t think you oily girls out there will be a fan. Emma Hardie is a little more runny, still an oil but more smooth and spreadable, nourishing without feeling pore clogging. The Omorovicza is unlike any cleansing balm I have ever used before; it’s more of an oil-gel texture, very smooth with a lot of slip and not at all thick or greasy. This one would be cleansing balm for the girl who doesn’t really like cleansing balms.
Things worth noting:
- The most expensive offering is the only one where the first ingredient is a chemical. Your personal views on natural skincare can determine whether that is a good thing or not. Just for the record that first ingredient chemical is an emollient which is what gives it the slip, gel like texture.
- Being 97% organic, the Botanics option is by far the most natural, consisting mainly of different oils.
- The Botanics one also has the least ingredients, with Emma Hardie having the most.
- All of them contain almond oil fairly highly on the ingredients list, and we all know I love anything with almond oil.
They all come in very similar packaging, round jars or tubs with twist off lids. The Emma Hardie is the chunkiest packaging and probably the least travel friendly offering. As expected, Botanics packaging reflects its price point, it’s small and plain white plastic but it is very light making it a good travel option. Unsurprisingly, the Omorovicza packaging is much fancier, it comes in a frosted glass jar and feels expensive, and I’d be pretty disappointed if it didn’t considering the price tag. As it’s glass it’s also fairly heavy and more likely to break so I’d say this is better for the bathroom than a travel bag. All three of them come with some sort of wash cloth or muslin.
They are all wonderful and I’d love to leave this section as that alone but that’s not helpful to anyone so it’s time to nit-pick. All of them feel incredible on the skin but they perform slightly differently due to the texture differences I’ve already highlighted. As the Botanics balm is thicker in texture this one does leave a slightly oily film on the skin, which a lot of people don’t like but I highly recommend this one as a winter option for those of you with dry skin. The texture also makes this one great for facial massage as you can always feel and mould the product around your skin without feeling as though you’re running out of product or having to press too hard.
Emma Hardie sits comfortably in the middle, it’s a great everyday cleansing option, skin feels lovely after using it but it doesn’t leave a film. I’m not really a fan of this one for facial massage.
And finally Omorovicza is purely for cleansing, due to the lighter texture I think this one would slip away into nothing if you tried to massage with it. Skin feels clean after use but this one has the least oily texture, no residue and probably best suited to those with oily skin.
Back to what I said earlier, this is really hard. Really hard. I truly do love every single one of these. The Botanics balm was the first cleansing balm I ever tried about 5 years ago and there hasn’t been a time since that I haven’t had one in my collection. Having said that, the Emma Hardie has been my main cleanser for nearly 3 years now. The Omorovicza one is very new to me so the love hasn’t quite developed to holy-grail status yet but it’s establishing a solid place in my stash.
Fundamentally I can’t pick a winner here, this comes entirely down to what you can afford, or are willing to spend. I will say that unless you don’t like the way balms feel or do have oily skin, the Emma Hardie is a far better option than the Omorovicza. As great as I think that product is, it is over double the price (per 100ml) and it definitely isn’t twice as good. If you’re new to balms and don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Botanics one is a great introduction unless you have very oily skin.
*I am officially declaring the ending a complete fail when it comes to decisiveness*
Have you tried any of these products? What were your thoughts? And if anyone has anything they’d like to see as my next save, spend, splurge I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
See my last save, spend, splurge here.