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The Acne Game: 10 Things You Need to Know About Cleansing Oil vs. Cleansing Balm!

Choosing the right skincare products for acne-prone skin is extremely important. Firstly, it directly affects the condition of acne itself. Some products , along with their own role, helps in reducing acne while others make it worse.  Acne-prone skin is more vulnerable to develop blackheads, whiteheads and breakouts.

Therefore , its important to choose wisely products that are for different purposes according to your acne prone skin. Moreover , a correct skincare regime can play a vital role in preventing excess oil production , clogged pores that ultimately leads to acne.. It can also enhance overall skin appearance, and give you a youthful and radiant complexion.

Now that we are aware of the importance of choosing right product, let’s explore about two main competitor cleansers and makeup removers  : cleansing oil and cleansing balm.  Which one is better for acne-prone skin? Which ingredients positively or negatively impact acne ? what things to consider when buying a cleanser for acne prone skin? This article will answer all your questions and help you make the best choice for yourself and achieve your dream skin.

Understanding Acne Prone Skin

Acne is a common skin condition that has various types of pimples or bumps on skin. And acne-prone skin is the one that is mores susceptible then other skin types to develop acne.

Acne happens when tiny holes in your skin (generally face) called pores gets clogged. These poles are clogged by excessive oil and dead skin accumulation. When such stuff gets accumulated in your pores, it may give rise to blackheads, whiteheads, pimples or breakouts.

Some other factors that causes acne includes hormones and bacteria. Hormonal imbalance especially during puberty may lead to acne formation. That’s the reason why teenagers are more prone to develop acne. Bacteria, also can make your acne worse making your face red and swollen.


Why proper cleansing is important?

Cleansing in the first and foremost important step in skincare routine. Any other product will not be effective unless you have cleansed your skin properly. Proper cleansing ensures that al the dirt, oil, impurities, dust and makeup is removed from your skin and your skin is ready to absorb other products.

Proper cleansing is foundation of healthy skincare routine. It helps maintain your skin to be clear, youthful and radiant while improving the effectiveness of other skincare products. Skipping cleansing can give rise to a lot of problems including breakouts, acne and uneven skin tone.

Now that we know importance of cleansing , lets talk about which is better for cleansing  acne-prone skin: Cleansing Oil or Cleansing Balm?

If you want to know in depth comparison of cleansing oil vs cleansing balm for all skin types, checkout our article

Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oil is a skincare product having oil like consistency. It is a blend of different oils including mineral oil, botanical oil and synthetic oil.

It is used to remove makeup , dirt and other impurities from skin. When applied, cleansing oil breaks and dissolve these substances ,allowing them to be easily wiped or rinsed off. They are used in double cleansing method. Where you first use an oil based cleanser followed by a gel based cleanser. It ensures that the skin is clean and hydrated.

How to use Cleansing Oil?

Cleansing oil generally comes in pump or squeeze bottles.

  • Start with dry hands and use a coin-sized amount of cleansing oil.
  • Apply the oil to your face, focusing on the forehead and cheeks while avoiding the eyes.
  • Massage the oil in upward circular motions, giving special attention to areas with heavy makeup or sunscreen.
  • For eye makeup removal, use cleansing oil on a cotton pad or fingertip to gently wipe off eyelids and lashes.
  • Keep massaging with slightly wet hands to emulsify the oil into a milky consistency.
  • Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, ensuring all oil and makeup are washed off.
  • Gently pat your face dry with a towel.

Using Cleansing Oil for Acne : Concerns and Advantages

Cleansing oil has both advantages and drawbacks for acne-prone skin. Here is a list of benefits and drawbacks it has to offer :

Benefits of Cleansing Oil for Acne

1. Makeup removal

Effective makeup removal is one crucial advantage of cleansing oil for acne-prone skin. Cleansing oil ensures that all the dirt, makeup including heavy and waterproof makeup is removed thoroughly.  The gentle yet potent cleansing method makes sure no residue is left that can clog pores and eventually lead to breakouts.

2. Balances oil production

Cleansing oil balances the oil production. Contrary to common misconception that oil based products makes skin more oily, cleansing oils can help regulate the skin’s sebum (oil) production.

3. Non-comedogenic

Non-comedogenic refers to products that minimize the risk of clog formation. For acne-prone skin , cleansing oils that are non-comedogenic are a great option as we know that clogged pores are one of the main reason of acne formation. That is why such cleansing oils are proven to be effective for acne prone skin types.

4. Soothing properties

Bacteria sometimes worsen the acne and skin feels irritated and red . in such cases, cleansing oils with ingredients like chamomile and aloe vera soothes the irritated skin and reduce inflammation.

5. Reduces the risk of clogging pores

As we discussed earlier, clogged pored are the main culprit behind acne formation. Cleansing oils ensure deep cleaning of pores to remove the trapped oil and impurities in there to clean skin deeply and effectively. This reduces the risk of acne formation and breakouts.

Drawbacks of Cleansing Oil for acne

Some drawbacks that individual with can-prone skin can face while using cleansing oils are :

1. Requires proper rinsing

Proper rinsing of cleansing oils is crucial. If skin is not properly rinsed, it may leave behind residue that includes traces of makeup , dirt , oil and other impurities which may lead to breakouts , acne and blackheads. Therefore , its necessary to rinse cleansing oil thoroughly which may take extra time and effort.

2. Risk of residue left

As stated above, not rinsing off cleansing oil properly can leave residue on skin. This can clog the pores which eventually leads to acne and other skin problems. An acne-prone skin should be cleansed using double cleansing method to ensure that is no residue left on skin and skin is cleaned deeply.

3. Potential reactions

While cleansing oils are generally well-tolerated , they may contain some ingredients that causes allergic reaction in some individual especially in people with sensitive skin type. Fragrances and other certain ingredients can trigger these reactions that can make skin irritated and itchy. Therefore, one has to be very mindful of the formulation of cleansing oil they are buying.

4. Not ideal for severe acne

While cleansing oil can be effective for gentle cleansing and makeup removal , it can not help in treating severe or cystic acne. Treatment of such acne requires proper medicated treatments suggested by dermatologist or professional.

Cleansing Balm

Cleansing balm is a skincare product that has solid or semi-solid consistency that transforms into oil like consistency when it comes in contact with warmth of your skin. It is designed to e used for initial step of double cleansing process where it removes makeup, dirt and impurities from skin. They are gentle in nature,  have nourishing properties which make them suitable for various skin types including sensitive skin. They leave the skin feeling clean and hydrated after use.

cleansing balm

How to Apply Cleansing Balm?

Cleansing balms are generally in a close lid container with a spatula for application.

  • Use a spatula to take a small amount of cleansing balm.
  • Rub it between your palms to make it liquid.
  • Gently apply and massage in circular motions, especially on heavy makeup areas.
  • Wet your hands, continue massaging to emulsify the balm.
  • Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water for clean, makeup-free skin.

Using Cleansing Balm for Acne : Concerns and Advantages

Each of these products comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of Cleansing Balm for Acne

Some benefits include:

1. Creamy texture

The creamy texture of cleansing balm is preferred by many over cleansing oil. It is especially appealing because it feels smooth and indulgent on skin. It provides a sense of hydration without feeling greasy or oily. Their texture is one of the reasons an individual will prefer cleansing balms over cleansing oils.

2. Effective makeup removal

Cleansing balm effectively removes makeup including waterproof makeup. It dissolves makeup and other impurities effectively when its texture changes into oil like consistency when it comes in contact with warmth of skin.

3. Gentle on sensitive areas

Cleansing balms are gentle on areas that are sensitive such as eyes. They effectively remove eye makeup including mascara and eyeliner without being harsh on eyes.

4. Nourishing ingredients

Most of the cleansing balms have nourishing ingredients like cocoa butter , shea butter which can sooth acne-prone skin.

5. Gentle exfoliation

Some cleansing balms contain exfoliating properties that gently exfoliates skin and remove dead skin cells leaving skin hydrated and clean.

Drawbacks of Cleansing Balm for acne

Keeping the advantages aside , cleansing balm can have several drawbacks as following

1. Heavier Texture

While many people enjoy the way cleansing balms feel on their skin, others can find it to be oily and heavy. The texture of cleansing balms may not be to everyone’s taste, especially if they prefer light or gel-like cleansers (which normally acne-prone skin people prefer.

2. Not Recommended for Oily Skin

Because cleaning balms have a thick and creamy consistency, they might not be recommended for people with naturally oily skin or people who live in humid areas. Such people may feel uneasy from the additional dampness. People with acne prone skin can experience worse acne using such products.

3. Removal Procedure

While some people might consider the removal of cleansing balms to be a pleasurable experience, others might find it to be laborious and difficult. This is why people with hectic schedules or less proactive habits could favor different kinds of cleansers.

4. Possible effects

Some chemicals in washing balms, such as scent or plant extracts, may irritate the skin and have an adverse effect. As a result, pay close attention to the components in the cleansing balm you use.

5. Packaging

Cleaning balms are typically packaged in jars with tight-fitting lids and a spatula. Again, those with busy schedules or those who are just plain lazy will favor pump bottles or squeeze bottles cleansers to save time.

Guidance for Acne-Prone Skin

When you are selecting a cleanser for acne-prone skin , be it cleansing balm or cleansing oil keep in mind following things :

1. Non-Comedogenic ingredients

 Always for the product that has non-comedogenic ingredients that doesn’t cause clogged pores.

2. Avoid Heavy Oils

if the product contains heavy oils, it is more likely to clog your pores and imbalance oil production. It is advised to avoid products with heavy oils.

3. Fragrance-Free

Although a good scent is pleasurable , it may cause several problems for acne-prone skin. That is why its always better to go for fragrance-free products for your skin.

4. Acne-Fighting or Soothing Ingredients

An individual with acne-prone skin should look for acne fighting and soothing ingredients in whatever skin product they are buying including cleansing oils and cleansing balms. These ingredients include :

  • Salicylic acid                 
  • Tea tree oil
  • Green tea extract                                 
  • Cucumber extract    
  • Chamomile extract
  • Aloe vera 


Personal preference and skin sensitivity ultimately determine which cleansing balm or oil is best for acne-prone skin.

Cleansing balms, with their creamy texture and simplicity of use, and Cleansing oils, with their efficient makeup removal and hydration benefits, both of these cleansing choices offer significant advantages. The secret is to choose cosmetics that cater to the specific requirements of your skin.

Always remember to conduct a patch test before using a new product, and if in doubt, seek the advice of a dermatologist. Whichever route you take, the foundation of glowing, bright, and healthy skin is a mild yet effective cleansing regimen.

So go ahead and start your skincare adventure with confidence and enjoy the beauty of choice, knowing that the skincare industry has a wide range of solutions ready to meet your specific requirements. Your acne-prone skin needs the treatment and care that will leave it looking and feeling lovely and revitalized.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a cleansing balm or oil better for acne-prone skin?

Both cleansing balms and oils can be suitable for acne-prone skin. The choice depends on personal preference and skin sensitivity. Look for non-comedogenic options tailored for sensitive skin and consider factors like texture and formulation to find the best fit for your skin.

Can acne-prone skin use cleansing oil?

Yes, acne-prone skin can use cleansing oil. Many cleansing oils are formulated to be non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores, making them suitable for acne-prone skin. Look for products labeled as suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin, and consider patch testing to ensure compatibility with your individual skin needs.

Are cleansing balms OK for acne?

Yes, cleansing balms are generally suitable for acne-prone skin. They are often formulated to be non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores or exacerbate acne.