BALEA Cleansing oil, 100 ml

(Spoiler alert at the beginning) Anyone that ever browsed my Instagram, knows how obsessed I am about this oil. I discovered it by chance when I had just discovered double cleansing and before trying this oil, I had The Face Shop Rice oil Light in my stash and was not happy with it but didn’t have anything to compare it to.

(Also, Dog again does not review Asian cosmetics.#baddog)

GENERAL INFORMATION

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Product name: Balea Reinigungsöl (Cleansing oil). For dry skin. This is a first cleanser that is supposed to remove even waterproof makeup.

Balea is a brand exclusively available at dm-drogerie markt Stores.  dm is a German chain available in 13 European countries (Yes, I just added a link to Wikipedia). If you are ever in these countries, go and check the store out.

Quantity: 100ml. Made in Germany.

Animal testing: No

Vegan

Fragrance-free

Price: 2,45Euros (say what?)

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This is a cleanser that :

1. At first nobody understood because double cleansing was not über popular,

2. Then everybody tried and loved it,

3. Then Balea discontinued it,

4. Then people went crazy and hoarded as much as they found, traveled to neighboring countries (sounds pompous but Europe), made selfies with 13 bottles (assholes!) while others cried for having only two (me),

5. People basically pressured Balea into re-introducing it again and they did. #wetpanties. I went crazy after seeing  this post  by Karin from innenaussen

6. It has since reappeared in several countries (Germany, Croatia & Slovakia as far as I know) but it’s still unavailable in Bosnia and Austria last time I checked, 15 minutes ago.

7. Once it hits our stores I will hoard so much and eat bread with some salt if that’s what it takes. Gotta love a company that listens to their consumers!

Now onto some serious business.

Packaging:

Transparent plastic pump bottle that contains 100ml of yellowish oil. People have been lamenting it’s flimsy but I never had any issues. This might not be important but I love that it doesn’t have a long nozzle typical in oil cleansers making it easy to pack, safe to carry around without worrying the nozzle might twist. ALSO, Hand luggage friendly, well done!

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INGREDIENTS (yes, 7 ingredients):

Helianthus Annuus Hybrid Oil (Sunflower oil),  Isopropyl Palmitate,  Isopropyl Myristate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Ethylhexyl Stearate,  Tocopherol,  Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil  (source)

CosDNA analysis

Now, I’ve checked the ingredients in cosDNA website and it shows Isopropyl Myristate and  Isopropyl Palmitate to be potential acne triggers. PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate shows 3 in Safety.  I don’t mind it that much because it’s a product that stays shortly on the skin. I have an oily skin that’s full of SF and never had any clogging issues with this oil.

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REVIEW:

This is a fairly thick oil, 2-3 pumps are enough to apply evenly with dry hands on dry, dirty face, massage, emulsify and wash off. I prefer thick oils because I don’t like them running around my hands and arms.

Now, what’s good about this oil, except everything, is that it washes off completely. Once emulsified into thin milk, it washes off to clean skin.

This is very important for me because I love to skip my 2nd cleanser and go straight to toner phase. Normally people use 2nd cleanser in the morning but I find that in my case it’s less irritating if I use a cleansing oil.

This oil doesn’t have Fragrance but it smells faintly like Sunflower oil. I don’t mind that scent and I love that Balea used Sunflower oil as a base for this. It contains Argan oil and Vitamin E, last on the list though.

It’s effective at removing make-up, even waterproof mascara (tried only with one because I only have one). I do, however, remove eye and lip make-up with micellar water, I hate panda eyes and spreading grey dirt everywhere!

Pros:

+Very cheap

+Available locally

+Simple ingredients, fragrance-free

+Travel friendly size and bottle

+ Good for all skin types and conditions IMO

Cons:

+ maybe too simple, not for people who like their cleansing to be a sensory, spa-like experience. This cleanser would bore them to death.

+not available online, if you live outside these 13 countries (except for friend mail, ofc)

Short comparison with Heimish All clean Balm

I’ve been asked to compare this oil with the Heimish All clean balm that I tried a sample of, courtesy of the lovely Vik (@de.la.seoul.blog )

So, the Heimish balm is surprisingly good. It has a pleasant texture, melts away my makeup and, most importantly, washes off clean. It has a ton of ingredients (cosDNA), no added fragrance (but it still smells like a mix of wax and diluted herbal tea) and a bunch of herbal extracts and oils which I don’t care for in a cleanser. It also contains Polyethylene that I first found out about in Fanserviced awesome post about 1st cleansers.

So, if you prefer your cleansing to be as simple as possible ingredient-wise like me, and are aware that a cleanser only stays on your face for a couple of minutes, prefer oils and cosmetics that don’t contain ingredients that are not environmentally friendly, get an oil. If you love balms, you won’t be disappointed with Heimish. If you’re thinking between Heimish and Banila co. Clean it zero, Heimish is SO much better.

Hope this was helpful!

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SEBAMED VISIO Make-up Removing Cleansing oil

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Product Name: Sebamed Visio Make-up Removing Cleansing oil. For sensitive facial skin.

Quantity: 150ml (shelf life 2 years, 12M after opening). Made in Germany

Animal testing: No (but)

Price: 18.87 GEL (Georgian lari) (around 7$) in a PSP pharmacy in Georgia (the Country, not the State)

I found it in a pharmacy while I was in Georgia after I ran out of my cleansing balm decant, it was the only oil cleanser available there, I love Sebamed so I just got it and hoped for the best. There aren’t many reviews about any of the brand’s products which is a shame because it’s a great brand that is also very affordable. It’s a brand that had pH5,5 products philosophy even before we all became pH aware, which is good.

This is a 1st cleanser that is supposed to remove long lasting and waterproof make-up, cleanse gently and thoroughly.

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PACKAGING

Sturdy opaque white plastic pump bottle, once it’s opened and used, leaks a bit when you carry it around in a backpack, like most oils. The bottle comes in a cardboard box that also includes a leaflet with some info about other products from the line. The description on the box is seriously abundant.

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REVIEW

The oil is a bit thicker than The Face Shop Rice Light oil (which I hated because it left a  layer of grease on my skin) but less thick than my beloved Balea Cleansing oil, and is supposed to be used on dry, dirty skin.

I normally try to avoid products that contain fragrance (unless it’s rose) but the peachy scent of this cleanser I find really enjoyable, besides, once it’s washed off it doesn’t linger for too long.

This cleanser, with a very simple ingredients list does a really good job in removing make-up. For the purposes of testing and taking photos, I originally put full face make-up on my hand, added oil to dry skin, massaged a bit, added water and removed with water.

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Then I decided that this isn’t completely fair and that I should’ve tested it with a liquid lipstick. Removed with a tissue once emulsified. (Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Notion applied on clean skin, thanks rubbing alcohol-this might seem extreme but I really wanted clean skin) Awesome job!

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INGREDIENTS

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Decyl Oleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Diisostearate, Prunus persica kernel oil, Polysorbate 20, Rosa canina fruit oil, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus officinalis extract, Parfum, Aqua

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CosDNA analysis

Decyl Oleate rates 3 as possible acne trigger, and Tocopherol rates 2 as acne trigger and possible irritant. Don’t know how much of an issue it it because it’s a product that does wash off perfectly and it remains on the skin a couple of minutes.

When it comes to safety, Polysorbate 20 rates 3, and Frangrance is something that might bother some people.

Pros:

+affordable

+can be found in most European pharmacies

+does what it says, effectively removes make-up

+rinses off completely leaving skin moisturized, soft and non-greasy. No need for a second cleanse, sometimes I only use this and proceed to toner step.

+ super detailed information on the box in English including MFG and EXP both on the box and the bottle

+does not contain mineral oil (not an issue for me personally)

Cons:

-Possibly discontinued (NAY)/reformulated (nay)/ repackaged (yay/whatever) since it seems unavailable in most online shops that normally had it. I wonder why would a brand discontinue The Only Product Of The Type. Anyone’s routine should (I mean must) start with an oil/balm cleanser.

-contains perfume

-opaque bottle and once opened, the bottle leaks. Not travel friendly, wish they’d improve the packaging

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ZIAJA Manuka Tree Purifying Astringent Face Toner

Hi everyone, thanks for visiting my blog!  This is my first post and even though my dog loves Asian Beauty the first product I decide to write about is Polish, it just happened like that.

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I bought this toner on a whim last July. The entire Ziaja Manuka line was on sale at my local shop and  I got the toner and their Cleansing Peeling Paste because I’m a sucker for spray/pump packaging and I used to buy physical exfoliants when I was less wise about my skin. I haven’t used much of the paste but I just bought a new toner bottle because I used up the old one. It’s weird that I actually used something up, doesn’t happen much lately.

About the brand:

Ziaja is a mainstream Polish brand created in 1989 in Gdańsk by two pharmacists, Alexandra and Zenon Ziaja. Nowadays they have a huge range of really affordable products for face, body and hair and they don’t test on animals.  I wonder why they don’t write that on the packaging, seriously Ziaja, it’s an important selling point and a tiny bunny does not take much space.

General info:

This toner is meant for oily and combination skin and it comes in a green, transparent, not too sturdy, cheap looking plastic bottle that holds 200ml of product. The toner itself is colorless and has a faint, fresh scent that doesn’t linger long.

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The bottle says: “Cleanses the skin and completes make-up removal. Reduces dilated pores. Contains organic acids with gently exfoliating activity. Helps soothe acne lesions. Prepares the skin for further cosmetic treatments.”

(I wouldn’t know about reducing dilated pores though…)

The directions say to apply the toner on a cotton pad and use it over previously cleansed skin, morning and evening and that’s how I use it most of the time. Sometimes though, after double cleansing, I spray the toner over my face and leave it for couple of seconds and then remove it with a dry cotton disc.

Now, the spray nozzle is actually good, the mist it creates is fine which is  something I began to appreciate after having used the LJH Tea Tree 70 Mist toner (The LJH toner stung my eyes and its pH is around 6 so it’s just kinda sitting around) that sort of dispenses more product. During last summer I even used Ziaja toner as a refreshing mist, works just fine (but I generally prefer using rosewater because I adore the smell #guilty)

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The price I paid for the toner is about 4,5$ on sale, I’ve seen different prices online, from around 3$ it costs in Poland to 12,99$ on their US e-shop.

Ingredients and cosDNA analysis

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Zinc Gluconate, Lactobionic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Leptospermum Scoparium Leaf Extract, Polysorbate 20, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.  (source)

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CosDNA doesn’t list any registered potential Acne or Irritant ingredients.

The whole line contains Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) leaf extract which is a plant that originates in New Zealand and southeast Australia and supposedly has antibacterial properties. Nice.

The bottle says the toner is pH-balanced, I tested the pH and it was between 4 and 4,5, both the new bottle and the few drops left in my old one. Also nice and necessary for what I use it for.

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I have oily skin that is dehydrated most of the time and this toner calms it down. It doesn’t contain alcohol (which typically makes my skin flush a bit even though I don’t avoid it in products) and maybe because of that it feels this comfortable on my skin. The conditioning ingredients inside help my skin after washing feel comfortable (without leaving a noticeable film) and my skin is pH-balanced and supple before applying my acids (currently The Ordinary Lactic acid 10%+HA2% on entire face and COSRX BHA Blackhead power liquid on my nose and chin).

Comparison to some Asian toners and products I use as toners (because I don’t understand them fully :D)

I find the Ziaja Manuka toner to be a bit more comfortable for me than the Mizon AHA BHA Toner, and with a more pleasant scent, Mizon smells like Cedevita Lemon powder, before it’s dissolved in water (I wonder if Anyone except for Everyone Ever from any ex-Yugoslavia country will get this reference? hahaha) . The Mizon seems to slightly make my skin flush after I’ve used it but it’s nothing that would bother me. But, it’s also 3-4x more expensive so, for me, that’s an important variable.

I recently bought the COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol which is a confusing product. The instructions say it should be put on palms and patted on skin. I find it difficult to use that way, I did a couple of times and it felt uncomfortable. Since then, I only use this on a cotton disc as a disinfectant for when I pop stuff or have a breakout because it has alcohol+propolis extract that help clean and heal.

Than you for reading, hope this was interesting!

If you have any questions you can find me here or on IG @doglovesasianbeauty   ❤