9 Cleansers I Fell in Love With After I Ran Out of My Eve Lom


Isabella Behravan

I didn't always consider skincare to be the most crucial part of my beauty regimen. On the contrary, just three years ago, I could barely be bothered to run a makeup remover wipe over my face on most evenings. My complexion—which has always been relatively acne-free—was perfectly passable, and at 22, I frankly didn't care either way. I now know that in actuality, I simply hadn't experienced what it meant to have great skin. But then a luscious, sweet-smelling balm made its way onto my desk and swiftly changed all that.

The product, of course, was Eve Lom's cult-fave Cleanser ($80). I had heard the hype, and soon enough, what started as a passing curiosity evolved into a full-fledged addiction. But while the formula itself was the perfect solution for my hopelessly dehydrated skin, the most remarkable element actually involved the muslin cloth it was packaged with. The box came with instructions on a multistep process involving steaming and massaging the balm into my face before wiping it all away. I wasn't just (finally) using a proper cleanser—for the first time, I was engaging in the ritual of skincare. And I was hooked.

It was the first step on the road to my current, fairly nuanced approach to my skin. I take a lot of care in selecting the right products and ingredients for my skin type, and—would you believe it?—I'm particularly obsessive with cleansing every morning and night. And though I've experimented with many different formulations, I've found that most cleansers dry out my skin or leave it with that awful "tight" feeling—save for balms and creams.

So while I always go back to my beloved Eve Lom, I have come across some other really great, (almost) comparable cleansing balms in my travels. Before diving into exactly what those formulas are, I will say that the first step of getting the cleansing balm regimen right is to invest in some muslin cloths—don't skip it! The routine is simple and truly worth it:

  1. Slather on your cleansing balm.
  2. Soak your muslin cloth in hot water, and then hold it over your face for a few seconds.
  3. Remove the muslin cloth from your face, and begin to lather and massage the cleansing balm with your fingers. (The moisture from the steam will help it lather.)
  4. Run the muslin cloth under hot water again, and hold it over your face for a few seconds.
  5. Repeat Steps three and four, and this time, gently wipe away any residual cleansing balm with the muslin cloth.

The cloth doubles as a facial steamer and a gentle exfoliant, and it really does make a world of difference. While many cleansing balms are packaged with cloths, you can also purchase them in bulk on Amazon.

As for the cleansing balms to use with the cloths, keep scrolling to see some of the best ones I've tried.