Why balm cleansers and cold creams are hot again

This winter, try switching out your regular cleanser for a makeup-melting cold cream or rich balm. Your skin will thank you for it.

Cold cream, that beauty product beloved by Hollywood bombshells, fifties housewives and wise grandmothers, is having another moment. Overshadowed by cutting-edge cleansers, the creamy makeup remover has mostly faded from view. But the idea of a gentle emulsion that you massage in and wipe away with a wash cloth is totally now. Winter is the ideal season to replace your regular cleanser with a nourishing balm or cream: skin feels tight, dehydrated, and vulnerable. Oil-rich formulas melt off makeup and impurities without stripping the complexion. We’ve rounded up five of the best that even gran would approve of.


This multitasking balm, a nurturing blend of four plant oils, has a dedicated fan base. It’s a cleanser, yes, but it also exfoliates, tones, removes makeup and detoxifies the complexion. Eve Lom, the British facialist who championed lymphatic drainage, launched her skin care line with this product. Lom believes that if your skin is cleansed properly, it can virtually maintain itself. If your complexion needs some rehab, this cleanser will sync it back into regular cell turnover (the exfoliating muslin cloth helps) and purify it (with the help of eucalyptus oil and soft massage). It also dissolves the most stubborn makeup.

Eve Lom Cleanser


This soft, creamy balm reinvigorates dull complexions with its potent mix of actives, including 15% Vitamin C. That powerhouse ingredient will brighten, lighten and even out skin tone, while a blend of seven cold-processed oils deliver anti-inflammatory, reparative and plumping properties. The balm, which comes with a muslin cloth, melts on application, washes away dirt, impurities and makeup, and leaves skin feeling blissfully rejuvenated. As with all Kat Burki products, it’s formulated without parabens and synthetic fragrances.

Kat Burki Vitamin C Nourishing Cleansing Balm


Cold cream is an emulsion of water in oil, as opposed to oil in water, which feels cool on your skin (hence the name). Kate Somerville has revived this unsung hero with her modern interpretation. Unlike earlier versions, this lightly textured and whipped formulation feels non-greasy and it won’t clog pores. A skin-softening combination of white honey, jasmine and rose rebalance your skin and leave it perfectly cleansed. Try it after a Spin class. Dab a little on to red or flaky skin before applying foundation, and your makeup will glide on.

Kate Somerville Cold Cream


This sensorial cleanser evokes a day spa appointment at Elemis in London. Pivotal ingredients, including rose and mimosa flower waxes and starflower oil, not only smell intoxicating but also help to support the protective barrier of your skin. Padina Pavonica, a Mediterranean seaweed known to regenerate itself, lends some of its healing qualities to your face. As you massage this balm in, it transforms into a luxurious oil and melts away with a soft cloth. The lingering scent of geranium and orange will help calm your mind and kickstart relaxation mode. Follow with a cup of chamomile tea before heading to bed.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm


Omorovicza products harness the curative power of the world’s largest natural mineral spring, Lake Heviz in Hungary. People have long flocked to this landmark to bathe in its calcium- and magnesium-rich waters believed to remedy skin conditions and physical ailments. If your skin is suffering from irritation or stress, this black balm is for you. Rich in mud from the bottom of Lake Heviz, the cleanser is infused with healing minerals that detoxify and purify the skin. A silky base of sweet almond oil means this beautiful balm softens on application, while orange blossom uplifts your senses.

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm

Words by Lucy Simpson
June 2018


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