11.26.2014
10
900
Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
Rating
3.8 fl. oz. for $28.50
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is a modern-day version of a classic cleansing cream. It contains emollients and plant oil to dissolve makeup, and is capable of removing stubborn or waterproof formulas. This is best for dry to very dry skin or sensitive skin not prone to breakouts.

Claims

Lightweight cleansing balm quickly dissolves tenacious eye and face makeups, including those with sunscreen. Transforms from a solid balm to a silky, fluid oil upon application. Cleans thoroughly, rinses off completely. Non-greasy. Non-drying. For all skin types.

Ingredients

Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Water, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol

Brand Overview

Clinique At-A-Glance

Strengths: One of the best selections of state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums loaded with ingredients that research has shown are of great benefit to skin; excellent sunscreens; several Redness Solutions products excel; an outstanding benzoyl peroxide product; good selection of self-tanning products; some very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; some unique mattifying products; a large and wholly impressive selection of foundations, many with reliable sun protection (and shades for darker skin tones); good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows; loose powder; blush products; some brilliant lipsticks and lip gloss; gel eyeliner; priced lower than most competing department-store lines.

Weaknesses: The three-step skincare routine, because of the bar soaps and irritant-laden clarifying lotions; jar packaging downgrades several otherwise top-notch moisturizers; incomplete routines for those prone to acne; skin-lightening products with either unproven or insufficient levels of lightening agents.

Estee Lauder-owned Clinique's tremendous success (the company's products are sold in over 13,000 department stores and in 110 countries) reshaped the way cosmetics lines identified themselves, sending the concept of line loyalty out to pasture. Today, cosmetics companies expand their market either by buying already established companies or by creating new ones, and Lauder has been adept at doing both. Of course, cosmetics companies keep this multiple-personality identity hidden from the consumer. If the general buying public realized that these apparently different companies were so intertwined with each other, how could they flaunt their independence and claim that their unparalleled formulations are secret or the best? It's hard to think Lauder (or any company) would, even if they could, keep secrets from one branch separate from the others. And as evidenced by the formulary similarities between brands, they don't!

The niche Clinique built launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Regarding allergy testing, unless you can see the results, what difference does it make if a product makes that claim? What if the test showed 20% of the women who used it had a sensitizing reaction, dryness, or irritation? Would Clinique highlight this, or is it just easier to default to the generic allergy-tested claim and leave such details out, figuring consumers won't ask for more? 

Moreover, "hypoallergenic" is a term not regulated by the FDA, so any product can use the word without having to substantiate the claim. "Dermatologist tested" is also bogus, because without published test results the term can easily mean nothing more than that a dermatologist picked up the product, looked at the container, and said "This looks good." And what about the dermatologists on Clinique's payroll? How do we know they're not the ones involved in testing, rather than sending the products out for independent, impartial evaluation (though how impartial can any study be that's paid for by the company making the product)?

Clinique declined any participation for this site, which included refusing to send us copies of the allergy studies they maintain have been performed for every product they sell. We find their unwillingness to help odd because, for the most part, we genuinely like most of their products. In fact, more than any other department-store line except Estee Lauder, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup. They also have their act together for sunscreens and have expanded their decades-old three-step skin-care routine to include water-soluble cleansers instead of bar soap. They also now have a second "Dramatically Different" moisturizer that's well-suited for those with normal to oily skin and FINALLY reformulated their longstanding water-and-wax yellow lotion.

The Clinique consultants, dressed in medical-looking white lab coats (Clinique's image in that sense was ahead of the times given today's plethora of doctor-designed skin-care lines), do their best to speak intelligently about skin-care routines, but for the most part they're trained to sell the products rather than to provide information about what substantiated research has shown about the skin's needs to look and feel its best.

The good news for you is that the chemists behind Clinique's arsenal of products have been keeping up on this exciting information, and formulating superior products in response. We wouldn't blindly and solely bank on Clinique as your skin-care solution, but more than ever what they offer is, despite some far-out claims and problematic products, what epitomizes advanced skin care for all ages. Shop carefully and you'll leave confident that you are purchasing products with solid science, not just marketing hype, behind them.

Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially in their huge and imposing selection of foundations, many of which feature effective sunscreens. In fact, this category has become the most compelling reason to shop Clinique's makeup collection. Without a doubt the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color. The shade selection has improved considerably, with more neutrals and a broader range than ever before. You still need to use caution and watch out for peach-toned duds, but for the most part finding a natural-looking match shouldn't be a frustrating experience, and the counter personnel are happy to provide samples.

Although the foundation and powder shades take darker skin tones into account, the blush, eye pencil, and most of the lipstick shades do not. Perhaps that will change in the future, as Clinique beautifully updated their eyeshadow collection with ultra-smooth textures and deeper colors that show up on darker skin.

Compliments are also due for Clinique's updated makeup tester units. They are well-organized, labeled with product name and price, and easily accessible without a salesperson's help. And speaking of salespeople, most of the Clinique consultants we encounter go above and beyond to provide assistance and to answer any questions we had (even if we didn't always agree with their responses). Those white lab coats don't mean medical expertise, but we'll take outstanding customer service over pseudoscience any day!

The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.

Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.

For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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02.21.2015
No Oily Trace Left Behind

I have acne prone/combo 59 year old skin!! This is the best makeup remover ever made!! It leaves behind no oily residue when rinsed off!! I follow with my PC cleanser and the rest of my PC skincare!! To me the price is worth it as you only need a small amount to do the job!!! I use a small cosmetics spatula to remove the balm from the container. Oily or acne prone skin to not be afraid of this product!!!

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Reviewed by
Melody N
02.12.2015
This Balm is "The Bomb!"

I love with this cleanser (mostly). No strong fragrance, no stinging. I don't use to remove eye makeup (I use a bi-phase remover). What I don't like: sticking fingers into product. When I mentioned this to my Clinique SA, she gave me a small spatula to use instead. Great for facial massage, so relaxing. I remove with a wet washcloth. Pricey, but lasts a very long time for me, so worth it. Love it during dry, cold weather.

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Reviewed by
Cathi C.
02.05.2015
Blurred my eyes for over 4 hours

I am still not sure as to why I cannot tolerate this product, and it saddens me because everyone else seems to love it. However, I could not see for over 4 hours (I took off my eye make-up around 6 pm the first night, and by the time I went to bed around 11 pm, my eyes were still heavily blurred. I am experimenting with other brands at the moment.

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Reviewed by
Shaye W.
12.29.2014
Love this product

I take off my eye makeup first with Neutrogena eye makeup remover. I then work this product on my face and finish off the eye area afterwards. Rub around with some warm water and remove with a nice warm washcloth. I never breakout and my skin feels great. I can't use any other cleanser now and the redness and irritation is completely gone from my cheeks. No more soap for me!

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Reviewed by
Sandra S
11.26.2014
If I could marry a product, I would marry this

I have sensitive, acne-prone skin and I love this product, don't be afraid to use this if you have acne-prone skin! It's helped clear up my acne without drying my skin out, it's very gentle, and it removes makeup like a dream. I only use it at night and I cleanse twice (once to remove the makeup and the second time to actually clean my skin). The price is worth it in my opinion, I've been using it for close to a year and I've only had to re-purchase it once, it lasts a long time.

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Reviewed by
Rachel K.
10.18.2014
The hype is warranted!

Perfect for disolving all makeup-even waterproof mascara. A minute or so of emulsifying this over my face/eye area and everything just slides right off! I second cleanse with a PC cleanser and all of my former breakout issues have been resolved. I think Clinique could charge $15 and this would still be a moneymaker for them. No expensive ingredients here, but it does work!

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Recommend
Reviewed by
Susie L.
10.17.2014
Best makeup remover for breakout prone skin

I agree with Amanda M. Since I've started using this as my first cleanse, I almost never have breakouts anymore. Don't be afraid of this if you have oily breakout prone skin. I use this as my 1st cleanse in the PM to remove makeup and SPF. I apply it to dry skin, massage and remove with a warm washcloth. I follow up with another hydrating, non foaming cleanser, exfoliating toner, serum, then moisturizer. No scent, spreads easily, removes all traces of makeup. Leaves skin clean and comfortable.

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Recommend
Reviewed by
Chantel M
08.08.2014
Easy To Wash Off

Don't be afraid to use this. It rinses off quickly and it doesn't leave grease on your skin. However, I think it's overpriced.

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Reviewed by
Maria F
03.05.2014
Makeup Remover and Gentle Face Cleanser

I use this balm as my first and second step in my evening skincare routine. I have breakout prone normal/oily skin and this works as both a makeup remover and then a second application as a face cleanser. In fact, taking this gentler approach to cleansing has diminished my breakouts almost entirely.

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Reviewed by
Amanda M.
07.11.2013
Effective & Gentle, Dissolves Makeup & SPF

No mineral oil and soothing plant extracts and safflower seed oil that effectively removes makeup, dirt, and grime without irritating skin.I have oily acne prone skin but this works great! I apply a small amount to dry skin and massage all over, including my eyes. I remove the balm with a hot washcloth and either use the same balm as a second cleanse or a cream cleanser depending on what my skin wants/needs. If you have oily skin, use at night and make sure to thoroughly remove with washcloth.

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Reviewed by
Melissa B.
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