Oh, hallelujah: I thought that the glorious Elemis Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm was on a limited run, once-it’s-gone-it’s-gone, but I’ve just seen that it’s now a permanent addition to their Pro-Collagen line. (It took me four attempts to spell “hallelujah” correctly, just in case you were wondering. It’s on a par with “diarrhoea” and “manoeuvre” in terms of complicated, non-sensical letter groupings.)
The Elemis rose cleansing balm falls into the “treat to self” category, I think, because it’s a want product and not particularly a need. There are far cheaper cleansing balms that do the job perfectly well…they just don’t do in such a luxe-feeling and divine-smelling way as this one. And sometimes I want a luxe feel and a divine smell.
The ultimate luxe-feel-divine-smell (LFDS) cleanser being, of course, Darphin’s Aromatic Cleansing Balm. One of my all-time favourites. The aromatherapy blend has a scent that’s truly relaxing and mind-transporting and it’s difficult to get to the stage where you want to flannel the balm off. The Elemis Rose Cleansing Balm has a rose scent (funnily enough!) rather than an aromatherapy blend, but the same sort of “special occasion effect” on the mind.
In terms of texture the Elemis is very similar to Darphin’s cleanser; a perfectly smooth, easy to spread balm that’s neither too waxy nor too quick to melt. You get a good old massage in before it begins to really break down, then it flannels off easily and without residue once you add water. Gentle and effective over the whole face, it has no problem dealing with mascara and eye makeup, though I tend to use an actual eye makeup remover (bi-phase) for heavy-duty mascara, because it’s so hard to get it all off. And I worry about pulling out my lashes when I’m doing that press-press-press-on-your-eyeballs thing with the flannel. (I seem to have eyelashes that aren’t properly attached to my lids – it’s like they’ve been temporarily stuck on with a bit of lash glue rather than actually grown from inside my face. I sometimes think that if someone blew hard on my face, they’d all detach themselves and fly away like the seeds from a dandelion clock. Worrying.)
The ingredients list for the Rose Cleansing Balm reads like a fairy’s Ocado order; sweet almond oil, elderberry seed oil, oat kernel oil, orange peel wax, beeswax, starflower seed oil, mimosa flower wax, rose wax, rosehip fruit oil, jojoba seed oil, geranium oil, rose oil… Gorgeous. There’s other stuff in there too (full ingredients list at the bottom of the page) but the general gist is very nice indeed. And spring-like.
If you’re not familiar with cleansing balms and have, until now, only used washes or foams then you’re in for a treat; balms – and the thicker cleansing creams – give such an unctuous, comforting experience that you actually tend to look forward to makeup removal time. It’s the opposite of a quick splash – the oils in the balms really break down grime and makeup and allow you to slide the cleanser around and work it into the eye area. It’s the slow, “take time out” cleanse rather than the “must dash” cleanse – though I should point out that you can cleanse with a balm or thick cream just as quickly as a face wash and you’ll likely get a much more thorough cleanse.
You can browse more cleanser reviews here – but if you wanted a totally unscented, simple cleansing balm then Clinique Take The Day Off (here, £24 for 125ml) would be a good place to start. For a double-whammy version, there’s the Caroline Hirons for Pixi Double Cleanse with both a thick cream and a slidey balm in one handy pot – that’s also unscented and you can find it here* (£24 for 100ml).
The Elemis Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm is £43 for 105ml (here*) which makes it the definite treat in this particular line-up, but there’s a limited edition 200ml for £68 at Harvey Nichols here* which brings down the price per ml considerably, should you be up for a bit of an investment. 200ml would last an absolute age – this is not the sort of product you need to scoop on by the handful. A little goes a long way.
And as a comparison, the Darphin Aromatic costs £35 for 40ml (read review here), so if you’re addicted to that stuff and want something slightly less spendy (but equally luxurious) for the in-between days then the Elemis Rose Balm could be just your bag.
A quick vote, please, because rose scents seem to be like marmite! Can we have a simple “No” or “Yes” in the comments? “No” if you hate rose, “yes” if you love. Important market research for my own purposes, you see…
Full ingredients list:
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-8 Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Stearate, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Seed Oil, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Fragrance (Parfum), Silica, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Cera (Wax), Glycerin, Lecithin, Borago Officinalis (Starflower) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Wax, Rosa Multiflora (Rose) Flower Cera (Wax), Tocopherol, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Benzyl Salicylate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Rose Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Citric Acid.