The Review: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

It feels like it’s been ages since I properly sat down and wrote anything about beauty, so today I thought I’d get back into the swing of things with a skincare product (not surprises there then). I’ve been sticking to my Una Brennan Deep Clean cleanser like a loyal puppy, but when the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm* (wordy product alert) dropped onto my doorstep there was an instant shift in the skincare rota.

I’d steered away from balm cleansers for a long time – the strong fragrance in them tells me there’s a high risk of my skin completely freaking out – but this one is fragrance free with no nasties – illustrated by the fact the ingredients list is incredibly short. Supposedly it’s meant to be the first step in cleansing and not used alone, but if you were cleaning your face after a no makeup day or had already cleansed once before, this would probably be okay. I tend to double cleanse a lot anyway, and seeing as I still love my Una Brennan cleanser  that’s fine with me.

I use this both morning and evening, and take a small amount out of the pot (a really small amount, you don’t need much) and massage it into my skin. By the time I’m finished its a more oily texture, which comes away easily with a damn flannel. After cleansing my skin is clean, and feels clean, but feels far more nourished than it does with just my gel cleanser. Perfect for my autumn/winter routine! I wouldn’t say it’s made my skin look amazing as my skin was already pretty good with my previous cleanser, but I am happy to report that nothing has changed, so I can put them both on an equal pedestal. Although it’s meant for double cleansing, i’d be interested to know if anyone uses just this balm alone – let me know in the comments or on twitter if you do!

Typical Suzie skincare ramble over, will my next beauty post be as predictable? I wouldn’t bank on it – there’s been some drugstore haulin’ over here…


  1. Verena Hallam
    10 Oct 2013 / 8:19 am

    I'm very tempted to try this as my first balm cleanser, because clinique are great for sensitive skin! Sounds lovely.

  2. Beauty By Emily
    10 Oct 2013 / 8:36 am

    I think I am going to have to try this product out, cheaper then Emma Hardie so fingers crossed it is just as good!


  3. Lesley-Ann
    10 Oct 2013 / 8:49 am

    I use it alone without double cleansing (the same as I do with the Emma Hardie balm) and it works perfectly. Also 'damn flannel' is one of the best typos I've seen πŸ™‚

  4. alice
    10 Oct 2013 / 9:08 am

    I've wanted to try this and the Emma Hardie for a while, but to be honest I'm a little scared of cleansing balms! But after reading this I might step out of my comfort zone and give it a go!
    Also, "damn flannel" made me laugh so much. Amazing typo.


  5. unebranche
    10 Oct 2013 / 9:08 am

    I use this cleanser in conjunction with Philosophy Purity Made Simple, and I adore it. It takes off my makeup so easily, and taking the balm off with a hot, damp flannel feels luxurious after a long day. My skin's pretty sensitive, too, and this cleanser has neither irritated my skin nor caused any sort of clogged pores. I love the stuff.

    • skinny-donut
      20 Oct 2013 / 8:49 pm

      I use my current cleansing balm then purity as well! πŸ™‚

  6. Anya
    10 Oct 2013 / 9:09 am

    I haven't tried this balm yet, though I think everyone seems to love it at the moment! It looks like it would be perfect for my skin as I hate anything with a really synthetic fragrance (Emma Hardie's balm wrecked havoc on my skin!) x

  7. Amy Keeling
    10 Oct 2013 / 10:06 am

    This does sound rather nice, I like the fact that the ingredient list is so short πŸ™‚
    Amy x
    –A Little Boat Sailing–

  8. liza prideaux
    10 Oct 2013 / 10:37 am

    Oh this sounds nice!
    Liza | Glambeautys | YouTube

  9. Becca
    10 Oct 2013 / 10:59 am

    I've never tried a cleansing balm before but might have to check this out, especially as it seems there's no nasties in it. πŸ™‚

    Becca || Becca Said x

    • skinny-donut
      20 Oct 2013 / 8:49 pm

      My life has changed after cleansing balms! And flannels as well πŸ˜›

  10. Zandra May
    10 Oct 2013 / 11:07 am

    I got this a couple of weeks ago and have been using it just in the evenings (I tend to use a gel cleanser in the morning) I love it, it does a great job of cleansing without drying skin out! I used to use a cleansing water before this then use this after but I've ran out of that so I'm just using this alone at the mo and not had any problems doing so although I do use a separate eye make up remover! It makes sense using this for the first cleanse though so I will probably get something else to do a second cleanse after!

  11. Roisin Elizabeth Keats
    10 Oct 2013 / 1:28 pm

    I've been really wanting to try the EH one but the fragrance puts me off so this one might be worth a nosey. Do you use it over your eyes as well or just use a totally separate eye make up remover?

  12. Katie
    10 Oct 2013 / 1:41 pm

    This sounds great. I like cleansing balms but I've not found "the one" yet!

    Katie |

  13. Lola
    10 Oct 2013 / 2:43 pm

    oooh this sounds so lovely, quality luscious! x

  14. Talisa Tossell
    10 Oct 2013 / 4:02 pm

    This sounds aamazing!

  15. Sara Chergui
    10 Oct 2013 / 4:23 pm

    Looks so lovely !

  16. Nat. Feathers
    10 Oct 2013 / 4:32 pm

    Im always after a good cleanser as I find perfumed ones harsh on my skin too! I will deffo consider this over the winter months when my Avene cleanser is used up
    NΓ³irΓ­n X

  17. Brittany Messner
    10 Oct 2013 / 5:38 pm

    Heheh, I'm not sure what a "damn flannel" is, but I'm intrigued! I bet you did it on purpose to make sure people were actually reading your posts instead of just looking at the pretty pictures πŸ˜‰

    xx -b.

  18. Maddy
    10 Oct 2013 / 6:06 pm

    I haven't tried this but it looks really nice! I think I probably would still double cleanse with it though! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDDΒ 

  19. Anonymous
    10 Oct 2013 / 11:33 pm

    I use it without a double cleanse. Caroline Hirons reviewed this and said it was okay to use as a daily cleanser.

  20. Lindsey
    11 Oct 2013 / 1:36 am

    This stuff has been on my wishlist for ages! I need to invest some time soon.


  21. Allie
    11 Oct 2013 / 11:40 am

    I'm glad you said this is designed for double cleansing as I would've used it alone. Weirdly the massive pot puts me off…how are you supposed to travel with that?!

  22. Charlotte Thomas
    11 Oct 2013 / 7:26 pm

    Drugstore haulin'? FUN! I use the Botanics balm from boots. It's a lovely cleanser, but it doesn't take your make up off… boohiss.

    Charlotte – x

  23. Annyss
    13 Oct 2013 / 2:21 pm

    I've never tried any cleansing balm before. The hype is driving me crazy! :p I don't know if that will make any difference to my skin since I just use baby oil to remove my makeup including my mascara and it works okay and still effective. Then only I proceed with my facial cleanser.

  24. Lillian ParisianToBe
    14 Oct 2013 / 1:14 am

    I use just this balm alone in the mornings (but as a first cleanse in the evenings) and I find it's really lovely, as it doesn't disturb the rest of my routine.

    xo Lillian from

  25. danniannie
    14 Oct 2013 / 6:08 pm

    This sounds lovely! I think I fancy trying this πŸ™‚

    I'm running a giveaway if you'd like to enter!

  26. yespleasebeauty
    16 Oct 2013 / 9:57 pm

    This looks so nice, i'm definitely going to try this when my body shop balm cleanser runs out πŸ™‚ xx

  27. skinny-donut
    20 Oct 2013 / 8:48 pm

    SOO tempted to purchase this, rather than the Emma Hardie balm(?) only due to the fact I can get this easily in the US and it's cheaper.

  28. Hanh Nguyen
    21 Oct 2013 / 10:20 am

    thanks for the review, i've really interested in other cleansing balms at the moment πŸ™‚

  29. Erika Nagode
    13 Dec 2013 / 8:39 am

    I am the only girl in the world Clinique Cleansing balm irritated her skin :(.

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  33. The Sunday Mode
    29 Mar 2016 / 7:11 am

    Lot's of people seemed to like Cliniques cleansing balm. I will have to put it on my list of things to try. I'm currently liking using Bioderma Micellar water to remove makeup for the first cleanse πŸ™‚