Review: The Face Shop – seed fermentation cleansing oil balm

This was the most requested review from my last haul post so here it is! A little bit delayed but here nonetheless.
It has become part of my makeup removal routine and dare I say it? Holy-Grail material! BEWARE: The following review is very, very intensely descriptive – involving GRITS and Sebaceous filaments. If you’re not already disgusted, please by all means, read on to find out why this is HG.
Basically… It’s a cleansing oil in the form of a solid balm. It emulsifies with water and you’re meant to wash it off once you’ve massaged it in and removed all makeup and dirt on your face. It seems to be quite similar to other emulsifying cleansing oils but without the annoying dripping that is frequently associated with oils. Comes in a tub and because of the format, there is a little spatula enclosed that I quite like to use (oil balm under my fingernails isn’t my idea of fun). It is slightly cirtus scented but since it’ll be washed off I’m not too fussed about it.
The Good Stuff… The first time I used it I thought “Hey it’s not so bad, removes make up without the need of cotton pads.” Then BOOM. The second time I used it there were Grits. Grits everywhere. If you don’t know what Grits are they’re little plugs of sebaceous oils and dead skin accumulated in your pores. Sometimes *cough*allthetime*cough* they result in clogged pores. I’m thinking the first use loosened up all that gunky mess in my pores and the second time I used it all that nasty stuff just fell out of my pores. My skin had never been so clean in my life and there was no skin tightness! I felt relieved – honestly, my skin felt so good. I used this on my boyfriend’s nose, which is notorious for sebaceous filaments (SBs) and after a good few minutes of massaging the balm in, disgusting little SBs just slipped out of his nose.
On top of clearing stubborn clogged pores, SBs and removing makeup, it also exfoliates like nobody’s business. How? I don’t know but I do know that when my face was flaking like a bitch, I used this gem and after washing, my face was smooth again. Cleansing Oil Balm, is there nothing you cannot do?!
Not sure about what you cannot do but I do know what else you can do – facilitate the best facial massage I’ve ever given myself. Normally I hate massaging my face – I always seem to drag or pull my skin too much but with this everything just glides there is no pulling or dragging, just glorious gliding.
But as with all good things, there is always a catch…

Issues: Please, for the love of all that is good and holy remember to cleanse your face thoroughly after using this. Make sure to emulsify and rinse it off well and make sure to cleanse well with a regular facial wash (or whatever your step 2 is for your double cleansing). The one day I didn’t do it properly, I woke up with a few white heads. Nothing horrifying and nothing I couldn’t extract (properly!) but it’s still a lesson in good removal of this balm. Now for good measure, after rinsing it off I go over my face with Bioderma with, yes – a cotton pad before washing with my Hada Labo face wash. Also if you have cake-face on for some event, remove the bulk of it with regular makeup remover before using this oil, it doesn’t do so well for heavy duty makeup removal. Always, remove eye makeup first with a specific eye makeup remover as this oil should not go anywhere near your eyes!

Other Important things to note: There are many other kinds of cleansing oil balms like this and I know for sure that Banilla Co. has something like this (it sells for about $17ish on RRS). I’m pretty sure other emulsifying oils also do the same thing so don’t go thinking that only this brand/product will work. I was originally going to purchase the Banilla Co. version of this but since this was selling for $10 I caved and went with the cheaper option. Also, I say this works super well for me but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’ll work the same for you! As always, be careful with new skin care products and may the good fortune of beauty shine on you!

In a Nutshell:

Love: Unclogs pores and SBs, exfoliates as well, face massages have never felt this good.
Do not love: Will cause whiteheads if not properly washed off, will not remove all traces of heavy duty makeup, must not be used for eye makeup removal.
Repurchase? Most likely, but I’ll be trying a different brand!
I rate it: 4.5/5 Because whiteheads are not cool

Welco’s Zombie CC cream review will be coming soon!

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  • moissanom

    This sounds quite wonderful! I actually have the same effects with some oils. I dont know why they exfoliate, I feel like when I massage my skin with them the really loose flakes just slide off and ball up. Basically I get the effects that exfoliating gels are suppose to do but with oils. I assume that only happens with skin that is about to fall of by itself and is only hanging on by a thread, a thread that cant be broken with regular cleansing though…

    • Sam Bear | A Curiosity

      Ohh I know right? Some how oils are really effective at removing dead skin flakes and not even physical exfoliation will remove the dead skin!

  • Michelle

    I am getting similar results (feeling grits and SFs coming out w ease) with the banila one!

    do you happen to have the ingredients list for this? for $10, that’s a steal!

    • Sam Bear | A Curiosity

      Oh nice! I think I’ll be purchasing the Bailla co. one next – excited to know it does the same thing! I don’t have the ingredients list for this (it was on the box but I’ve already thrown it away) but COSDNA has it here:
      And oh yeah, RRS was having a 40% off sale on all The Face Shop items so I just had to buy it over the Banilla Co. one!

  • Lili

    No way. For real? What the flying f. I had no idea these balms did this.
    Buying one asap.

    Thanks a shittonlot because this is definitely going to help me!

    • Sam Bear | A Curiosity

      I think cleansing oils have been reported to have the same efficacy but I had never really been a fan of using oils since they drip everywhere and generally make a mess (or maybe I’m just not coordinated enough to use them haha)

      I hope it works well for you! Never actually thought it would work like this for me lol

      • Lili

        So I went an hour out of the way to the Face Shop here in Taipei only to learn that they don’t import this specific product.


        RRS it is. ^_^

        • Sam Bear | A Curiosity

          Aw bummer! Yeah RRS should have it but the price has gone up (since the sale ended) – still cheaper than retail though! At least it is for me haha. It was retailing here for $40AUD. We like to fondly call this the “Australia Tax”

  • Paige McKinnon

    Ohh it is too bad that it does not remove all traces of Makeup~ ^ __ ^