2 different brands and 2 different cleansers… but are they actually that different?! Let’s get into it 👇

FYI, it’s worth noting that Clinique is owned by Estee Lauder so may explain what we find in the comparison! 

What Is A Cleansing Balm Used For?

If you read my blog post ‘WHAT IS DOUBLE CLEANSING & SHOULD I BE DOING IT?’ (you can read it HERE), you may know that a cleansing balm is typically used as the first cleanse in your evening double cleanse routine. Your first cleanse is designed to remove SPF/makeup and general grime on your face. 

Both the Estee Lauder and Clinique cleansing balm are suitable for this purpose!

How Do I Use These Cleansing Balms?

You apply both of them on to dry skin with dry hands, work into the skin to remove your makeup/SPF/dirt and before adding water rub your fingers gently over your eyes to break down your eye makeup too. Once done, add water and massage the balm into your skin some more to emulsify it. Then rinse with warm water and remove any remaining residue with a flannel. You are then ready to move onto your second cleanse.

After using either cleansing balm my skin is always left feeling clean, refreshed and not stripped! Another thing to mention is that I have acne-prone skin and neither cleansing balm has ever caused me to breakout. However, I do only ever use them for a first cleanse in a double cleanse routine and I always follow up with another cleanser to ensure no residue is left on my skin.

What Are The Similarities Between The Estee Lauder Cleansing Balm & The Clinique Cleansing Balm?

The following ingredients are found in BOTH cleansing balms:

  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate – emollient (good)
  • Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil – emollient and antioxidant (best)
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – (emollient – best)
  • Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate – emulsifier (no rating)
  • Polyethylene – emollient and emulsifier/thickener (good)
  • Peg-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate – emollient and emulsifier (no rating)
  • Tocopherol – vitamin E, antioxidant (best)
  • Phenoxyethanol –  preservative (good)
  • Water

*ratings allocated according to Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary and Incidecoder.

And The Differences?

The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm has the following ADDITIONAL ingredients that the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm does not have:

  • Silybum Marianum (Lady’S Thistle) Extract – antioxidant (best)
  • Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract – antioxidant (best)
  • Algae Extract – antioxidant, emollient and texture enhancer (best)
  • Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) – antioxidant and skin-soothing (best)
  • Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) – fragrance (poor)
  • Methyl Dihydrojasmonate – fragrance (poor)
  • BHT – antioxidant (average)
  • Linalool – fragrance (poor)

So lots of antioxidants in the Estee one along with some fragrance!

*ratings allocated according to Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary and Incidecoder.

How Well Do Both Cleansers Actually Remove Makeup/SPF/Grime From The Face? 

I find both cleansing balms remove SPF, light makeup and heavy makeup really well! My only point to mention would be that neither of them manage to completely dissolve my mascara but to be honest my second cleanse always manages to finish the job! Because of this I will sometimes use micellar water first to remove my eye makeup and then go in with a cleansing balm.

Gimme The Deets…


Estee Lauder:

£38 for 70ml


£9 for 30ml

£25 for 125ml

If you want to purchase either of these cleansing balms, you can find them over at Look Fantastic! Use code ‘LFTFSKINACIDTRIP‘ for 20% off! For Estee Lauder – HERE. For Clinique – HERE.


POA =  6 months (same for both cleansers)

No special storage required 

So Which Cleanser Should I Go For?

The one for…..

when you’re on a budget: Clinique – it’s better value for money!

those sensitive to fragrance: Clinique – it’s fragrance and EO free

those looking for an ‘experience’ when cleansing: Estee Lauder – using this cleanser before bed is so addictive! The lavender smell relaxes me so much!

the perfect ‘shelfie’: Estee Lauder – the frosted jar and gold lid combo is SO gorgeous and makes for a ‘gram worthy picture!

cleansing balm

My Personal Favourite?

It has to be the Estee Lauder one, I just LOVE the scent! I find myself reaching for it the most in my evening routine because I really enjoy the experience of using it. However, I do still appreciate the Clinique balm as it’s just a good, solid cleansing balm that does the job with no frills attached! But… if you’re asking me which one I would repurchase, it would be the Estee Lauder one, hands down! 

Have you tried either of these cleansers? If you have which one is your fave? If you haven’t which one do you think you’d go for? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Love & Knowledge,

S A M A N T H A 


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ESTEE LAUDER INGREDIENTS: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, Peg-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Water\Aqua\Eau, Silybum Marianum (Lady’S Thistle) Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Algae Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Methyl Dihydrojasmonate, Tocopherol, Bht, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol 

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

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