SINGLE REVIEW: BALEA SANFTE REINIGUNGSMILCH

We’re interrupting our regular micellar water review series broadcast to bring you yet another cleanser review! Well, at least it’s a cream cleanser this time…

The reason for this is that I’m just not yet done testing the third Nivea micellar water (the dry skin version), and I really want to finish at least one half of the bottle before I say anything about the long-term effects it had on my skin (as it contains a few skin-conditioning ingredients and actives). That post will probably be up next week, depending on how stressed I am because of moving, university entrance exams, etc. — we’ll see. Either way, there will be some kind of post next week, so don’t forget to tune in!


Balea Sanfte Reinigungsmilch

0,95€ for 200ml
0,00475€/ml

available at DM only

Ingredient analysis

AQUA • GLYCERIN • OCTYLDODECANOL • CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE • CETEARYL ALCOHOL • GLYCERYL STEARATE CITRATE • MYRISTIL MYRISTATE • GLYCERYL STEARATE • PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) KERNEL OIL • SESAMUM INDICUM (SESAME) SEED OIL • PANTHENOL • PARFUM • XANTHAN GUM • SODIUM ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER • PHENOXYETHANOL • P-ANISIC ACID • ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE • LIMONENE • LINALOOL
CosDNA analysis

not tested for pH by me (because my current pH testing strips are shit) but
according to manufacturer at pH 4,8-5,5

This is literally your average cream cleanser: It has water, it has glycerin (so maybe leave it on for at least a minute so that this ingredient can absorb into the skin and hydrate it from within), it has caprylic/capric triglyceride, it has two oils, it has a bit of panthenol — it also has parfum, limonene and linalool, though, and a few more dubious ingredients, so I wouldn’t recommend it for long-term use. The pH is slightly more acidic that it needs to be, but that’s okay if you want to use chemical exfoliators that have a slightly higher pH (≤4) afterwards. (If not, just use a pH-balancing toner/mist and your serum/moisturiser/sunscreen, and you’re good to go.)

(I do apologise for my somewhat laconic ingredient breakdown, but this is just a really boring, regular cream cleanser formula; I simply can’t be bothered to go into full-blown research mode at eleven o’clock in the evening.)


Official product description

Die leichte, cremige Reinigungsmilch mit Aprikosenkernöl befreit Ihre Haut sanft von Make-up, Verschmutzungen und Ablagerungen. Die Gesichtspartie wird dabei schonend gepflegt und erfrischt. 

  • extra milde, aber intensive Reinigung
  • zur täglichen Anwendung
  • für jeden Hauttyp geeignet
  • vegan

Anwendung: Morgens und abends auf Gesicht, Hals und Dekolleté auftragen. Sanft einmassieren. Mit klarem Wasser oder feuchtem Wattepad entfernen.

[source: DM]


English translation (don’t use without credit):

This light, creamy cleansing milk with apricot kernel oil gently frees your skin of makeup, dirt and residue. Meanwhile, the face is being pampered and refreshed.

  • extra mild but intense cleansing
  • for daily use
  • suitable for every skin type
  • vegan

Application: Apply morning and evening on face, neck and décolleté. Massage in gently. Remove with clear water or damp cotton pad.


While this description sounds a bit like this cleanser could substitute for the whole hydrating part of a skincare routine (which is bullshit, frankly), it actually stays quite true to reality. I found it to be both gentle and refreshing, and while I wouldn’t rely on it to remove my makeup and sunscreen tracelessly, it does have good cleansing prowess. The only claim I feel is misleading is that this cleanser is suitable »for daily use« — it’s not; it’s way too fragranced to be used every day. (Please bear in mind that irritation from declarable fragrance compounds like limonene and linalool is accumulative, so it won’t necessarily show immediately.)


Packaging

Three words: Cheap. Functional. Travel-friendly. It’s not exactly an adornment of the bathroom cabinet, but it’s cheap as chips, and the content does it’s job perfectly well. At this price, you can’t expect anything fancy.


Performance

On my skin, this product behaved just the way it ought to — it cleansed mildly but thoroughly, it didn’t leave my face feeling stripped nor did it leave any residue whatsoever. I have seen reviews that condemned it for exactly these reasons, but honestly I couldn’t see why — maybe the other reviewers didn’t wash it off properly? I don’t know, it’s actually really easy to wash off.


Similar products

This is your regular cream/milk cleanser; there are loads of it on the market. The thing that makes this one stand out to me is the price.


Conclusion

√ pH 4,8-5,5

√ mild surfactants

√ non-drying formula

× a few problematic ingredients that sadly make it impossible for long-term use

× quite strongly fragranced (the very reason why you can’t use it long-term)

√ nice sensoric experience; can be used as lubricant for a second cleanse massage

√ available in every DM

√ unbeatable price-size ratio

√ price-performance is also extremely good

Résumé: In terms of price point and performance, this cream cleanser is really hard to beat — so little money for such a good quality! By the time you’re reading this, I’ve gone through 2,75 bottles of it, and will continue to repurchase until I find something that isn’t fragranced with limonene and linalool, and ideally doesn’t have sodium acrylates in it either. I would really love to recommend this as a cleanser for every skin type, but, unfortunately, the fragrance makes it unsuitable for daily use. (P.S.: I’m thinking about switching to Balea MED Ultra Sensitive Reinigungsmilch which is 3,95€ for 200ml; I’ll tell you how it compares to this one.)


Now, that was fun, wasn’t it? We’ll continue with the micellar water review series next week — it’s Nivea’s turn, I believe?


Got any good, cheap, non-fragranced cream cleaners you would recommend to me?

Minnie


This post doesn’t contain any affiliate links. Affiliate links and PR samples on PALE AS F∗CK are always marked with one (∗) and two (∗∗) asterisks, respectively.

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