The Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm has been recommended to me by so many people over the past few years and I have finally taken the plunge to test it out.

It’s been on my wishlist for a long time now but I try to be economical with my beauty products and I don’t buy anything new until my previous stocks have depleted. I have a *lot* of cleansing balms, some gifted by brands, others that I’ve received in gift boxes and then of course, my own regular staples (Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Bam, and the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Balm).

As I have recently started wearing makeup again post-lockdown, this was the perfect time to give this a good trial run.


Need to know

Price: £26/ £44
Weight/ volume: 50g/ 100g
Features: 3 in 1 nourish/ cleanse/ hydrate balm
Purchased/ sample: gift with purchase of Stylist magazine subscription


Sales blurb

A nourishing cleansing balm that melts away makeup, daily pollutants and impurities for a soft and glowing complexion.

Test run

The balm is a solid waxy balm that melts into an oil texture with warmth from the fingers. It is then easy to massage into the skin and really break down dirt and makeup and give a deeper cleanse. It does leave a bit of an oily film on the skin afterwards, and so I prefer to double cleanse with another cleanser to remove the residue.

The eucalyptus fragrance is quite dominant but doesn’t give me any skin irritations, except around the eyes. I tried to use this on my eyes the first time, and the burn was so bad for me. Others have said they’ve been okay using this around the eyes, but for those like me, I’d give it a miss.

The balm, once melted into the oil texture does a great job at breaking down long-wear pigments, like liquid lipsticks, and heavier foundations. Below are some examples of how the balm worked on my Pat McGrath lip trio.

The Good

As you can see, the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm removed most traces of the lipstick, though there is a faint mark left from the deepest shade. That’s not too bad, considering I only gently massaged it into the skin. No harsh rubbing was needed to remove these highly pigmented lipsticks. A second massage would get rid of deeper pigmented lip colours.

As for the skincare benefits, I would need to use this daily for a few weeks before I start to see the impact. I only use cleansing balms on occasions when I have worn makeup during the day, rather than for daily cleansing, and so the collagen and other ingredients’ benefits are unlikely to affect me.

The Bad

One big negative for me is that it stings like hell around the eyes. It’s definitely not suitable for anyone with sensitive eyes and to be honest is best to avoid the eye area completely. Clinique Take The Day Off and Bodyshop Camomile Cleansing Butter are much kinder to the eyes.


The verdict: Yay or nay

It’s a cult favourite and I like it, but I don’t love it. If it was suitable for my eye area, then that would go some way towards me loving it. As it stands, I wouldn’t repurchase it, as I’m happy with my two aforementioned balm cleanser staples, Clinique Take The Day Off and Bodyshop Camomile Cleansing Butter.